So here we are, the official first working day of 2017! Not that I didn’t come in yesterday, but that was only for the morning as some landscaping and tidying was required outside. Today is different, today is bottling day!
Now I can’t help it, bottling day is my least favourite of the week. We still do everything by hand so it is a long, boring monotonous job but its one that has to be done! Whenever we bottle a batch, we start off by bringing them in. making sure we have 600 ready and we then sterilise them. We also have to ensure the rest of the bottling equipment is steralised before we fill the a cask. This sits nicely on our bottling table and feeds the hand bottler by gravity. This is turn fills the bottles, which are then hand capped and placed into our fermentation room for a couple of days to allow secondary (or in some cases a third) fermentation to occur.
This process is called bottle conditioning and is the reason that all of our beers have a small sediment in the bottom. The yeasts left suspended in the fermented beer, eat some extra sugars that we add to the mix and then drop to the bottom of the bottle.
Once in the fermentation room for a few days, they are labelled, dates are hand written onto the bottles and they are moved to our cool room until they are completely clear. This can change with each batch and due to us not using traditional clearing aids (which is what makes our beers vegan) they may always have a slight haze. This is completely natural and nothing to worry about, it certainly doesn’t affect the flavour!
So there we have it. From there, our bottles are shipped out to customers, pubs and shops… That’s when this boring part f the job becomes worthwhile!!