I've noticed earlier brews were taking on similar properties but to a lesser extent. Well, I have learned my lesson and have had to dump all 5 gallons of the Muckalee Oatmeal Stout. The Homebrewtalk forums claim that the beer is salvagable if aged for several months but this beer was so contaminated that I think the only remedy was to count the losses and move on. With previous batches having similar effects (sour flavor and thin white film during fermentation), we realize we need to completely overhaul our sanitation process and bleach bomb everything we use to brew. We will try to age our bottled scotch ale (also effected by contamination) for a few months to see if the problem is remedied.Now for the good news! We received another shipment of brewing toys from MoreBeer! last week including a new 5 gallon fermentation vessle. We also thouroghly sanitized our 5 gallon carboy giving us two open vessels to fill with beer. The day after St. Patrick's day, filled up on soda bread and guinness from the day before, I brewed our Áth na Ríogh Irish Red Ale. The brew day went well with the airlock bubbling less than 12 hours after boil. Fermentation was so vigorous that we had to hook up a blow off tube after an old faithful type moment. This venture was followed up by yet another brew day yesterday. We brewed the Áth na Ríogh Irish Red Ale again but with a varied grain bill. With the local home brewing store out of roasted barley we moved along with just the crystal malts. So hopefully after the contamination setback that has plagued our brews in early march, we can move on to perfecting the product.
Some pictures from the brew days:
Bringin' the heat!
Northland Brewery EquipmentA couple of great freinds and our personal "brew couple" at Beach Brewings brought up a great point in a recent post on their blog. Jeremy writes "The trick is to find a good balance on overall knowledge while at the same time perfecting your craft in a specialized area." We totally agree with this point and believe that our main focus has become European style ales (including browns, stouts, scotches and reds). While we will not be limited to just these styles, we will try to keep this an area of greater focus while mixing in some of the other great beer styles sporadically.
Another side project being worked on here at NB is label production. Labels are the first things that people see when shopping for new beer to try and often times the most visually creative are the first brews to be bought up. While we have no previous experience or natural artistic creativity in realm of label making, we will be doing our best to provide the greatest visual appeal as we can. Something to look forward to!