I bottled the Belgian Noel today after just two days in the secondary fermenter. The airlock had not shown any evidence at all of further fermentation in the secondary, so I called it done. This is great timing since the ingredients for my next batch just came. Since I now have a bottling bucket I decided to add the priming sugar to the whole batch of beer at once instead of adding it individually to each bottle as I went. Adding sugar to the bottles is really tedious, so I’m glad to have an alternative now.
I used John Palmer’s nomograph chart from the book “How to Brew” to calculate the amount of corn sugar to add to the beer. The chart is designed for a five gallon batch so I just cut the amount of sugar in half, which turned out to be 2.1 ounces in order to get 2.5 CO2 volumes, which is at the high end of the recommended range for Belgian ales. Some bottles in the first batch of the Belgian Noel were a bit under-carbonated and I really didn’t like it much, so I decided to err on the high side this time.
I transferred the beer from the secondary fermenter to another bucket without a spout. The original plan was to use the bucket with the spout as the bottling bucket, but since I had to move the beer again in order to mix the sugar in, things didn’t work out that way so I used the siphon method instead. The auto siphon along with the bottling wand made relatively short work of this half batch of beer.