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Day 65 Busy Day! Bottling & Brewing!

This morning, I started the day by bottling my nut brown ale. This was my first 5 gallon batch…good thing I bought bottles Saturday.

Some of the nut brown ale.

Some of the nut brown ale.

Set up for bottling.

Set up for bottling.

I got about 2 cases of 120z bottles, I racked to a second bottling bucket and left a lot of sludge behind.

5 gallon batch worth of sludge.

5 gallon batch worth of sludge.

Unfortunately, the spigot I bought didn’t have a nut with it and the one I put on was close, but must have not been quite right…it started leaking. OH NO!!! I stuck a (clean) arm into the beer and re-tightened the nut. I’m hoping that wasn’t a fatal mistake for this batch!  Otherwise, it went okay. I filled and my son capped. The FG was 1.008, so the ABV is 5.78% (approximately).

After lunch and gathering some more equipment and supplies, It was on to brewing! This is the first time that I have brewed outside. I borrowed a brother in-law’s turkey fryer set-up…powerful propane burner and a big S/S stock pot.

Turkey fryer for making beer.

Turkey fryer for making beer.

I sanitized all my utensils and went to work. I used 2 gallons of water for the grain bag steep. Then I set up another 2 gallons for a sparge-like set-up. I know there isn’t a requirement to do this in extract recipes, but I figured it couldn’t hurt my efficiency and I just wanted to try it.

Make-shift, unnecessary sparge set-up...but kind of cool!

Make-shift, unnecessary sparge set-up…but kind of cool!

Topped off water to 6 gallons with a 1/2 t. gypsum. The spent grain feeds my garden and the big burner brings the boil. Off the heat, I add the extract. Returned to boil and add the hops…adjust burner for a good 60 minute boil. Stirred frequently.

Chillin' and brewin'

Chillin’ and brewin’

I used a large plastic bin, filled with water and ice to chill the wort down to 90F.

Strangely enough, Bavarian Weizen Yeast for a Bavarian style hefeweisen

Strangely enough, Bavarian Weizen Yeast for a Bavarian style hefeweisen

I brought the wort inside and topped it off to 5-1/2 gallons and got the temperature down to 75F (Okay, I *may* have jumped the gun a little and pitched the yeast at around 80F. The top-off water was supposed to lower the temp from 90F to 70/75F, but I didn’t need much at all to get to 5-1/2 gallons. Iced the bucket in the sink, but was taking forever!) The OG was 1.040…so I added a 1/4 c. corn sugar with equal part  hot water stirred in. OG bumped to 1.042…close enough. Pitched the yeast, stirred, sealed and aerated. I set up the blow off and we’re off and running! The chilling part is still my biggest challenge.

Blow-off set-up...ready to roll!

Blow-off set-up…ready to roll!

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