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7 DAYS A WEEK

Chip’s Open/Closed Patersbier

[editor's note: this piece was originally published on the Brewing TV blog]

Hello everyone. Chip Walton, the guy behind the camera, here.

When Michael Dawson (or Jake Keeler) says JUMP - I say HOW HIGH?! In Episode 6, Dawson issued our first Brewing TV Challenge. He suggested viewers brew a five-gallon batch of Patersbier, split it into two 2.5-gallon batches, ferment one closed, ferment one open. I took this challenge to heart.

I followed the Patersbier recipe linked above - adding only the rose hips. OG was 1.043. Split the batch into two batches and kept in basement beer room that was about ambient 72F. Here are my often cryptic and short-handed notes.

9 hours - beers and room 74F - Open: tight, white foam, frothy, smells like a brewery (that's a good thing). Smells yeasty, hops are noble-ish. These guys are crunk. Go, yeast starter, go! - Closed: 2 pops / second!!! Chugging away nicely. Krausen up to the airlock. Foam in first chamber of S-airlock. Gushing super glugs fairly often as well.

12 hours - Open: getting a brown, brulee-like color to middle of the krausen and pulling away from the sides of the bucket - Closed - CRUNK! almost popped the airlock and stopper off the carboy, bubbling crazy and cloudy wort in airlock, switching to blow-up tube, 3-4 pops / second, steady mobbin'

14 hours - room is 74F - Open: higher profile krausen, foamier, darker brown spots; strong CO2, fruity, tart aroma - Closed: beer is 76F, raging fermentation, blow-off tube full of foam, blow-off jug has lots of condensation, wort is churning, yeast particles swimming around, wort seems lighter in color and clearer than earlier, 2-3 pops/second

21 hours - Open: high krausen, blotches of brown funk and white foam, aroma: yeast, bread, cloves, CO2, head is "crackling" if you listen really close (stick your head in the bucket, fool!) - Closed: 77F, 2 pops/second, strong fermentation still, hardly any yeast collecting at bottom of carboy, it's all mixed up and dancing wild in the wort/beer, lighter in color, almost clear light tan, last maybe 1/16 gallon due to foam, blow-off jug is cloudy with giant bubbles on top

32 hours - Open: Half of krausen is still white/tan foam, but other half is getting slick and creamy, slimy texture, brown along the edges; aroma floral, bready, yeasty, honey, cloves.... skimmed off krausen with sanitized spoon and roused the yeast. Beer is light orange/brown, foam starting rebuilding ASAP and you can see flecks of yeast getting back to work. SG: 1.020. Taste - sweet bread, light spice, tangy, fruity - Closed: slowing down a bit - 1 pop / second, yeast still active and swimming, layer of yeast starting to form again on  bottom, but yeast still rising to get into the beer, still orange-ish brown, 75F. SG - 1.015! Taste: yeast, farmhouse & hay, tartness (from rose hips?), some wheat character. Aroma has a slightly concerned sulphur aroma.

38 hours - Open: a few hours after rousing, it has formed a new foamy white head, now it has shifted to a more tan color; strong bananabread aroma, some larger bubbles but mainly tight foam with scattered brown spots, creamier along the edges - Closed: 73F, slowing down, but still active.... strong egg & sulphur aroma... hmmmmm.

45 hours - Open: slowing, not as much activity on top krausen layer (visibly and by ear), time to work (after work - about 10 hours from now), smell is not as strong as it has been, still floral, bready and honeydew - Closed: much slower, 73F, color is somewhat darker now that it's calming down

At this point my notes sort of stop. What I can tell you is I did racked the open batch into a 3-gallon carboy. It was an amber/orange color and tasting very nice. Fruity, bready, light spices. SG at the time was 1.012

I racked the closed batch two days later. SG was 1.010 at the time. [Dawson tells me we're aiming for FG of 1.008, so they are close] The closed beer had lost some of that sulphur aroma and it was replaced by an interesting farmhouse/hay aroma. I think that will continue to replace the sulphur in the secondary and is going to make for a nice beer. Closed batch is noticeably lighter in color - more of a dark yellow/orange/straw color.