Bottling Day #1: Baldwin St. Bohemian Pilsner

After my first successful brew day I counted down the days until it was time to check if fermentation was complete. After taking samples every day for 3 days and confirming that the final gravity (FG) reading was steady I prepared my equipment for bottle conditioning!

Taking a Final Gravity reading

Before actually bottling anything though I took my original gravity (OG) of 1.060 and final gravity (FG) of 1.009 and plugged them into the helpful calculator over at Brewer’s Friend and ended up with an estimated ABV of 6.69% which is much stronger than my recipe’s anticipated value of 4.8%. In retrospect I believe the cause for this was not capturing enough wort out of my mash tun which, when combined with the relatively long boil time of 90 minutes, didn’t leave me with a whole lot of liquid to put into my fermenter. The net result of all of this is that I only had around 3-3.5G / 11-13L worth of beer at the end of this brew, but hey now I know what to watch out for on my next one :).

What was left in the bottom of my fermenter. Yuck!

Rather than using carbonation tablets in my bottles I decided to just use table sugar to get the job done. Again I followed a handy calculator over at Brewer’s Friend to estimate how much sugar I needed. I boiled some tap water and added the sugar to it in order to both dissolve it and sanitize both. After cooling it down in an ice bath, I poured the mixture into the bottom of my clean & sanitized bottling bucket and then transferred the beer out of the fermenter right on top of the sugar water mixture. Just to ensure that it was evenly distributed I slowly mixed the two for about a minute.

Mmmm… flat beer

I then began the “fun” task of cleaning and sanitizing my bottles.

Scrub scrub scrub

Finally it was time to fill the bottles with my handy dandy bottle filler.

Rinse, fill, repeat

And voila! One bottle capping later and my first home brewed bottle was complete!

Beer #1

All told I ended up with 12x 23 oz / 650 ml bottles, 1x 53 oz / 1500 ml bottle and about 35 oz / 1000 ml or more in a growler. In about a week or two I’ll finally be able to taste test them (assuming they don’t explode under pressure in the meantime).

Not too bad if I do say so myself

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