I tend to bottle all my homebrew beer, for the simple reason that as the only member of our household that actually likes beer it’s hard to drink an entire cask before the beer goes off. The massive downside of this is that bottling beer is by far the most tedious part of brewing.
Until now I’ve made do with a bit of syphon tubing with an inline tap which is ok, but bottling often becomes an operation that requires at least three hands. Sadly nature only saw fit to provide me with two, which is annoying.
So my most recent investment is this wonderful bottling stick which is simply a rigid plastic tube with a push valve on the end. Push the end down on the bottom of the bottle and the beer flows – lift it up and it stops. Suddenly I can bottle with two hands, and spill a lot less beer.
Of course, I still need to pay attention to the beer level in the bottles. My next plan is to bodge something together to automatically stop the flow when the top of the bottle is reached, and my bottling days will be less tedious – although sterilising 40 bottles will still be a painful experience.
Once they’re filled, of course, you have to make your bottles look beautiful. Having finally obtained a full set of bottles without old labels still attached – Bath Ales, I love your bottles but your labels appear to use some sort of strong nuclear force to attach themselves – and that can only mean one thing. I need some labels.
Fortunately, I was wise enough to marry someone with some artistic ability (she made me my lovely logo, after all!) and so I now have a brand.
Next I need a brewery…