So I ended up having free time today and ended up bottling. I feel pretty ok with it after reading a post that suggested 3 days to be sufficient to give me a boost of aroma. I ended up with a slightly higher hop and citrus zing in the aroma, (which is what I was shooting for.) This is definitely an experimental batch in terms of procedure. I think next time around I'll be less antsy and have the will to go for the long haul (especially since I'll be doing an RIS next.)
I didn't taste it today during bottling, but I did last night when I took my FG. I ended up at 1.01 and it tasted pretty good. A little bit more bitter, but I assume its because my thief took the sample from the midst of floating hops. It tasted especially nice after some time in the freezer.
Here's what I would change:
- Remember the whirlfloc tablet
- Increase the strike water volume by about bout .5-1gal. I started with 6 gal this time around and ended up with 4gal in my bottling bucket today.
- Make more effort to get all my LME out of the bag, maybe even rinse it out with warm wort. (My OG was under by about .02 of the estimated range.)
- Forgo the muslin bag over the auto-siphon. It seemed to cause too many problems and killed suction a little bit.
- I'm still debating on using a secondary. I think I will for the stout I'm going to do next and similar for aging but I don't think I will for things like simple ales.
- I might increase my flavor hop addition by .5-1oz to get more flavor but not so much more bitterness
Looking over that list... I feel #3 and #4 might cancel each other out... I just dont see this working out that way. Any input?
I Also think I'll cold crash the bottles after they carb up. I know cold crashing is used to keep at little yeast etc out of the bottles in the first place, but I'll settle for a clear pour into a glass.
I definitely learned a lot this first run. I also found out how addicting this hobby is! My equipment stash is growing steadily... and I already want a mash tun and second burner to go all grain... Oy vey.