Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bottles of Beer!

Another step in the beer brewing process has been achieved today.  After returning yesterday from our vacation we spent today bottling our first batch of home brewed beer. 

We cleaned the kitchen, got everything set up and sanitized our tools.  We popped the carboy up on the counter and siphoned it into the bottling bucket on the floor.  During this process we also took a sample for the hydrometer and we added the priming sugar solution.  We realized at this point that we had recorded our initial gravity reading incorrectly and because of that we were unable to calculate our alcohol content.  So, the recipe suggested that it would be about a 4.5% alcohol beer so we're going with that. It was also a good time to taste the beer.  The color was a perfect brown color and it tasted like not-half-bad flat beer, which I suppose is exactly what it is supposed to taste like at this point.  I can't wait for it to condition in the bottles so we can taste it with the right carbonation. 

At this point, it was time to  bottle the beer.  We used typical amber colored 12 ounce bottles which we had washed, sanitized and rinsed.  We used the sweet bottle rinsing attachment on the kitchen sink.  It is a little brass doohickey that goes on the faucet and points up with a lever that when you push the bottle down, pressurized water swooshes into the bottle.  What fun! 

We put the bottling bucket up on the counter and tried at first to use the spigot to bottle the beer.  I found this method messy.  So we attached the siphon hose to the spigot along with a nifty spring loaded attachment.  You stick that into the bottle and press down until it fills up to the mouth of the bottle and when you remove the device the bottle is filled to a perfect level.  It worked very well.  Then we set the bottles in the dishwasher just to dry, which you can see behind me. 

Of course, after bottling comes bottle capping. We have the simple hand held bottle capping tool and it was so easy to use that even I could do it.  It didn't require any sort of brute force, just the right downward pressure and it was a snap. 

As I said, now it is a waiting game.  The bottles need to sit and condition in a cool, dry place.  This will ensure that it they are carbonated properly.  I believe that we will end up with a thoroughly drinkable beer. 

In other beer news, I also received a package today containing the ingredients for my next two batches of beer.  I found a great website called Austin Homebrew Supply where they sell "kits" for beer making but not the traditional beer kit in a box like the one we just did.  Essentially, they have developed several recipes and sell you the combinations of ingredients to brew that particular beer.  It opens the door for some experimentation as well.  We ordered the recipe and ingredients for another brown as well as for an ESB.  We are in Atlanta this coming weekend so we think we might brew up our second batch of beer while we're home. 

1 comment:

  1. How cool that you went to the bottling process!! Isn't it fun? We had the nice experience of worrying that our bottle capper, something that I thoroughly enjoy, was making funny noises this time around. Some of the screws were not exactly loose, but needed a little lubrication. Yay for olive oil! Can't wait to try your first batch when it's all done.