I just pulled a sample of my Kentucky Common. It finished 2 points lower than I’d wanted – not bad considering I underpitched. Fermentation control – keeping the temperature cool and within a tight range when the beer is starting to ferment, then letting it warm at the end, is a highly recommended practice.
My other adventures in fermentation are going well. I’ve made about three batches of fully-fermented sourdough bread over the last two weeks and have been amazed at each. Not since I lived in Germany have I had such good bread! The practices used to make the bread are very easy and the results spectacular.
I have a local sourdough starter getting started. Right now it smells very funky. Unless it cleans itself up I’ll be feeding it to the sewage system rather than using it to feed doughs. But I’m following the instructions: The smell is exactly that of a sour mash. Come to think of it, the fermentation is very similar. I’ve mixed up unsanitized flour with water, let it stand open on the countertop to capture wild yeast and bacteria and have cultivated that through warmth. Since I’m feeding every day as long as it doesn’t go too enteric on me, the “good” yeast and bacteria should crowd out the smelly stuff. I’m hoping anyway.
My Pre-Prohibition pale ale is great, bitter but not too much so, black currant flavors from the Cluster hops. Grodziskie also turned out very nice, clear and bubbly and smoky. I’m happy with all my late winter beers so far. It seems the Inkbird was a good investment.