Every month or so our kitchen turns into a brewery. First, when Paul actually brews a beer, and then, a few weeks later, when he bottles it.
Last week Paul bottled his latest homebrew, a saison. It's a French-style ale that gets its slightly sour flavor from the specific type of yeast used, he explained. It's his first time making this type of beer, which he chose for our French-themed dinner party later this month.
Homebrew nights take up the entire evening and the entire kitchen. First Paul washes all of the equipment -- bottles, bottlecaps, bucket, hose, bottling wand, stirring spoon, etc. -- with a special sanitizer specifically for beer bottling.
Then Paul racks the beer, transferring the beer with a hose from a fermenter into a giant stockpot. Then he connects the hose to a bottling wand and individually fills each of the sanitized bottles.
|Transferring the homebrew.|
|Bottling the homebrew.|
After all of the bottles are filled -- usually about 52 bottles from a 5-gallon batch -- he hand-caps the bottles with a special contraption, boxes them and puts them somewhere dark (often the bottom of my closet).
|Capping the bottles.|
The homebrew is ready to drink a week or two after it's bottled, although Paul usually takes an uncarbonated sip when he's bottling for a sneak peak. He's rarely disappointed.