bottling the imperial espresso stout


christmas is upon us, and while brewing my partial mash IPA I decided to bottle a case of my imperial espresso stout as a gift for my pops.

  • CB was over and volunteered to help out.  I’m glad he did, since the whole event turned into a fiasco.
  • when I originally brewed this stout, I pitched a smack pack of wyeast 9097-PC Old Ale Blend that never seemed to take off, so I repitched with a vial of white labs high gravity ale yeast and kegged after a primary of over a month.
  • evidently, the brett in the original smack pack must have kicked in after kegging and went to town over the next 7 months.
  • I should have known that something was wrong when I went to charge the keg with a little CO2.  as soon as I stuck the ball lock on the gas in post, it popped right off.  I just shrugged it off and proceeded to plug in my cobra tap into the beer out post.
  • in true overcarbed fashion, as soon as the ball lock was seated, the keg pressure blew open the cobra tap and thick stout foam violently shot out of my attached bottling tube.
  • luckily, the whole assembly was in a bucket of sanitizer, so the mess was minimal, but if I had just hooked up the keg to my kegerator was I had originally planned, it would have been catastrophic.
  • after forcing the ball lock off after a couple seconds of panic, I tried purging the keg, which resulted in a blast radius of foam a few feet in diameter.
  • finally, CB came up with the idea of hooking the cobra tap to the gas in post.  we did, and after 5+ minutes of foam constantly pouring out of the tap, the keg was in equilibrium and ready to bottle.  phew!
  • however, the beer ended up tasting great and the brett gave it a little earthy funk that fit in with the roasted malt and heavy dose of espresso.  I think JF will enjoy this pitch-black brew after work or as a nightcap.
  • MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY! enjoy some great brews with some great company!

blowing off some foam in the keg

bottling the stout

the end result

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