I like apple beer. At least, I like the apple beer that Moose's Tooth used to have (they still have apple beer, but the recipe has changed and it tastes more like hard apple cider, which I'm not as fond of). So I'm interested to see how this turns out.
It was a lovely day yesterday. Perfect for collecting supplies, manual labor in the yard (for Greg), and brewing beer. Since Greg spent the afternoon working with the neighbor to put up our fence, we didn't get started brewing until after 8pm. In the meantime, I picked up the remaining necessary ingredients, which included apples picked fresh from our friends' tree, and a drive down Turnagain Arm to get more water.
Because we were starting so late (and it's fall, so we're losing sunlight faster and faster), Greg set up his construction lights on the deck. Don't look directly in them unless you want to be blinded.
- When adding hops to a beer that has fruit in it, put the hops in a grain bag. Otherwise, there's no easy way to separate the hops to keep it out of the carboy. According to Greg, having the hops in the primary fermentation won't hurt the beer, but it's preferable to remove them prior. They'll be gone (as will the apples) when we rack the beer into the secondary (in three weeks). Because of the issues we had with the first brew (where I didn't put the cracked coriander and orange peel in a grain bag, so they blocked the spigot), I'm thinking that we should probably use grain bags for just about everything.
- When using fruit (apples in this case, but any fruit really), cut them small. Since we use a carboy (with a very small opening) for the primary, it's difficult to force the apple slices through the funnel into the carboy (and I'm still not sure how we're going to get them out again). Next time the apples will be chopped (but not diced, because we don't want them to block the spigot of the brew kettle).