A series of unfortunate events: I decided to quote the name of a famous series of novels (movies and TV series) to make you understand that the one I’m going to talk about, the Lenzuolo Bianco, is perhaps the most unfortunate beer I have ever made. His misfortune does not begin with this batch, but already earlier.
You should know that this recipe of a lemon flavored american wheat has undergone several changes, going for the better every time (I already have the good recipe, but I would like to make it better) up to its two previous batches. The first time I forgot to update the weight on the package of lemon peels, and I could not use the correct quantity in the recipe so I made a beer flavored at random. The next time, trying to present it to a competition, I wanted to give her that peculiarity that would make her different with a fresh lemon peel dry-hopping. For safety I decided to put only two lemons on 50 liters of beer, but my prudence was not enough: the lemon flavor was very strong and completely covered any other flavor and scent. And here we arrive to batch #12 of one of my preferred beers.
I will begin the series of unfortunate events by telling you this batch should not be the Lenzuolo Bianco but the Goriziana, my own Stout. In fact, I made a whole series of plans to do the brew on the 2 June (in Italy is a holiday) so that I had 2 months of time before the competition I wanted to partecipate. After a careful inventory, I did an order for the stout, the american wheat, and for an an IGA. I went to pick up the order in the nearby town, and in fact on June 2 I was ready to brew. I already put to heat the water when looking for the grains I noticed something wrong: I ordered 5kg of Pilsner instead of 5kg of Maris Otter. The plan was to make the Stout, and at the end of fermentation make the american wheat. Because of the error, I decided to try another way: make the Lenzuolo Bianco, order the missing malt and as soon as it arrived, brew the Stout and put it to ferment in the cell together with the american wheat.
Getting around the first problem I set to work for the new batch of the lenzuolo Bianco: first I had to run home to pick up all the missing ingredients (I was brewing at my parents’ home), and then quickly try to start the brew. I managed to start the mash only an hour late and without problems, great. The sparge also went smoothly so it seemed to be going well. As soon as I started to heat the wort for boiling I realized that I had forgotten at home also the scale for hops and some spices because of the changes in the work plan. This time I had everything brought to me without having to run home again.
All the boiling went well, up to the famous lemon peel. I put them into the hop spider trying to get them down well with a spoon. I don’t know what I did, the fact is that the hop spider fell pouring hops, spices and lemon peel into the pot, which obviously is not equipped with other filters.
After cooling down the wort I started with the transfer: after 10 seconds the tap was already clogged. After freeing it I was able to continue, but obviously did not solve the problem that occurred immediately after. So I decided to sanitize a passino, remove half the tap and make the transfer through a strainer. Very slowly I managed to finish and bring the fermenter into the fermentation cell. After I set the target to 16°C for the first few days, I cleaned everything and went home.
The next day I went back to check if everything was ok and here’s the bad surprise: the cell has problems and does not fall below 16.5°C. For this first phase it is not a problem, but it will become at the cold crash step.
Now, how this beer’s gonna come out, I don’t know, anyway, I’ll keep you updated. For the moment I’ve recovered another fridge and I’m preparing it to accommodate the fermenter.
I ordered the STC-1000 control unit for the new fridge, and because of my distraction I bought the 24V version instead of the 220V one. So now I have to change it. This beer has not to be done.
Finally bottling day, the end of this misfortune is now around the corner. But since I had to finish this beer in a perfect way, the spray bottle I use to sanitize the equipment got broken. I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. Luckily, my girlfriend Noemi was with me and helped me sanitize the bottles, saving me some work and keeping me company.