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Jan 16, 2008
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For anyone interested in the progress of the Munton's IPA... Straight from the blog:

With the prospect of some time on Sunday where I might be able to bottle the Munton’s IPA , I decided it was time to take a hydrometer reading. I still don’t have a trial jar, though I hope to get one from the homebrew shop on Saturday. That mean carefully taking the lid off, at which point there was a noticeable hiss - yet more signs of life I hoped. I gently placed the hydrometer in the beer and took the above picture, before also holding the thermometer in the beer. The temperature settled at 16.5 degrees again. The gravity however I still find a little difficult to read, what with the markings only down one part of the hydrometer, as well as trying to decide exactly what level the reading is at. I settled on a reading of 1016, or possibly a tiny fraction below (though certainly much closer to 1016 than 1015). I had hoped for a reading of 1014 or less - the suggested finishing gravity in the instructions, but it does look like fermentation has just about finished, having changed so little now.

If it looks like I will have time to bottle on Sunday, I will first use the trial jar I should have by then, and take a final reading and a taste. If the gravity is still at 1016 and it tastes nice, I will bottle it. While at the brew shop, I will buy some light spraymalt to prime the bottles with (as suggested by the instructions on the box (and on various forums). I believe this is a better choice that standard sugar, in terms of the final flavour produced. I have opted to prime the bottles as I do not have a bottling bucket to siphon the beer into (while leaving the yeast sediment behind) and I do not want to stir sugar in and disturb all the sediment. I have bought some cheap measuring spoons to ensure I can prime each bottle with a very similar estimate of 1/2 teaspoon of spray malt, hopefully reducing the chances of any explosions.

I am looking forward to getting this brew bottled, both so that its closer to being ready and so that I can kick off the next one and see how well that copes with the temperatures.