Monday, November 9, 2009

The Brew is Bottled.

I intended on taking pictures of the bottling process, but that will just have to wait till another time. Use your imagination, there were bottles being filled with beer with a long hose siphoning from a 5 gal pail. There was a huge mess of beer on the floor and the counter and I had to shower before being allowed to come to bed. Cause I smelled like beer.

Enough about me though, let's talk about my beer. Friday night I bottled the stuff. It is looking and smelling and tasting pretty damn good. It is certainly hoppier than what I'm used to drinking, but not overly so. It's not the sort of beer that you would drink ten of. But one or two with a hearty steak would be a carnivorous dream come true.

I strayed from the strict instructions of the experts in one key way: I bottled some of the beers with screw-top bottles. I didn't have enough regular pop-top bottles to bottle all of the stuff, so I had to resort to whatever I could find. Some people say that the screw-top bottles can't be capped with a hand-capper. Maybe I'm just a natural, but it really didnt' seem like a problem. I could, however, imagine, that if there isn't a perfect seal on that bottle, that it won't become carbonated.

Just to explain, after you remove your fermented beer from the beer pale (and scrape the nasty stuff from the bottom of the bucket), you have to add some priming sugar. In my case, I added about 5oz of priming sugar, boiled in 2 cups of water. This gives the yeast a little more sugar to digest, but the priming sugar makes the yeast particularly gassy. You bottle up the beer, with your priming sugar, and the extra gas mixes with the beer and makes it carbonated. Some people use CO2 cartridges to accomplish the same thing, but that requires more equipment than the natural way of doing it.

I promise I'll post some pictures soon. Next fermentation projects will be making a small batch of Mead. It'll be a good opportunity to show some pictures. I have a rig worked out that will let me just make a gallon. 5 Gallons of Mead seems like a bit much.

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