A couple months ago I upgraded my brewery. I got the equipment so that I can brew two batches of beer at the same time. I like beer a lot, which means I need a lot of beer!
I started things off by brewing a raspberry wheat and an english brown ale. Things were going great; I was excited about the fact that I would soon have a boatload of beer… And then came an obstacle.
I realized after racking the beer into the secondary fermenters that I had a small problem; I never labeled the beers when I first started them and put them into the fermenters. Duh! Normally you would think that these beers would have a distinctively different color from each other, but that isn’t completely the case. When you have about 5 gallons of beer in a big glass vessel the color is pretty much just “dark.”
The raspberry is put in during the bottling, which complicated things two fold. First, there isn’t the obvious clue of the beer tasting or smelling like raspberries. Secondly, it left the door open that I could very well end up with a raspberry english brown ale and a plain wheat beer.
My friend and I had to taste the flat beer, smell it, and examine it in a smaller taster glass… And then we had to make our best guest. We racked what we thought was the brown ale and bottled it and then racked what we thought was the raspberry wheat, poured in the raspberry extract, and bottled that. Then the long two week wait until we could find out if we guessed right started.
The result? We guessed right! Whew! And they are both pretty good beers. Lesson learned: LABEL YOUR BEERS!