Friday, December 6, 2013

Bottling Day: English Brown Ale

Continued from Sunday
Smells great, tastes malty
Five days after transferring the brown ale to secondary, we went ahead and bottled it. We got to play around with a few new toys this time. The first of those being our new sanitation solution Star San. After delabeling all the bottles and a few squirts of the solution, we were ready to fill.

Delabeling is such a messy task
The second new piece of equipment we used was our bottling bucket. This is the same bucket we used for our mash tun. Even though we can't use it to ferment, it's still a useful piece of equipment. Due to the fact that the spigot sticks out below the bucket bottom, we had to elevate the bucket while siphoning into it. We brought up the same chair we used for lautering.
For a dark beer, it is very clear
Also, because our counter has a sloped lip upward, we had to place the bucket on the side where there was no slope -- where the trash can is. It rearranged our work flow, but bottling still worked out. The bucket was a much needed improvement from the old siphon -- we didn't have to work as hard to fill all the bottles.
I highly recommend a bottling bucket
Bottles were fed to the bottler on the right of the bucket, and were capped and labelled on the left side of the operator. If you are wondering how a bottle capper works, a short video below will show you how.

In total, we filled (15) 22 oz bottles and (17) 12 oz bottles. I ran the numbers, and this was our largest batch by liquid volume so far.
English Brown Ale, 4% ABV
One of the bottles was poured into a glass (because it was stuck at the bottom of the bottling bucket). You can see how clear the beer actually is when held up to a light.
It's dark, but it isn't opaque
It'll be a week before bottle conditioning is done, and luckily that is when all my finals are over. It'll be a nice treat after my last exam. Now that we know this system works, we have plenty other recipes in development. We won't be starting another batch until January, but we will be upping production. Until then... Cheers!
The long haul!

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