Brewing, racking, bottling

The brewery has been very active this past weekend.   Three beers, three different stages.  I brewed and racked on Friday and bottled on Sunday.

Brew Day-  The Sleeper Imperial Stout

This is essentially my second crack at an imperial stout.  My first was a few months ago with Quantum Deep.  But that was before I really discovered my actual brewhouse efficiency (about 60%), fell woefully short of my target ABV and essentially ruined it by adding coffee beans to my secondary.  It was a mess all around but I learned some important stuff from that fiasco.  So I’ve modified some things, renamed it and and I was ready to go again.

The Sleeper Imperial Stout (2.5 gallon BIAB)


7.5 lbs Briess Pale Ale Malt

0.25 lbs Roasted Barley

0.25 lbs Briess Black Malt

0.25 lbs Crisp Pale Chocolate

0.25 lbs Crisp Crystal 60

1.0 lbs Light DME (added after boil start)

0.5 lbs Light Brown Sugar (added 12 min left in boil)

0.5 lbs Lactose (added 12 min left in boil)

Mash:  90 min @ 151 F

Sparge: 1 gallon @ 170F

Boil: 60 min


0.75 oz Summit (60 min)

0.25 oz Summit (10 min)

0.5 oz Cascade (flameout)

Yeast:  Wyeast London ESB 1968

Because I’m using some DME, this isn’t technically “all grain”.  But it is the only way that I can boost my OG to the level I need with my current equipment.  The brown sugar is there to help also.  I usually prefer to use dry yeast whenever possible because it’s easier to use, it’s much cheaper and I’ve made very good beers with them.  I was originally going to use US-04 for this but my LHBS was inexplicably out.  They’ve been having some inventory issues lately.  So the Wyeast 1968 was the best substitute.   But I’m a little concerned that it won’t get the batch as dry as I need it to be.  So I plan on seeing where my gravity is after two weeks and if needed (which I assume it will be needed), I’ll rack it to secondary and pitch another pack of yeast to keep it moving.  This is also my first time using a blow off tube because I expect this to be a very active fermentation.  I got through the initial couple days of bubbling fury and everything was contained thankfully.


OG:  1.108 (target), 1.096 (actual) I’ll need another 1 lb of DME next time, but I’m still within imperial range.

IBU:  92.46

SRM: 40

Estimated Target ABV 9%.

Imperial Ingredients  Imperial Mash  Imperial Wort

Imperial Primary

Rollin’ Barrel Racking

I racked the bourbon porter onto the oak chips and bourbon.  Gravity reading before the bourbon was 1.022 which makes it about 5.7%.  The bourbon is calculated to add another 1% to that.  The porter will sit in secondary for 7 days before being bottled.

Barrel Primary  Barrel Secondary  Barrel FG

Witty Kitty Witbier

Erika’s witbier has been in primary for 14 days.  Taste test was excellent and FG was 1.003!!!  That’s dry.  Brewer’s Friend calculated it going down to only 1.012.  So the yeast, for whatever reason, went hog wild and we are looking at an ABV of  6.6% instead of the anticipated  4.5%     The yeast has definitely hazed up the beer, which is desirable and it does have that unique belgian flavor imparted by the yeast and the spiciness due to the coriander.  Bottling yielded 18 12 oz bottles and one 16 oz PET.  Erika looks pretty happy.

Witty Racking  Witty Bottling  Witty Taste Test  Witty batch

Next Friday I’m making a small batch of cream ale for Amy, co-proprietor of 2B’s, and bottling the bourbon porter.  It’ll be another busy day.  But I love it.


2 comments on “Brewing, racking, bottling

  1. Dennis says:

    You might find you’ll have some trouble with the plan to add additional yeast to your beer. Pitched into an already fermented wort, especially of such high gravity, yeast have virtually no ability to get going: there are no nutrients, no oxygen for division, and a high level of toxic alcohol. Your best bet would be to make a starter and pitch the yeast at their most active into a warmed fermentor, but even that’s pretty unlikely to do much, even if its wine or champagne yeast.

    In the end, your probably better off just dealing with a slightly heavier end product and correcting the recipe next time, should you find the result to not be ideal. Hopefully the ESB does it for you though; a huge pitch, proper aeration, and controlled fermentation temps are especially key on such huge beers. If not, you’ll end up with the bubble-gum and jet fuel imperial stout I got from my first batch of IRS (incidentally by first ever brew). Didn’t taste so bad at the time, but I would probably consider dumping it now.

    – Dennis, Life Fermented Blog

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