finally got to bottling my first homebrew. i let it sit in primary fermentation for about 3.5 weeks in hopes that it would clear and develop more complex flavors. the process was relatively easy, the most painful part being the scrubbing and sanitizing of 50 bottles (thank god our dishwasher has an anti-bacterial mode). that being said, i will be investing in a kegging system very soon.
i soaked the bottles overnight, the following morning i spent way too much time scrubbing off way too many labels. then into the dishwasher they went on the “sanitize” cycle.
the bottling went smoothly overall. using a handy auto-siphon, i transferred the brew to a bottling bucket. to bottle, i used a racking cane to add beer to each bottle; it functions by pushing down on the cane to generate flow, when you release, it stops. very useful. after filling the bottles, i added a carbonation drop (basically an unflavored sugar drop) for the yeast to chow on and create CO2. then eunice moved in and capped the bottles. they need to condition for several weeks and then i will get to see how the entire process fared. i plan on trying a bottle at 7 days, 14 days, 21 days and 6 months to really see how they age and the carbonation develops.
given that the bottling day was a day off from work, i had plenty of time to bbq some pork spare ribs. i used a marinade, recipe, and technique i have never used before, and i couldn’t have been happier with the results.
marinated the ribs in a fig marmelade and ginger mix (thinking about adding habenero next time), then to the oven at 350 for 2.5 hrs and finished on the grill. these had a sugary sweet crispy skin that was AMAZING!!!!!!!
we have been on a bit of a cocktail kick as well. here are a 2 drinks we have been enjoying post-work the past several weeks.
greg’s old fashioned:
2 oz whiskey
1 sugar cube
dash of bitters enough to dissolve the sugar
eunice’s modified greyhound:
2 oz gin
0.5 oz elderflower syrup
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
dash of bitters
of the many reasons we REALLY don’t want to have to move in the coming months is our fantastically fabulous neighbors. the other evening (one where we were exhausted and in no mood to be preparing a meal) they came by and asked if we would like a bit of their dinner extras. expecting a paper-plate of fish, they arrived an hour later with an easter platter of fried shrimp and catfish, card and all! it was delicious and we couldn’t be luckier.
in between all the working, brewing, and cooking, i have been able to get plenty of runs in and jaunts with the dogs in the marsh. the record rains have opened the sacramento levees for longer times than ever, and our beloved yolo wetlands have been under more water than ever. took the pooches out for a run, and while they fell in love with the mud and all the beached carp to roll in, i spent a few hours sinking to the shins in boot-sucking mud. good times none the less.