Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bottling 4 Ales

I have been working the last 2 days to clean enough bottles for the large brew that I did a couple weeks ago, almost 8 gallons of beer. I first soak the bottles in a bleach solution for 1-2 hours, then scrape the labels off with a carpet scraper, then soak for a few more minutes and scub the glue off with a green cleaning pad. On some bottles, like the german beers I have had lately the labels slide right off. American brands are more stubborn, perhaps because Americans tend to put their beer bottles in ice-water to keep them cool and the breweries don't want the labels to come off.

After the bottles are clean, I then sanitize them in an iodophor solution for a couple minutes, set them to dry for a couple minutes, then cover them with foil. It took about 4 hours to clean and sanitize the 50 bottles required for the 7 gallons of beer to be bottles. Seeing the cool-box full of 72 servings of beer is pretty fulfilling. My friends will be sharing lots of Ale in a few weeks!

I was able to sample 2 of the 4 ales, and the Cascade recipe had benefited from the extra hops. The fuggles recipe with the London yeast was very fruity, it will be interesting to see how it tastes after conditioning.

I was able to save about 15 ounces of yeast from the Cascade batch and will re-use it next time I brew.

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