Omega Octoberfest: It’s In the Can (er, bottle)

(This is an update for the participants in the 2008 Fermenting Revolution course at the Omega Institute.)

Fermentation slowed down to an occassional bubble this evening, so I racked the beer off into a bottling bucket, clean and sanitized a slew of bottles, pitched some boiled dry malt extract, and bottled enough of these beers in champagne style bottles so there’d be one for each of you.

Here are some pictures of the process, in the order that they occurred (more or less).

First clean the bottles, then sanitize 'em.

First clean the bottles, then sanitize 'em.

Boil 1.25 cups of organic dry malt extract with 2 cups water for 20 minutes.

Boil 1.25 cups of organic dry malt extract with 2 cups water for 20 minutes.

I use an 'auto-siphon' to rack the beer out of the fermenter . . .

I use an auto-siphon to rack the beer out of the fermenter . . .

. . . and into the bottling bucket.

. . . and into the bottling bucket.

I use a tube with a spring loaded release valve on the tip to release the beer into the bottles.

I use a tube with a spring loaded release valve on the tip to release the beer into the bottles.

I bottled into champagne-style bottles so I finished them with corks, gold foil, and a metal cage. Fancy, eh?

I bottled into champagne-style bottles so I finished them with corks, gold foil, and a metal cage. Fancy, eh?

I’ll let these condition in the bottle for a week or so. Then I’ll try one just to make sure nothing went awry, and then I’ll send ’em on their way.

By the way, yesterday I brewed a ‘kitchen sink’ beer. My neighbor popped by with a bunch of ingredients he had laying around. I gathered together some random things I had and we came up with a recipe for a beer that uses ‘everything but the kitchen sink.’ And actually, we used that too!

The highlights of the brew were some homegrown hops my neighbor grew this year, some honey from my beehive, a bunch of mugwort, and some juniper berries. We’re going for a woodsy, autumnal stout. Here’s a picture of the hop cones from my neighbors little hop farm.

Homegrown cascade hops.

Homegrown cascade hops.

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5 Responses to Omega Octoberfest: It’s In the Can (er, bottle)

  1. Dear Chris, Those hops look AMAZING! Good luck with the beer. We’d love to try some if you have any bottles to spare. Hops grow abundantly in nearly every part of Milwaukee in people’s yards and alleys. Our organic farm-grown hops have had problems because of the deer eating them up. However, as soon as the soy and other crops came in, the deer left the hops alone but it was too late. Any recommendations from your readers? Can’t afford the costs for solar electric fencing yet. Orlando

  2. beeractivist says:

    Orlando – how ya doing? Good to hear from you! I’d love to send some of these to you. Let me ask my neighbor if he can spare some. I’m curious to hear more about how the organic hop growing fared this year. I’m writing an article right now for American Brewer on organic hops so I’ll give you a holler.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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