Saturday, February 28, 2009

third brew (african amber ale), part 3

The carboy has been exhibiting tiny bubbles collecting at the neck for days now, after racking and dry hopping on the 14th. I at last took a sample with the wine thief and measured the gravity at 1.016 at 68 degrees, so about 1.017 corrected. Clarity is outstanding, though there are a few small particles of hops that must have been dislodged as I nudged the cheesecloth out of the way.

In the hydrometer tube and then in a glass it continued its ever so slight bubbling, as if it had just a bit of carbon dioxide coming out of suspension. I guess that's what it's doing in the carboy as well. It doesn't seem like there's any way it would be active yeast producing the bubbles in the glass.

I'm very pleased with the flavor. It has a pleasant hoppy nose and a really nice balance of bitterness and faintly sweet maltiness. There really does seem to be a light carbonation. I don't think it's a dead ringer for the unfiltered Mac & Jack's but it's sure good, and a lovely color. Once it's ready for consumption I'll have to pick up a jug of the real thing over at the brewpub.

The final gravity according to the recipe is 1.018, so it's probably about done. This amount of bubbling has not been enough for me to see any airlock activity even when watching for minutes at a stretch. I'll probably measure again in a few days, but it looks like it's time to bottle.

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