Friday, December 7, 2012

British Session Beer–No Chill


I generally have a low strength session beer as one of my taps and I thought I’d try an easy recipe and try to make the process as quick as possible.  I’ve been following a thread on Home Brew Talk about No Chill brewing.

It always bothers me how long my chiller takes and how much water I waste when I am chilling my beers.  The only thing that was holding me back was not having Winpak containers.  Since Corny kegs are stainless steel I am going to try my no chill in one of those.  I am not going for anything long term, like storing wort for weeks at a time.  I just need a place for the wort to cool naturally over a day or 2 and not get infected before I pitch the yeast.

I brewing this beer now and plan on pitching the yeast on Sunday.  Next on my list of things to buy is some fermcap and a Bleeder Valve so I can ferment directly in the Corny and carb my beer as it ferments.  This will give me some beer from grain to glass in 7 days for some of my session beers.

Malt Bill
Pounds Type
5 Maris Otter
1 Crystal 80
IBU Type Time
18 Kent Golding 60
Mash Schedule
Temp Time
158F 60 minutes
170F Batch Sparge
170F Batch Sparge
Yeast Safale S-04
5.5 gal 80% efficiency IBU: 18

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bottle Processing–From Start to Bottle Day


Even though I have a have a kegging setup I still bottle a lot of beer.  Mostly I bottle beer to take to places with me or to give away.  For most batches of beer I’ll make 5.5-6 gallons and bottle a gallon or 2 and then keg the rest.  This gives me good kegged beer to drink at home and some bottles that are easy for transport.  It took me awhile to come up with a solution that made this as painless as possible.  First by two 5 gallons buckets.  I ended up getting mine from the bakery of a local grocery store.  They get their basic icing colors in them.  If you talk to them ahead of time and bring in a homebrew they are pretty easy to get.  The added homebrew even got mine cleaned out.

I have a coworker who goes through a lot of craft beer and he brings me in all of his bottles.  He drinks good stuff like Schafly and Founders which both use good, heavy bottles.  As payment I bring him in the occasional growler to take home.

I rinse all the bottles out, put them in the bucket, and fill with hot tap water. 


After the bucket is full I use a half scoop of Oxy Clean.  You can buy this in bulk at places like Sam’s Club and it is pretty reasonable.  I also use it in my laundry.


(Make sure you get the Unscented kind!)

After two days of soaking in the Oxy Clean water most of the labels fall off when you pick them up out of the bucket.  Sometimes there will be a bit of glue stuck to the bottle.  If that happens I put it bottle under running water and hit is with a scrubby pad.  After the two day soak the glue just falls off.  Once they are clean they get a trip through my dish washer.  If you want to use these right away don’t add any soap or other dishes to the load.  I usually store mine and run them with whatever else will fit in the load.


After the load is done you can store you bottles however you want.  On bottling day I run my bottles through the dishwasher again without soap or any other dishes in the machine.  I run a short cycle and make sure that you drying cycle is set to high.  Once the bottles are cool to the touch you are ready to bottle**.  I have a mobile dishwasher so I just put a crate on top of the dishwasher and set my bottle bucket on the crate.  I then grab the bottles as needed and fill, set a cap on top of them and put them on the cabinet.  Once I have a dozen or so I cap the down and do another dozen.

**As long as you don’t open the dishwasher your bottles will be just fine if you leave them in there for a few hours.  Sometimes I run them in the morning before work and bottle when I get home.  I have never had an infection or any other issue.  I have been using this method for over a year!