Friday, December 5, 2008

first brew, part 4

Since I hadn't yet purchased any glass bottles or a capper and was already fairly convinced that I had produced the Brew of Doom I figured I might as well stick with the Simplest Homemade Beer plan and use two liter plastic bottles.

I sanitized the bottles, new six gallon bottling bucket, racking cane, siphon hose, bottle filler, and all the rest. Maintaining cleanliness is a real challenge. Where do you set things? What do you do when you accidentally touch something you shouldn't have? It was a very awkward experience!

I dissolved about six teaspoons of cane sugar in a pint of the beer. I warmed it while doing so, but did not bring it to a boil, and did not sanitize the saucepan. There's another potential source of infection, I suppose! I poured it into the bottling bucket.

I had no luck getting the siphon started without backflowing water into The Beer Machine. I think this was difficult because of the machine's horizontal orientation and, by now, beer depth of only a few inches. Although I had read about the need to avoid aerating the beer when transferring it I ended up putting the bucket in one sink, machine in the other and resting on the edge of the bucket, and gently letting the beer flow from the tap down the side of the bucket into what was, I must say, an attractively luminous golden pool. A sampling revealed it to now have a slight hoppiness. There was a thick layer of yeast at the bottom of the machine.

And so I bottled, ending up with less than five liters – quite the nanobatch. Here it is as of Friday. You can see that yeast continues to settle. The full bottles are rock hard!

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