Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bottling Day Disaster

Seeing as though I am still devoid of full-time employment, I decided that today was the opportune day to put my first Stateside homebrew into bottles, and of course the 1 gallon polypin for an attempt at caskesque conditioning. Copper Head is the biggest batch I have done to date, being 5 US gallons rather than my 2 that I did in Prague. Obviously more beer requires more bottles, and without the inestimable pleasure of drinking Chodovar and Bernard from swing top bottles, buying some was required, thus yesterday I went and bought 24 650ml bottles from the local home brew shop, which I sanitised in our dishwasher after giving them a quick clean.

Having sanitized all the bottles, equipment, the polypin and siphoned my brew into the bottling bucket, I decided to check the final gravity and disaster struck - the hydrometer read 1.035, this from an OG of 1.045, which would give me an ABV of less than 1%. To say I am bummed is the understatement of the year. However, I decided to go ahead with bottling half the batch and see what happens (the thought of pouring it all away is terrible).

In terms of colour, nose and taste it is what I wanted, just the yeast didn't seem to do its thing - despite there being the beginnings of a krausen after a few hours. I have come to the conclusion though that I am not a fan of fermenting buckets and so I will be buying a glass carboy soon, so that I can see what is going on. The picture below is the sample I took, but put in a glass obviously.

Drowning sorrows in a few commercial beers is in order I think.


  1. If you you bottled half the batch, are you leaving the rest of it longer? Perhaps adding a little more yeast?

  2. Careful of those bottles - bottle bombs in waiting if it were to go to 1.010 or wherever you hoped...been there, done that...

  3. I will be keeping my eyes on the bottles over the next week - they are in the storage room which is nice and cool. I will using the polypin as a guide to the conditioning. I think part of the problem was getting it to pitching temperature quick enough, resulting in a stuck fermentation. The problem with the fermenting bucket is that it is not transparent and not wanting to get nasties in it I can't see what is going on.

  4. Is there enough oxygen in the wort to start? Do you know what you pitching temperature is?

  5. I'm with Dave on this one - sounds like a possible problem with oxygen in the wort (not enough) or posibly not being at the right fermentation temp? I've bottled weak beers before but only when over-diluting of messing up my grain effiency. At least it tastes alright...


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