matthewarren

21Jan/113

Adventures in Homebrew II: The Bottling

I've had our beer bottled for about two weeks now, but lots has happened in those two weeks and, as a result, my blog has suffered.  Solid Orange American Wheat has successfully been transformed from this:

Beer, after 24 hoursTo this:

Bottle #1And here's how I did it:

First off, I had to collect some bottles.  I haven't had good beer in months because of my low-carb diet, so I had to go scrounge in other places.  Laura Alberts was good enough to donate 12 bomber bottles, I had saved a couple up, and my cousin came through with a few Heineken bottles from a weekend on the boat.  I was planning on labeling them myself, so the stickers had to come off.

Bottles in the sinkAfter a few minutes soaking, they came right off.  I ran them through the dishwasher afterward, and put some sanitizer into the detergent compartment so that they'd all be sanitized.  This had the added benefit of making my dishwasher smell nice.  While they were being dried, I got the beer ready to be moved into its final destination.  First off, I had to transfer it into a bottling bucket so that the sediment didn't get reintegrated into the beer.

Sediment.  Gross.I hooked up my siphon, and away it went.

Siphoning the beerWhile that happened, I lined my bottles up and hoped that I had collected enough.  I wasn't really sure what would happen if I didn't, but I figured that I'd cross that bridge if I came to it.

BottlesI moved the siphon over to the bottling bucket and filled up each bottle, which became fairly tedious about halfway through.  Luckily, I had calculated correctly and had three bottles left over.

Finished bottlesThey sat in the guest room for a couple weeks, and then they were ready for initial tasting.  First, though, I had to make a label.  I whipped this up in Photoshop, printed it on some stick-on labels, and then they were ready to go:

Solid Orange Label

The first tasting was interesting.  There's not nearly as much orange as I was hoping there would be, and it's a little watery.  I'm going to let it sit for a little while longer though, as both of those things should improve over time.  The overall taste is very enjoyable, and I'm pretty impressed with how it turned out.  Hopefully, it'll hit its prime right in the middle of football season.

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  1. When I did this, I found it hard to keep each bottle consistent, but looks like you have better equipment

  2. I have one of these: http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/bottling/bottling-accessories/fermtech-bottle-filler.html

    Basically, you push the end of it on the bottom of the bottle, and when you lift up, it closes the valve. When you push back down, the beer starts flowing again. It works really well, and it’s definitely worth the $2.75.

  3. Nice job, Matthew. Let me know if you need any help with the final step of this process.


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