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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Ted bottles it up

… finally two weeks were up and B and I could revisit our brewing creation at the Brew Club for the big bottling day. The weather here has been atrocious for weeks now so I saw it as a very auspicious sign that the sun had decided to come out and shine on our efforts.

We retrieved our brewing buckets that contained a liquid that we hope will eventually turn into good beer – in our case an American Pale Ale style of beer. Originally developed (yes in America) as a take on the English Pale Ale using American ingredients, it is a hoppy style of beer that slots in nicely between a blonde ale which is less hoppy in flavour and an IPA (India Pale Ale) which is more hoppy and usually a lot higher in alcohol. India Pale Ale was invented when the English realised that the way to stop the beer that they were shipping to India from going off was to increase the alcohol content so it would survive the journey and still be drinkable upon reaching its destination. Port was invented in much the same way by the Portuguese when they ruled the high seas.

The yeast we added at the end of the last stage had been quietly doing its thing eating up all the sugars from the mash. I had always heard about top fermented or bottom fermented beers but didn’t know how or why that happened. Professor Joe told me it was simply down to the type of yeast – some are tops and some are bottoms.  Brewers naturally choose the best type of yeast for the beer style. Back to bottling …. drain the liquid out of the brewing bucket into a nice clean sterile bucket. Add the desired amount of sugar melted in hot water into the brew – this will give rise to the carbonation that will develop in the bottle over the next month or so. The amount of sugar added will determine if you have more or less bubbles in your brew.

Sterilise your bottles and put them on the tree to dry. Attach the bottling wand to your bucket and pop it into the first bottle – it’s an ingenious little tube with a small valve at one end that you simply push up with the bottom of the bottle and voila out flows the liquid … after the momentary excitement of kneeling next to the bucket cradling your first 10 bottles in delight is over, you sensibly sit down and continue bottling while B puts on the crown tops and seals them using brute force and cunning and then pops them into the box ready to go home.

They are now slumbering away again getting ready for us to taste them in about 6 weeks’ time …. stay tuned ....

4 comments:

Sharon Anck said...

This is a fascinating process. We have a place here where you can bottle your own wine but you do it all at once so you aren't really doing the whole process and frankly, the wine is awful. I only went once and wasn't impressed. This sounds much more scientific and following the exact process. I can't wait to hear how it is when you give it a try later on.

William Kendall said...

That sounds like a lot of work!

Lowcarb team member said...

Staying tuned ...

All the best Jan

Jack said...

But, Ted, your pub probably carries many great beers. All this work . . .

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