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The following is the 'log' list for the Experimental Brew #1 (a.k.a., The 108).

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December 5, 2011 (11:28 AM)
So I debuted the 108 at Sam's birthday party on Saturday. The reviews were mostly positive, though a few people didn't like the high alcohol or the "strong flavor" of the beer. I like it quite a bit.

My main concern now is that the bottles are getting very carbonated. I'm thinking I probably should have blended all the constituent parts into a tertiary airlocked vessel so that the more voracious microbes could finish off the sugars in the batches with lower attenuation before I added the priming sugar. To avoid bottle bombs, I've put them all on ice and will be finding room in the refrigerator for them to age without further carbonation taking place.
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November 13, 2011 (4:37 PM)
It's been a long time since I've posted any updates, but that's not because I've been neglecting this site. I've been neglecting my homebrewing hobby! Today, I bottled up the Experimental Brew #1, also known as "The 108" (based on its URL ID), which is also swallowing the updates for the Raspberry Melomel, Tepache Ale, and Sour Ale.

As you might suspect from the merging of these brew updates, the final product is a merger of those many experiments. The bottling bucket received all the 108 (3 gallons, give or take), half the Raspberry Melomel (about a quart), all the remaining Tepache Ale (just under a gallon), and a small fraction of the Sour Ale (maybe half a gallon at most). I filled 49 bottles, leaving a little under a quart of murky brew at the bottom of the bucket, so those eyeball estimates seem to add up about right.

I also boiled about two handfuls of Sorachi Ace hops in a couple cups of water, strained out the hops, then dissolved the priming sugar in that hop tea. Because... why not, right?

I'll update again when the first is tasted, perhaps right after we get back from Mexico (Nov. 29th). I'm guessing it'll be more tasty around Christmas or New Years.
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March 28, 2011 (10:36 PM)
Took a gravity reading this evening, and drank the sample. SG is down to 1.002, but interestingly it still tastes slightly sweet. Definite alcohol bite, though. And some unique flavors. Will benefit from some aging, I think.
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March 16, 2011 (7:22 PM)
In the name of being experimental, I just added the dregs (along with about 1/4 the bottle) of a bottle of Orval today. Since I was planning to age this for awhile, I thought the Brett yeast might give it just the right "old" character. Or perhaps I've ruined my experiment... who knows!
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February 28, 2011 (10:08 PM)
So, after a few weeks of no fermentation activity, I noticed the other day that the CO2 bubbles were starting to get "trapped" by the surface of the beer more than usual:



I wasn't positive that it was the beginnings of a pellicle, but I was curious, especially since this brew contains the original date slurry, so there were undoubtedly all sorts of critters that survived the primary fermentation. Well, another couple days later, and voila! Definitely looks like the beginnings of a pellicle forming:



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February 1, 2011 (7:48 PM)
This afternoon, #108 was fermenting with fervor:

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January 31, 2011 (9:19 PM)
By this afternoon, the beer portion was fermenting pretty aggressively, so I decided it was time for the final combination. It took some doing to filter out the bulk of the chunky stuff. I used a wire mesh colander to catch as much as I could, and put a grain bag over the funnel to try to filter out what got through the colander.

I also gave it a taste. It wasn't too sour at all... a slightly sour, almost spicy taste. Really quite good, actually. Still sweet, though, so there are plenty of sugars left to be devoured.
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January 30, 2011 (3:44 PM)
Just brewed the beer portion today. Ended up going with 4lb, 2gal wort left after the boil. Did a high-temp mash (158°F), and the OG was 1.050.

When I added the second half of meadiness, I gave it a quick taste. Still very sweet, so for some reason that fermentation has been really slow. Hopefully the yeast is lively enough to get this batch going.
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