Omega Octoberfest Update

We spent Friday through Sunday thinking, drinking, and brewing beer in this classroom at Omega Institute.

We spent Friday through Sunday thinking, drinking, and brewing beer in this classroom at Omega Institute.

This past weekend I led a course on Beer, Brewing, and Sustainability at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. During the class, we brewed a five gallon batch of Octoberfest using organic ingredients from Seven Bridges with White Labs’ San Francisco Lager yeast which is designed to be used at ale fermentation temperatures.

I promised the course participants I’d send them each a bottle of the resulting beer and that I’d keep them updated about the beer’s progress via this blog. So this entry is for you guys – thanks for coming to the course, I had a great time brewing with you!

The ride home to Washington D.C. from Rhinebeck was long and warm – not great conditions for the beer to ferment, but I kept it in the back seat and kept the A/C on the whole way. When I got home I placed it at the bottom of a closet and covered it with some fabric to block any extra light.

As of this morning there was no fermentation activity. Today was hot out again, with a high of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. My place is very shaded though and probably didn’t top 75 degrees F but still, that’s a little warmer than we’d like it to be.

This evening I took a look at the thermometer strip that’s on the outside of the plastic fermenter and it read on the low side of 74 F – definitely a little higher than we want, but I did see very slow bubbles gurgling up through the airlock – almost a minute in between each bubble. The temperature may be causing a slow fermentation. Tonight the weather is forecast to drop down to 59 F outside so we ought to hit the perfect fermentation zone inside the closet of around 65 degrees or so.

The thermometer strip read 74 F. around 8pm tonight.

The thermometer strip read 74 F. around 8pm tonight.

I’ll check again before I go to sleep to see if the pace picked up at all. If we don’t see some improvement by tomorrow night I may toss in some more yeast to kick it into gear.

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One Response to Omega Octoberfest Update

  1. satjiwan says:

    so what are the rules about driving with a keg of nearly beer in the back seat of the car? seems open container laws, interstate commerce and others might be brought to bear…

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