Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bottling Batch 013: The Killer Bee

Well, I bottled up batch 013, my honey based IIPA braggot that I brewed about 3 weeks ago.  Lots of honey, lots of hops, lots of flavor.  I figured since I had done a step by step on how I brewed my 1 gallon batches, I would do a step by step on how I bottle my 1 gallon batches.  I didn't get pictures of racking it to secondary and dry hopping, but that is fairly standard.  I racked to a 1 gallon glass jug and dry hopped in a muslin bag.

So on to the pictures, and as always, if you have any questions I am more than happy to answer them.

First things first, collect your beer, bottles, siphon, and sanitizer.

Next, I rack sanitizer into my clean bottles.  I fill them about half way and give them a good shake to coat the inside.  I will shake again before they get filled.

 I heat up about 4oz of water to a boil in the microwave with priming sugar mixed in.  I used 0.9oz of corn sugar for this batch.  I will use less or more depending on the size of the batch and style of the beer.  Be careful boiling water in the microwave because the water can become superheated and flash boil.  It happened to me on this batch for the first time in a long time.  If it does flash boil while you are holding on to it, it can and will burn you severely.  Its not a pretty site, so take care.

I pour that sugar solution into the empty, sanitized jug and then rack the beer to the new jug.  Carefully leave the sediment behind.

As you rack the beer, it will swirl in your jug mixing in the priming sugar.  If you are worried about it not being evenly distributed, you can gently stir the beer, but be careful to not agitate the top too much to avoid oxidation.

 As you are racking pull off another sample to test the gravity.  The reading it 11.2 Plato, but this is misleading.  Readings from refractometers get skewed in an alcohol solution, so you have to adjust for that.  Knowing that my original gravity was 23 Plato, I plug that 11.2 Plato into BeerSmith and get an actual reading of 3.2 Plato.  A very nice dry IIPA.  I am glad that I mashed as high as I did in anticipation of the honey drying it out.  The reading when I racked it to secondary my gravity was 4.8 Plato so I am glad I got those extra points out before I bottled.  After all is said and done. I have myself an 11.3% ABV IIPA.  It is a bit stronger than I was anticipating, but its not unheard of for the style.

 When you are done racking you will be left with a layer of yeast sediment and your bag of hops.  Leave those there and clean up when you are done with everything else.

 Here is the tip of the autosiphon.  The tip on the end prevents it from sucking up the sediment.

 I take the tip off when I go to bottle so that I get all of the beer out of the jug when I am actually racking to the bottles.

 Now, I shake the bottles up one more time and dump the sanitizer out.

 Attach the bottling wand to the siphon hose and start filling.  Some people will use a bottling bucket with a spigot at the bottom, but I just rack out of the jug.  I still get every drop out and don't have to have another bucket.
I fill up all of my bottles, placing a cap on each bottle as I go.  When I have all of the bottles filled I go back and crimp the caps.  I got 10 bottles out of this batch which is fairly normal.  It may not seem like much, but if you brew often that means you can always have a nice assortment of beers on hand.

Now I just have to wait two weeks or so for them to carb up.  I may have to stir the bottles up every once in a while to make sure they carb, but I will coax them there.

Hopefully, these posts have been helpful to people who are thinking of trying out 1 gallon batches.  I will be happy to help anyone interesting in getting started with 1 gallon batches or brewing in general.

Until I brew again,

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