Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Monday, February 9, 2009

Frankenbrew - long over due recap

Before I left town for a number of months for work, I brewed what was touted as an "Oktoberfest inspired ale" by one of the folks over at beertools.com. As I stated in a previous post...

After seeking out feedback from the homebrew-blogosphere, I learned that it was closer to an Altbier

Making what I would later refer to as Franken-beer proved to be a bit more trouble than it was worth. I had to keep the fermenting wort close to 65 degrees, and it was pretty hot out at the time, so I had to lock it up in an air conditioned room, and jack my electric bill up. It was the first brew I used a secondary for and the first time I used the Tap-A-Draft kit.

Kenn "breaks the seal" on the Tap-A-Draft...

Most folks don't know that Kenn is in fact a semi-pro hand model.
I wonder if he gets his arm hair snagged on the fancy watch.

I had some errors along the way, including breaking my hydrometer in the wort! No one died from drinking Franken-beer (at least not yet) so I suppose no harm was done. And let's not forget the drama with my bung hole! Bottom line, this brew brought a number of firsts for me and I made a number of mistakes. And finally, the results were mediocre at best...

I had some of my buddies over before I left town to help me put my mediocre brew to work. We "cracked open" one of the Tap-A-Draft bottles and had our way with the Franken-beer. For what ever reason, the beer was mostly flat. I can't blame the recipe for that, I suspect it happened because of my bung/secondary issue. The flavor was OK, but not knock your socks off great. I think the lack of carbonation was the biggest issue overall.

The Tap-A-Beer does improve a flat beer. The CO2 creates head for an otherwise flat brew.

A note to any would-be Tap-A-Draft users... Make sure the tap is closed before locking in the CO2, your camera man may otherwise get a beer shower...

My local homebrew shop guy told me later that if you put the Tap-A-Draft bottle in the fridge with the tap and CO2 hooked up, and let it sit for about a week, the beer would have improved carbonation and would taste a bit better. It's true as I found out more recently.

When Kenn was over a week or so ago to help me with my latest brew and snow wort chilling activities, we cracked open the last of the Franken-Beer. It still wasn't great. But we enjoyed more of Kenn's beers that night, as they were better, so I let the bulk of the bottle sit in the fridge with the CO2 still connected, and it did seem better throughout the week. Better head, better clarity and better over all flavor.

So there you go, a combo Franken-beer wrap up and Tap-A-Draft review of sorts. I definitely like the Tap-A-Draft, and plan to bottle this next batch entirely with the system. Stay tuned for the results.


  1. Heheh...nice job! Can't write it better than that.

    Keep up the good work :-)

  2. Cool stuff on the Tap-A-Draft. I may be giving it a shot depending on how my porter comes out - I fear some of it may come out flat.

    I have a couple of "Party Pigs" by Quoin in the closet. They work okay, but it was always too much work.

  3. Hey there! Are you interested in Fermentation Friday on the 27th?

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