My Summer Flowers brew, started yesterday, is now in the fermenter. I couldn’t resist one small innovation and that is that, this time, I’m using the same stockpot that I use for mashing and boiling the wort as the vessel to carry out the fermentation. It is easy to clean, able to take all the fermenting wort with a decent but not excessive amount of headroom (about 4-5 inches) and, since it is dedicated to brewing, I don’t need it for anything else. Last time I used my 25l plastic fermenting bin but that had a lot of headroom and is over 20 years old (although unused most of that time). In theory the fermenting beer should be protected by a blanket of heavier-than-air CO2 but either that didn’t work or I hadn’t got the container properly sanitised in the first place. Even if the vat wasn’t to blame (temperature is the other likely culprit and I will be very careful to make sure this one doesn’t get too warm), the stockpot is a convenient size.
For yeast, I’m using the second half of the Gervin ale yeast I used last time. This could also be a cause of the problems I had. If so, then I’ll know to stay away from it; if not, it means I can continue to use Wilkinson’s as a cheap and convenient place to pick up yeast when I’m not trying something more fancy (one of my future plans is to harvest yeast from bottle conditioned beer like St Austells Proper Job, but I’ll want a back up plan.
Anyway, fermentation is now started. Pre-fermentation gravity was 1.038 at 16°C, which is .003 higher than the 1.035 target but within reasonable tolerance.