Ever since I got my temperature controller for my fridge, I’ve had bottled CornucopIPA in there, and fermenting Christmas Presence, as well as the old mead and cider that may or may not end up viable.
Each day, I’ve been checking on the CornucopIPA bottles to see if they’re ready yet. By and large, they are ready, but I still only take one at a time, since I like to let them condition for two full weeks at a warm temperature before fridging them all. I have been noticing that Christmas Presence continues to bubble through the airlock.
Activity had stopped, I thought, before I put the beer in the warm temperature controlled fridge. It is set to 70, while the basement it sits in varies between 60 and 65 these days. I guess the stable temp re-invigorated the yeast in the fermenter. This US-05 is good stuff!
So bottling time anyway – I am sick of waiting for it, besides, it must be done by now. When I popped off the lid, sure enough, there were many little clusters of bubbles on the surface of the beer – signs of activity that I would tell a newbie to wait to be gone before bottling. But not me – I am boldly defying intelligence and bottling anyway.
I took a gravity reading, first, to be on the safe side, and it reads 1.013! In case you missed it, my OG was 1.080. This makes my beer 8.8% ABV! Wow! Plus the FG is so low, it MUST be done dropping – how much more fermentable sugar could be in there? So I bottled it. I think it will be fine. I will monitor the plastic bottle, and fridge it when it is time, and probably drink it all before the yeast gets a chance to wake back up and get back to work. So I am not worried.
Nervous due to past bad experiences getting beers 8.5% ABV and up to condition properly, I used the technique that I used last time with CornucopIPA, where I took a generous portion of the yeast from the bottom of the fermenter into my bottling bucket. Since CornucopIPA was drinkably carbonated in about two days, I think there might be something to this strategy. Time will tell if it worked as well for Presence.
So as I bottle, I always taste the hydrometer sample. This is great! It is a little harsh on the alcohol, which should mellow a bit with time, cold, and carbonation, but even if it doesn’t it is a winter warmer for sure! The flavor and aroma are burnt, almost smoky. As I labeled the bottles, all I could smell was something like milk chocolate. I am super excited to have this one ready to go.