I made beer!

So awhile back I wrote about my clumsy attempt to brew my first beer. Fortunately it seems beer is rather forgiving, and I have to say unsealing the bucket after a month of studiously not investigating and having it smell like a good beer was amazing.  Of course, it wasn't ready to drink yet; I still had to add a simple syrup, rack it off, then let it sit for a few weeks.

With a bottling bucket, racking off isn't that bad of a process.  Yes, kegging would be quicker but I don't have the resources to get into that at this time and bottles are more mobile.  I did start out trying to use my siphon set up and soon gave up.  I probably did stir up the sediment somewhat, so I will have to be more careful about that next time.  For the most part it was very easy leave the sediment behind when pouring into the bottling bucket.  I may try my uncle's trick of pouring through panty hose to filter next time.

A few things I did learn from this (and from asking questions since at DIY Brew):
  • However many bottles I think I need, sanitize more.
  • Yes, the sediment is part of the process, don't filter it out until racking off.
  • Brewing is a lot more forgiving than I feared.
  • Make sure I have an extra pair of hands for transferring the beer into the bottling bucket.
  • It is definitely worth racking off in some bottles that I don't care if I get back, otherwise sharing is awkward.
The end result is a pretty decent pumpkin beer, a little cloudy, but nothing too bad.  Some bottles have a little more sediment than others.  I'm curious how beer will come out when I make it during the colder months.  I wasn't able to chill the wort as quickly as I'd like, and while under my bed is one of the coolest places in the house, it is not the same as a cold cellar (at least during the summer) or a fridge to let the beer finish after bottled.

Feedback indicates that my Possibly Pumpkin Wheat is a success, so I will shortly be starting a new beer.  Future investments down the line may include acquiring some bottles with swing tops, with kegging only like to be pursued under certain conditions that might not be met for some time.


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