Next Round's On Me...

Just a quick update as the fermentation process continues.  Naturally, once my beer has completed the fermentation process, I'm going to have to store it somewhere.  Unfortunately, when the beer is finished in the fermenters, it's not quite ready for consumption.  The fermenter allows Carbon-dioxide to slowly leak out of the bucket (a byproduct of fermentation) but that's what makes the beer carbonated, right?  How, then, do we go from the mess you saw in my previous post to the delicious, slightly-carbonated beverage?  We bottle it and give the yeast a bit more food!

When it's time to package the beer for carbonation, you're really presented with two common options:

  1. Bottles
  2. Kegs

Seeing as how kegging beer is a bit more expensive and has a lot more setup than simply bottling the beer, using bottles is a logical first choice.  One day I plan on kegging the beer, but I want to make sure I can make it first.  How, then, do I get the bottles?  I throw a party, of course!

Using pop-top bottles so graciously donated by my friends, I'll have enough storage for my five gallons of beer.  The only question left is how can we make the bottles so that they're usable?

Using a trick learned from a friend on Twitter, I soaked the bottles in a hot water/oxyclean solution.  This solution practically melted the pre-existing adhesive off of the bottles.  This work so well, in fact, that I spent more time picking the free-floating labels out of the water than I did actually peeling the labels off of the bottles.

After the bottles had been de-labeled, they took a quick spin in our dishwasher to clean off any remaining residue.  We're very lucky in that our dishwasher is also going to come in handy in a few weeks when it's time to actually bottle the beer.  As with just about everything involed post-wort, the bottles have to be sanitized.  I'll take the bottles I have and put them into my dishwasher.  With no detergent, they'll get a quick rinse and then go through my dishwasher's "sanitize" mode.  From there, they'll be pulled out and get a quick spray or two of Star San, and they'll be ready to hold my brew!

The bottles being cleaned in my dishwasher

The next step in the process will be the transfer from primary fermenter to secondary.  I hope to have a few more pictures for you all to enjoy during this next step, and hope it goes a bit easier than the previous!  Thanks again for reading!