Belated Bottling and Secondary

Thursday I realized as I got ready to bottle that I was out of bottle caps.  So I had to put off bottling until last night.  I bottled my first Orange Wheat beer and am very excited to try it in a few weeks.  This is the first brew I did not use a prepackaged bag of priming sugar but measured out sugar cane to prime with. I used two thirds of a cup of cane sugar boiled in one cup of water for my five gallons of brew.  Ideally this should give me about 2.6 Volumes of CO2.  I took a SP of 1.010 at 68 degrees before I added my priming sugar to my Orange American Wheat which should give me an abv of 5.1%.  I got just over 50 bottles from this brew and hopefully it will turn out with a nice sweet orange flavor.

To clean and cap my bottles I talked my lady friend into helping.  She does not like beer in the slightest but she knows I love to brew so she wanted to help. You know you found a good girl when she will volunteer to help clean and cap your bottles, two of my least favorite things in brewing.

After I bottled my Orange American Wheat I moved my second orange brew, my Orange Wheat, to secondary.  I took a SP of 1.010 at 68 degrees so this brew should have around 4% abv.  This is a lower abv but it will help me determine when and how I will like to add my orange flavoring.  In another 12 days I plan to bottle this batch, which will be my second to last brew before the semester is over.

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Brew 4 Orange Wheat

Today I brewed my fourth brew, a wheat beer with orange zest.  This was my second non-kit brew and I am starting to experiment with flavors and ingredients.  I used a can of wheat extract and a can of light extract, and used saaz hops for the first time today.  I added orange zest in the last 5 minutes of boil to compare to adding peels in primary like in my last brew. I used the white lab hefeweizen ale yeast WLP300 again as it seems to be working nicely in my last brew, but this time I remember to take it out of the fridge four hours before adding it to the wort like the bottle suggests.

Last night I built a wort chiller using 10 feet of 3/8 OD soft copper tubing and two 5 feet pieces of 3/8 ID food grade tubing.  I was hoping I could get the wort chiller started with my auto siphon and pull ice water from a bucket to chill the brew but the suction would not keep the water flowing so I had to continuously pump the auto siphon.  I chilled the brew to 80 degrees and took a specific gravity of 1.040 before I added my yeast.

I have my preferred airlock in use on my first orange wheat while it is in secondary.  This caused me a bit of dismay because I had to use my 3-piece airlock which I have never used before but hopefully I have it in place right and it will not cause a problem for me.  The beer closet currently had over 15 gallons of homebrew in it before I removed the case of German light.  So much homebrew would make anyone smile.