With mixed results from my first homebrew, I’ve decided to move on and start on my second batch. My parents sent a kit for Big Ben Pale Ale for my birthday a couple of months ago. I cracked open this box and finally got around to brewing it a couple of Saturdays ago. I followed pretty much the same system as I used the first time in the brew process. Once again I was happy to find some bubbling in the airlock the day after brewing, so at least the fermentation started alright. I hope it does a little better this time around, and I’m thinking it should since the fermenter is at a slightly higher temperature than the first time.

I’m hoping the fermentation will be finished this coming weekend, and then this time I will transferring it all into a Cornelius keg (also a birthday gift) instead of bottling it all. This is supposed to be much easier than bottling, and I should be able to carbonate the beer really quickly with some forced CO2. I still have to make some modifications to my lines in the kegorator, but eventually that’s exactly where this brew is going. I can’t wait to have my own beer ready and waiting on tap at all times. I just hope I enjoy this batch a little more than the last, which I’ve started using in some of my cooking. I used a bottle of the beer in place of water in a recent batch of turkey chili. I think this really added to the flavor of the food, and I’m happy I’ve found a use for it!

6 Responses to “Big Ben Pale Ale”
  1. Phil says:

    I’ve never had any luck with the forced carbonation;  Good luck with that, maybe you’ll figure it out for me.

    • edpaffjr says:

      Wait, I thought that was the only way to do it with the keg?

      • Phil says:

        I have better luck getting it cold (~ 34 degrees) and then cranking about 15 lbs. of co2 on it. That takes about a week though. Supposedly you can put pressure on it and shake it up and it carbonates almost instantly. The more I read I think it’s supposed to be cold when you do that too though; I’ve never tried that.

        (Hey is that “reply” button new…)

        • edpaffjr says:

          Okay, that’s more or less what I was planning to do, including the shaking. I’ve read you can do it pretty quick that way. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

          And yeah, that reply button is new. It was included in the 2.7 release of WordPress, but I just updated my theme to add it in. Kinda cool, I think.

  2. claire says:

    not sure if I like the name big ben pale ale… reminds me of some pittsburgh quarterback… might have to change the name… maybe big ed pale ale :)

    • edpaffjr says:

      You know, I thought the same thing earlier. He’s ruined that name. I recently heard about Willie Anderson’s retirement, so perhaps it should be called Big Willie Pale Ale.

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