WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT? UH, BOTTLE. BOHT-EL!
September 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
It was time to make a move. After checking on the beer every day during its secondary fermentation, I noticed yesterday that there was a very thin film on the surface that appeared different from what I suspected to be residual yeast (or whatever it was, small particulate aggregates floating within an inch of the surface). This new film, though, was not the pale straw color of yeast but instead a pale grey, making me worried about the possibility of aerobic bacterial infection. I’m not sure of the source of infection, but I did perform a transfer from the primary fermenter (bottling bucket) to the carboy (secondary fermenter), and I also noticed that the airlock twice had dropped below the water line).
Accordingly, since I finally had a night off from work, I decided to bite the bullet and transfer to the bottles. I gently dropped the sanitized siphon into the least covered part of the surface and then settled it on the middle of the bottom of the carboy, and area where there was little trub. The remaining trub and yeast had settled in a ring at the base of the carboy (avoided by placing the Auto-Siphon tip in the middle of the base of the carboy which is above that level). Interestingly, it smelled pleasantly like bananas without any off odors.
I noticed the film settle on the sides of the carboy as I drained it into the bottling bucket (with the priming sugar).
One interesting idea the First Matey brought up was the idea of using a gold coffee filter instead of a sieve to filter the wort and homebrew. In this case, I decided to filter the brew once while siphoning it to the bottling bucket.
The final product appears to have a finishing specific gravity around 1.015.
And the final yield after avoiding the possible contaminated areas and the trub was 19 full 12 ounce bottles, plus about three-quarter’s of a bottle split between the hydrometer and the remainder poured into a glass (and a few prior hydrometer readings).
Bottled, capped, and tada: ready for bottle conditioning!
It has a pretty amber-gold color with a reddish hue. It’s remarkably consistent after having been filtered once.
At this time, it has a smoother profile than before, no off tastes or odors, and it has a more subtle aroma of bananas with a taste that begins with a sweet marmalade, wheat, and then ends with a slight taste of grapefruit. We’ll see how it changes after being conditioned for a couple of weeks and has cooling and carbonation added to the mix.
Good night, my beloved homebrew.
Your brew captain,