Ever since I found Pre-Cut to be infected, I've been nervously anticipating the state of Big Slick 2. The first time around, Big Slick was supposed to be my most awesome thing ever. It ended up poorly attenuated, and I tried to fix it, and in the actual end, it was DMS city, like a bottle of cooked corn. Bummer. Major.
So today, sixteen days after brewing, the thing is still bubbling in the airlock and I am nervous as hell. I am fermenting at 62-64°F, but still, shouldn't it be done by now??
I did something I am almost categorically against. I thiefed a sample a few minutes ago. I sanitized the plastic beer thief, and drew three pulls. That was enough to fill a hydrometer sampling cylinder. Gravity is 1.015. OG was 1.085, and BeerSmith predicted 1.020 for a FG. But I have been beating BeerSmith all the time with my one-two punch of temperature control and US-05 dry yeast. Slightly worrisome, but not alarming...yet.
Then the smell. It is still fermenting, and I have never tasted still ferementing beer before, or at least not recently. At first, it smells like...uh...hops I guess. But there's something else in there. I now have labelled the smell "puke", though "pee" was my first disgusting thought. Hopefully that's just the smell of something that's still fermenting, like it's just the yeast dropping down to the bottom of the bucket so I can leave them behind. You know, how the yeast on the walls of the bucket smell so nasty. Maybe it's just that. But I'm pretty worried now.
The taste has set it straight. I can't pick up any sour. Sure, it's warm and flat and not done, but it is pretty promising! It is 9.2% ABV, but not too hot, even this young. The hops are absurd - just like an IIPA ought to be. It is really big, soft, and smooth in the mouth. I can sort of taste a touch of the puke if I really look for it, but the hops are center stage here.
Prognosis: I think this one's going to be just fine. No, it will be awesome! I might need to give it some more time, though... If I can, I'll rack to secondary tomorrow afternoon, and then bottle it in a week or so, with a fresh packet of yeast. But then again, I might just bottle it in a few days when the airlock stops bubbling, as has been my lately routine.