Bottling Day

Finally!

It’s time to move the brew into its final home: forty seven sterilized amber bottles.

True to our form, we started the whole process at 8:30 pm on a Monday.

I baked the bottles again at 190 degrees to make sure they were dry and sterile. Then we brought the carboy and the bottling bucket into our kitchen, mixed up a sterilizing solution, and started wiping everything down.

The siphoning process went smoothly, giving us a great preview of the beer’s aroma. I followed my friend Paul’s advice to boil the priming sugar to sterilize and dissolve it before adding it to the bucket, which seemed to work great.

I’m not sure if it’s something we did wrong, but this is definitely looking more like a black ale. One reason might be from bottling straight from the primary fermentor, which increases the amount of Trub (pronounced troob) that gets into the bottles. Little taste tests, though still sweet from the priming sugar, were pretty awesome. Hoppy but smooth. With a little maturation, I think it’s going to be good stuff.

Once we had the bottling bucket filled, we attached the Bottling Wand and got to work; Kevin was the bottler, I was the capper.

We ran into some troubles with the modern capper once we got started…

So we traded out for the old one and we were in business!

Clean up went pretty smooth, except for the nightmares we might have given motorists as they caught passing flashes of us, barefoot and excited, violently shaking scummy water out of the carboy in our front yard at 9:30 at night.

Now we’re just soaking the remnants of the scum off the inside of the carboy. We did save some of the Trub, hearing that you can use it to make some really good soap. We’ll see, I guess.

Meanwhile we have three long weeks to admire the bottles before we can actually drink it.

And I’m coming to Vermont a week after that…

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