Saturday, November 27, 2010

Socorro Springs Bottled Beer Present

In about two weeks, I'll be visiting my friend Norelle in Ridgecrest California. Norelle and I went to New Mexico Tech in Socorro together. While asking Norelle if I can bring her anything, the only thing she wanted was some pumpkin beer from the microbrewery. So, I embarked on a beer bottling adventure, as transporting their growlers through a month of time and 700 miles would not be feasible.

Socorro Springs only sells Growlers (1/2 gallon jugs) of their beer, or pints. I bottle two gallons in total (four growlers).

Growlers leak. The seal on a growler lid bleeds out carbonation, and eventually this leak becomes a gas exchange between the atmosphere and the bottle. Beer doesn't do so well sitting in air. About the longest I feel comfortable drinking a growler would be about two weeks after it has been filled. There are exceptions, and it's good to occasionally cultivate a spirit of adventure, but flat, spoiled beer is no fun. Luckily, my computer science graduate school friend Nate Gauntt is an expert at all things beer.

Nate - Adding CO2 to a keg of his in order to add as much carbonation to the pumpkin beer as possible before we bottle it.

Nate filling up the empty bottles he gave me for the project.

Nate explained we want to keep everything as cold as possible in an attempt to minimize out gasing of CO2.

As an added bonus, the girls were making cupcakes while the guys were bottling beer.

The final output - nicely bottled beer.

I actually did help with the different stages of this process, but being the photographer made it difficult to get any Brian Stinar action shots. Nate helped me understand a lot about making beer, and the entire evening was very fun. Thanks Nate!

After a beer and a cupcake, we enjoyed Harry Potter and some pizza.

My friend Norelle, who will hopefully be enjoying the beer from my bottling project soon.

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