Well after 2 weeks sat in the primary, the beer was bottled yesterday. I’d love to say it went flawlessly… but that’d be a lie.
This whole brewing process could’ve gone smoother this time around if I’m honest – quite a few things have not gone according to plan. So if the end product ends up tasting a bit off, it will be hard to narrow down why!
On the plus side, I got to use my new bottle draining tree contraption today, which was kind of fun for the first few minutes.
I’d forgotten how tedious it can be sterilising bottles, but at least thanks to the tree I could get them all sorted in a one-er – in the past I had to steralise and rinse in batches as room is not in abundance in our humble abode.The Bottles
Found out something quite fun(!) halfway through the process, some of the bottles I had saved for home brew just were not compatible with my capper. I believe that it must be something to do with the width of the bottle neck, but certain styles just did not work.
Thankfully I had only filled one such bottle up when this became clear… there is a series of number running around the base of most the bottles and – I’ll need to look into this in more detail – I think using these numbers I can tell in the future what shop-bought beer bottles I can reuse.
Right from the start I could tell it wasn’t going to be my day – despite my bottling soundtrack coming courtesy of the brilliant Creedance Clearwater Revival.
I’m not sure if it was because I only had 15 litres of beer, but the pump action on my siphoning tube just did not get the flow going. I tried for about two minutes, perhaps more vigorously than I should have and thus kicked up some of the yeast cake at the bottom.
Due to this, I siphoned some of the beer at the start into a glass – to catch the unwanted cack.
A couple of spills and bottle issues later, the majority of the beer was safely stored in the bottles. With just a litre of two left I made my second stupid mistake. I slightly tipped the fermentor to one side – placing a hair gel pot underneath the bin to keep the level askew.
In my mind I thought that this would be a good way to get as much beer out of the fermentation bucket as possible… instead it just dislodged a few hearty chunks of yeast cake. So the last three bottles have caps marked with ‘S’ for sediment (see them there in the bottom right of the image).
These bottles will need to be poured carefully… and probably only once the rest have been consumed.
Now all that is left to do is wait for the beer to mature. I had a blip with the temperature back when the beer was fermenting (it got WAY too high) so I am a bit dubious as to how the batch will turn out. It did go from a O.G. of 1.042 to a F.G. of 1.010 though, so at least I didn’t kill the yeast (rhyme).
My plan is to leave the bottles at least a month before I give them a test – giving the flavour and components a good chance to mellow out.
As for now, I’ll need to start planning what I want to do next. Seen as we’ve had an unprecedented 3-4 days of sun up here in Penicuik I am leaning towards trying an IPA next. Something nice to sup whilst sat out in the garden…
- Extract Brew 2: Whitbread Mackeson Clone (bardsbrewery.wordpress.com)