Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bottling & Carbonating Our Beer

It's been about 14 days since we started brewing our first batch of beer. Today is the day we check the beer to see if it's ready for bottling and carbonating.

How do you know when the beer is ready to bottle? Well, one of the first signs is when the liquid in the keg is relatively clear and it is no longer cloudy. You can also see the dead yeast sediments at the bottom of the keg. The next step is to taste. Draw a small amount from the tap and taste it. If it taste like flat beer, then it's ready to bottle. If it gives out a sweet taste, give it another two to three days before bottling.

Once you are sure that the beer is ready to bottle, you can start to sanitize the bottles, caps and bottling equipment. Fill a large container with warm water and the remaining half of the One Step sanitizer (remember to save some when you are sanitizing the keg). Drop in all the bottle caps as well as the equipment that you are planning to use when bottling the beer.

Next, fill the half the bottle with the sanitizer.

Shake it around and make sure its properly sanitized. You do not need to rinse out the bottles, it's a no-rinse sanitizer.

Next, add two and a half teaspoons of white granulated sugar to each one liter bottle. You can also use cane sugar if you like.

While holding the bottle at an angle, use tap and fill each bottle to just above the base of the neck. Remember not to move the keg around unnecessarily. This will minimize the amount of sediment from being transferred to the bottles.

Place caps on bottle tightly and shake it around so that the sugar is mixed well.

Allow the bottles to stand upside down for about 20 mins. This is to make sure the sugar doesn't stay at the bottom of the bottle.

Place the bottles upright back into the box. This is to keep it out from direct sunlight. Also, remember to put it in a location with a constant temperature between 68F - 76F. For optimal carbonation and flavor, allow it to sit for about 2-3 weeks.

CAUTION NOTE: Too much sugar or bottling your beer too early may result in gushing or burst bottles due to over-pressurization. Too little sugar will result in a flat beer.

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