Today was the day we bottled the homebrew that we made about 3 weeks ago. Uncle Rod and Julia and Jr. came over and we got started. First up, you rinse the bottles in the sanitizing rinse and get them ready for the bottling.
Then you add a little bit of sugar to each bottle. 3/4 teaspoon for 12 ounce bottle. The sugar feeds the yeast and creates carbonation for your brew. Pretty simple stuff.
Then you fill up the bottle with the brewed wort from the brewing keg. You leave a little gap at the top so that it doesn’t blow the top.
We found out the hard way that you can’t use my bottler on bottles with twist tops… they don’t seal right! We got a bunch that are smooth tops, so that worked out okay. Each of the three batches made about 22 bottles. We had two batches of beer and one hard cider.
Our first bottle finished up here at the farm! Another couple weeks and we’ll have a nice stash of beer for the year! (We’re not really big drinkers for sure… haha… took me a year to go through 22 bottles! haha… I think we will need to invite a bunch of folks over for a party, eh? )
After we were done bottling, Uncle Rod showed me how to make home brew wine! That’s what’s nice about sharing skills. You can help others to learn how to do neat crafts and such. He’s made some very nice wine and I can’t wait to see how this first batch turns out!
First thing, you need 10 cans of 100% juice. I thought about trying either raspberry or strawberry but our little grocery store only had grape, so traditional grape it was! I got the Welches, so hopefully it will be super good! This recipe makes a sweet type of wine, which is fine with me.
Then you add 8 pounds of sugar to a bit of water to create a nice simple syrup. You warm it up so that the sugar will get all nice and dissolved. You don’t want it to be lumpy and all that.
Once you add the simple syrup, you add a half a cup of lemon juice… and then a package of yeast.
Once that’s done, you give it a little stir and add water to make it up to the 5 gallon mark. And once that’s done, you add several crushed campden tablets and install a bubbler. The tablets help to control wild yeast and such…
Campden tablets (potassium or sodium metabisulfite) are a sulfur-based product that is used primarily in wine, cider and beer making to kill certain bacteria and to inhibit the growth of most wild yeast: this product is also used to eliminate both free chlorine, and the more stable form, chloramine, from water solutions (i.e., drinking water from municipal sources). Campden tablets allow the amateur brewer to easily measure small quantities of sodium metabisulfite, so it can be used to protect against wild yeast and bacteria without affecting flavor.
Pretty neat, eh? Home brewing is a good lesson in chemistry.
Once we got the bubbler in place, we dripped wax right around the cork base so that it was good and sealed. That way the brewing gases will only escape through the bubbler. After 31 days and the bubbles stop, then you can bottle it. I believe after that, it gets better and better the longer you leave it be. Should be interesting!