May 27, 2009

Simple Solutions

Sometimes a solution to a problem is so simple that it seems like it can't work. So when Nahum said we could fix the carbonation issue in the Explosivo! bottles by inverting them a couple of times (essentially shaking them very slowly) and putting them back on the shelf, I was skeptical.

But dagnabbit if it didn't work. And it did.

Thusly armed with portions of properly fizzy homebrew, we set to bottling the Originale II. We'd certainly taken our time: it had been nearly a month since the initial brew, and the beer had long since wrapped up its fermenting. But we were able to get our suddenly hectic schedules to converge, brought the carboy up from the basement and got to it.

We still haven't fully adjusted to having the 2JB at my house. Even though the actual bottling process isn't location-dependent in any way, we were still fumbling a bit with getting the bottles rinsed & sanitized, and I managed to nearly forget to add priming sugar to the beer (then we would have seen some serious carbonation problems).

We also had to deal with the fact that we only had a half-gallon of sanitizing solution on hand, so meant maximizing our use of every drop.

And then we got into our regular spots--Nahum working the siphon as I crimped the caps--and everything clicked into place. We were all efficiency, no wasted motion. In quick succession we'd emptied the bucket into 44 bottles (1 better than the original Originale!). Simple, fun and satisfying. As we brought the cases back to the basement I think we were both confident that we had a perfectly delicious (and well-carbonated) bunch of beer on the way.

P.S.: Even though the Beer Fairy continues to bring bottles, we somehow ended up short on dark-glass empties for this round. So we brought in some empty Heineken bottles...and boy was that just not right. Aside from being somewhat difficult to cap (the standard caps just didn't fit exactly right), our dark-colored Originale looked wrong wrong wrong in that light green glass.

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