So, I’ve tried to avoid giving too many updates on the Brown Ale we started a while back since it’s just been hanging out for two weeks. For the first few days, the three of us checked the Carboy at least ten times each, squealing with joy every time a bubble appeared in the airlock.
Now it’s getting exciting, though.
We knew we would need bottles, so we started to talk about ways to get them. We asked bars, we thought about buying blanks, I even brought up asking my bottle-redemption obsessed friend Kyle for any of the garbage cans full of bottles that he always has on hand.
The best resource, though, happened to be the generous people of Peterborough. You see, we already have a recycling center where everyone brings their glass, paper, plastic, and whatnot so I figured, “Maybe we can set up something…”
I showed up the next day with a 55 Gallon trashcan and a sign asking for bottles. I cleared it with one of the workers and I let the town do its thing. I figured in a few days, me might get a handful of bottles.
Two days later, Kevin swings by to check on it.
It turns out that one of the other attendants at the center didn’t know what the barrel was for, so he dumped a days worth of bottles into the glass chute. “Bummer” I thought as Kevin told me.
“Actually, I think it’s a good thing.” He said, showing me our score.
In about eight hours, we had been given 96 perfect bottles.
Beyond worrying what to do with so many bottles, I’m now concerned with what other schemes I’ll hatch to get free stuff at the recycling center…
We set up three wash tubs and started removing labels. I was worried that this would be torture, but it actually was way smoother than I anticipated. Using a mix of dish soap and oxi-clean, the labels fell off in our hands and the adhesive scrubbed off with just a little effort. We rinsed everything out really well to make sure there was no soap scum left in the bottles.
Now we just had to dry them.
We threw out several ideas of how we could get this many bottles dry, none of them really sounding that good, until we thought about the oven. It has plenty of space and would be able to make sure that there was no leftover moisture in the bottles. We set it for 185 degrees so that it wouldn’t be too hot for the glass but would still sterilize the bottles while drying them out.
We were pretty proud of ourselves.
We still have a few days left before bottling, so we may have to do this sterilizing step again.
It’ll be in bottles so soon!