Aaron Sliski's Blog

When I said 99 Bottles of Beer I Meant Cider, and I Really Meant 150 Bottles

Posted on November 14, 2016

Well it was a long process. I start out at the Lincoln dump, getting bottles from the donation pile to the boy scouts. No, I do not feel guilty for this. Maybe I should maybe I shouldn’t but I like to look at it as I am saving the environment. Anyways I take the bottles from the dump and take them home. Then I take the bottles out and I get a giant pot and soak the bottles in a solution of water and baking soda. After about a day they glue has disintegrated to the point the labels just fall off. After that you can wash them. I setup another pot with hot water and a brewing soap and let the bottles soak for another day.

So I have the lightly washed bottles on the left, and then a wash bucket then a rinse bucket. You fill each bottle with a little soapy water, put your hand over the opening and shake a couple times, pour out the soapy water then put in the rinse bucket.

After you rinse out the bottle with just clean water you give it a pump on this doohickey. This Doohickey is full of sanitizer.

After you sanitize the bottle, place it on the drying rack I made (no its not carbon fiber its plywood with carbon vinyl).

The rack holds a little more than five gallons worth of bottles. Which is what those jugs hold.

Then you have to prepare the cider or beer for bottling. You take a hose and start a siphon from the carboy to the bucket. THe bucket has a spicket on the bottom do you can have a bottle filler.

After all the cider is in the bucket you need to add something called priming sugar. There is some yeast still alive in the cider, but they have nothing to eat so they are dormant. So when you bottle the cider you have to add a little bit of sugar for the yeast to wake back up and create carbon-dioxide to carbonate the cider.

After all of that, you can now fill your clean bottles. I fill the bottles with this little wand that has a little spring and rubber stopper. When you press the wand into the bottom of the bottle it releases the stopper and allows the liquid to pass.

Are you tired yet? Anyways after you fill all the bottles you can finally cap them with the capper. This is by far the easiest part of the whole thing.

Well if you reading this post didn’t make you tired, i guess I didn’t do my job. It is a long and annoying process but now I have cider for months. It’s a nice thing sometimes, some people meditate some people do yoga, I bottle beer. I just get in a comfortable spot turn up the music and just take my time. At the end of the day I have 150 bottles of hard cider, one sweetened with honey, one with dextrose, and one with brown sugar. I hope that you can appreciate this whole process a little more after reading this. So If I bring you some cider or beer now you know what it takes to just bottle it.