Do you like beer?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First bottle capped

Boiling the caps for five minutes sanitizes them and will help keep the beer fresh.

And as the next picture shows, things don't always go smooth. While typing the last entry, the valve on my bottle filler stuck part way open and the bottle overflowed, creating a big mess. I lost about 16 oz :( of precious beer. Stupid me!

Anyway, back to filling using gravitational technology and a spring loaded push valve. Push the filler on the bottom of the bottle until full, then remove.

Place a sanitized cap on top of the bottle and then clamp the capper on top, pulling on the cantilever arms.

And viola! A sealed bottle of brew. Now comes the hard part...

...waiting for the carbonation to build. It will probably be about 3 weeks before it is finished, but I have a small bottle to test in 2 weeks.

Thanks for following along overthe last month, it has been a joy for me to do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

For Reals!

Yay! I have bottle caps and can finally bottle my beer!

To start, I am using light dry malt extract (1 1/4 cup) instead of 3/4 cup dextrose sugar as my priming sugar. Using the dme will add body and head retention to the finished beer. I am transferring the wort from the carboy to a sanitized bucket to filter out the solid protiens left behind during fermentation.

The dme water mix was poured into the bucket prior to siphoning. I am also using the time to begin the boring task of cleaning bottles, most of which are mostly clean already. The earlier you can do this, the better.

Here is the sediment that was removed by the first transfer. Now I'll clean it out and transfer it back to get the rest.

Transfer number 2 is going smoothly. When the bucket is empty of beer, it will be time to bottle. Until then I need to finish cleaning bottles!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oops: A lesson in planning

So I started to prep for bottling this evening and decided to count bottle caps, since those are somewhat important in the bottling process. After some calculations of bottle sizes and quantities, I determined I would need 35 caps in order to bottle (you really need to do all your bottling at one time for sanitary reasons) and found I only have 18, and the homebrew store is closed and I go back up to Portland in the morning. Bottling will have to wait until next weekend :(. However this will not stop me from taking my measurements with the hydrometer.

First reading, balling, is about 7%

Second reading, potential alcohol, comes in at 3.5%

And the specific gravity, or in this case, 'final gravity' is 1.027 or so at 60' F.

Plugging these numbers into my handy dandy beer calculator, I am given an alcohol content of 4.8% by volume with just over half of the sugars fermented. Upon tasting my test tube sample, I must say that I like it! It's thick, definate stout characteristics.

Dark and a little sweet as well. This will only get better with carbonation. So this week's quest is for bottle caps!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 11, 2010

One more week

As expected, when I got home Sunday I checked the beer's progress and there was still a little action in the airlock, so I will let it go for the week and check it again Friday night. So until then, happy drinking!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello, My Name is Beer

For those of you that missed it, or miss it from your bottle being empty, here are a couple pics of my last brew. I decided to open my other swingtop pint bottle to mark the end of vacation *sniff*.

my awesome creative/lazy label!

Backlit globe glass...

Hot drinking action!

And so to you, Beer, I raise a toast. May you always be cold, may you always be yummy, may you always end up down in my tummy. May your hops stay bitter, may your malts be sweet, may your alcohol be high and knock me off my feet!

Hooray Beer!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 2, 2010

All's quiet on the yeastern front

Happy New Year, blog followers!
So I stole that from the brewers bible, "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing". However it is very fitting for the process going on right now to my trans-decade beer. Since I am headed back to work on Monday after a much needed vacation (11 days), the fermenting wort will continue on it's way to becoming beer by itself. As luck would have it I get to stay in Portland through next weekend for the January drill and so when I check on it next, the wort will have had 2 weeks to ferment, and hopefully it will be ready to bottle...but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I have no problem letting it sit longer if need be, don't want to pull it before it's time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone