Wulf's Webden

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Ruby Return Bottled


I think my Ruby Return beer was probably ready to bottle a few days ago but I only found time to sort it out today. I got 14 bottles (approximately 7l), which is a decent return and the calculated final gravity was about 1.011, suggesting that the ABV is just over 6% or a fairly strong beer, certainly for one without additional sugar additions at the start of the fermentation process.

I went for a fairly relaxed approach to the bottling. I don’t want to ruin the beer by giving unwanted bacteria or oxygen exposure a wide open opportunity to get in but I also don’t want hours of work and cleaning added to the process. Firstly I used the spout on my fermenting vessel to run the beer into my plastic jerry can, trying to minimise splashing by letting it flow down the inside of the can. That gets rid of most of the trub (brewing waste), which is loosely bound together by the Irish Moss dropped in towards the end of the boil. The jerry can also has markers I wrote on the side so I was able to estimate the volume of beer (about 7.8l) and dissolve an appropriate about of carbonation sugar with the sample I drew a few days ago (and have kept covered). That went back into the washed fermentation vessel followed by the beer from the jerry can, poured in carefully but with enough movement to mix the sugar solution around.

Bottling was then a process of filling each of my prepared bottles from the spout, resting a cap on top and then sealing them all up once the process was done. I’ve done it this way before and it seems a pragmatic balance of cleanliness and efficiency. It doesn’t get every last bit of the brewed beer in the bottles (almost a litre of “waste”) but it also means the bottles have very little sediment and much less chance of gushing when opened. That will now need a few weeks to condition and by Christmas it should be drinkable. Meanwhile, time to start thinking what I will brew next.

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