Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bottling Stouticus

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I told you that I was brewing Stouticus American Stout.  Today, I bottled it. 

The beer did ok on its attenuation.  It started at about 1.052 and fermented out to 1.015.  That is about a 71% apparent attenuation, which is lower than most of my beers.  That lower attenuation is fine, though, because I like a bit of body to a stout.  In fact, I decided to add some lactose at bottling time to bring the FG up to around 1.019 and maybe add some sweetness to the batch.  The black barley really adds a dry, roasted flavor that comes across a little bit bitter, and the extra sweetness should balance that out just a touch.

Since this was the first batch for which I used a 5-gallon carboy, it was also the first time I really needed to use the auto-siphon that I got for Christmas (thanks to my brother-in-law Shean).  It worked wonderfully, filling up the bucket in about 5 minutes.  I've used the bottling bucket a few times.  It seems more appropriate now that I have the carboy and auto-siphon, though.

I was really pleased with the flavor.  I think I ended up with just the right amount of that dry roast flavor that should be in a stout.  It has hints of chocolate and a nice rich malt background.  I'm not sure I could taste the hops at all.  The black malts definitely dominate the flavor profile of the beer.

Today, I got 43 12 oz bottles; 4 22oz bottles; and 2 1 liter bottles.  That comes to around 40 cents per 12 oz bottle or less than $5 a 12-pack.  A similar local beer would cost probably 3 times as much, and I like it better because I was able to craft it to my own tastes.  My wife and kids should be thanking me for all the money I'm saving, don't you think?

I'll let these carbonate a couple of weeks and then bring most of these into work to share with my co-workers.   I'm guessing I'll bring in about 40 of the 12oz bottles, which doesn't really leave a lot for me, but I probably have too much beer already.  There are about 20 people in our office, so that means each person can bring home 2.  I'm assuming not everyone likes stouts, so that means there might be a few more of those that do.

It will be interesting to see what everyone thinks of Stouticus.


Anyone else hear about this guy who decided to fast for lent and has vowed to drink only beer during that time (much like certain orders of monks are famous for).  He is writing a blog:  Diary of a Part Time Monk.  I think it will be interesting to follow along.

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