I spent Friday night bottling my first brew! Without the guidance and help from my brother and his wife, the pro-brewers, I had to give it a go on my own, with massive paranoia.
I had a mental spaz-out when I couldn’t recall how to put together the racking cane…
My brother reminded me over the phone, “Relax, don’t worry. Have a homebrew.” Since I had no homebrew available yet, I settled for Red Nectar, recommended by a guy who works at the local wine and beer store.
With my substitute homebrew in hand, I got down to business.
CLEAN! If you ever brew and want to know the most important aspect of brewing, it is sanitization! Yeast likes to eat sugar, but bacteria likes to kill yeast, so if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with skunk beer.
Skunk beer is not a good thing.
First I soaked my growlers in Star San, then soaked paper towels in Star San and placed them over the tops to keep out any devil bacteria.
Next I got to work on starting the siphon using the racking cane that I finally figured out how to put together. It was embarrassingly easy. I hope my brother isn’t reading this…
I filled the growlers using a bottling tube that has a spring loaded tip that lets the beer flow when you press down on the bottom of the bottle, then dropped in four carbonation pellets – the lazy man/beginner’s primer.
Gravity is kind of necessary for a siphon. My original standing approach failed.
I filled nine growlers as well as a 500mL bottle, screwed the caps on ridiculously tight and covered them with paper bags, just in case they decide that exploding would be fun.
After all that hard work, I whipped up a quick pasta dish using my new cookbook! I sauteed whole cherry tomatoes in olive oil and garlic until they popped open, then tossed them into brown rice pasta with arugula and goat cheese. Simple, delicious and healthy!
Then I promptly passed out from exhaustion.