16 July 2006

Ike's Wicked Ale, Day 14

Today was the bottling day. I actually had quite a few people on hand to help me out -- Carrie, Jenn, Brian, and Mike. After moving the glass carboy to the countertop, I measured the final specific gravity of the beer. It came out to be 1.017, a little off from the recipe's approximation of 1.012. Could it be that fermentation had not finished? I probably should have waited a few days to take another reading and only continue when stabilized, but I already had my mind on bottling the beers today. At any rate, taking the difference of the original and final gravities and multiplying that by 131 predicts that the alcohol content of Ike's Wicked Ale will be 4.7 percent.

I mixed in the 4 ½ oz. priming sugar in 2 cups of boiling water, and boiled the solution for another minute. After cooling the sugar water, I poured it into the big plastic bucket. Then I siphoned the beer from the glass carboy into the plastic container to get it all mixed up. Several of us tasted the beer at this stage and everyone agreed that it was pretty good as far as flat, room temperature beer can be. I also boiled the bottle caps in water for a few minutes to clean them up. Then we started the assembly line. Carrie sanitized the bottles, Jenn filled them with the beer, then Brian and I capped them. Thanks to all of them for doing such a great job because it would have taken me much longer to do it all myself.

Notes
- My final specific gravity was higher than what Austin Homebrew Supply said it should be. Hopefully I won't have exploding bottles if fermentation is still going strong.

- The bottle capper I have is not the easiest device in the world to use. When pushing down on the handles, it wobbled quite a bit on top of the bottle so getting a cap crimped properly usually took a few tries. An upgrade might be in order if I want to make more batches.

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