Batch #7 (Black IPA) racked to the keg with a little over a half cup of cane sugar for carbonation. Also brewed batch #8, German Altbier. This is another Northen Brewer extract kit with specialty grains. I brought two gallons of spring water up to 154 degrees with my bag of steeping grains (Weyerman Caramunich II, 1 pound) in the pot. I let the grains steep for 20 minutes, then removed the grain and brought the wort to a boil. Added 1 pound Briess Amber dried malt extract and 6 pounds Northern Brewer amber liquid malt extract, 1 oz. Perle hops (pellets). Added another oz. of Perle 15 minutes later, and an oz. of Hersbrucker pellets 15 minutes prior to the end of the one-hour boil. Hersbrucker had an interesting aroma, nice, but couldn't place it.
Cooled the wort to 99 degrees F in about 20 minutes in an ice bath on the sink. Added 2.5 gallons of spring water to the carboy and then the wort, was able to keep most of the hop gunk out. Topped up with distilled water to just over the 5 gallon line. Measured gravity at 1.051 (kit is supposed to come out to 1.052, so that's pretty good). Pitched my packet of Safale US-05 yeast. did not rehydrate the yeast ahead of time, just sprinkled in per package instructions. Aerated and put in a stopper and airlock, it's in the closet at 62 degrees, some slight signs of fermentation about 8 hours after pitching.
I did taste the wort- sweet of course, but very bitter around the back and sides of the tongue, lingeringly so. Not much hop aroma but that's true to the style. I'm going to give it six weeks in the primary fermenter, then rack to the keg. That means racking over to the keg on on March 20, then serving no sooner than 4/10. This is good because the planned debut for this beer will be 4/17 at Kate's birthday party.
This brewday was a nice example of how to combine tasks for efficiency. I made a batch of sanitizer, sanitized my fermenter, then cleaned and sanitized two kegs, racked the Black IPA, put 5 gallons of spring water into one of the kegs and hooked it up to the gas for seltzer, cleaned and sanitized a third keg that just came up empty, got everything out of my keezer (that's a chest freezer with a temp controller- making it the ultimate keg chilling machine) and cleaned it out, and finally used the old sanitizer to set up a bunch of bottles for soaking and de-labeling.