Homebrew: When is a bottle day not a bottle day?

When it’s a keg day!

So, the original plan was to bottle my latest homebrew batch. Last Sunday (09/02/2014) the beer was ready to go. The gravity had dropped from 1.044 to 1.012 and there had been no activity for at least 48 hours. All was good thus far…

I dug out my siphon tube, moved the fermenting bucket to its position and then went on the hunt for my boxes of bottles. Mentally preparing myself for the monotony of sterilizing 40-50 odd bottles.

Only… where I thought there was two boxes full of bottles, there was just the one, half filled. Suddenly I remembered – I had cleared out a lot of old bottles late 2013 as the ongoing battle for storage space in the flat took a turn for the worse.

Siphoning beer

This is an old image (I didn’t take any photos this time)

At the time I remember thinking ‘it’s ok, I’ll be drinking plenty of beer over Christmas, I can save up bottle again’. Did I forget all about this in the following months. You betcha!

Anyway, after a quick piece of mental arithmetic – akin to Rain Man – I realised that my 5 gallons of homebrew beer was not going to fit into 24 (500ml) bottles. Not even close.

So my bottle day very quickly turned into a keg day. My first since February 2013 – I’ve recently taken to bottling due to the shelf-life benefits.

Siphoning went off without a hitch. I decided to use 3 of the bottles and then added the rest of the beer to the keg.

As for priming sugar I used 60 grams of brewing sugar in the keg and about half a teaspoon in each bottle. All in all, a fairly simple operation.

Now the keg is under the stairs in the beer cellar and all that is left to now is wait… not so patiently.

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