On the advice of an experienced cider brewer, I am racking the cider batch #2, 2nd carboy to a growler because the carboy had too much head space. I also sanitized a couple of bottles in advance and wound up using them, after filling the growler.
From an underfilled carboy to a growler and two bottles!
So, cider batch #2 now includes one almost full one gallon carboy, one full growler, one green bottle that was primed and capped on 11/9/13 and two brown bottles that were primed and capped today, 11/13/13.
My brews, so far!
Additionally, I have one almost full one gallon carboy from cider batch #1 and one green bottle that was primed and capped on 11/6/13. Plus, I have 12 bottles of English Nut Brown ale primed & bottled 11/12/13 and one flip-top that was primed and bottled on 11/11/13.
Finally, I have cider batch #3 in a PFB, happily bubbling away at about every 4 to 5 seconds!
Now, for concerns: my two green bottles of cider, one each from batches #1 and #2. I think I was scared to put enough pressure on the bottle caps when I capped them. I fear that they may not be properly sealed. Also, there are some white floaters suspended in the bottle from batch #1 that won’t fall out.
White floaters in my test bottle for Cider batch #1.
I think the best course, if I don’t decide to pour them out, would be to prime and cap them again. That may be sufficient for #2, but I may sanitize a strainer and run #1 through it before priming and capping again.
Update: I decided to strain and prime/bottle both green test bottles of cider. When I poured the batch #2, I noticed more stuff come dislodged near the top of the bottle, so I ran it though a couple layers of sanitized cheesecloth when I returned it to the bottle. They both had carbonation when I opened them…that made me comfortable enough to save them. I dribbled literally a couple of drops out of the first bottle into a glass and was just able to feel some fine bubbles. I didn’t want to create bottle bombs, but I decided that opening them and going between bottles was enough agitation that I could add one more Munton’s CarTab to each bottle. New caps securely in place…good to go!
At this point, everything is in a holding pattern except for cider batch #3. My Fawlty Brown Ale is bottled. Cider batches #1& #2 are racked for extended clarification and aging. I should be getting to racking cider batch #3 in a few days and maybe a second time before Thanksgiving. If not, it can sit an extra week. I plan on taking my beer to the beach for Thanksgiving, as well as the test bottles. Mmm…home brew at the beach, watching the sunset. I’m looking forward to THAT!
9:00 pm I went to Staples late this afternoon and found a label to use on the bottles. It isn’t “removable”, but “Goo-Gone” can deal with that later. It is waterproof, though, so it should be okay in the fridge without the ink running. I wish I had the software I used to use when I was doing professional printing, but I struggled through with a template and Microsoft Office Word 2007. Ugh. Anyway, My “English Nut” Brown Ale is all labeled as “Fawlty Brown Ale” by Lakeway Brewing Works, Cary, North Carolina. Recognize my favorite “English Nut”?
Fawlty Brown Ale, the first bottle!
The label actually looks better after I figured out how to get the background color to print, but at over a $1.00 a sheet, I didn’t waste them!
Fawlty Brown Ale with the background color on the label. On the right, my prototype flip top test bottle.