I dived head first into solo brewing a few days ago and it was what one might call a fiasco. I took over the kitchen, cranked up my iPod, poured a brew, and
got to work...which took me most of the day. Everything went as smoothly
as one could have expected from an amateur like myself.
That is of course everything except for my yeast rehydration. I have read
that just pitching the dry yeast is the way to go but have also read
that rehydrating is a much better practice. Since we rehydrated when we
brewed at Temple I figured that I should continue doing so but am
regretting that decision today. My yeast was not as active during the
rehydration as usual but I pitched it anyways and as of right now I'm
getting no signs of fermentation in the carboy. I've talked to Joe Bair
at Princeton Homebrew and a number of people on HomebrewTalk.com
who keep encouraging me to sit on it and see what happens. Worst case
scenario, I'm going to have to repitch the yeast and hope for the best.
This whole dilemma has really left a bad taste in my mouth and I may
have an alcer from all the stress.
The rest of the process, however, was a joy. Brewing a pumpkin ale is a
messy ordeal but it sure made the house smell good. I couldn't find an
appropriate steeping bag for the puree so I used the next best thing, a
pair of nylon stockings. I brought the pumpkin to a boil and then used
that water to steep the grains in, this seemed to be the most common
method. I had nearly forgotten about my pecans but they made it into the
boil just in time.
Unfortunately my yeast situation has me pretty worried and has put a black cloud over
the whole thing. I've been trying to keep Charlie Papazian's "Relax.
Don't worry. Have a homebrew." mantra in mind but that is easier said
than done. Hopefully the yeast will wake up soon and ease my worries. Of
course I would have a much better gauge on the situation if I had taken
a damn hydrometer reading but that was another thing that slipped my
Now I just have to wait and see.
Check out my blog at http://hopsandcircumstance.blogspot.com/
UPDATE: As a last resort I repitched some yeast and lo and behold my brew has been going crazy in the past 24 hours. All of that awful anxiety is finally behind me!