Saturday night I finally got around to bottling my beer. I had help from some of my kids. So, before I could begin I had to clean the kitchen- can’t have an unclean environment when bottling beer!
Bottles got bleached, then sanitized as I didn’t know what could have been in my bottles given how long they’ve been just sitting around.
Once I had my beer transferred to my bottling bucket I took the final gravity.
So, calculating alcohol by volume is pretty easy: Measure the initial gravity before you pitch the yeast, then measure the final gravity after the beer is done fermenting (and before you put the corn sugar in), take the difference, multiply by 105, then multiply that by 1.25 to get your Alcohol by Volume.
So, my final gravity was 1.032, initial gravity was 1.092. So, take the difference (.06), multiply by 105 which gives us 6.3, multiply that by 1.25 and it gives us an alcohol by volume of 7.88%. Not as good as the first time I did this (8.7% that time), so this probably didn’t fully ferment sitting in my basement. Perhaps I’ll find a different spot to ferment it next time.
After all was said and done we ended up with 50 bottles. Can’t wait till it’s ready to drink!
I’m sick of not being able to brew beer. So, despite some horrible personal news that should have derailed all my plans, I pushed on and brewed two batches of beer. Well, one batch of beer and a mead that I’ve been meaning to make for over a year.
The mead recipe: 15lbs honey, yeast nutrients, water. Then yeast. Yay!
Started the mead first. The eternal debate on mead is whether to boil or not. Papazian recommends a 15 minute boil to make sure. I decided to do a different route and just pasteurize it- brought the temp up to just below a boil and then transfer to my fermenter. Then I topped it off to over 5 gallons. Eazy cheezy!
Now the Stout. I couldn’t find the clip I normally use to clip my grain bag to my pot, so I just let it float in there.
My temp got away from me there- had to take it off the stove for the last 15 minutes. Then I ran hot water through the grains to try to get all the yumminess out of the grains. Then I added the light malt extract and bittering hops and started the boil
With 10 minutes left I added the Irish Moss and the flavor hops. Then with 2 minutes left I added the aroma hops, then killed the temperature and began to strain the hops out. Again I used hot water to rinse the hops as I removed them to get all the yummy goodness out of them. Got it transferred to my fermenter and let it rest.
This morning I took the initial gravity and pitched the yeast. Initial gravity was 1.102 on the mead, the stout was 1.092. Both are going to be some high alcohol beers!
It’s been 4 years since I brewed last. Well, technically 3 years. I brewed a cider with my friend Rob, but I don’t count that since it was technically his brew. But last night that all changed! We got together and brewed a masterpiece: Unspoken Passion Imperial Stout!
Liquid sex in a bottle. Sounds freaking awesome doesn’t it? It is! Trust me! You’ll want to brew this on your own!
I started the evening before the brew by bleaching out all my equipment since it’s been years since I used it. I let my fermenters soak overnight. My tubing for transferring my wort will probably need replaced- there’s something still in it after a night long soak.
We started with our grain mix in a grain bag. Putting that in 3 gallons of water in my 15.5 gallon brew pot was… interesting. The grains weren’t covered by the water. We added an extra gallon of water and split the grains between two grain bags. I didn’t have any gypsum so we skipped that.
Unspoken Passion Recipe
Once the grains steeped for over 30 minutes we began to add the malt extract and the bittering hops. We used Centennials as that’s what I used last time. And of course we drank beer while brewing beer. That’s a requirement.
Once the boil was done we added the Cascade hops and the raspberries. Lots of raspberries. Over 11 lbs of raspberries. Oh, my! It smelled amazing.
Since I don’t have a fermenter capable of handling over 8 gallons of liquid I had to split the wort into two fermenters. That went fairly well, except for the mess in the kitchen that my wife yelled at me about. But once it was done I let it cool so I could pitch the yeast.
This morning I took the initial gravity and pitched the yeast. The initial gravity was 1.090. This is going to be a big beer! The taste was wonderful, rich dark tones with lots of raspberry flavor and beautiful hop essence and aroma. Even my son Greggory liked the wort. Next week I get to transfer it all into a secondary fermenter and let it finish fermenting, and then on to bottling!