Adventures in beer bottling, part 2

We purchased our bottles for the saison from Brooklyn Homebrew on Saturday (which you saw) and waited until Sunday morning to bottle the beer.  Bottling is a very easy process.  The main concern is not to invite any contamination into the beer.  The best way to ensure that the beer stays contamination-free is to wash and sanitize EVERYTHING that comes in contact with the beer.  This means that we rinsed out our beer bottles and soaked them in our sanitizing solution.  We also cleaned and sanitized the beer thief, any plastic hose that would come into contact with the beer, the beer bottle caps and our plastic bottling bucket.

While the bottles were draining, we took the specific gravity of both of the batches of beer.  Similar to the process that we followed several weeks ago, using my beer thief, I transferred a small amount of beer from one of the carboys into my beaker.  Using the hydrometer, I took the reading for this batch and then repeated the same process for the second batch of beer. Once you have used this beer for reading the specific gravity, DO NOT return the beer to the carboy for bottling.  This beer could be contaminated, and we do not want to introduce contaminated beer into the batch.

The specific gravity readings were as follows:

French Saison: 1.008 (4.67% alcohol by volume); Belgian Saison: 1.012 (4.27% alcohol by volume)

Once the readings were done and the bottles were nearly dry, we began siphoning the beer from one of the carboys into our bottling bucket.

Using the siphoning tube with the pump attachment makes this process very easy.  The pump attachment sits in the carboy just above the sediment at the bottom of the carboy. This prevents the sediment from being transferred into the bottling bucket.

This was just the most beautiful day to bottle beer!  After the weather that we had on Saturday, it was unbelievable that Sunday could be so pretty.  The sun was shining and the sunflower looked beautiful in the windowsill…. I just had to take a photo!

Once the beer had finished siphoning, can can see how much sediment was left in the bottom of the carboy.

It was now time for bottling.  We moved the bottling bucket on top of the table and attached our hose with the bottling wand attachment.

I filled the bottles and then passed them over to Jeffrey to cap.  The entire process of bottling two 2.5 gallon batches of beer took roughly 2 hours.


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