Friday, October 2, 2009

Bottling the Beer

Last weekend I finally got around to bottling the beer that was racked almost a month ago. Our friend Andrew who was out from NYC lent a hand (thanks Andrew!). The picture above shows the bottles coming out of the dishwasher. They really have to be clean going in, the dishwasher just sanitizes them.

Here we are siphoning from the carboy to the bucket. A little sugar was added here for bottle conditioning. The little remaining yeast will eat the sugar, add a little alcohol and carbonate the beer naturally over the next three weeks.

Here I am filling one of the last bottles. I used Stone IPA and Pale Ale bottles because I like the beer and the labels are painted on so I can run them in the dishwasher without removing any paper from the bottles first. Later I may get some enamel paint and paint over them but for now these will do.

Here is the final batch- 46 bottles of beer. there was more waste and evaporation than I expected. I hope to get closer to 50 or 55 next time but maybe this is a normal batch?

Here are my lessons learned for next time:
  1. Get a bigger pot to boil the wort. I tried to use a large pot that we already had but I need the full 20 quarts to ensure that the wort doesn't boil over next time. The wort is extremely messy to clean up; it's super sticky and a little smelly. The bigger problem with the boil over though is that some of the hops float out with the overflow. This will make my beer much less bitter than the recipe intends.
  2. Build a cooling system to drop the temperature of the wort more quickly once the hops schedule is done. I think I remember a DIY tube set up on Homegrown Evolution's blog. I'll check there and build or buy something for next time. The beer gets a little cloudy otherwise. Not a big deal but still I'd rather have a nice clear beer if I can.


  1. Hi, it's a very great blog.
    I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
    Keep doing!

  2. Hey Eric,

    I should get around to posting about that wort chiller! It works but I'd make it differently next time. Maybe we should talk about it at the beer dinner--you coming?


  3. Ah, the painted bottle thing is genius! We went ahead and bought some unlabeled bottles so that we could run them through the sanitize cycle on our dishwasher -- much more energy efficient than sanitizing and hot-water rinsing them individually!

    I generally get about 46-48 bottles out of a 5 gallon batch, so you did great! I can't wait to see how you like it when it's ready-to-drink.

  4. Hey Erik,

    Yes the wort chiller would be a great post. And yep, we're coming to the dinner. Still need to figure out what to make. Thanks for the invite!

  5. How did the beer turn out? I've been waiting to read some tasting notes. You guys definitely keep me motivated with my own projects.

  6. Hey Jeremy,

    It turned out pretty good. Better than I expected. Technically I was supposed to wait until today for it to be truly ready to drink but I tasted it last week (and nearly every day between now and then) and it was good. I'll post the official report this weekend or early next week. Thanks for reading the blog - it also keeps us motivated to generate more content.



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