White House Honey Ale: Racking Day (aka Cusick House Honey Ale)

Above you can see our beer needs to clear out yet, during this racking stage it looked like apple cider just a bit paler.  Here is hoping it clears out some!

Above you can see our beer needs to clear out yet, during this racking stage it looked like apple cider just a bit paler. Here’s hoping it clears out some!

A couple of things:

First we have renamed this beer to “Cusick House Honey Ale” figuring it is only fitting since we did not use White House Honey but Cusick House Honey in this brew!

Second, this past weekend we took the next step in our first homebrew experiment, racking.  In the picture to the left we are siphoning our brew from our primary 6.5 gallon glass fermenter to the secondary 5 gallon glass fermenter.    The idea behind racking beer per John Palmer and How to Brew:

“Racking is the term for the process of transferring the beer without disturbing the sediments or exposing it to air. Usually this is done by siphoning. It is imperative to not aerate the wort during transfer after primary fermentation. Any oxygen in the beer at this time will cause staling reactions that will become evident in the flavor of the beer within a couple weeks.”

Why we rack:

” The yeast also produce an array of fusel alcohols during primary fermentation in addition to ethanol. Fusels are higher molecular weight alcohols that often give harsh solvent-like tastes to beer. During secondary fermentation, the yeast convert these alcohols to more pleasant tasting fruity esters. Warmer temperatures encourage ester production.  Towards the end of secondary fermentation, the suspended yeast flocculates (settles out) and the beer clears.” 

It is times like this I am glad Huz is a chemistry teacher who also has the patience to siphon beer as it takes a bit of time.  This has been one large fun experiment.  He is the brains and I am the cleaner…sanitation, sanitation, sanitation.   The next step is bottling, which I think will be done in 2 weeks from the racking day.  To save a bit of money we have been saving our beer bottles, de-labeling them, cleaning them, and sterilizing them by dry heat in the oven.  More to come on that step later this week.

Thoughts, comments, observations… please share!

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