Beer Bottling and Instapot Beef Stew

I checked the potential alcohol on our beer today and found it to be at 1%. To find the alcohol by volume you subtract your final reading from your initial so ours is at 5% ABV. Witbier should fall between 4.5 and 5.5% so it’s ready to bottle!

First I needed to skim off some of the skum, which I did with a big spoon.

Much better!

Next I got the siphon going while Oliver dissolved our priming sugar in a bit of water. We added this to the buckets and filled them up.

We were able to siphon over nice clear beer, leaving all the thick hops and other debris in the bottom of the crock.

I showed Oliver how to use the siphon to fill the bottles, which we had sanitized in the dishwasher. Once he got the hang of it, he was a man on a mission.

While he filled, Soju was on clean up duty. Every drop of beer that fell on the floor, she immediately licked up. Schnauzers are definitely German dogs!

Every 10 or so bottles he filled, Oliver would stop and cap them. Then I’d wipe them down and set them aside. We made for a good team.

After all the bottles were capped and cleaned, Oliver wanted to make labels for them. He didn’t know what to call his brew. I suggested he name it after someone and he got a big smile on his face then typed “Soju’s Happiness Witbier”. Perfect!

We printed the labels and he carefully wrapped each bottle.

We boxed them back up and set them aside for another two weeks to build up carbonation.

The flavor was pretty nice already. I can’t wait to try it once it’s bubbly and cold!


This evening just felt like a stew night. I found this awesome beef stew recipe that uses Guinness to round out the flavor of the beef and root veggies. Try it out with your homemade stout!

Instapot Beef Stew

Adapted from The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante


  • 1.5 # beef stew meat, cut into 1″ chunks
  • S/P
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 large or several small onions (I used mix of small onions from my garden), diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 c Guinness
  • 2 T Worcestershire
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 T tomato paste
  • 1 t dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 large carrots (I used a heap of small ones from my garden), cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, quartered lengthwise & cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T water


  1. Season beef with salt & pepper.
  2. Select Sauté function on Instapot and heat oil for a moment. Add onion, garlic & mushrooms. Sauté 5 minutes or until onion is soft & translucent.
  3. Add beer, Worcestershire, mustard, tomato paste, rosemary and bay. Mix and bring to simmer then stir in beef.
  4. Seal lid and select Meat/Stew setting. Set for 30 minutes at high pressure.
  5. Let pressure release for 10 minutes then vent manually. Leave it sit on “stay warm” until just before eating. I did this part in the early afternoon and left it sit several hours while I went to a meeting.
  6. Open the pot, take out bay leaf and stir in the root veggies. Re-secure the lid and set to Manual, 3 minutes at high pressure. When finished, manually release the pressure.
  7. Whisk together cornstarch and water. Quickly stir into stew and cover several minutes to thicken.
  8. Serve over egg noodles of your choice.

All my boys gobbled this down! It’s definitely going into my regular rotation.

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