stout

Homebrew bottling!

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Hey everyone. This is part two of the homebrew on my first stout, an imperial version. I’m not sure why more people aren’t homebrewing, but it’s a shame. The majority of beer on the market tastes the same and they cut corners. Homebrewing allows you to get the flavors, fats, tanins, aroma, bitterness, and other amazing things for your taste buds and nose that overly manufactured beers in plants cannot duplicate. Get back to your roots, no matter what part of the globe you hail from, and begin homebrewing.

 

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First you need to set stuff up, which includes caps (cleaned and sanitized), carbonation tablets (or dissolved sugar), and a cap presser. There’s many ways to do bottle and make beer, I choose the easiest for me.

Once your beer has completely finished the fermentation process, it’s ready for bottling. MAKE SURE YOUR BOTTLES AND ANYTHING YOU WILL USE IS CLEAN AND SANITIZED. You’ll need to get the beer from the fermentation bucket to each bottle. Plastic hosing makes the job fairly simple.

Since I use carbonation tablets, I place them in the bottle prior to putting beer in each bottle. As you transfer beer to the bottles, make sure you pay attention so you don’t over fill the bottles and spill your beer.

Once you get to the bottom of your fermentation bucket, you’ll run into trub. Here’s a photo.

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The trub is not good for your finished beer and you should avoid getting any of it into your bottles. In this photo, the liquid is still good and relatively free of sediment so you need to tilt your bucket toward the spigot so you can get a few more bottles filled. Once there’s no more liquid and all you see is sediment, that’s it, your done.

Here’s a few photos of what my homebrew bottling set-up looks like. You’ll notice bottles on both side sides of the bottling bucket (with tubing already attached). You keen observers will see that the bucket reads “Deluxe Fermenter.” That is because I have two buckets with spigots, but for bottling, I use a lid with no hole. The fermenter bucket has a lid with a hole for the airlock. You’ll also noticed little white pellets in the bottles. I experiment often, so on the left the bottles contain four carbonation tablets, on the right the bottles contain five.

 

Once the bottles are filled, you have to put a cap on them, crimp the cap, then leave them in room temperature for at least a week. Stouts are normally left out about two weeks because the carbonation process takes a little longer for stouts than other beers. Here’s a few photos of the finished bottling process.

I bottled this case of imperial stout on 9/2/16. I placed it in the refrigerator today, 9/12/16. I know I just got done saying maybe two weeks in room temperature after bottling is ideal for stout, but I COULDN’T WAIT. I drank some of this right out of the fermenter and it was far better than I could have hoped for. I’m eager to drink it and share it with my friends, so I placed it in the refrigerator slightly early. I’ll get over it.

I just started a lager-like ale that I messed with the recipe hoping to get my version of Coors Light. You read that right, Coors Light. I love the blue mountains, and I’m not a homebrew-craftbrew snob. I’ll keep you guys posted.

**AS A SIDE NOTE… REMEMBER THAT LOVE TRULY CAN CONQUER ALL. YOU JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE IN LOVE.

-Chris

Home Brewing

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HOME BREWING BLOG- August 19, 2016

IMG_3981          Stout grains, malt, and barley.

 

You know how everyone thinks they can sing and they get on TV and look bad? Real bad. The same is true of those who think they can write or do some other craft without putting in the work and studying what it is they wish to be good, even great, at. I’m putting my 20-plus years of beer drinking, sometimes heavy, behind my latest adventure, HOME BREWING. Since I have no plans to be the-next-big-thing and only want to share my wares with friends and family, I’ve decided to document the entire process.

Let’s begin.

I’ve sunk a few hundred into a home brew set-up from HopTech in Dublin, CA. Well worth the dough. Jade and the staff there are helpful, courteous, and craft some seriously amazing beer. I’m hoping some of their expertise and experience filters down to me.

Finding a place to brew was difficult. I basically muscled my way into my wife’s kitchen (even though I built it for her with her dad). As an interesting side note, I usually have to clean up the kitchen and do dishes to get enough room to work. I haven’t heard any complaints yet about that part of my home brewing.

I started with a kit I got as a gift. The list of what the kit had was about eight items. The list of what the kit “suggested,” and altogether was required TO ACTUALLY BREW, was about ten other items. That’s where HopTech filled in the blanks and sold me some cool stuff.

My first beer, a standard IPA, in a one-gallon batch came out awful. I realize now that I did pretty much everything wrong. I was clean, I didn’t sanitize stuff, and I used my mouth to siphon beer from the kettle to the bottles. All those nasty germs in my mouth got into the beer and turned it sour. Sour beer is huge right now, but those brewers making it know what they are doing and make it sour intentionally. Me. Not so much.

My second attempt, the one I thought would propel me to the level of let’s say, Russian River Brewery, Ballast Point, Green Flash, and Sierra Nevada, came out remarkably better. Lots of sediment and it’s not entirely what I expected, but I bit off more than I could chew and the result shows. I am powering them down; however, which left plenty of empty bottles around. Empty bottles need filling, so I rolled over to HopTech and picked up a recipe for an Imperial Stout.

I just got the wurt with yeast into the fermenter last night and the air lock is already chattering. I’ll keep you guys posted.

-Chris