Today was a day that shall be long-remembered as it was the day that I attempted to get some of the barrelled beer into bottles. No, I didn't check the SG again, it has been at a constant 14 since I last wrote about it (and I'm none the wiser as to whether that is good or bad), but I have tasted it and it does taste considerably better than my first attempt to explain it here. So, armed with two bottles of independent procurement and borrowed crown caps I made two bottles to take north at some point in December.
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I used the extra bit that I got given. A long tube with some mechanism at one end that you shove into the bottom of the tap. The idea is that you prevent the squirting and gushing and the making of a head prematurely. Certainly the barrel is under some pressure and the beer is still a bit vigorous when it leaves the safety of its encapsulated world. However, after about ten minutes and only a small skimming of beer in the bottom of one of the bottles I tried to to loosen the tube a little. After all, at this rate I would have still been filling the bottles now rather than having had a day of doing things. Adding to my rush was the promise of a bath whilst my wife and children went out to gather supplies for the impending visit of my father tomorrow.
So, with a bit of wiggling, I got the fill rate to increase a little, but there was still a great deal of time to wait for it to actually start working. I got careless and a little cocky. This time, my wiggling pulled the tube loose and out of the tap and the resultant beer-splosion actually made a sound like 'bang' and spread beer over a wide area, our poor chinchilla was lucky to escape unscathed, and I was covered in beer. I'll admit that my dressing gown smells surprisingly agreeable after the accident but it was still a little humiliating to call for towels to wipe up the liquid - piss indeed!
Anyway, after that and some careful balancing with the tap controls I was able to pour two bottles without too much incident, a bit too much head, and then seal them properly. The head has probably protected them from popping the lids or anything like that and the extra time to condition will likely add the necessary carbonation. I am pleased to report little in the way of sediment and a good aroma, though the taste is still on the weaker side than what I've been used to of late (though last night's sojourn into the realms of grown up alcopop will probably help me get over that). The bottles should now survive a trip to the wilds of Yorkshire in a car alright, sometime in early December.