It’s Bottling Time

It’s been about 16 days since homebrewing my first batch of beer and it’s time to once again play of the role of amateur, unprepared homebrewer. It’s BOTTLING TIME.

Simple enough, right? Wash the bottles, move the beer from fermenter to bottling bucket then bottle. Yeah, sure. I got this…

I threw in the kit’s DVD (which I already despised… bottling  didn’t help me like this DVD any extra) and watched the 5 minute section on bottling.

Sanitize and Priming Sugar

Bottles in dishwaster

Washing bottles – no detergent!

First step – sanitize. I think I’m getting this step down. I ran the bottles through the dishwater (no detergent) with the hot dry setting. Once this was done I used my sanitizer on all the equipment — bottling bucket, tubes, spigot, siphon, caps and hydrometer.

Sanitizing equipment

Sanitized bottling equipment

From here, as requested by my wife, I moved from the kitchen to the garage. Glad I did — more on this later. While this was going on I boiled three cups of water and diluted the priming sugar.

It’s been over two weeks since brewing the beer and I haven’t taken a peak since I put the lid on the fermenter. Very excited I opened it up and got a big whiff of hoppiness.

Hydrometer Reading

Next was to take the hydrometer reading to get the alcohol percentage. Being flustered while brewing the first batch I elected to not get the original gravity reading (I regret this but it’s not the end of the world). Therefore I won’t truly know the approximate ABV. I put the sample in the test tube and spun and dropped the hydrometer in. After it settled I got a reading of 1.02 for my final gravity. Yay, I did something right! Next I added the diluted priming sugar to the bottling bucket.

Transfer from Fermenter to Bottling Bucket

Now to transfer the beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket. Cool, where’s my thief? The guy in the video had a thief. The video claims to tell you everything you need to brew your first batch of beer and the kit claims to give you everything you need. Well if having a thief isn’t necessary, WHY USE ONE TO SHOW ME HOW TO SIPHON THE BEER?? Continue reading

Homebrewing, it’s for people who can’t cook

I can’t cook. Like I really can’t cook. I tried grilling a chicken breast a few weeks ago when my wife was coming home from work late. You know what she came home to? A house full of smoke, dog barking at the blaring smoke detector and me yelling at a pan full of burnt chicken. So why the hell would I think I could brew beer? Must be the hardheadedness I get from my dad.

I had a free weekday, no work and no wife, and saw the homebrewing kit I’ve had for months starring at me. I popped the DVD in and watched the poorly made and poorly instructed training. Went out to the store to get a thermometer and decided to give it a shot. 48 or so Irish Stouts on their way!

Here’s my adventure:

The Setup

Homebrew Setup

Homebrew Setup

After having to do a load of dishes to empty the sink, I sanitized my pot and various equipment using the Easy Clean provided in the kit. I placed everything I could think of out on my island and surrounding countertops. I read and reread my notes and warned a friend who just started homebrewing that I’ll probably be frantically calling him over the next couple hours.

Continue reading