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Day 48 Bottling Big Dark

Made a trip to the home brew shop today and bought a couple of cases of 22 oz bottles to bottle the Big Dark stout and a future project. Speaking of which, I picked up ingredients for a Belgian Dark Strong Ale to brew in the near future. Sometime after Christmas…maybe after the New Year, depending on what’s going on. I’m planning on this being drinkable around mid-February. For today, the project is bottling.

A little sample of Big Dark stout...living up to its name.

A little sample of Big Dark stout…living up to its name.

My made up stout recipe that I’m calling Big Dark is what I bottled. It used up some grains and a bag of malt extract that I was given. The age was a possible factor, but it all seemed okay. I racked just for a day in the carboys to clarify a little. I added a split vanilla bean to the primary fermentation and I got a pretty sweet product that should have a fairly high alcohol content. I’ve already written about the uncertainties in figuring the ABV…it will be whatever it will be. A sample was sweet with a little bitterness and a fair amount of body…or mouthfeel? I’m no professional critic, so I’m hoping I’m identifying that properly! I’m interested in seeing how the carbonation turns out and how bottle conditioning affects the flavor. I’m hoping the sweetness tones down some over time. It should be drinkable by late January and I’ll probably sample it around then. I’m thinking it will be better a few months later though. For documentation purposes, the FG was 1.020 @ 70F; adjusting for hydrometer calibration makes it 1.021. If my second day in fermentation SG reading of 1.112 was accurate, then the ABV would be 11.94%. That seems high though. Could the sweetness be disguising the alcohol? If the SG was actually in the 1.08-ish range, the ABV would be around 7.74%. Either way, it should be pretty strong.

Big Dark yield

Big Dark yield

I got twelve 22 oz bottles and two 12 oz  bottles from the batch (teaching my son to bottle and cap early!).

Train 'em early! They'll thank you later...and so will their college buddies!

Train ’em early! They’ll thank you later…and so will their college buddies!

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