Last Monday I had the day off and decided to bottle my Witbier. I was concerned about timing, after all Saturday marked the 1 week mark, and the airlock stopped bubbling right about then. Would waiting a couple of days hurt or harm the beer?
I found this discussion to be very timely and relevant. How long do you let your beer ferment before you bottle? Apparently 2 weeks is the new conventional wisdom, but I suppose it really all depends on final gravity and such... Speaking of gravity, I just want to repeat, I love my thief!
I'm happy to say, this particular batch of beer has gone off without a hitch. By far the easiest brewing and bottling days so far. I just hope the final product is good, time will tell. I'm chomping at the proverbial bit waiting for a taste, but I'll be good and let the beer condition for another week or so before I crack one open. Which leads me to a question...
I've been using these flip top bottle now for a while now. The last 3 batches I've made have all found a home in the flip tops. As far as I'm concerned they beat the crap out of recycled bottles and that accursed two handed caper that came with my brewing equipment. But it's not all cotton candy and walks on the beach with these things. I would say a less than acceptable percentage of my bottles fail to provide a good seal, and some of my beer ends up flat.
One of my buddies tried to make me feel better a few of weeks ago when I opened a couple bottles of my left over Holiday Ale, in hopes of clearing the batch out and moving on with my life, only to find that 2 out of the three I opened were a little flat. He said, "Hey, it's not that bad, its like a cask ale or something..." Not quite, it's just a flat mediocre Holiday Ale...
A friend at work suggested wetting the seals before capping the bottles, but that sounds like an opportunity to introduce something to the bottles that will kill the beer. I don't know, maybe I should say to hell with it and move straight to kegging... But there's something to be said about the portability and portion control offered by bottles.
So, does anyone out there use the flip top bottles? And if so, have you had a problem getting good seals? What did you do to resolve the issue? I could use a little advice, but perhaps I should have asked this before bottling my latest batch... DOH!