By Best Case Beers
O.G. 1.044-48 | F.G. 1.010-12 | ABV 5% | IBU 14
Inventory Code: 420
April 15, 2020 – steep, boil, yeast added April 18, 2020 – rack into the secondary fermentation container April 27, 2020 – bottling and carbonation May 8, 2020 – chilling Process
I brought 7 litres of cold filtered water to approximately 155°F (68°C). This is not exact. I did use a thermometer, but without one, when the water is too hot to touch is a good guess. I emptied the crushed grain into the included cheesecloth sock and sealed with a knot. I steeped the crushed grains in cheesecloth sock for 20 minutes. The water must not boil. After 20 minutes the grains and cheesecloth can be discarded in the compost. The malt extract and glucose can be tricky to pour from their containers. I soaked them in hot water for easy pouring. Added malt extract to the water. Added the glucose to the water. Once the water is boiling I added the boiling hops and continue to boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the finishing hops for the last minute of the boil. After sterilizing the primary fermenting container, I added 5 litres of cold filtered water. Poured in the wort and toped up to 23-litre mark with cold filtered water. The best fermentation temperature for this beer is between 18-22°C, so I cooled the brew in an ice bath. The yeast can be put into the brew below 28°C, but it is better to add the yeast close to the fermentation temperature. Once the brew was close to 20°C I gave it a mix and sprinkled the yeast on top. Since my lid does not have an airlock I laid it gently on top without snapping it down. It’s hard to see in this picture, but the brew is holding around 20°C after about 12 hours and maintained this temperature well. A stable temperature is important for fermentation. After twelve hours the fermentation process can be confirmed by observing a foam on top. All equipment needs to be sterilized. I use Starsan that does not need rinsing. After 3 days primary fermentation should be wrapping up. This can be observed by the foam collapsing. I used an auto syphon to draw the brew from the primary fermentor. I hold the cane above the bottom to avoid sucking up the sludge at the bottom. I keep the hose at the bottom to avoid splashing. Oxygen is not good at this point. The sanitizing foam is of no concern. Once the brew has been moved to the secondary fermentor I installed the airlock. I also wrap some tape around the lid to prevent any oxygen from getting into the fermentor. I wrapped the fermentor in a towel to keep it dark. I have three steps to prepare the bottles. Step one, I remove labels and used a cleanser to thoroughly clean them. I also use a bottle brush to lift any stubborn material. I use a bottle pump cleaner, as seen in this picture, to spray the cleaner into the bottles. Step two, I thoroughly rinse the bottles with clean water to remove the cleanser, as directed by the manufacturer. The cleanser I use is appropriate for sterilization, but I use StarSan in the next step for sterilization. Step three, I use the bottle pump cleaner to pump the StarSan mixture into the bottles. You may notice the foam in the bottles. This is harmless to us and our beer. StarSan must not be rinsed. I use bottles with pop tops. I remove the tops from the bottles and left them to soak in StarSan. I make two gallons of StarSan in the primary fermentor. I use some of this StarSan to sterilize the bottles and fill a spray bottle. The StarSan will clean the fermenter and all the equipment. For larger items, I use the spray bottle of StarSan to cover all surfaces. I use the auto-siphon to pump StarSan through the hose. At the 9 day mark, the secondary fermentation is finished. This is observed by little to no activity in the airlock. The airlock and lid must not be removed until ready to bottle. I drop in the sterilized hydrometer to confirm the final gravity, FG. My FG is approximately 1.011. This is within the range to confirm fermentation is complete. I dissolve the provided sugar with a cup of warm water. This sugar will feed the yeast to produce carbon dioxide in the bottles for carbonization. I pour the sugar water into the bottom of the primary fermentor then begin to siphon the beer. I am careful not to splash the beer as excessive oxygen is still not ideal for the beer. The foam you see in the picture if the StarSan, again, harmless to us and the beer. During the siphon process, I hold the auto-siphon cane off the bottom to avoid sucking any sludge at the bottom. I very gently mix the beer to distribute the sugar water, remembering oxygen is not good for the beer. Using a bottle filling connection at the bottom of the siphon hose I filled each bottle with about 1.5 inches left at the top. As each bottle is filled I reattached the sterilized tops. The bottles must now sit for 7-10 days at room temperature for carbonization. Notes
I keep the lid on the fermentation containers as much as possible to avoid contamination. I turn our heating/air system off while working with the fermentation containers and racking to prevent contamination. I keep the room where fermentation is happening around 20C Results
The final results were good. The beer is crisp and light. The flavour is a little light for my taste, but very easy to drink. During bottling the beer was a little cloudy, but after time in the bottle become mostly clear. You can see from the picture that there is still a slight haze. Carbonation was a little light. There is also a small amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottled that did not come out when poured.