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Recipe: Hollis / Earl Grey Pale Ale - Homebrew Competition version (revision #2)

  • Started Brewing: Sep 11, 2011
  • Original Gravity: 1.045
  • Primary Fermentation Complete (Estimated): Sep 25, 2011
  • Secondary Fermentation Complete (Estimated): Oct 09, 2011
  • Ready to Drink (Estimated): Oct 23, 2011

Notes From Sept. 11, 2011 (Brewing)

Gravity Reading: 1.045

We followed the instructions above to the letter. The OG is a little light due to the fact that we only received 5 gallons to boil so some was lost in the boil, and after adding the tea, it brought the OG down. Fermentation started within 15 hours. The taste of the tea was not readily apparent in this initial primary, so we are planning on cold brewing some really strong tea, then boiling it to sterilize and hopefully concentrate it. Then add that into the secondary if necessary.

Notes From Sept. 25, 2011 (Other)

Gravity Reading: [Not given]

This one is still bubbling the airlock at least once per minute, so we are going to let it go longer in the primary, cut short the secondary time, and bottle so that it has at least two weeks to carbonate and clear before submitting to the judges.

Notes From Sept. 29, 2011 (Moving to Secondary)

Gravity Reading: 1.011

Racked today. Tasting really good. Fully fermented and has an ABV of 4.45. Beautiful color. There was just the barest hint of Earl Grey taste, so I added 1 oz of tea leaves directly into the secondary. Very little sediment was siphoned into the secondary. This was very clear, I expect it to be cloudy from the tea leaves when we are finished.

Notes From Oct. 9, 2011 (Bottling/Kegging)

Gravity Reading: 1.007

There were some bubbles along the top of the secondary, trapped all around the tea that was still floating on the surface. There was a slight sour smell to the beer that worried me at first. We did 4 oz of corn sugar for priming. The FG appeared to be even lower than when racking to secondary, which I did not expect. I'm curious if the tea affected that. If it did not, we are up to 4.99% ABV. Tastes good. The Earl Grey is not coming through how I'd liked or expected. There is quick hit of it when drinking, then nothing, but then some after taste. While it is ok, it's not quite the rockstar I was hoping it would be. But we'll see what a couple of weeks of carbonating and having it cold will do to it!