My most recent brew was a Roggenbier, which is a German style of rye beer. It is supposed to be formulated very much like a Dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer) but with rye instead of wheat. I've actually never had an authentic Roggenbier, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but we'll see.
The brew day was also complicated by the fact that a group of documentary film makers from Cambridge Cable TV (CCTV) was here filming my every move. Despite, or maybe because, of that, things went smoothly brewing the beer, from grinding to mashing, to lautering, to boiling, to cooling and then to pitching.
The joker in the pack was that I planned to used the left over yeast from a Hefeweizen I brewed back in June. I put it in a sanitized container in the fridge, and pitched it at the appropriate time. Luckily, I also had a spare, new, vial of WLP300 (the same yeast) just in case!
I checked the gravity, and it was at 1.029, and was syrupy and sweet when I tasted it. Definitely not infected! So I keep the heat on, and let it continue. Yesterday, after all airlock activity stopped, and it sat for a bit, I checked the gravity again, and found it was 1.026. Strange, after several more days of fermentation at 66 degrees, I expected it to drop further. When tasting it, it was clear that it had attenuated more, as the sweetness was gone, and it was no longer syrupy in texture. I wonder if my hydrometer is off! It actually tasted like the beer is done fermenting-a little hop presence and very slight rye bite. But as I said earlier, I've never had a real Roggenbier, so it is hard to tell.
I am going to keg what I have and see how it goes. The beer will debut publicly at the documentary premiere, tentatively Wednesday 2/24/2010, 7-9 PM in Cambridge. More on that when it gets closer.