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It was a momentous day today. It was a day marked with fervent cleaning and high stakes operations, for today was bottling day at the DIY brewery. It has finally come!
It has been two weeks since I first cooked up the malts and the hops and put them into a bucket in the basement. Two weeks since I poured my heart into this concoction of alcoholic glee. The day of reckoning has come one step closer, and now all I have to do is wait.
I began the process today by filling up my bathtub with a sanitizing solution, into which I added all 59 bottles, the tubing, the caps, and whatever else I could find laying around nearby. As I left that motley mix to soak, I began boiling a pint of water for my priming solution. As the water heated up I added the five ounce packet of priming sugars that came with my ingredient kit and stirred it into blended submission.
After letting that boil for five minutes, I then cooled it down and dumped it into a couple of glasses to make it easier to finagle into my carboy full of almost-beer. I then began the arduous process of taking out and rinsing all 74 bottles to prepare them for filling.
Once all of the bottles were rinsed and clean I began carting them downstairs and setting them up near the carboy so I could get my filling station ready. I brought down all of the necessary tubes and attachments, and got everything in place and ready to go.
I figured at this point I was going to do this project come hell or high water, so I felt confident in pouring the priming solution into the beer.
Giving time for a brief auxiliary foray to resolve a dire family emergency (my three-year-old needed a snack), I was finally able to get my siphon ready. I filled up the tube, with the attached ends for filling and sucking, with water and brought it over to the carboy. I placed the sucking end into the brew, pointed the filling end into a bucket, and pressed the little gadget at the end that allows the flow. once the beer started flowing, it was time to start filling the 87 bottles I had laid out.
The filling process was fairly uneventful, minus knocking over a half-full bottle with my foot. As soon as the beer reached the top of the bottle I stopped, and when I pulled the filling spout out the level would drop down to about an inch from the top.
I finally managed to fill the 93 bottles before I ran out of beer in the carboy. After fighting with the capper for a while, I figured out the feel for getting the caps on properly, and then it was just monotony. All in all, it took around two hours to sanitize, fill, and cap a total of 43 bottles of beer.
Now I wait another two weeks for the yeast to eat the sugar I just dumped in and release carbon dioxide, which will give my beer carbonation. After that, it’s time to open and enjoy! As long as it turned out drinkable. That will be reported in the next exciting episode of How To: Brew Beer!