Friday, February 24, 2012

Homebrew update: Bottling!

After patiently waiting for the beer to ferment, it's finally time to bottle. I had been putting bottles back for a few months because I was planning on recycling, but reusing them is just as good. I soaked the bottles in water for a few hours, then started taking off the labels. Once I got enough naked bottles, I ran them through the dishwasher to make sure they were clean.

The night before bottling I sanitized all the bottles, bucket, bottling wand, caps and hoses. I boiled the priming sugar and added it to the second fermenter, allowing it cool for a few minutes. Once it was cool enough, I transfered the beer into the second fermenter. I stole a quick sip and was pretty satisfied, considering it was flat, room temperature beer.

Filling the bottles with the wand was pretty straight forward. I didn't make too much of a mess, though I did over fill a couple. I put the bucket on top of the fridge so I wouldn't have to fill the bottles on the floor. I used a regular hand held capper to cap the bottles, which worked fine enough. However, I'd really like to invest in a better model, or perhaps reusable caps.

I filled and capped 42 bottles. Now it's time to play the waiting game again, for another 2 to 3 weeks as the beer carbonates in the bottles.

This whole event has been quite the learning experience. Whether or not this batch is great, I definitely feel I learned enough to improve our technique and procedures next go around. Our next update will be in a few week and will be the most exciting... tasting! Stay tuned.

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