I’ve fallen a little behind on updates but I wanted to get some of these pictures and information up here before I moved on any further. This post then qualifies as “Dumb Blonde Joke: The Bottling” and “Sunset in July: The Transfer”.
Because of my brewing schedule and a quick trip out of town last week, I had to both bottle my Imperial Blonde Ale (Dumb Blonde Joke) and then transfer my Summer Ale (Sunset in July) in the same evening. The transfer was really more pressing than the bottling but I only have two carboys so I had to get the secondary emptied out before I could use it. This coming weekend is a little busy, but I hope to maybe bottle the Sunset on Sunday (ha).
I might have made a mistake or two when I was working but my constant absent-mindedness hasn’t tripped me up yet so we’ll see. I don’t think I swirled the Dumb Blonde Joke very well before bottling it so there’s a bit of a question as to whether or not I’m going to get good carbonation. Also, I didn’t filter the Sunset when I was transferring it though it sat for some time and I kept a good eye on the tubing and don’t think I transferred too much junk from the bottom at this time.
Both the Blonde and the Sunset went through a bit of a color change in the secondary, but I think what I’m seeing is actually the beer clearing up a little bit in the secondary. Both brews showed their very blonde/yellow hues in the secondary because they were very cloudy and that gave the light something to reflect off of. Now, I see the stuff in the secondary and its nearly ink (due at least partly to darker basement conditions). I was worried at first (as Shives can attest to) but the Blonde was the perfect color when I was bottling it and it certainly smacked of beer when I sampled it. Final Gravity was also well within range. So, all this panicking for nothing.
The two week mark for the Blonde in bottles is this weekend, though I probably won’t chill more than one bottle to check its progress. I’m going to have to learn a little patience as each of the beers has gotten a good deal better the longer I let it condition. Two weeks seems like the theoretical soonest you can drink some recipes; everything has improved a good deal at the four week mark. But I might be out of other stuff by then. I guess that’s the Brewer’s Dilema.
While in Cincinatti this weekend, I picked up a couple bottles at the Party Source. I found the Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA which I’ve had from the Mellow Mushroom a number of times and enjoyed. The gentlemen there also recommended Laughing Dog’s “Alpha Dog” if I really wanted to be shitting hops by the end of the night (115 IBU’s!). The Avery is around 100 IBU’s but a healthy 10.5% ABV. I always make sure to get that before pizza arrives. Though, when we were at the Mushroom on Friday, they informed me they were out of the Maharaja and did not expect to get it back. I promised them that after I was finished with my meal, I would imbibe the last of their worthy second place (Southern Tier 2x IPA) and then, after dabbing my mouth with a napkin, sing the song that ends the Earth.