Friday, September 24, 2010

Adventures in Homebrewing: Pumpkin Brew Day

Yesterday I dived head first into solo brewing and it was what one might call a fiasco. I took over the kitchen, cranked up my iPod, poured a brew, and got to work...which took me most of the day. Everything went as smoothly as one could have expected from an amateur like myself.

That is of course everything except for my yeast rehydration. I have read that just pitching the dry yeast is the way to go but have also read that rehydrating is a much better practice. Since we rehydrated when we brewed at Temple I figured that I should continue doing so but am regretting that decision today. My yeast was not as active during the rehydration as usual but I pitched it anyways and as of right now I'm getting no signs of fermentation in the carboy. I've talked to Joe Bair at Princeton Homebrew and a number of people on who keep encouraging me to sit on it and see what happens. Worst case scenario, I'm going to have to repitch the yeast and hope for the best. This whole dilemma has really left a bad taste in my mouth and I may have an alcer from all the stress.

The rest of the process, however, was a joy. Brewing a pumpkin ale is a messy ordeal but it sure made the house smell good. I couldn't find an appropriate steeping bag for the puree so I used the next best thing, a pair of nylon stockings. I brought the pumpkin to a boil and then used that water to steep the grains in, this seemed to be the most common method. I had nearly forgotten about my pecans but they made it into the boil just in time.

Unfortunately my yeast situation has me pretty worried and has put a black cloud over the whole thing. I've been trying to keep Charlie Papazian's "Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew." mantra in mind but that is easier said than done. Hopefully the yeast will wake up soon and ease my worries. Of course I would have a much better gauge on the situation if I had taken a damn hydrometer reading but that was another thing that slipped my mind.
Now I just have to wait and see.

UPDATE: As a last resort I ended up repitching some more yeast into my sad looking carboy and lo and behold it has been going nuts for the past 24 hours. After I came home from work I peaked under the blanket and saw the reassuring signs of fermentation, bubbles and krausen galore! I know you were all quite worried about my brew but fear not, things are looking up!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to read it, wouldn't want you going gray any sooner than expected.