Monday, 13 June 2011

Bottling out...

A clear bottle is better for bottle conditioning methinks - easier when filling (esp. in the darker kitchen), easier to see if the added sugar has dissolved (getting it right in bulk solution can be tricky on a smale scale) and easier to see the final deposit of yeast, and, at pouring, the disturbed sediment. It's also nice to see the lovely golden colour of the finished product!

The club that provided many many brown glass 1 pint Magners bottles have moved to draught Magners, but they still have a few regulars who like the odd Newcastle Brown Ale (once the request goes in the steward saves me what there is - about 3 doz per month) They don't have time to rinse them out, but do place them into a box under the bar. That last bit of ale can be problematic and leave a gooey brown residue. Still it's a good strong bottle and the odd bottle brush insertion is not too much of a hassle - hence you see the strong bleach solution at the first washing stage...
The labels used to be easy to remove with a quick soak but now have become a little more difficult - I think they have 'upped' the game with a newer adhesive. Hence the interest in the Stella 1 pint bottle, but like it's 'relative' the Magners has that bit of sticky-oh-so-sticky foil on the neck...

Storage has it's problems. I still have some Magners boxes (more tape than cardboard...) and getting 12 pint boxes is not easy from Supermarkets trust me - you have to be in the right place at the right time and take your chances!
No boxes at all for Newcastle Brown Ale as they come in poly-stretched film in dozen trays - not to me of course... (like many other drinks bottles these days, boxes having become prohibitively expensive even to big business!)
Only thing I seem to be able to gain sufficient of are the Aldi display-type wine boxes at present which are too tall but do hold 6 at a time (unfortunately these come in slightly different sizes, which makes stacking a little awkward)

Bottle stock then running at:
Magners (all filled now): 96
Newcastle Brown (the One and Only): 307 - 3doz of which are now filled
Stella Cidre: 16
Tillington Hills: 12 (unsuitable for bottle conditioning - very annoying sticky labels too!)

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