Gowanus Brewery

California Imperial Pale Ale – Bottling by Jeremy
November 18, 2007, 12:00 am
Filed under: beer, brewing, double ipa, equipment

I bottled the California Imperial Pale Ale yesterday. I ran into a couple of hiccups, but otherwise everything went well. And damn it tastes good!

The bottling process is generally straightforward. In a small saucepan, dissolve 5 oz. priming sugar into 2 cups of clean water and boil for 5 minutes. Pour this into bottling bucket and siphon the beer from the secondary fermenter. Fill the bottles to approximately 1 inch from the top and cap bottles. The priming sugar should create natural carbonation in the beer in two weeks, if at room temperature. The beer should be stored at 65 to 75 degrees to ensure carbonation. For best flavor, the beer should be aged an additional month.

The first issue I encountered was in siphoning the beer from the glass carboy to the bottling bucket. I lost suction while there still a significant amount of beer left. By the time I was able to restart the siphon and reposition the carboy at an angle, there was so much sediment in the beer I had to ditch it. It really makes sense to set the carboy on blocks and at an angle in the first place for this step.

The second issue was with the bottles. Basically, they were an incredible hassle from start to finish. Removing labels and sanitizing took hours. Then, some of the bottles–the Amstel bottles–didn’t consistently take the cap. I’m not sure what I can do about removing the labels, aside from buying new blank bottles, which I feel like might be an unnecessary expense at this point. I may just have to do a better job of collecting choice bottles. Sanitizing and drying could be much improved, though, if I had a bottle tree and rinser.

This ingredient kit is an Arrogant Bastard Ale clone and, after sampling my brew, I stoked to report that it actually tastes like the real deal. In a few weeks I’ll try to do a real analysis on it.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I know this is from a year ago and whatnot, but oxyclean on those labels fool!

Comment by Octavio

Bottles. Still, a year later, the worst part of this awesome hobby.

Next go around I’ll try out Oxiclean. Thanks for the tip!

Comment by Jeremy

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