Sunday, September 16, 2007

SIR Brown, phase II

I purged my handy-dandy little 2.5 gallon corny keg with CO2, boiled 50 grams of corn sugar in a cup of water and tossed it in, then added the beer. It still looked and smelled nice and clean. There was a trace of sludge in the lightweight, odorless, easy-to-clean carboy. (If you don't know about BetterBottle, check 'em out.) I set the lid with 10 lbs. of CO2 (and a film of Keg Lube on the flanges and gasket). It then went back in the closet at 70 deg. F. The remaining 2+ gallons (looked like a pint over, not quite a quart) I primed with 2 oz. of corn sugar in 10 fl. oz. water. My trick is to boil the water in the tea kettle first, dissolve the sugar in a quart-sized Pyrex measuring cup, then microwave the solution until it boils again (about 2 mins.). Seems to yield a nice, clean priming mixture, I have never detected off-flavors with this method and the convenience rarely tempts me to use dry malt extract (which I keep around for yeast starters). The remainder of the brew--#154, SIR Brown--was bottled in 9 brown 22-fl. oz. "Etna" bottles, 6 brown 12-fl. oz. "Anchor Steam" bottles. and 1 clear 12-fl. oz. "Newcastle" bottle. I like to have one clear vessel to watch the conditioning process. My lovely bride, SIR, runs the bottling at French Street Brewery. She stores the bottles in the kitchen, keeps them clean and handles the sanitizing. I transfer and prime the brew, then fill the bottles. She does the capping and cleanup, I mark the caps and pack the bottles in the closet with the keg. It is a lovely bit of marital cooperation! SIR Brown will go into the refrigerator next weekend, and be ready to drink the weekend after that. I broke my hydrometer (I think that is my third), so I can only guess at the gravities. Typically I get 10-11 deg. Plato (1.040-1.044) OG with 6 lbs. of extract, and it ferments out to 3 degrees or so (1.012). This one will be a mild ale with a translucent brown hue. Looking forward to having some of my own beer again

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