Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How many batches do you have in fermenters right now?

Chile, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Vanilla Imperial Stout in the foreground.0 - 9%
1 - 17%
2 - 22%
3-4 - 28%
5-6 - 11%
7-10 - 6%
10-15 - 1%
16+ - 2%

It is terrific to see how many people have a lot of batches going, 21 people who responded had 10 or more fermentations going? Glad so many people brewing!  It probably helps that it is peak brewing season with beautiful weather for brew days, and good ambient fermentation temperatures for most ales. It's also the right season for making ciders, pumpkin beers, wines, and using fresh hops.

At the moment I have beer in four barrels and 12 Better Bottles (and carboys and jugs).  Although that number just dropped a bit as Nathan and I bottled two beers tonight (five gallons of our wine barrel solera on both Hallertau Tradition and elderflowers), and about to fall precipitously as next weekend I'm having a few friends over to help me blend and bottle another five or six batches. I've already stockpiled several cases of clean delabeled bottles, but I'm worried that it is still a few short of what I'll need.

Not sure what I'll be brewing to refill all of those emptied carboys.  The next few batches for me are going to be lagers, a Vienna and a Tmave (the Czech version of a schwarzbier).  I'll have to get some sours going as well, it may finally be time to get moving on the Great Souring Experiment...


SeƱor Brew™ said...

Unfortunately, I'm in the zero camp, mainly due to lack of time. I plan to get an IPA fermenting soon.

bkyeast said...

I had 7 at the time of the poll, but it's down to 3 right now. There is just so much to try, so much to explore, and it's always a good idea to have a variety on hand.

Chris said...

Elder flowers? I grow elderberries and have used the berries in beer. What does the flower do to a beer?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Elderflower adds a sweet floral aroma. It is the main flavor in St. Germain liquor. Cantillon used it in their Zwanze 2009 and now again in Mamouche. I actually found Mamouche to be a bit over done, to the point it smelled like green peppers to me. We used 1 oz, so it is pretty mild.

HomeBrewed Triathlete said...

Sorry I missed the vote!

At the moment I only have 2 - I have 5 gallons of cider fermenting and a gallon of a cold-ship experiment spontaneously fermented (i.e. I left if outside overnight to catch wild yeast) based on an Orval malt bill.

I just bottled 8 gallons of dark Belgian ale (was targeting Westy 12, but missed my gravity by about 20 pts) and will brew 10 gallons of American Amber this weekend for Thanksgiving...and if time hopefully another 5 gallons of Rye Pale Ale for myself!

So giving myself a 2...but I was a 3, and will be a 3 or 4 in coming days!

John said...

I'm in the 16+ camp (20 currently), but that doesn't mean I brew that often. Most of my carboys (all glass) are aging various bretted beauties so they sleep deep in the hallway closet for long periods of time.

The majority of these long-termers are 3 gallon capacity, and a few contain brews that I've bottled, found unsatisfactory and then recarboyed. I consider draining the majority of a bottled batch into a 3 gallon carboy if I find that batch over-carbonated, under-attenuated, mildly flavor-flawed, or simply uninspiring.

Many of these less-than-perfect brews improve greatly with therapy (ie. brett, oak, fruit, sugar, ancho chiles, 099, blending) and one or two have gone from mildly-flawed to absolutely sublime. Oh, I know it's a slightly different subject, but I'm curious how many other brewers recarboy their wayward brews versus the more commonly-mentioned remedy of pouring disappointing brews rapidly down one's throat or even worse, the drain.

Also, when I brew I tend to do 12 gallon batches, splitting the batch into 3 or 4 carboys with a different yeast strain in each. This only adds to my active carboy armada. I know I'm pushing the limits of my wife's patience with the space these vessels require.

Chris said...


I made a licorice root Irish Stout. I used six natural licorice roots for 6 gal. It has a different flavor then anise. It makes a great Halloween beer. It took 3++ months to age in bottle. Your pumpkin spice beer will be ready for halloween and Christmas. I tried it yesterday and it is aging well.

Adam said...

If I had the carboys and the space I'd do the sour beer experiment with you. However I only have a closet with a two tier shelf that can fix five carboys. Sure that'd be enough for the experiment really but I still want to brew other beers!

Usually at any given time I have between 2-5 beers in a fermentor. Some stuff only gets primary, some are split batches with different yeasts. I had nothing in fermentors not too long ago due to a home construction project. Now I have three full fermentors with a potential fourth on Friday.