Homebrew: Early Look

And it’s not so hot. At least not right now. Granted it was put in the fridge early as a test run to see where things stood. The problems are making sense to me. First, I think it may be better to try putting sugar in the bottling bucket instead of each bottle individually. The test bottle was hardly carbonated at all even taking into consideration that it was an early pull. Second, there is a bit of a musky after taste. I think this is from the air leaking in during siphoning. It could also be from letting it age too long for the recipe. I’ll be pulling another bottle soon to check carbonation. Here’s hoping it carbs up and the musky after taste mellows out while aging!

My First Beer Is Bottled

Final gravity of 1.010, ABV 5% and bottled on January 19, 2012. I have a feeling that it’s going to be super heavy banana and clove. We’ll see. But like the brewing before, bottling was not frustration free due to me learning how to use the tools as we bottled.

As a quick aside I was slightly worried fermentation wasn’t happening as it should because I saw hardly any bubbles at all in the primary airlock. Turns out the lid just isn’t tight enough to form a good seal.

The first hurdle was with Star San, or more so, it’s label. After making the diluted Star San mix and starting the sanitization process I noticed the front warnings which said all kinds of terrible things. I tend to take things at their word and started to get seriously frustrated that I was going to need to wash my hands for 20 minutes and call poison control due to touching the diluted mixture. After venting a while and speaking with seasoned home brewers I found that lots of people have no issue with the properly diluted mixture.

The next was in using the autosiphon. I followed the instructions exactly as it said to do but yet the siphoning didn’t continue after a few pumps. I tried over and over until I finally realized the tubing supplied was allowing a small amount of air in stopping the siphoning. Right away I was annoyed that air was flowing with the unfinished beer! Once I figured out that air was seeping in I pinched the siphon hard and manually pumped the beer from primary to bottling bucket. Next time I’m going to make sure the tubing in use is way too snug.

The last issue was in filling the bottles. While switching out bottles it wasn’t uncommon for there to be enough pressure in the line to cause beer to spray out of the line/spigot connection point. It wasn’t a ton but still caused issues and forced faster bottling to avoid losing beer. I’m not sure what I did wrong there but I’m sure it was me somehow.

Next batch should go a lot smoother. Both brewing and bottling attempts were huge learning experiences as well as failed experiments with frustration management. I’m looking forward to sampling the results and trying it all again. The waiting is killing me!