Very premature but I couldn’t wait, so I cracked open one of the two “half bottles” on the pretext that there was too much air in there and it’d be a shame to lose them to oxidation. Greeted by a satisfying schnick on opening, there were slight signs of carbonation at first which then built to a steady stream of small bubbles, keeping a respectable head (for an IPA) the whole time it was in the glass.
Taste was OK; a well rounded mouthfeel somewhat on the sugary, slightly bitter side, but that would have worked well if I’d added those finishing hops much later. Letting this settle for a while when I move it to the garage in 4 days time also won’t hurt. Might have to try that other half bottle before the official tasting … just to be sure. ?
Measured the FG at 1.009 (7.35%) and decided this wasn’t going to go any lower, so along with very minimal activity in the airlock it was time to bottle today. I used 41 purchased 500ml brown glass bottles with yellow crown-caps, numbered individually as follows:
- 13 bottles with one Cooper’s carbonation drop (375ml target)
- 28 bottles with two Fox’s carbonation drops (500ml target)
When adding the drops there was a brief fizz of very fine bubbles resulting in a miniature head forming. Two bottles didn’t fill 100% so I marked their caps with a black cross and will try them first.
This is starting to feel like a broken record, but Evil Dog and Cwtch are in the same boat: long overdue for bottling (according to instructions) but still bubbling along slowly, marginal improvements in gravity along the way.
Where Evil Dog is concerned this means SG is at 1.009 now, giving 7.35% against an initial OG of 1.065. That’s pretty good but I’m worried that there’s still some bobbling going on, a short pop ever couple of minutes. Will this lead to bottles exploding?
In terms of taste this brew is shaping up nicely; definitely alcoholic head and some carbonation evident when trying to measure gravity, but also quite sweet still. Perhaps that sweetness will mellow out when carbonated and chilled. Perhaps it’ll keep building. Who knows. We’ve only reduced 0.002 in six days so maybe it’s time to stuff this into bottles and hope that any residual bubbles will aid carbonation and nothing more.
SG still at 1.011, so no change in gravity or airlock activity. Let’s measure again in 2 days time and bottle if it hasn’t moved – should get 7.09% if it doesn’t shift.
Airlock activity very low now, SG measured optimistically at 1.011. Colour is nice and clear, not too sweet, but disappointing lack of hops now that I’ve let it go for 4 days after adding the ’tea’ bags instead of the 1-2 days recommended. Looks like fermentation is still going on (equating to 7.09%) so I’ll let it go for another day before bottling. Shame I haven’t got another bag of finishing hops…
Measured SG at 1.014 (6.69% ABV) and added two ‘tea bags’ of hop pellets as per instructions; Simcoe and Summit. Sample tasted slightly sweet and definitely alcoholic, but will be much improved by the addition of hops and secondary fermentation. Airlock popping once every 90 seconds before adding the hops, briefly increased to once every 20 seconds just after.
No foam explosions, but you can see it’s touching the base of the lid ¾ of the way around and there’s a small trace of foam in the airlock too, just past the bung. Popping energetically every 3-4 seconds now. Good dog!
Short burst of bubbles every 4 seconds or so. The first sign of fermentation (in the airlock anyway) came around midnight when things started moving, by 08:00 the first white foam was visible. Two hours later and the foam has dark brown edges (I’ve not opened the fermenter – just looking through the semi-opaque sides) and is just touching the top of the lid. I’m going out for a couple of hours now and fully expect there to be a mess when I get back.
Started off another one, this time Evil Dog Double IPA. Initial ingredients:
- Bag of specific malted barley (qty / type not indicated, just used the whole bag as per kit)
- 10 g Pacific Ale beer yeast (added at 24.5 ℃)
- 23 litres water (up to 23 litre mark – includes malted barley)
OG measured at 1.065 before yeast was added, wort temperature 24.5 ℃, room temperature 22.5 ℃.