journal of a self proclaimed beer connoisseur

William the Bastard – Brew Day 3

Brew Day 3 – January 16, 2011

End goal for today was to get the beer into the bottles. There was a lot more work for today’s efforts compared to bottling our Blackout Stout. This was due to the fact that all our bottles have been used one before and also have a Blackout Stout label.

First thing we did was clean all the bottles and remove the labels from the last batch. We then submerged and soaked the bottles in a sanitizing solution made from Diversol and water. Once sanitized we rinsed the bottles and let them dry.

All equipment being used needed to be thoroughly sanitized as well. This included:

  • bottling bucket (i.e. same bucket used as primary)
  • spoon
  • measuring cup (for dissolving sugar)
  • siphon hose and pump
  • thermometer
  • hydrometer
  • beer thief
  • sampling tube
  • bottling attachment (just attached to a hose and then when pressed beer comes out!)

We submerged everything we could and let it sit for 15 minutes. We periodically wipe the sanitizing solution up the walls of the bottling bucket to ensure that it comes in contact with the sanitizing solution periodically. Once the time had elapsed we rinsed all the items and let them rest on a sanitized surface.

Next we went downstairs and setup the bucket on a surface lower than the carboy (remember we hoisted it to an elevated surface at the end of day 2) to prepare to rack the beer. We almost forget to prepare the priming sugar before we started racking. Once everything was positioned we went back and boiled one cup of water (about 250 ml I believe). We then dissolved the package of priming sugar into this boiling water.

Next we poured the sugar-water into the bottom of the primary and began to rack the beer. We tried to keep the siphon hose submerged in the beer to create the least amount of agitation in the beer. Extra oxygen isn’t desired at this point. The reason you put the sugar mixture in first it to ensure that it is equally distributed in the entire batch. If you were to add a portion to each bottle you may end up with some over carbonated and others under carbonated.

We finished racking the beer to the bottling bucket and left a couple swallows sitting on the settled yeast in the carboy to avoid siphoning too much sediment into the bottling bucket and consequently the beer bottles. We used these last gulps to siphon into a glass and sample the beer. It was definitely “green” and flat but was quite tasty nonetheless. This batch is tasting quite promising. The green taste and flatness will be rectified through bottle-conditioning the beer for several weeks.

After racking we lifted the bucket onto the elevate surface and secured the bottling attachment to the end of the siphon hose. It was at this point that we stole a little bit with the beer thief and took some specific gravity and temperature readings.

We then pumped the auto siphon once and we were off bottling. We filled each bottle to within about an inch of the top and then sealed the bottles. I believe we got about 24 500 ml, 9 full 1 L, and one partially filled 1 L. Doing the math on that means we yielded just over 21 L of beer. Give this was a 22 L kit, we have confirmed there was little waste.

Relevant measurements taken:

<coming soon>

We have the bottles stored away in a cool and dark place until they are ready to be sampled or refrigerated. We will sample one in two weeks time. Let the countdown begin!

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