One Way Ticket to Helles… and Bock…

Continuing from our last episode

I got cocky, filled the pail too high, and almost had a C02 explosion.

Good thing I’m always working from home now; otherwise, I would’ve come home to find a huge mess, I’m sure.


(In my defence, I’d never had a fermentation that bubbled at all.)

It was a bit exciting when I started to hear the bubbling under my desk.

I took a look and could see the bubbling, and thought “oh, that’s neat”.

A few hours later… I took another look and panic set in…

I didn’t get a good photo, but things were foaming over. the cork wasn’t a perfect, airtight fit, and foam was coming out around the cork too. Thankfully, just the lid was a mess and I caught it before it went all over the floor.

I pulled out the pail, and hastily sanitized a blow-off hose and prepped a container with sanitizer in it.

I was trying to make the switch quickly… so, instead of just taking out the cork, I foolishly tried to disconnect the airlock and stick the hose into the same cork…

And yes… the cork dropped down into the beer… again.

You’d think I’d learn. But this time, I left the damn thing in there and got another sanitized cork.

TL;DR, I had to make sure the C02 and foam was only being forced through the tube, and I had to get gravity on my side. Hence the tape and jar.

Mr. Yeasty…

I got so much yeasty stuff in the jar, I changed out the star san for purified water (in a sanitized jar) and started saving it. I don’t know if it’ll be feasible for yeast ranchin’, but we’ll see.

I’m still working on an “Ode to Yeast” post, but I’ve been reading about how to reuse and “ranch” yeast. So, hopefully more to come on that.

The Name

So, I did a search on Untappd, and there are at least 20 beers with the name “To Helles and Bock”.

Because it’s hardly original and I figured I’d deviated from the recipe sufficiently (I had to use “Sparkling Amber” LME instead of “Munich”), I figured a modified name was in order.

I was excited to call my homebrew “One Way Ticket to Helles… and Bock“.

For the younger and older people who may have missed the particular era of music (the early 2000s), here’s what I was thinking:

A fun rock band called The Darkness came out with the song I believe in a thing called love, which was the first music video I happened to see from the band. (It’s awesome.)

Then, they had a single callled “One Way Ticket” from the album “One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back”. You probably get where this is going.

More fermentation

After the excitement, I continued to keep the fermenting pail in the living room, which was usually air-conditioned and maintained around 70 F (21 C).

We had to leave for a weekend, and weren’t willing to leave the AC on while we weren’t home. I took laser temp reading of the pail before leaving, and it was 77 F (25 C).

When I got back, I got a reading of 81 F (rounding up).

Gravity and Bottling

When it looked like I got a consistent gravity reading (1.016) two days in a row, I decided to go ahead and bottle it before my next weekend departure.

The target FG was 1.013, by the way.

The recipe recommended 10 days for fermentation, and mine was 12 days.

More Yeast Ahoy

I’m getting bored now, and you probably are too…

TL;DR, due to my “basic” no-frills bottling method, I seemed to get a bit too much yeast into the bottles and growlers… even though I siphoned from the fermenter pail to another pail.

Now that we’ve been drinking the fruits of my labor (it’s been that long), I’ve observed a yeast layer at the botton of almost every bottle of this brew.

It’s not easy to pour it into a glass and keep the yeast out. This makes the yield a lot smaller than one would think by just looking at the number of bottles.

If you get a bit of yeast into your glass, it’s not going to hurt you, but it makes one gassy af (in my experience, anyways). “To Helles and Bock” indeed.