Phenology watch

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bottling Day!

Well, it's been two weeks since I brewed my first batch of beer using my Mr. Beer kit.  Next step:  bottling.

The kit I received included 8 16-oz plastic bottles with lids, and I debated whether to use those, or the bottles I've been collecting over the last few weeks.  (I went to my cousin's in Spokane for the weekend - and found out he's a microbrew drinker.  Score!  Thank goodness my mom had driven over...I just don't see how I could have carried three cases of empty beer bottles back home in my carry-on luggage!!)
I decided to go ahead and use the plastic ones when I read that it's easier to judge when carbonation is complete.  The plastic bottle becomes rock hard.  For my first batch, I want to be sure I'm doing it right.  If they were in glass bottles and not ready for the next step, I could ruin the entire batch.

Sanitizing the bottles
First step - sanitize.  Just mix the other half of the packet of powder included with the kit with a gallon of warm water, fill each bottle half way, cap and shake.  Then sit for ten minutes.

Step two:  Drain sanitizer from bottle and add sugar.  For my 20 oz. bottles, I needed one teaspoon of sugar each.  Using the tap on the keg, fill each bottle.  It's important not to move the keg much, there's a lot of sediment on the bottom.

This is the sediment left at the bottom of the keg

Here's a picture of the first bottle, and the last.  You can see how much cloudier the one on the right is.  No need to worry about it - it will settle to the bottom of the bottle just like it did in the keg.

Here they are!  All ready to carbonate.  Now that they're bottled, they will sit for another two weeks while the yeast and sugar work their magic, producing the carbon dioxide needed for carbonation.

Back to their temporary home in the cabinet!

Next step in two weeks!

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