As my fans know, bottling can be a pain. I had not found a good way to add the necessary priming sugar to the bottles for the yeast to eat and carbonate the beer. Adding sugar to each bottle was tedious and imprecise, and led to sticky bottlenecks.
So then I tried CarbTabs, which are premeasured, compressed sugar pills that can be dumped in the bottle. The problem with these was they never dissolved all the way, so there were white bits floating around in the finished product. They didn't taste like anything or register as a texture on the tongue, but they definitely made the beer look like crap.
So, I decided to use my two container system for bottling. I added the priming sugar (1/3 cup of sugar, boiled in 1 cup water and cooled) to the Mr. Beer fermentor, bought some vinyl tubing, and let the beer run from the bucket fermentor, through the tubing, and mix with the priming solution in the Mr. Beer keg. I did not snap a pic, but my mad Photoshop skillz can offer this approximation:
Truly a thing of beauty, yes?
So after the beer was mixed with the priming solution, I sanitized the bottles and filled and capped them. Should be nice and carbonated in 2 weeks, but I usually pop one at 1 week, just to see how things are going.
Tastes out of the fermentor have been promising. The "fresh" taste from doing it all-grain vs. using the extract syrup is very apparent and once it's carbonated and chilled, I think I'll have some great beer on hand.
Stay tuned for a full work-up on an all-grain batch, and reviews of the Pale Ale.