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Lots of homebrew fun this evening while I watched Monday Night Football.

I racked my spiced pumpkin oatmeal ale to secondary after a very vigorous and thorough primary. I used a healthy 1000 ml starter, and it fermented out pretty quickly, just about three days before it dropped to 1.012. Smelled awesome coming out of the fermenter, a subtle cinnamon, clove and nutmeg spicyness. And it tasted nice and caramel sweet. Really looking forward to it around Halloween.

I also racked my double IPA to secondary, and dry hopped with a half ounce of Simcoe and a few ounces of Willamette. Never tried this combo, and am curious to see how it comes through in the finished product. I’m hoping for a nice punch of pine from the Simcoe, hopefully balanced by the earthy woodiness of the Willamette.

The fermentation on this one, however, is what has me somewhat baffled. I brewed this about a month ago, and after fermentation began within 12 hours of pitching the yeast starter, it really never stopped…just a steady, even fermentation for a few weeks at about 68 degrees. While a relatively big beer at 1.080 OG, I’ve never personally seen an ale ferment this long (even my Let Me Out Imperial Stout finished earlier), and it had me a little concerned something was off in some way. I took a gravity reading the other day once it appeared the bubbles in the air lock were significantly slowing (once every five minutes or so), and it was close to the target FG of 1.015, so I let it sit for another couple days to clean up any remaining diacetyl that might be hanging around. Tasted about right coming out of primary, so I’m hopeful I’m just overly paranoid and things turn out well.

In total, I have five beers at various stages of fermentation, with my lambic experiment leading the way at a few months in the carboy. For that one, I’ll likely rack onto fruit early next year, letting the brettanomyces that’s already in there kickstart another fermentation. There’s a very thin white film of bubbles at the top of the beer, which I’m assuming is the krausen line, given how slow brett fermentation typically takes.

Next on the home brewing agenda is either a nice oatmeal stout, or possibly a coconut milk stout, inspired by Town Hall’s version I enjoyed just a few weeks ago on cask (and coincidentally Best Beer of the Fest at last weekend’s Autumn Brew Review).

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