Two weeks have gone by and my beer has finished bubbling away in the cellar. Now for the final stage. Bottling.
First off, make sure you have enough bottles. I had around 3.5 litres of beer so it was necessary to get hold of at least 7 bottles with self sealing caps. Fortunately one of my minions was on hand to help me empty the bottles. He really took one for the team. (see below.)
You are also going to have to use a fair bit of sanitiser. Everything should be sanitised from the bottles and lids as well as the racking pipe and the tubing for siphoning.
Once you have got everything clean dissolve 3 tablespoons of honey in half a cup of water in a large saucepan (one big enough to contain the beer.)
The sugar in the honey is going to ferment in the bottle and this will give the beer a delightful fizz. Or blow the bottles up. We'll find out next week.
It’s then time to siphon. Those that have stolen petrol from other cars will be familiar with this but for me, it's the first time and i made a bit of a mess of it. Two things are useful to bear in mind. Firstly, the pipes should be full of liquid before siphoning otherwise the process really sucks. And by that i mean it doesn’t suck at all. Secondly, the clip that stops the hose can be operated with one hand but it takes a little bit of practice. Try it on a pan of water first and not the precious beer.
Siphon the beer from the fermentation flask into the saucepan but try not to suck up the sediment at the bottom. The beer will still be okay but the next day will be a write off. (Tummy aches.) As i siphoned a wonderful beery aroma wafted into my nose. It really did smell delicious but don’t get too excited and spill it everywhere. Like i did.
Once the beer is siphoned into the pan with the honey water mixture it is simply a matter of siphoning into the bottles. A second pair of hands (i didn't have anyone to help so i used gaffa tape,) really comes in useful here in order to hold the racking pipe in the beer. Once the beer is in the bottles you’re done. Leave the beer in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks and allow for a bit of fizz to develop.
Now i have to admit, i gave my new «OPA» little try and it tasted…amazing. In the UK the beer would probably be served as is, as UK beer drinkers like their beer flat as a pancake. But i have to say, i’m excited to crack open a bottle in a few weeks time. Can't wait to let you know how it tastes.
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