I bottled the American Pale Ale portion of my first 10 gallon batch over the weekend. Surprisingly it went rather smoothly. I actually ended up with more than I thought – I estimated 4.75 gallons and ended up with an even 5 gallons. That extra 2 ½ beers could make the difference!
I also bought a hydrometer last week and finally got around to checking my original gravities (On brew day I broke my hydrometer so I collected samples and put them in the refrigerator). The APA/Belgo-American Pale Ale came in at 1.055, which is much higher than I was expecting considering my mashing difficulties. Final gravity dropped to 1.011 and the hydrometer sample was out of this world. Of course Murphy’s Law, a brewing-related day is never allowed to go perfectly. I went to check the original gravity of the second runnings that I am tentatively calling an ordinary bitter. I didn’t collect enough. So, I proceeded to collect an equal amount of tap water (which I checked to ensure was 1.000), mixed the two together and took the hydrometer reading of the mixture. I’m not sure this is right, but if the 50% wort 50% water mixture measures 1.0125, can I presume that the specific gravity of the wort alone is 1.025? I’m no chemist, but that’s what I’m going to go with. Unfortunately this is a little low for an ordinary bitter (BJCP minimum OG is 1.032) so it is probably going to seem a bit light and overly bitter. Hopefully it’ll make a good lawnmower beer at about 3% ABV.