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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bottling five gallons of homebrewed American Pale Ale!

Today we bottled our first batch of homebrewed beer, an American Pale Ale. You can read about our experience brewing it a few weeks ago here.

The first thing we did was read the directions that came with our kit from Brewer's Best, which told us to boil two cups of water and then add the 5 oz of priming sugar that came with our kit. We boiled the sugar water for five minutes, and then added it to our bottling bucket, which we had sanitized with StarSan earlier. Everything has to be sanitary for brewing beer to go well, so we had Star San on hand throughout the entire bottling process. Priming sugar is used when bottling beer to create some fermentation to occur inside the capped bottle which causes the beer to become carbonated.

Then we popped the lid off of our fermenting bucket. The smell of beer emanated from this dark liquid--our beer! First we siphoned the beer from this fermenting bucket into our bottling bucket.
 We left behind the trub, or nasty hops and other gunk left behind from fermentation.
Then we siphoned the beer into sanitized bottles, which we'd cleaned and removed the labels from using OxyClean. The racking cane we have automatically stops allowing beer to flow when you lift it up from the bottom of the bottle, so it was pretty easy to get the right amount of liquid in each bottle and still leave room for air.

We did taste some beer directly from the bottling bucket, and although it was flat (since the priming sugar hadn't caused carbonation yet), it tasted like beer! It was decent tasting beer at that, and we jumped for joy that we had successfully made beer in our kitchen! Amazing!
Green Guy was on capping duty, and I filled the bottles will beer.

Here's all of the beer we bottled! Five gallons of delicious American Pale Ale, which should be ready in about two weeks. It's sitting in the hall closet, now covered with a beach towel, to keep it in the dark. Light can cause weird reactions in the beer that can make it go bad.

The plastic club soda bottle on the right will help us gauge when the carbonation pressure is sufficient. It's possible for beer bottles to burst when carbonation becomes too much for the glass to handle, so we want to avoid that. When it's ready, we are supposed to refrigerate it, which will be interesting since we only have one fridge. We'll certainly have to make room by sharing with friends and family!
Here's the un-carbonated beer, straight from the bottling bucket. Yum!

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow we are making our second batch of homebrew, a red ale. Photos and story coming soon...

P.S. Just a reminder that you can follow my posts on Facebook for even more photos, recipes, and thoughts about living a green life: https://www.facebook.com/greenbeangal/

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your home brewing success! Looks like Lagunitas is in for some competition!

    ReplyDelete

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