Adventures in Home Brewing: Rantlers! Bottling

After two weeks of primary fermentation, it was time to get my homebrewed Christmas ale, Rantlers!, into bottles for their final conditioning stage.

Final Gravity came in at somewhere between 1.014 and 1.017. I always have trouble reading the gravity on this stuff. It’s all approximate, but it’s still in the appropriate range I was expecting, and gives me an ABV of around 6.4% (give or take). I swear, even the calculators out there aren’t consistent, but this is around what I was expecting, and represents somewhere around a 74% attenuation, which is about right.


This is basically in line with what I was shooting for, so all seems well there. It smells really nice for sure, but maybe the spices weren’t as strong as I remembered from previous batches (despite using the same spicing regimen)… but then, we’ll see what happens after it bottle conditions.

Speaking of which, I didn’t do much in the way of fancy bottling techniques, but I did make some fortified versions, utilizing the last of an Elijah Craig Cask Strength store pick that clocked in at 66.5% ABV. This fortification technique is something I tried out with my last homebrew. Unfortunately, the base beer didn’t turn out well and the Scotch I used wasn’t my favorite, so the results were encouraging but not amazing (it was certainly an improvement over the beer by itself, so that’s why I say it was encouraging).

This time around, I’m going with a much higher proof bourbon, which is likely to pay better dividends. If my calculations are correct, a mere 60 ml of that EC bourbon should bring this beer up to around 15% ABV. It will most likely not carbonate at all, but that’s to be expected (and the sort of “still” beer experience is something I’ve found interesting of late – some breweries are doing interesting things in that space). One of these days, I should try a full on kegging of the fortified treatment (which would allow for some carbonation), but I digress.

In a week or two, these suckers should be ready for drinking, allowing for plenty of time for gift giving and such. Merry Christmas season to all, and now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of cleaning to do…

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