It is always satisfying to fill bottles of beer. The cases of empty bottles that have been piling up in the brewery have been creating a sense of disorder. Full bottles in cases have the opposite effect, and the cases of now carbonating and aging beer have purpose and potential. I feel the most pride about my efforts at this point.
My friend came over to bottle the Red Ale that we brewed a couple weeks back (read about that here). Bottling is more of a social event than brewing is. It doesn't take as long, and it is something that both participants can partake in. In my brewery, one person puts in the beer, and the other one caps the bottles and makes sure that the filler has empty bottles within reach. I like the capping part the best, and that is the job I did yesterday. I have bottled by myself, but with two people it goes more than twice as fast and I can move the vessel up to the counter to bottle.
I am now getting to the point where the processes of brewing are getting more and more automatic and systematic for me. I have found good ways of setting up my equipment and working relatively efficiently. That isn't to say it is perfect and I won't make any improvements, but a lot of good brewing is about creating good methodologies and habits. My friend devised a bottle filling station that is more comfortable by sitting on one of the old fermentation buckets, and I will continue to use that set up from now on.
The excitement of a successful bottle run, and harvesting the yeast from the fermenter has gotten me thinking about my next batch. I need to talk with my brother this weekend on what and when to brew. It might be nice to get another beer going before the Great American Beer Festival the weekend of September 25th. But what?