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Archive for the ‘Stout’ Category

The next task for the weekend was getting the Stout bottled. Having got the laborious job of cleaning all the bottles done, I added 60 grams of sugar to some freshly boiled water and stirred it until it was dissolved. I went for 60 in the hope it would come out a little less fizzed than my previous brews as I thought this would better suit a stout. I then very gently mixed this into the stout, and left it to settle.

While I left the beer to allow the sediment to settle down again, I set about knocking up some quick labels. I was happy to keep them fairly similar to previous ones:

Once these had been designed, printed and cut down to size, I was ready to bottle. I went for the same setup as I had done previously, with the beer on the kitchen side and a tube attached to the tap, bottles lined up along side the capper and caps, labels, milk and a brush. The process went very smoothly, leaving me with 45 bottled John Bull Masterclass Irish Stouts.

After filling the last bottle, I filled a small glass with the dregs. Even flat, and a fraction cloudy, this smelt and tasted wonderful. It had a delicious deep coffee flavour. If the final brew tastes as good as this glass, this will be an awesome beer.

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Having got back from a weekend away, I decided to do a quick check on the Stout, to check that the gravity was still falling:

Second Stout Gravity Reading

Disappointedly, I took this to be another reading of 1.013 meaning no more movement. I know Phil got down to 1.012 and ideally I’d like to be a fraction lower, therefore I gave the brew a gentle stir for a minute and will give it another reading in a couple of days.

I did take a bit of a risk with the stirrer – given it never fits in the sink properly anyway, and Im never convinced the kitchen sink is likely to be bacteria free, I opted to carefully pour a full kettle of boiling water over the stirrer, rather than soaking it in sanitising solution. I hope this will be fine.

I did note that the Stout already had a very strong smell. Given my poor sense of smell I couldn’t put my finger on what it was – though it wasn’t particularly unpleasant. My missus could smell if from the next room within 30 seconds of me taking the top of the bucket it was so strong. There was also a slight but noticeable greasy residue on the surface of part of the beer. Hopefully this is nothing untoward.

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I recently did some research into whether the 6 weeks that my previous brew spent in the fermenting bucket was too long (mostly on Jims Beer Forum – see my blogroll). It is clear that while modern yeast should be fine for up to a couple of months all being well, its certainly not advisable. I’m therefore keen to bottle my brews from now on as soon as they are finished fermenting. Therefore after a week and a half I wanted to take a look how the stout is doing:

I measured the gravity at 1.013. I didn’t take an original gravity reading as I was kicking it off in a rush, but this seems pretty close already to where it needs to be. I know Phil (see my blog roll) recently bottled this same brew at 1.012. (We had a first taste of it yesterday and despite tasting a little green still, its already good after just a month.)

I will take another reading of my stout sometime in the near future , and if it hasn’t moved further I will give it a gentle stir and the bottle once it is definitely not moving any further.

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Having finally bottled the Light, I can get this Stout going. I wanted to do a stout to start giving me a real choice of ale types in the future. I chose this one as I read that it was the closest stout kit to Guinness. I doubt it will come out anything like it, but much to the missus’s annoyance, I still went for this over the Chocolate Stout (She doesn’t even like stout, but it has the word Chocolate in the name 😉 ). Phil (see my blogroll) has just bottled his attempt at the same brew, so it will be interesting to see how ours compare.

Stout Can

As soon as I finished bottling the Light I emptied the bucket, scrubbed off the obvious dirt and then filled it with sanitising solution. After rinsing it out with cold water I poured in the wort from the tin and added two 1.7 litre kettles of hot water to it (which now that I do the maths is considerably more than the 2.5 litres I was supposed to add, but I can’t imagine that matters greatly.) I also used a little of the hot water to rinse out the tin as best I could without making a complete mess. With freshly boiled water, it dissolved fairly quickly. I then went about filling up the rest of the bucket with cold water. I did this by continually filling a jug with water from the tap on the assumption that this brew, like the others, requires the wort to be aerated well. This aerates the water as it fills the jug, and then I also poured the water in quickly and from a height.

When the bucket was almost full, I measured the temperature to check it was between 21 and 16 degrees as instructed. It was 20 degrees, so I continued filling it with cold water. However, I did slightly overfill it, but hopefully this won’t dilute the stout too much, and also, hopefully it won’t foam over the side during the initial fermentation. I followed the extremely brief instructions by sprinkling the yeast on top and stirring it in. I was worried this might caught lumps as happened with the IPA when I just sprinkled in the yeast, and although there were initially some small lumps, these seemed to break up after a good stir.

Finally, I gently rested the lid on the bucket and placed it in the brewery. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this comes out. It already looks good 🙂

Prepared Stout

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