Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bottle Conditioning

The brewery is busy.  There's a strawberry watermelon wine bulk aging (this means it's aging but it's not bottled yet) as well as the pumpkin mead in the previous post, that is also bulk aging and a Stout I  brewed with oatmeal and coffee that is conditioning in the bottle.

I made the mistake of putting some beer bottles in the cellar last winter to condition, and I had very mixed reviews.  I was sure I put in the right amount of sugar for priming and I had mixed it in very well before bottling, but still some bottles were almost flat.  I thought about it and it I wondered, if I had so many flat bottles why was I not getting any bottles exploding?

Eventually with the help of some friends I realized that the temperature in the cellar was just too cold for the bottles to continue to bottle condition.  These stout bottles are sitting up on the first floor in room temperature, (68 - 75 degrees F).  I want to make sure the bottles are up in that environment for at least 3 weeks before I try opening a bottle.  No one likes a flat stout.

I brewed this stout with coffee one other time.  This time around I changed my recipe a little by adding 1 pound of oats in the boil and I racked onto 1/2 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans in the secondary in addition to the coffee I steeped at the end of the boil.  This was a great brew.  My wort chiller proved to speed the cooling significantly and my bottling bucket made that whole process much easier as well.  Feel free to drop a line, let me know about your brewery upgrades, or let me know if you are interested in the coffee/oatmeal stout recipe.

Cheers from the Kitchen Brewery