In preparation for bottling day, Saturday's task was getting all the pieces prepared and sanitized, including the four dozen bottles which our beer will call home for the next few weeks. Everything was dry and ready in time for Sunday morning's home-coming, also known as bottling day.
First, we prepared the vessel for our harvest - the beer cases. At the recommendation of my friend Brian, we lined the inside of the case with a plastic bag just *in case* one of the bottles explodes. Apparently, many first-timers experience a beer bath when they add too much carbonation.
Then we boiled 16 ounces of water and added 3/4 cup of sugar to make the magical confection, carbonation. Pouring the syrup into the carbonation container, it is gradually mixed with the non-fizzy beer through a magic process of “gravity.” I tried to get more information from The Professor about how this phenomenon happens, but basically we put this tube in the beer in the top container, and it magically gets sucked up and dumped down into the syrup mixture. All I know is that it's supposed to be hard, but it only took two tries to get it started. Once all the beer is added to the syrup, it’s time to bottle.
After we hooked up the tube to the now-fizzed container, the tube goes to the bottom of each bottle. Press lightly and liquid (magically?) comes out and fills to the top. Then you hand it to the capper (The Professor) who applies some pressure to each cap with the red-gripper mad-capper. Now our beer is sitting idly by waiting to be ready to drink...
Our first batch yielded 50 bottles and the tasting day is triumphantly scribbled on the kitchen calendar... two weeks from now!