We had our first bottling day in over 5 years. Actually, I think it’s closer to 6 years since the last batch of beer we brewed we never bottled. But we’re back on track now.
First, we had to test the beer to be sure we’re on track for the proper final gravity.
It was pretty close to 5% at this time, but it had only been one week since brewing, and the plans were to bottle in two weeks if it would be ready. We were confident at this point that it would be ready. So we took a taste of it so far, and gave a toast to our daughter (the main brewer for this beer) since she wasn’t there with us to test and taste!
Bottling day! After getting through the process of making sure everything was thoroughly clean after being in storage, we started the preparations. Boiled the water with the corn sugar. Did another testing (5.1% now). Took the sanitized bottles out of the dishwasher, and put them through another round of StarSans. Cooled the sugar, carefully stirred it in the FastFermenter (did I say how much I like the large opening at the top of this!) Then up on the counter it went. We actually have a mount in our laundry room to store it, and we may try bottling in there next time. We’ll see though! Oh, and did I also mention how much I like the fact that we didn’t have to rack it to another container?!! Close the valve at the bottom, take off the container with the trub, attach the bottling hose and equipment and we’re ready to go!
We had a pretty good system. My daughter sanitized the bottles, I filled them, and my husband put on the bottle cap.
We used to have a small one that you held on to handles on both sides and clamped the cap. We broke that one after about one year! Now we have this larger one. It’s still manual, but it works great! As my husband bottled, my daughter also helped to box the beer.
Isn’t that a pretty site! Well, not exactly pretty, but knowing there are 24 bottles conditioning in the bottom of your pantry (to be in a cool, dark place, safe from any potential bottle explosions) getting happy is a good thing! My daughter took the other 24 bottles to her house to bottle condition and share.
My daughter, happy after the completion of her first round of brewing. And since I’m posting this one week late, I can already say the beer tastes great! Not fully carbonated when we tried it, but a small head after one week. I’ll be sharing a few this week!