The Quixotic Pastor

Monday, January 22, 2007

640 Ounces Worth of Beer Bottles

For those of you who have been following my beer brewing antics with any degree of interest --feigned or otherwise-- Bottling Day is this coming Friday.

Which means I have to strip the labels from and thoroughly scrub --inside and out-- somewhere between 30 and 54 empty bottles. Many of these bottles have been in a garage or basement for years. Some are 12 oz., some are 16 oz., some are 24 oz. --a few are German in origin and who knows what their capacity is? Some have swing-top caps [like Groelsch bottles] and some will require a bottle cap. Most of them are brown --the preferred color, since the living yeasty beasties in homebrew beer do not like light-- but some are green.

This is only step one of the cleansing process, by the way. On the actual day of bottling, every bottle has to be sanitized before it is used, step two, by being submerged in a certain kind of chemical bath. Every bottle cap has to be sanitized in boiling water. Even the rubber gaskets for the Groelsch bottles have to be sanitized in boiling water. [Anytime I do anything having to do with beer brewing, it looks suspiciously like someone is delivering a baby sometime during the Victorian era!]

Before I do step one, I'm going to my local homebrew supplier to beg for his empty cardboard beer boxes, into which the freshly cleaned, and later freshly filled, beer bottles will go. This way, in the event that the yeasty beasties in a particular bottle become a little too rowdy during their next sugarfest and the bottle explodes, the degree of consequential mess is greatly reduced, and I shouldn't have glass shards sticking out of the utility room walls.

So far we've had Brewing Day, Secondary Fermentation Day and we're talking about Bottling Day. Inquiring minds want to know, when is Drinking Day? Looks like February 9th, since one should wait at least two weeks after bottling. Hopefully that will be Drinking Day ... it could be POURING DOWN THE DRAIN day. Oh the suspense ...!


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