Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keith's Bent Stick Lager will be ready for New Years Eve

As you know by the earlier post, we have been playing with the carboys again and we whipped out a nice batch of hefeweizen a couple of weeks ago, which was spectacular (my reserve was gone on Christmas Eve). But, we also brewed a European Lager that is intended to be as close to Stella Artois as possible.

Stella was originally brewed in the 1300s as a holiday beer, so it only seemed fitting to bring some to life in Keith's garage this holiday season... plus Keith has one of those beverage coolers that we used to cold ferment the beer, which is the true way to brew an authentic Lager. It was my first time using this method, and so far I am pleased with the results -- with one minor exception.

Look at my last post with the picture of the carboys sitting in the beverage cooler... can you see anything wrong with that picture? Of course, I can see my mistake now, but I missed it completely at the beginning of the fermentation process.

Anyone who understands brewing and proper storage of beer should be able to spot the mistake too. Thankfully, it did not damage the brew too much and there are some people who actually like the added effect that was created.

Anyway, I can't wait to try the finished product, which should be close to done by News Years Eve... we bottled a few in Grolch style bottles to help speed the carbonation... I'll post the pictures of the finished product once it's complete...

Oh, and the name? It is derived from our pseudonyms on the Spokesman Review's Huckleberries Online Blog: Keithincda, Bent, and Stickman...

Here are some pictures on our bottling party yesterday. In the picture above, Stickman is doing the honors of filling the bottles this time.
Let the siphoning begin... 

Capping the 22-ouncers after Stickman filled them up...

Those growler bottles sure hold the beer nicely...


  1. Such a fun afternoon. I am really getting the hang of this whole process and I enjoy it very much. Especially the finished product. I also look forward to helping as much as I can in the future brews. Of course I know the answer to your question, but only because you told me. I hope it has the minimal effect. The one Stella bottle you gave me popped its cork overnight. I hope that won't bother it. I put it back on and put something heavy over it. I think it might have been uncorked most of the night till I found the cork this morning. Otherwise, I look forward to trying this outstanding brew and to enjoying all of the ones you and keith make in the future. Thanks again for involving me in this whole process. The Stickman

  2. Yeah, I kind of figured that would happen... it should be fine though... keep an eye on it. By the way, I talked with Jim at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane and he said to keep the beer in a warm place for 7-10 days and then move it into a cooler area to store for any amount of time. He said it will be its best after it it carbonated for 7-10 days and stored in cooler temps in the 40s or 50s for another 7-10 days. Apparently, to "lager" a beer means to "store" the beer. The cold reacting yeast aids in the conditioning of the beer in cooler temps... I learn something new everytime I do this... go figure!

  3. I guess serving it for New Year's is out then. If you still have any of the other, maybe you could bring a bottle or two on New Year's day. I doubt anyone will show up here, as the temps will be very cold and not many will want to sit outside in 15 degree temps. The Polar Bear plunge will be the main event, and I guess we will save our Keith's Bent Stick Lager for later in January. Mine is sitting over the water heater and next week I will move it to a cooler spot for at least another week or two. Can't wait to try it though.

  4. I give up- what is the "mistake" in the cooler picture? It just looked like two carboys with fermentation locks on top, happily fermenting into delicious beer.

    I just finished bottling a kit beer- New Zealand Company Bitter by BlackRock. Hope it is drinkable.

  5. @Stickman, no we can still drink it this coming weekend... it'll be read, but Jim said once it is carbonated, store the carbonated bottles in a cooler place. Normally you would store them in a warm place until you are ready to drink it, but with this yeast the beer gets better when stored in a cooler environment...

    @ Eric the cooler we used had florecent lights. Those lights put out a lot of UV rays which are responsible for "skunking" beer. I detected a minor skunk aroma at the end of the fermentation process, and we shut the lights off... I think a lot of it will disipate when beer conditions in the bottles and the flavor and aroma of the hops begin to come out stronger...

  6. Bent: I expect a lot of people down this way this weekend, for the Plunge of course. I will save a spot for you in my driveway if you need it. As for the brew, I will let mine sit for a couple of more weeks, so I wouldn't advertize on the blog that we are actually having an event and a tasting. It will be brutally cold, and I doubt anyone will show up to try any beer. Plus, it would probably freeze as soon as you open it. If we have any bloggers and such that really want to try your newest creations, let's wait till an actual Blogfest is planned and then we will go from there. As for trying it this weekend, I am am definitely for that, though it just may be you and me. Which is fine, because I like small crowds. The Stickman

  7. How do you get the siphoning started without a spigot at the bottom of the carboy?

  8. Bent: I tried the Lager yesterday and it's very good. Much different than the first batch we made, the hefe. I figured I waited long enough and will continue with a bottle every few days or so till it's gone. I did let my sons try it on Sunday and they really liked it. They only got to split one bottle though, must be the selfishness in me showing through. Let me know when the next brewing will be and of course I will help out again as much as I can. Still no word on the blogfest, maybe it will just not happen this year. DFO seems to be holding back on that one. We'll see. The Stickman

  9. @ Turling I used a "Racking Cane." Se this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpHJ0duzzQg

    @ Indoorfountain, it is awesome...

    @ Stickman, I hear you man...

  10. Bent: Let me know the next time you are around my area and I'll try to be here to give you all of your bottles back, including the growler. It was very good, and I enjoyed it all. The Stickman

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