First Homebrew Bottled!

It’s been two weeks (at the time I’m typing this) since I brewed the very first batch.  I’ve learned a ton since brewing, and a ton since trying to do things like check gravity.  On that last thought, I bought a wine thief to make checking gravity easy, but even after getting acclimated to using it.

September 19, 2014: Checked gravity, got 1.014.  Tasted beer.  Initial flavor very citrusy (specifically orange), followed by a bitter slam.

September 21, 2014: Checked gravity, got 1.012.  Tasted beer. Citrus flavor more subdued, and bitter slam gone.

September 22, 3014: Checked gravity, got 1.010.

September 23, 2014: Checked gravity, got 1.010.  Ready for bottling!

I don’t know if bottoming out the wine thief on the bottom of the ale pail made any difference, but the flavor change after ~36 hours was pretty substantial.  I had a ton of stuff to do on September 21, so the gravity change was well timed.

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Evidence of fermentation!

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The color is about right for a pale ale.

In other news, I was given birthday money (kinda weird feeling to still get birthday money when you’re 36), but I decided to spend it on a handful of homebrew things – a cooler to be used as a mash tun, a spare airlock, another lid (since I’m using my bottling bucket for sanitizer for now and want a lid on it to keep dust out), and some tube.  Through reading one of the forums or Reddit or something, I saw someone post that they use a spray bottle of sanitizer with things like checking gravity (when removing the lid).  I decided that I should do the same.

In addition to buying more stuff, I cleaned up an area in my basement that will ultimately be used for brewing.  I do want to get an electric boiling kettle that I can use down there as opposed to using my stove.  I also want to build an exhaust hood that would cover that area so when I’m boiling I can exhaust the steam as opposed to letting it go through the house – this is especially important in my basement as there is no air return duct in the basement, only a supply duct.

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The food dehydrator is dehydrating hot peppers, which is why there is an airlock on the bucket marked ‘sanitizer’.

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Bottle supply.

Bottling Day

There’s not much to talk about with bottling except that I was reminded of something – that little hole on the bottling bucket spigot is important.

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Yeah, that little hole.

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…and that’s why.

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1.010. Pretty much right in range of where it was expected.

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42 bottles of made-my-own 6-pack.