Friday, April 6, 2007

Dunkel: Bottling

On Sunday, Marco and I bottled our third batch, "Danger Knows no Favorites Dunkel" (p.204). Here are some photos from the effort.

The previous two batches were conditioned in 1 pint EZ-Cap bottles (36 of them). We had been contemplating moving to kegs with this batch, but instead decided to go with twelve one-liter EZ-Cap bottles and twelve of the old pint bottles. That also gives us a surplus for overlapping batches and longer-term storage.

On the subject of the latter, we put aside six of the Märzen so we can see how it changes over the course of a few months:

Moving on to the happy work of filling our bottles with young beer, we started by sanitizing the empties and boiling the priming sugar and water. The arm you see belongs to Marco.

Now we're ready to begin siphoning! If you've ever had to deal with traditional siphons, the kind you have to fill with water, and that inevitably seem to get stuck in mid-siphon and have to be re-primed, you really need to try an auto-siphon. It has a built in pump, and before you know it the beer will be flowing: That, by the way, is me doing the siphoning.

Once siphoned, it's time to bottle. The liter bottles make this much easier, since you have considerably fewer bottles to swap. We managed to fill all twenty-four bottles with very little left in the dregs.

Here's the final result: It's been almost a week since we bottled, so by next weekend we should be able to crack open the first bottles, though of course what remains in bottle will continue to develop in character.

Subsequent posts will likely be less image-intensive. I'll try to get in shots of all the major pieces of equipment, as well as any particularly interesting stages in the process.

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