I always obey the Joy of Home Brewing edict “relax, and have a homebrew” while bottling. So far, I’ve never made a skunky beer. I maintain that brewers are as superstitious as sailors, so I must have a homebrew while bottling to keep the mojo alive and ward off the bad bacteria that might ruin my beer. Since I already had a homebrew earlier (o! delicious brown ale), and am on a one beer a day ration, I had a cider. All the other ciders I’ve had from that batch have been very nicely carbonated, but this one decided to pull a Vesuvius on me and spray all over the counter and floor like a cheap sparkling wine. Fie!I had already siphoned the grand cru from the fermenting carboy into the bottling bucket, and when I went across the kitchen to start filling up bottles I noticed that the spigot on the bucket was leaking. Double fie! Hoist up 5 gallons of beer (good thing I’ve been going to the gym) and get Kathy to cram a kitchen towel under it to soak up the leaked beer, then BOTTLE LIKE MAD. I had all of the beer in bottles in about 20 minutes! I probably lost one beer to the leak, but that’s not so bad. And I’ve since tightened the spigot, so the next beer should bottle without a hitch. When I make Belgian style beers, I always like to use a special colored cap so I know exactly what’s what. Duvels are silver, and now Grand Crus are metallic red.
The good news is that the beer smells really good. Spicy, banana esters, cardamom notes, a little hint of honey. And the color will be great when it clears. It will condition in the bottle for at least a month before it’s ready to drink, but right now I think it’s going to challenge Celis White as my favorite wit/grand cru style.