IPA Bottled… God, I Hate Bottling. And Mold.

I had this IPA sitting in the fermenter a week longer than I anticipated.  It had to be bottled this week, though – next week is likely going to be busy (I’m volunteering with the Cincinnati Queen Bee Half Marathon for part of Saturday, and Sunday will likely be busy with family).  This is a somewhat fitting end to a great weekend… well, the lovely citrus hop aromas was a fitting end, the rest, not so much.

Friday kicked off with Pint Night courtesy of my wife asking for Woodchuck Harvest Cider.  The featured brewery was 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, and in attendance was Randy Mosher (partner and creative director at 5 Rabbit).  I got to talk to Randy for a few minutes, which was awesome since I’ve read two of his books.  I found out he went to the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) “when it was just DAA, before the P”.  I told him I went there for urban planning, in DAAP, after they added the P.  It was a true beer geek moment, and I was savoring it with their Yodo con Leche, which is among the best beers I’ve tasted!

Saturday, my wife arranged for her parents to babysit the kids and we went to Rivertown Brewery and Barrelhouse.  We arrived just behind a bus full of beer geeks.  Initially I was concerned that getting a flight and a seat would be an issue, but fortunately neither was an issue, and we ended up having a nice conversation with a couple that were on the bus.

Sunday began with a little bit of NFL from London and me beginning bottling.

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Insert an F-bomb here.

Things were a little more difficult this time because of mold.  Part of me wants to blame HBF or AHA or something because one of them tweeted out something about it, but it’s really not their fault.  And all this was on the outside.  To add to the mold problem, I didn’t have enough corn sugar, so I decided to use math and use a partial batch of corn sugar and sucrose.

Yup, I are engineer.

Yup, I are engineer.

Once I boiled the sugar solution (upstairs in the kitchen) and moved it downstairs (to the brewery), I decided to wash all the bottles I was going to use.  Normally I don’t because I wash all bottles before taking them into the basement, I decided a change was in order because one of my cats has taken up residence in the basement.  I really don’t want cathair in my IPA.  Then I had to sanitize the bottles.  I don’t own a bottle tree, so dealing with bottles is a painful process of draining bottles on a dish drainer and then setting them on a towel.

Cascade cones from my garden out back!

Cascade cones from my garden out back!

I believe I was able to open the fermenter without getting any mold into the beer.  This was an AWESOME smelling beer!  As soon as I opened the fermenter I was greeted with citrus aromas from the citra, galaxy, and cascade hops I used.  Bottling was without incident, and I now have 39 bottles of green capped goodness conditioning in my basement.

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Green Capped Goodness!

The stats:

78 IBU, 6.3%ABV, OG 1.056, FG 1.008.

Of course, this was not the end of bottling day.  The mold was not only on my fermenter lid, but also in the freezer.  I had to spend some time cleaning it out with antibacterial cleaner.  I decided to remove the thermocouple and go with another solution.  I also decided that making lagers wasn’t as important to me as not bottling anymore, and I decided I’m going to move towards kegging.  I spent a large part of the afternoon on Facebook messenger pelleting a friend of mine with questions.

Cheers until next week!