Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finishing the beer

It's been almost a month since I last updated and in that time I've finished my brew. Rather than having separate entries about each stage, I've included them all into this one post.

I let the 2nd fermentation go for about 5-6 days, the airlock was bubbling just over once a minute so it seemed like it was time to bottle.

I put together about 42 Pacifico, Dos Equis, Heineken, and some bavarian beer bottles. While I washed and sterilized them, I didn't have enough time to peel the labels and make my own. Plus, if the beer turned out to be disgusting, I didn't want to take full responsibility. Bottling was a breeze. I boiled bottling sugar, mixed it in with the beer and then filled each bottle.

I put a cap on each one, but waited to seal them as instructed by many of the sources I've been reading. Apparently, letting it sit for a few minutes will allow the the CO2 to fill the bottle and purge the oxygen. When I finally crimped the caps, I found that the bavarian and dos equis bottles wouldn't take the cap because of an exta lip they have.

In the end, I still had a quite a few bottles and it was off to let them sit for a few weeks. Out of curiosity, I tried one of the dos equis bottles I filled and couldn't get the cap on: green beer. Taste overall wasn't actually that bad, a lot of nice hop flavor but some roughness in the malt and yeast that was overbearing. I crossed my fingers again and hoped that the carbonation could even that that out in the next few weeks.

I tried the first one about a 2 weeks later, you can see it here.

It actually doesn't taste too bad; the consistency is perfect for a stout. You can definitely taste the oatmeal and there's a slight flavor of burned malt that hits you up front, probably a result of overcooking the wort just slightly. There's the slightest chocolate flavor on the back end, which is accompanied by a slightly yeasty flavor; I think had I been able to control the temperature a little better, I could have probably worked out this yeastiness entirely. The beer is also a little too carbonated, however, if I let it cool down from the fridge a little it gets just right.

All in all, I think it actually tastes pretty good, and most of all I'm just proud of the fact that it actually came out as beer as opposed to some sludge or non-drinkable liquid.