There were a number of difficulties due to lack of equipment and due to coming down with a cold the night before I planned to brew. Having just moved to a new apartment, I used Arlington, VA water for the first time and am also using half a campden tablet to remove chloramine for the first time, as I am currently without a water filter. 1.75 tsp of gypsum were added to the 3 gallons of mash water being heated in my new stainless steel pot and strike temperature was brought up to 165. In addition to not having a water filter, I had no scale to measure out my hops or grains. While approximating half a bag of oats isn't too difficult and the difference will be minor approximating 1/32 of a pound of Palisades is much more difficult and the magnitude of error will be much more compounded since there is only a single first wort hop addition contributing the vast majority of IBU's to this beer. On top of this I was way off on my mash/sparge water calculations and ended up with just 4 gallons of 1.058 wort. I added one gallon of distilled water I had sitting around to bring it down to 1.048. Initial tasting is sweet with a floral and berry character with a moderate bitterness and some citrus character also in the mix. Should be interesting to see how this one comes out.
Brewing while I have a cold, in a new location, with new water, a new stove, a new pot, new varieties of hops and not measuring the exact weight of the hops leaves a lot of question marks for this batch, but with how cheap this beer is (under 25 bucks if you don't count the yeast), and with how much healthy yeast it will produce I am not as worried about the quality of the end result and am more worried about dialing in the new system. Getting a good beer out of it would certainly be nice though.
Checked on the beer today to see it had erupted. Perfumey floral beer smell and all the walls are covered in krausen and hop goop. Cleaned up and reattached the now slowly bubbling airlock.
Checked gravity, down to 1.009 and still fermenting. Taste is floral with subtle citrus and a pungent, vegetal finish. Still green, not carbonated and not even done fermenting but the bitterness seems too low.
Tasting. Pretty happy with the way both of these came out.
Entered these into a competition in March where they received middling scores due to being out of style. Forgot to post the blog entry so the double tasting post was updated to include score reports and my take.