Bottling time

Yesterday I received the bottling supplies from the brew store, so it was bottling time for Caelan and Drake. Caelan had cleared further with the bentonite - actually in the photo I'd already siphoned it off the clay and in the process moved the demi just slightly, so it was even clearer at first. But I am clumsey, and I've learned to live with that.
Both batches had been stabilised and showed no signs of life in the windowsill of my bedroom, so I think/hope they can be considered sufficiently done to pose no danger of explosion.
Here are the bottles I used - 0.75, 0.375 and 0.25 cl. The middle size I bought as it seems a lovely size to give away. The smaller size are recycled screw-tops and mostly intended to serve as samples. The larger size are also recycled. I also have some 1 litre bottles but changed my mind about using them as they seem overly huge. My batches are small, if the stuff does turn tasty in time it seems a shame to end up drinking almost a quarter of it in one go.
With the autosiphon and the bottling cane (flows if you depress the little pin at the end, stops the flow if you lift it) the transferring the mead was a painless and largely mess-less process. The corking was something else entirely!
I had ordered 'quality 3 corks' which were said to be for bottling up to 5 years. I knew not to expect the world, but what I got were 50 corks were about 15 weren't waterproof by any definition, and 20 which crumbled. I had to seriously search the box for a good one, and even then I ended up having to filter and re-cork three bottles because there was cork in the mead. Grrr. I called the shop and they said they're not supposed to be like that and they're sending me new ones, but unless those are significantly better I'll know either to invest in Really Good Corks, or switch to screw- or fliptops. (The reason I prefer corks is... it's cheaper because I can recycle any old bottle, and it's easier if I give away bottles that don't have recycle value like flip-tops would have. Plus, it's kind of a fuss to get white-glass fliptops. They're not cheap.
After I managed to cork as well as possible I put shrink caps on, except for one of the screwtop bottles which was too wide and got a cap of beeswax. Then I went and made labels. And then I went "Heee!" a lot and stored them in the wooden chest that is my coffee table.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I just tripped over your blog today and read it from start to finish have to admit I am pretty keen to try brewing myself now. It looks so good.