Randy actually made the beer last Sunday and it was supposed to be bottled this Sunday, but we were busy. That left bottling for Monday night which wasn’t really a convenient thing to have to do, but we got it done.
The beer is left to ferment for a week in the beer and wine bucket. After a week comes bottling. The beer is then siphoned from the beer and wine bucket into the Ale Pail for bottling. Siphoning the beer allows the beer to be drained into the Ale Pail bucket while leaving the yeast and hops residue behind and prevents a cloudy beer.
I’m the loan bottle washer. I have to sanitize and rinse all the bottles while Randy fills them and later caps them. We ended up with 56 bottles of beer for the cost of the ale mix $18, 1 1/2 cups of corn sugar, and the bottles caps. This makes for about a $0.36 bottle of beer or half the price we could buy domestic beer in the store and about 1/4-1/3 the price we could buy imported beer in the store….and our’s isn’t pasturized.
These bottles will have to set for 4-6 weeks for their second round of fermenting. If the bottles are filled too full or not capped tight enough, this is the stage where all the bottle explosion stories are made. Pressure will build up and if there isn’t room in the neck of the bottle or the cap isn’t securely in place the bottle may explode creating a mess.
We keep our bottles in our pool house in an old refrigerator that doesn’t work anymore. This way if there is an explosion it is contained and outside of the house.
We are trying not to drink very much anymore. But with summer coming on this will give us a treat every now and then and keep us from having to buy beer at the store. If you don’t account for your time or the start-up cost of the beer making kit, this really is a frugal way to have good quality (non-pasturized) beer around. The kit will pay for itself over time and one of the buckets can be used for wine making if we choose to go down that path later.