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Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Brewing Experience: Fermenting

Of course I obsessed over the beer during the fermentation. I opened it few times to see what it looked like. Yech, it was scary! All those bubbles and that frothy yeast stuff gave me second thoughts. Well finally the yeast finished working and it was time to bottle. I didn't have bottles so I went to a local beer store and picked up three cases of empty Budwiser bottles. Of course they were stinky with that stale beer smell. Some even had cigarette ashes in them. And of course all of them still had the labels. So I decided to clean them using chlorine bleach & water in the bathtub. Those labels were a pain in the butt. After soaking them for a few days and cleaning each one twice I was ready. Of course bottling had it's share of problems too. First you sanitize the caps that come in the kit. Next came filling the bottles. I used the bottling cane which was pretty slick. Hey, I only spilled one bottle of beer. Not bad :-) Then I had to figure out how to use the bottlecapper. It was really easy, but, of course I messed it up somehow. I finally got hang of it. I put all the bottles back in their cases and stored them in one of our closets. Again I was obsessed and wanted to try the beer every day. So I did. Actually I would recommend doing this so you can appreciate the way the beer improves throughout the process. After about two weeks it was carbonated and ready to drink. Whoohoo! I brewed my first batch of beer. I put a few bottles in the fridge for tasting later. At this point I pretty much knew how it was going to taste, but, I hadn't tasted it cold. I poured the first glass and it was very foamy with a huge head. I noted this for the next time and proceeded to take a sip. I distinctly remember hoping it would be better cold. Hey it wasn't bad. The nose was a little harsh, but, the taste was actually good. I did it. It didn't suck! Heheh...what a good feeling. Next time, Sharing :-)

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