The fermentation finally slowed to over a minute per bubble, so it’s time to get this baby in the bottles. 2/3 cup of priming sugar and 2 cups of water brought to a boil and allowed to cool while I prepped bottles. That brings up two points: 1) the bottles; 2) the sanitizer.
The Bottles:
I’m using all first-time bottles. The majority of them are from New Belgium beers (Mothership, Abbey, Belgo). I’m also using some short bottles from a Red Hook 6-pack, I think it was called Winter Hook (?). The rest of the bottles are from Deschutes beers (Red Chair, Inversion, Jubilale). I probably have 300 random bottles collected over the years, it’s quite ridiculous. Maybe I’ll find someone who needs bottles and get rid of half of them.
The Sanitizer:
I’m always a little conflicted over sanitizing. I tend to use household bleach for bulk sanitizing, but I also have some 1-step sanitizer. The bleach is effective, but requires rinsing. The 1-step doesn’t need to be rinsed, and I’m not sure I completely understand how that works. When the sanitizer solution is in the bottles, it’s sanitizing, but when I dump it out, the bottle instantly becomes safe for the yeast that’s required to carbonate. How does that work? Does the 1-step know what I want it to do? Or is it only “toxic” to “bad” yeasts and other things that need to be killed by sanitizer? I had given the bottles a bleach treatment, but just to be safe I mixed up a batch of 1-step and did a final sanitization right before bottling.
Bottling:
The priming solution was poured into a bottling bucket and the beer was racked from the fermenter into the bucket. I bottled 51 bottles on 2012/04/09. This may be about the best smelling beer I’ve ever made, the dry hopping (and 4oz of boiling hops) have given this batch a glorious Centennial aroma. I had a few tastes and the flavor is double-plus-good. To be honest, the hop flavor is so pronounced that I’m not sure I’d be able to catch any off-flavors, but although it’s very hoppy, the hops are not unpleasant. There’s just enough malt backbone to provide balance.

Now for the worst part of any brew: waiting for the beer to carbonate and bottle-condition to drinkability. That should take 2 weeks, minimum. Arg, 2 weeks until liquid awesome.

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