We bottled our first seven bottles of our oatmeal stout on December 31st. We did some things right and a few things wrong. But overall, we’re really happy with the beer so far.
We thought we had everything ready to go for a small batch bottling session. We were a bit wrong. Yes, I purchased a 1.25 gallon container to rack the beer into. And yes, we had an bottle filling wand that we had used previously, already on a small length of tubing. What we didn’t do was check to see if that tubing fit the spout on the 1.25 gallon container. It did not.
We ended up getting the beer over to the second container okay, trying to use our old siphon. For our next batch I’m buying a new one of those! But we moved it over, without touching the trub at the bottom of the original fermentation jar.
To fill the bottles though, I found a piece of tubing from our supplies that did fit the spout, and I kinked the middle of the tubing to stop the flow into each beer bottle. I made a *slight* mess on the kitchen floor. But not too bad all things considered. For the next batch, we’re buying the right size bottle filling wand to fit on that tubing!
Instead of using corn sugar for our conditioning sugar, we used bottling drops. One per each small bottle, two for the larger one. I’ll post how well those work once we open a bottle to try.
And of course, we already have a decent piece of equipment that helps put the bottle tops on the bottles. So we were able to use that without any problems!
And here they are! A small batch for sure, but all handled on our own without extracts. We did try a bit of the beer that we used for testing, and it wasn’t bad!
To Sum Up
For our first small batch all grain beer, we used pale malt 2 row, caramel crystal malt, black roasted barley, and flaked oatmeal. For hops, we used Fuggles for 60 minutes, and Goldings for 15 minutes (along with a cinnamon stick). We didn’t quite reach our first gravity reading, but it fermented fine to what it should. Overall though, it’s a 4.7% alcohol rate, but a fairly bold taste. I’ll update the notes on this beer once we’ve opened one. In the meantime, we’re going to try making another one. We just have to decide what we want to test now. Something simple while we work on our technique, or something fun?!