(Pretty Maids...All In A Row)
The waiting had gone on long enough. The racked wort was destined for greater things and the time to move on had arrived. This bottling process was full of tradition, old friends and some new ones...
(Not Sure How That High Life Got There - We Only Drink Premium)
Sanitation, once again, was critical. Every bottle must be thoroughly cleaned before receiving the transferred wort. This was accomplished with our old pal, Iodophor. In between rotating bottles in and out of the sanitation bath, water and sugar were brought to a boil, removed from the heat, and added to the wort after a brief cooling period. This simple sugar is like a second trip to the buffet line for the yeast and will augment the fermentation process after bottling is complete.
After being cleansed of their inequities, the time for filling and capping the bottles had arrived. As such, the Aztec Stool was ceremoniously unveiled. This stool was carved from an ancient tree harvested from the deep interior of Southern Mexico. Or, it may have come from Pottery Barn.
(The Grace...The Power...The Majesty...)
According to legends of yore, each filled bottle must touch the Aztec Stool before being capped. Deviation from this will result in various atrocities including but not limited to plague, famine, and Montezuma's Revenge. After leaving this holiest of holy on-deck circles, the bottles would be ready for capping with the following contraption, which defies explanation or definition:
(Great For Parties)
Except they weren't ready for capping; we didn't have nearly enough bottle caps. With no way of purchasing additional caps at such a late hour, frantic Internet searches followed, but yielded no help. It appears that the consensus on several message boards, which in and of themselves are outstanding sources of completely reliable information for any and all concerns you may have in life, is that reusing bottle caps is not very effective. Plan B was initiated and Stone Cold put a call into someone that may have been able to help us in our hour of need. His name is not important; he will simply be known as, The Dude:
Luckily, The Dude did, indeed, have bottle caps to share so a road trip was in order. We piled into Airwolf and made our way over to The Dude's abode. We were welcomed at the door and entered a world full of magic, mystery, and the very distinct odor of...smoke. A large fish/small whale circled its tank near the entry while a Dalmatian greeted us cautiously. The Dude produced a bag full of caps for us as we exchanged pleasantries.
We left quickly to allow The Dude to finish his movie, red wine, and other...indulgences. Disappearing into the night, clutching a crumpled brown bag with great relief, we raced back to the house to tear into it. Please note that this was, in fact, not a drug deal. With all necessary equipment secured, the filling began, and our old friend and confidant, the siphon, was back for his final performance. And it was a show stopper:
After bottling, capping, and boxing the beer the time had come, once again, for patience...and sweater vests. Next time, we drink and indulge!