Marathon bottling my homebrew. So the time arrived. I had 10 gallons of brew ready to bottle. It took me several days to prepare. It took several hours to complete. So here is the rest of the story.
My wife was leaving for the long holiday weekend to see a friend. Before she even left, I was already soaking bottles in oxyclean and water, and using a scraper to remove the rest of the residue. She even commented to me that she hadn’t even left yet. For the soak, I submerged bottle in a bottling bucket with a not so measured amount of oxyclean and hot water. As each batch came out of the bucket and was cleaned off, I tossed them in the dishwasher for a sanitizer cycle. Needless to say, the dishwasher was run quite a bit this past weekend. I got over 45 bomber bottles ready, and about 80 something regular bottles. I did so many, as I knew I had Pater Saazy Pils and Throw Mama From the Flame ready to go.
As I readied myself to go, I transfer the Pater Saazy Pils to the bottling bucket. I was sure to leave a little in the fermenter. I did this as I planned to recapture the yeast for future batches. During my transfer from the primary to the bottling bucket, I was amazed by the nice light color, and the clarity of the beer. I fermented this right around 50 degrees for 3 months, and it allowed the sediment to drop out nicely. Next time, I may even try fermenting at a lower temperature to see if that makes a difference as well. I had fermented over six gallons, as I didn’t measure my water into the pot when brewing….eyeballing doesn’t always work. So, as I prepared to bottle, I had a pot boiling water and pint jars for the yeast recapture…multitasking at its best.
Since the Pater Saazy Pils was made for my grandfather, who is currently 90, I made sure that I had a over a case worth of 12 oz bottles. He likes his beer, but a bomber is too much for him at one time now. I also snagged 20 bombers. In total, 48 filled bottles is great yield for a “five gallon” batch. I was quite happy overall with this batch and can’t wait to taste the results! Father’s Day should be a great target to taste!
Since I had all the gear out, it was a quick process to shift gears to bottle Throw Mama From The Flame. I toyed with the idea of adding the whole fermented peppers into random bottles, but I talked myself out of it due to the size that some had swelled to. I got an average yield from this batch, which will be featured in a future appearance on the Making Dad Show
After both batches were bottled, taped, and labeled, I harvested the yeast from Pater Saazy Pils. I think this is when I decided that in the future, I will overbuild my starters instead…..it may just be easier. Then finally, the worst part of the whole process, cleanup. I hate the cleanup, but it is an obviously important step. If you fail to clean properly, you set yourself up for infections in the future.
- I LOVE the spring loaded bottling wand – drips and overfills didn’t happen for a stuck tip of the wand. Get one of these.
- These were the first batches that I used my new refractometer. Easy to use, just remember to write down all your readings! I found. This calculator to be helpful for my numbers.
- Homebrew is meant to share…..even if it means you don’t be your bottles back. Just ask buddies to save you their bomber bottles….it helps!
- Overbuilding starters rather than harvesting the yeast means a stir plate…..yes, I know, I am late to that game.