DIY - Russian River Blind Pig IPA - Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of DIY - Russian River Blind Pig IPA!
It's been 7 days and our Blind Pig IPA has been fermenting in temps ranging from 68 to 72 degrees. I have been trying my best to control the temps but this weather has been ridiculous. And now it's time for the secondary fermentation. You can begin the secondary fermentation at anytime between 7 to 10 days. I chose to do it at 7 days hoping the hops would have more time to infuse into the beer.
If you remember from Part 1, the recipe includes the following for the secondary fermentation:
.5 oz Cascade - Dry hops are added to the secondary fermentation
1 oz Willamette - Dry hops added to the secondary fermentation
1 oz American Oak Chips - Add to secondary fermentation for 7 - 10 days
It's time to prep for the process of secondary fermentation. First thing you want to do is sanitize, sanitize, sanitize! Get the following equipment to sanitize: hydrometer, thermometer, tubing, syphon, bucket, lid and spigot.
Your job now is to transfer your fermenting beer to a new sanitized bucket with the additional hops and oak chips. But you want to be careful to keep out as much oxygen and bacteria as possible during the transfer.
While your equipment is sanitizing, carefully move your fermenting beer to the area where you will be transferring it to the new sanitized bucket.
When moving your beer try not to shake it. Place your beer bucket up on a table or chair to provide gravity during the syphoning into the new bucket. You will see the yeast caked on top of the bucket and a ton resting at the bottom. Your goal is to transfer as much of the clear beer without any leftover yeast into the new bucket.
Once all of your equipment is sanitized you can begin. Place your newly sanitized bucket on the floor on top of a towel to catch any splatter or accidental spills. Go ahead and add the last two hops and the oak chips to the newly sanitized bucket.
Carefully remove the lid from your beer. You may take another hydrometer reading at this point if you choose. Next insert your sanitized syphon with attached tubing into your beer. Insert the other end of the tubing into the new bucket to catch the beer being transferred.
Start syphoning! As the beer begins to flow into the new bucket, make sure it is not making a splash as that will add oxygen to the beer and you don't want that. Continue to let the beer flow all the way toward the bottom. You want to stop the transfer once you see that the syphon is at the point where it will begin picking up the leftover yeast on the bottom. Next add your sanitized lid and airlock to your new beer bucket. Then put it back in its dark corner and continue to ferment at 68 degrees for another 7 days.
Lalalala. Look at that. Another week has gone by and the beer is ready to be bottled!!!
Guess what time it is? You guessed it! Sanitizing time! It's never ending but so important. Sanitize your bottling equipment including your long spoon, tubing, bottle filler, bottle capper, bottle caps, bottling bucket, spigot, bottles, and hydrometer.
The most cumbersome part of all of this is cleaning and sanitizing your bottles. I have collected various sizes of brown bottles and continue to recycle them for my homebrews. To clean them I use a little dish soap and my bottle brush. Rinse them well and then sanitize generously. Do not worry about having sanitizer bubbles left in your bottles. It is safe. Set your bottles aside.
Now it is time to bring your beer out of the closest. You will notice the beer is much clearer and the oak chips are floating on top. There will also be some left over yeast and hops on the bottom.
Place your beer on top of a chair or table to allow gravity to help you in transferring to your sanitized bottling bucket which needs to be done prior to bottling. You will syphon just like you did when you added the hops and oak chips for secondary fermentation. You want to do this to get rid of excess yeast, hops and chips.
Before you begin syphoning, take this time to boil your 4 oz of corn sugar. Boil with 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Turn off and let cool while you prepare to syphon and then bottle. Sorry but I don't have any pics for this step. But it's pretty straight forward.
Start syphoning into your sanitized bottling bucket. You will syphon just like you did before secondary fermentation. Leave the residue at the bottom of the fermenter bucket. You don't want to bottle that stuff.
After you have syphoned the beer out of your fermentation bucket, be sure to take your hydrometer reading. My final gravity was 1.009. My ABV is 6.7% Once done recording your final gravity, add your cane sugar and give it a gentle stir with your sanitized spoon. Next cover your bottling bucket with clear plastic wrap. This will help keep out any bacteria and oxygen. Then attach your tubing to the end of the spigot.
Attach your bottle filler to the other end of your tubing. Gather your bottles and begin bottling. You can find a ton of videos online regarding how to bottle. This process is done best with two people. My husband does the actual capping for me cause he is stronger and less clumsy than I am.
Be sure to add a towel under the bottles you are filling just in case you spill over.
Now pat yourself on the back! But wait you still need to wait another two weeks before drinking. This time lets the yeast feast on the added sugar creating the CO2. I keep my beers in a cool place most of the time but around day 12 I put a couple in the fridge to get ready to drink.
TIME TO DRINK
I was so excited to crack open my first beer. When I popped it open and poured it I was so happy. The foam was perfect with a great aroma of hops. The first taste was sweet and malty followed by insane hops. The color was a little darker than Russian Rivers Blind Pig but no one cares. The flavor is amazing!
I hope this was helpful. I am not a professional brewmaster but love to have fun with it. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. Good luck!