Well, we bottled our IPA about a week ago, but I didn’t get a chance to post until now.
Bottling went pretty well, considering that most homebrewers find it to be a major pain in the ass according to what I have read. Having three people probably helps. Anyhow, we made a day of it. Before bottling our IPA, we racked our Saison into secondary fermentation. Jeff bought a cool beer thief/test tube contraption that helped us to take an accurate gravity reading.
The saison had a final gravity of about 1.01, which is about on target for what we wanted. We stole a taste after the reading and the flavor seemed right on. After an additional month of conditioning, I bet it will taste pretty awesome.
After storing the Saison in Jeff’s guest room, we prepared our bottling equipment and sanitized everything, including “The World’s Most Expensive Beer Bottles.” While Jeff and Liles racked the ‘Nookie into the bottling bucket and mixed it with a sugar priming solution, I sanitized all of the bottles and put them on the bottle tree to dry. Before bottling day, I though that a bottle tree might have been a bit of an extravagance, but now I think it is absolutely essential.
Bottling the beer went quite smoothly. We set the bucket over Jeff’s open dishwasher and used a spring tip bottle filler to get an accurate pour without wasting too much beer due to spillage. We had a few handfulls of caps in sanitizing solution ready to go and we used a bucket-brigade technique to get the bottles filled and capped in no time at all. We had a taste of the uncarbonated beer and the flavor and aroma seemed right on target, even though the sample already had priming sugar mixed in. It should take about two weeks for the beer to carbonate in the bottle, which means we are aiming for Easter weekend to debut the ‘Nookie. I can’t wait.
After bottling our first batch of beer, we celebrated with a feast. Liles brought over some of his famous ribs, Jeff cooked some awesome baked beans and my girlfriend (and blog photographer) Megan made some amazing coleslaw and pineapple upside down cake.
But the day wasn’t over yet. Oh, not by a long shot: we had to get started on our third batch of homebrew.
In my next post: Hops, yeast, and JCVD!