From the HBD Archive
Subject: Dry Hops and Green Sludge
Date: 1992-03-30 17:51:00 GMT

Dear Brewers,

After freeing up my carboy from the monstrocity I was brewing (BTW,
thanks for the advise, all!), I decided to try something a bit more
challenging than simple extract-syrup brewing, and brewed up my first
lager, following the recipe (as closely as possible, this time :-) )
in Papezian for "Propensity Lager."

Of course this was a learning experience in every respect, and I'm
sure this particular experience isn't over yet. And, just as one
discovery spurrs twenty more questions (at least that's what they're
teaching at the graduate level these days), this particular learning
process has generated quite a few questions...

First of all, I used crystal malt; I cracked it, then added it to the
boil-pot (w/ 1.5 gal. water) and strained just after the boil began.
But, instead of fishing around in the boiling brew with my strainer, I
simply poured it through a strainer into a temporary, second (aluminum)
pot, and then back into the original pot. I then added the 5 lbs of
dry light maly extract all at once, and it all seemed to "clump"
together, mostly dissolving but some marble-sized beads remaining and
later strained out. I also added the Saaz hop pellets straight into the
boil. This I also did with the finishing and flavoring hops. The only
sugar called for was 2.5 lbs of clover honey. I let this calderon boil
moderately (not vigorously) for 45 min, as per the recipe, then cooled
it - without straining the wort yet - by setting the pot in a tub of
cold water for about an hour or so. When it was cool enough, I strained
out as much on the hops as I could (Pap.'s recipe calls for straining or
sparging the hops straight after the boil :-? ), and that proved to be
a long and tedious process. I had thought, given the nature of pellet-
ized hops, that I'd have to use a COFFEE strainer, but the kitchen
strainer proved to be enough og a trial!! I had to pour a bit, spoon
through the strainer to let the wort pass, spoon out the spent hops,
then start again. The whole process took about half an hour!!

When I finished, the wort in the fermenter looked like thick, milky
caramel! I then topped off the fermenter with water to fill it to
the neck. I pitched two packets of dry lager yeast (wort temp = approx.
65F) and fitted a blow-off hose to the top of the carboy, emptying
into a pitcher filled with about an inch of water acting as a lock.
Fermentation began vigorously within 24 hrs and is continuing still,
though not so vigorously now.

OK, now the questions:

1) The wort is STILL a milky-caramel in color! Is this normal? Will
it clear eventually? If not, do I need to rack to a secondary?
I'd like to keep it in a closed container, so, in the event of racking
can I simply rack to a temporary (pail-like) container, clean out the
carboy, and reuurn it? I'm not that comfortable with this idea.
If I don't need to rack, what are the possibilities that the beer
will clear as it lagers in the bottle?

2) The kreausen is rising, but not enough (yet?) to pass through the
blow-off hose. Will it in time (it's been brewing sinse Sat.)? If
not, will I have to scoop it off? There's still a green sludge (hops)
at the top, and I'm concerned that, if the fermentation does continue
to the point where my blow-off hose is actually useful, will this
sludge clog the tubes? Again, I guess it boils down to a question
of racking...

Any directions?

Not Worrying (a first, for me :-) )


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