Category Archives: Homebrew

Oaked IPA Part 2: Transferring to the Secondary

I’m brewing an IPA this time around, but I wanted to give it a little something extra. To do this, I purchased some French Oak Chips. After reading a little on the homebrew forums, one member suggested sanitizing them in a liquor of some sorts. Since I am in Tennessee and I enjoy a good whiksey, I decided to go with Jack.

I began my brew process by putting the Oak chips in a container, then dousing them with a healthy amount of Jack.

The next step was to lay out all the equipment I would need to transfer the beer from the Primary to the Secondary. My secondary is a 5 gallon glass carboy. I also needed my racking cane, siphoning hose, airlock, and cork for the carboy. As always, everything must be sanitized. I prefer to use OneStep.

Secondary Fermentation Tools
Secondary Fermentation Tools
Sanitizing the Equipment
Sanitizing the Equipment
Carboy being Sanitized
Carboy being Sanitized

After I got everything all good and clean, I removed the lid from the primary to find a beautiful dark beer.

Beer in the Primary
Beer in the Primary

It was time to transfer from the primary to the secondary. I emptied out the OneStep out of the secondary and removed the rest of the tools from the sanitizing solution. I assembled my racking cane to the hose, and clipped it to the side of the primary. Then I started the siphon by simply creating a vacuum with my mouth.

Transferring via Siphon
Transferring via Siphon
Siphoning the beer into the Secondary
Siphoning the beer into the Secondary

After the beer had completed siphoning, I removed the Oak chips from the Jack by using a strainer. I then added them to the secondary and sealed it off.

Beer in the Secondary w/ Oak Chips
Beer in the Secondary w/ Oak Chips

Check out the color difference between the original Jack, and the stuff that came out of the Oak chip solution.

Before and After the Oak Chips
Before and After the Oak Chips

Curious as to what the primary looks like with no beer? Well, it’s just a bunch of spent yeast and hops.

Spent yeast and hops
Spent yeast and hops

I ended the session with putting it in the brew closet.

In the beer cellar
In the beer cellar

So that’s it for now! Next week I will be clarifying the beer with gelatin, then I will keg it! I’m excited as it is my first time doing both of those things. Stay Tuned.

Homebrew: Beginning the Oaked IPA

I thoroughly enjoy homebrewing, and I took the time to take pictures of this session so that I could share my hobby with others.

The first step is to get your notebook and your brewkit. I like to keep notes of my brewing. It’s not necessary, but it’s nice to go back and look.

Begin

Next, clean and sanitize your primary fermentor, air lock, and spoon. I washed it with Ajax dish soap, then sanitized with one-step.

Cleaning the primary
Sanitizer

After washing the primary, I put ice in it and filled it to the 2 gallon mark with water. I then set it outside. I did this because I have a wort chiller on order and will need a way to chill my wort. This will come in handy later.

Next, lay out all of your ingredients.

All of the ingredients

Time to start brewing. Get a pot of water to around 150F and steep your grains to create the wort.

Grains Steeping
Not exact, but close.

After steeping for 20 minutes, remove and discard. Then bring the water up to a nice rolling boil. At this point you will add your remaining malt. Whether they are dry, wet, or a mixture depends on the kit. I am brewing an IPA and mine had both.

Dry malt extract
Liquid Extract

Next you will add your bittering hops. Mine were Columbus, which were awesome smelling, and Cascade. It will look swampy and smell delicious.

Mmm, hoppy

This boils for 55 minutes. At the last 5 minutes, you boil in the flavoring hops. After it has boiled for an hour, remove the wort and cool it rapidly to 70F. This is where the ice water comes in, I simply poured the wort into the water. I then added enough cold water to make 5 gallons.

Room temp wort

Finally, add the yeast, give ‘er a stir, and set it in a dark cool place. It will sit in the primary for 2 weeks.

Yeast
In the brew closet

And here’s a treat. Two days later, it was bubbling. It does this because yeast eats sugar and gives off alcohol and carbon dioxide.