Monday, August 23, 2010

the Irish red

This weekend, we bottled beer! What a process!! Bottles had to be sanitized and rinsed before they can be filled with our yummy 6% Irish Red. I had no idea bottling beer would be so extensive!!

Fortunately Klark had previously peeled the labels, so we could start right in with the sanitizing.

He also bought this neat little bottle washer doo-hickey that attaches to the host spigot and works by pressing the bottles down. It's awesome for rinsing the sudsy sanitizer from inside the bottles.

After all 50-odd bottles were sanitized, rinsed, and placed in the sanitized cooler for safe-keeping, it was time to do the next round of magic on the beer.  

and yes... those are soda bottles, they can be used for beer! who knew?

The first week Klark brewed and then placed in the first carboy with yeast for fermentation; then we transferred to the second carboy for secondary fermentation. Saturday, he added some sort of sugar mixture which will turn into carbonation in the bottles and then transferred everything into a bucket.

Finally ready for bottling. I chose to sit and manage the auto-siphon while Klark directed the beer flow into the bottles. 

Finally, after all of the bottles were filled, the time came for capping.

Capping took a few tries... note the frustration and determination on Klark's brow in the upper left hand corner of the image...

... and the way the bottle is suspended in mid-air by the capper.

But no beer was spilled! I didn't take any pictures of the finished, and capped bottles, as the process was significantly longer than the 15 minutes I anticipated. 

Go Figure.

At least we know now... that next time we may want to consider filling soda kegs and placing in the brand new kegerator.

Klark has been telling everyone how awesome I am because I bought him a kegerator.

I'm glad he's so easy to please.

In a week or two, we will be able to try the fully carbonated beer --- come on little sugars, do your work!!!!

It would have been wonderful to relax after all that hard work with a nice beer, but instead we took a cue from Lucy the WonderDog...

... and just relaxed.


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