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September 16th, 2009

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12:49 pm - Beer and afterwards
So we did our beer bottling yesterday. Because we were split into groups, obviously everyone bottled their own beers.
Where the setup at Incredibrew was very assembly line, the setup here was a bit more chaotic.
Also, the bottling at incredibrew was more manual, but easier in a way.

The bottles were ready to be sanitized when we got there. I was part of a sanitizing run, but after loading up the tree, I moved on to mostly capping and labeling. Hoppie did most of the sanitizing and some of the other people there helped as well.
Barleycorn's had automatic 3 beer bottlers. (Incrediblew has manual one beer bottlers) But they, often as not, didn't fill up a bottle. The way it's supposed to work is that when the bottle is full, it trips a censor. But for most of the machines at least one during each run didn't fill full, which meant rerunning them several times. Hoppie and Lester and Dan did most of the filling. I did one run of filling. (I like to do at least one of everything)

The capperrs were not mounted (which makes sense because you want the freedom to move them around and use the table in different ways), but it made them harder to use. I did a lot of capping. Hoppie started capping, but he had trouble with the machine refusing to release the bottle, but I've had lot of experience with stubborn things, so I was quickly able to fix that. (press the level back down again, firmly, hold the bottle, and push the level back up. Wiggle the bottle, while holding it down, if necessary.)

The labeling process was nicely retro. I think the last time I used a sticky labeler like that, I was living in Kentucky full time. For those who have never used a classic label creator (or a stamp moistener, they work the same way), you load the label, top side up behind a roller. Roll the label through the machine and it emerges with the backside covered in glue (or water in the case of stamps). Press, hold, and smooth the label onto the bottle.

It took about two hours, which is what you'd expect. Then we came home and had steak and ginger beer. (A kind of beer I'll drink! Yea!) I did not try the beer we made. Tom took one sip and said, "Yeah, you're not going to like this. It's so hoppy, it takes like a forest." he said.

My wrist hurts today, probably from squeezing the capper. (wow, that sounds naughty and vaguely British "Common then, love, fancy squeezing a capper?")
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Date:September 16th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
I have this image of a group of censors rating whether your bottles are acceptable for release out into the public or have to go down the trash chute a la Willy Wonka.

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