Beer 1 Day 7/14 – Racking/Bottling

update like woah, I need to write more – this one is for Jay.

IMG_5334 So after the first week I racked  my beer to secondary. I thought it would be a good exercise for a few reasons, but I’ll get into that after I explain what racking it. Essentially racking is just a cool made up brewers name for moving the beer from one vessel to another. This is almost always done with a racking cane – a hard plastic or metallic tube that sits just above the trub – dead yeast & bunch of junk you don’t want in your final beer – and takes about 30min or so. I wasn’t counting. So the reasons for racking was I had read on the instructions from Brewer’s Best was to help with flavor was to take it off the trub [image]. I also had read in ‘Complete Joy‘ that it would clarify the beer, making it pretty (not a big deal), but making some the bad stuff go away in the process. I had also read that contradictory to what I had read and was instructed to do, that racking was nearly completely unnecessary and the yeast ‘used today’ is so much better that it didn’t give ‘off-flavors.’ But I had the fun toys, I was going to use them.

I, of course, sanitized like the phsyco hypochondriac I am then put the conditioning beer in the ‘better bottle’ for a week.

A week later I was antsy and wanted to bottle, the american amber was likely “done” after about 9 days but who gives. I pulled all my bottles out and let them soak in the ‘cleaner’ for removal of the labels. Note to self: buy more “frugal joes” and less two brothers for sake of sanity when it comes to removing the labels – vinyl or plastic, whichever they happen to be, are a real pain in the dick.

I rinsed them out with my fancy water jet sink attachment and went to sanitizing them. Nearly ever where said to do this by filling the bottling bucket (the one with a spigot) with sani-solution then drowning the bottles in said full bucket letting them sit for a full 60 seconds and then take them back out and then being ready to fill.

IMG_5346I drafted Liz to give me hand and convinced her that it would “go faster” and “be kinda fun” to bottle the beer. Yeah, I could have done it all myself, but we flew through the bottling – plus I think she enjoyed getting involved in my minor obsession. So I pulled Liz in to fill the bottles with sanitizer just as she would with the beer as to get her acquainted with the beer wand [link] before the real thing came rushing out. We (she) filled all them up while I supervised and subsequently emptied. I dunked the capper and dumped the solution, and moved the beer over to the sanitized bottling bucket. Liz came back in, I dropped the tops in sani-solution and set us up in an assembly line fashion. Far left was the bottling bucking w/ beer which drained to the hose which Liz used to fill the bottles, which she then put on a towel to dry the bottoms, where I would take a now full bottle of beer place it on my drier towel and capped it, then set them in saved beer cases. It worked flawlessly – and we rocked through it pretty fast.

The rest of the day went pretty shitty, but that is for another post. Tomorrow I promise.

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