Home Brewing Pt. 2

Last week, my first home brew, the White House Honey Ale, came out of its three-week primary fermentation. Now, normally most home brew kits and recipes suggest a two-week primary fermentation and then a two-week secondary fermentation in another fermenter bucket. Doing some research revealed an increasingly accepted longer single-primary fermentation approach. Basically, fermenting for 3-4 weeks then going straight to bottling where the final conditioning will take place in the bottle. Apparently it leads to a clearer beer and reduces the risks of introducing oxygen into the fermentation and other contaminants that might ruin the beer. Well, being no expert, I turned to the DC Homebrewers association and indeed got the recommendation for a primary fermentation and went with it.

After painstakingly washing and sanitizing about a case’s worth of bottles, we transferred the ale to a bottling bucket. The aroma of honey and beer filled my apartment. Sampling the beer revealed a flat but sweet brew, delicious actually, but in need of carbonation. We then primed the ale with dissolved and purified brewer’s sugar and went to work bottling. The whole process took about an hour. I stored the beer in the second bathroom and around next weekend will open a bottle for the first tasting. If there isn’t enough carbonation, I will let it go another week or so before refrigeration which should be just fine because it will probably all be consumed over the holidays anyway. I’m nervous, but everything looks good so far…

White House Honey Ale Primary Fermentation

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