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Bottling Up The Beer!

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Sitting here in the pre-dawn darkness on this cool October morning it seemed to be a good idea to go through the rest of our beer making photos and show you how it all ended. So here it goes:

First of all, in order to make beer, you have to drink beer. Seriously, collecting beer bottles is an important part of the process. Screw tops are not permitted either, so we looked for beer with pop tops and enjoyed a few mass produced beers throughout July and August. Our friend NS contributed his share of beer bottles and his dad found some really cool, old, tall bottles in a building slated for demo so his contribution won the prize!

[frame align=”center”]lots_o_bottles[/frame]

We reconvened one evening and set to work. We had to siphon the beer from the carboy into the pail and we had to take a few tastes to make sure everything was yummy. And it was. VERY.

[frame align=”center”]transferring_beer_one[/frame]

As you can see, the beer is very dark so if you are a Bud Light sort of person, this is likely not for you-

[frame align=”center”]dark_beer[/frame]

In order to bottle up the beer properly, we had to get the bottles all nice and clean and sterile. NS had the cleaning compound they use in bars so we used that and we also boiled bottles in the pressure cooker. Who knew that would be such a handy contraption?

[frame align=”center”]washed_bottles[/frame]

[frame align=”center”]pressure_cooker[/frame]

Now for the fun part! The bottles filled up quickly so everyone was busy with their jobs. We were like professionals 😉

[frame align=”center”]filling_bottles[/frame]

NS had a capping machine which kept my husband busy.

[frame align=”center”]capper[/frame]

So, this went on for a while and before we knew it, all 5 gallons were bottled up ready to go. If my memory serves me well, the beer had to sit for a few more days. Yikes, I should have written these details down!

[frame align=”center”]bottled_up[/frame] [frame align=”center”]vintage_bottles_filled[/frame]

A beer party was in order so everyone could enjoy our baby, so one was planned for the following week or shortly thereafter. At that time NS and his parents, significant other and two friends who happened to be up visiting all stopped over. My husband made up a huge batch of popcorn, we pulled out the hot pickles, the chex mix and gardettos. The evening was stunning and some fantastic beer was enjoyed down on the granary deck.

[frame align=”center”]IMG_1893[/frame] [frame align=”center”]party_two[/frame]

A few weeks later it was NS’s birthday so we stopped over at his house for yard games (bocci, ladder golf) and cake. When it was time for cake (honey lemon cake with icing) we cracked open an Anniversary Ale (yes the beer had a name, but no label). It was like a taste revelation. Dark beer with sweet icing and a dense cake was out of this world. Instead of serving coffee with cake, you should serve a really nice dark beer! Who knew?

All in all, brewing our own beer was a fantastic experience that has been on our to-do list for a long time. Honestly, I enjoyed the flavor of our Anniversary Ale much more than any beer we’ve purchased at the liquor store. I’ve been thinking lately, we may have to make up a batch of winter ale . . . CS and NS, are you ready???