Thursday, January 10, 2019

Filling the Kegs | Rye Stout Batch 5 Bottling part 1

I wanted to consolidate the space in my bathroom so I can get some seeds started later this month. Since my two fermenters full of Rye Stout were still there, they needed to be moved to somewhere more long term until I had enough empty bottles to process them. So why not throw them in the kegs I picked up last year?

Having never used these kegs and knowing little of where they have once been or once held, a through cleaning was needed. I had the kegs siphon StarSan back and forth to rinse out the dip tubes. Thank you previous owner for including fittings with the haul.
Pictured below is the foam remaining after StarSan treatment. I'm curious how much corrosion the stainless steel experiences when exposed to the dilute phosphoric acid, but that's a topic for another time.
So now came time to pop off the lids and siphon over the beer. And oh boy did it smell like trouble when I opened that fermenter. Now it didn't look too bad from a distance, but there was a thin layer of something on top. I think it got a little bit of Acetobacteria because it smelt like vinegar. I would hate to lose a whole 5 gallons to another infection. For some reason though, when I sampled it, it tasted normal. I quickly siphoned that off to the keg, and I hope that the infection goes away. Or maybe it'll make a good sour....

Fermenter #2 was clean on top. Since I don't want to get that brew infected, I made sure to resanitize the autosiphon before sticking it in the fermenter.
Since I don't have a CO2 tank to pressurize and carbonate the beers yet, I fed each keg a little sugar so the yeast can do a little carbonation on its own. The kegs have purge valves so I'll be able to purge off the oxygen as more CO2 forms. Now what could go bad though is if that Acetobacter starts chewing on that sugar too and makes that beer worse....
I did end up having a few bottles to fill. A stop at the store and I found some bigger labels to try out. With brew name, ABV%, and a QR code linking to the recipe, gift giving will now be more informative! I should have been doing it months ago!

So now I'll keep that Rye Stout in the kegs until I either build a kegerator or I acquire more empty bottles to work with. Let's hope that the potentially infected keg improves for the sake of drinking. Cheers!

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