Racking The Honey Wheat

The morning we left for Seattle, I got up early and racked the Honey Wheat from the primary over to the secondary.

I keep learning little things that I need to purchase to make things a bit easier for the next time and this experience was no different.  But other then wishing I had a different tool then I currently have, everything went well.

I think what I will do for the next batch of beer I make is get a larger diameter tube that will attach to the bottom of my funnel.  Then siphon the beer from the primary to the funnel with the funnel’s attached filter.  The funnel will then rest in the top of the carboy with the new tubing draining out to the bottom of the carboy.  That way I can filter the beer a bit coming out of the primary and still make the transfer “quietly” into the carboy.

The aroma was very good.  I could smell the honey in the air during the transfer.  Flavor was a little weak, but I expected that as it has not had a chance to age and let the honey come out yet.  The Pumpkin Spice was the same way.  After a few weeks in the secondary I expect the flavor to come out much stronger.

I’ll have to check my notes, but I think I only allowed the Pumpkin Spice to age 2 – 3 weeks before kegging.  I wanted to let it go longer, but I was so late in making it, I wanted it ready for out Christmas party.  I brewed this Honey Wheat early and so I can afford to let it sit in the secondary for a bit longer.  I’m thinking of letting it sit for four weeks at a minimum.  I can let it go five or six if I choose to.  I don’t have to have it on tap till Memorial Day so I can let it age a while if I want.  Besides, letting it age a long time doesn’t hurt anything.

I took a new set of measurements in the primary.  My specific gravity dropped to 1.008!  Oh baby!  I didn’t expect that.  And I’m not complaining.  I was going to be happy with 1.020.  My alcohol by volume came out at about 1% off the hydrometer.  If you remember from my measurements from after I took the wort off the boil, my alcohol by volume was 7%.  So you home brewers know what that means?!  Yeah, baby!

After punching in my numbers into the calculator, the beer is now measured at 6.2% alcohol by volume and 5.5% by weight 6.  A 12 oz serving has 204 calories.  That number was curious to me as it was exactly the same as my Pumpkin Spice.  The decimals were off, but the 204 was the same.  Interesting.

Once again, I have photos to show with this post, but can not upload them.  I will update it as soon as I get back to Boise.

One interesting note on the homebrew front.  I brought with me to Seattle a six pack of my Raspberry Stout (the first homebrew I made last summer) and a six pack of my Pumpkin Spice.  We’re not going to talk about the Raspberry Stout, that was a mess and it did not turn out well except for the bottles.

We tried the Pumpkin Spice last night with dinner.  Now, these bottles were bottled at the same time as the beer was transferred to the keg last November.  But these bottles have never been refrigerated.  They have sat at room temperature since that date, until I chilled them when we got to Seattle on Sunday.  The flavor is much different from the keg.  I mentioned near the start of this post that I should have aged the Pumpkin Spice longer but was in a rush to get it on tap.  Well, you can tell the difference between the keg and the bottles after the extra aging that the bottles got by sitting.

This has just reinforced my desire to keep the Honey Wheat in the secondary for at least  five weeks now.  Seriously, the flavor of the Pumpkin Spice is quite dramatic between the keg and the bottles.  The allspice and cinnamon flavors are much stronger and it does taste closer to what I was hoping to achieve.  Not to say the keg version is bad.  I took a growler of it to Sylvia’s party last Saturday and got good reviews.  But a little longer in the aging process would have done it good and I will do so the next time I make it.

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