October 6, 2008

Bottled Up

Just like the "comprehensive" CD box set that is missing some key tracks, our "complete" homebrew starter kit was missing one crucial element: bottles.

Now, bottling is a bigger deal in homebrewing than you might suppose. Because we don't have at our disposal a full brewery set-up (or at least not yet...), part of the process actually happens in the bottle: the carbonation.

Which means you can't have just any old bottle for your beer. For instance, it can't have a screw top, since we've got to lock these suckers down tight. And they need to be very clean - we'll be sterilizing the bottles before pouring in the brew, but I think it helps if they're not crudded up with lime rinds, cigarette butts and such.

So we decided to order some bottles. Nahum went to order from the same outfit that sold us the kit...but he soon discovered that a brew-pub in the next town over would sell us brew-quality bottles. Cheaper. And no waiting. I think we both hate waiting.

On Sunday I got in the car, headed to the Gaslight, and about 15 minutes and $23.35 later, I had two cases of pristine 12 oz. brown-glass bottles in my possession. Nahum says the Ale Pail is bubbling (though he's a little nervous about the temperature in his basement), so by Sunday we should be ready to bottle.

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