Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Autumnal Ale gets bottled, sort of...

I bottled tonight and it didn't go well. I transferred out of my primary fermenter bucket to my bottling bucket. No secondary. The hydrometer sample tasted mostly phenolic and bitter with some clove, with a moderate amount of caramel malt flavor from the amber LME I used. Amber hue. All seemed okay until I was trying to get some of the last gallon of beer out of the bottling bucket....and CRASH! The bottom of the tilted bucket slipped and crashed down on top of several of the already filled bottles on the floor, breaking one bottle and knocking several over. Beer filled half my kitchen and spilled out into the living room. The worst homebrewing accident I've experienced. I hindsight I did at least a couple things wrong. I didn't follow my usual procedure of filling the bottles. I sat on my kitchen floor with the bottling bucket positioned on a stool above me. I filled each bottle, rested a cap on top and left it on the floor. So here are the two things: I usually sit in a chair while filling the bottles and I usually set them on the counter. Had I been sitting in a chair, I would have been more level with the bucket (it wouldn't have been above me) and I probably would have been in a better situation to catch it as it fell. Also, had folowed my usual procedure of placing the filled bottles on the counter instead of setting them on the floor, the bottles wouldn't have been knocked over and broken by the falling bucket. The lesson here is to always follow your standard operating procedure that has been successful and safe. Deviating from that course opens up the possiblity of something unexpected happening.

Here's the recipe, for what's it's worth -

BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: saison d'automne
Brewer: Marc Morency
Asst Brewer: 
Style: Saison
TYPE: Partial Mash
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.50 gal      
Boil Size: 3.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 5.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
2.00 lb       Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM)         Dry Extract  24.24 %       
3.00 lb       Amber Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM)            Extract      36.36 %       
2.00 lb       Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)             Grain        24.24 %       
0.75 lb       Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)                   Grain        9.09 %        
1.00 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %]  (40 min)   Hops         26.2 IBU      
2.00 oz       Opal [6.30 %]  (5 min)                    Hops         5.4 IBU       
0.50 lb       Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM)               Sugar        6.06 % 

Fermented with Wyeast 3711 French Saison at a mean temperature of 80 degrees F.