After what seemed like a very long time, my Black IPA finally appeared to have stopped fermenting and I was excited to get it bottled up! It feels like the process of brewing has been getting much easier (and cleaner) the more I do, but bottling apparently remains a bit of an artform.

Thankfully, on this occasion, I didn’t flood the kitchen floor, so that was a good start – capping bottles however was another matter. I’m currently using the bottle capper below, a fairly cheap plastic example which I’m hoping is the cause of my woes, rather than me just being useless!

My cheap bottle capper (although mine is red!)

It seems to be incredibly difficult to get the cap to go on the bottles straight first time, I’ve been ending up pushing the levers down until the bottle starts to want fly across the worktop and then releasing the pressure, rotating the bottle and trying again!

I’m looking at purchasing a bench mounted capper, surely these have got to be more reliable… I’ve also seen metal alternatives that are presumably less likely to flex when you apply pressure to them.

At the moment, bottle capping seems to be a stressful experience where a bottle could fly off across the room at any moment – I’m sure a bench mounted version would be safer if nothing else.

Thankfully, I did get most of the beer in the bottles, and after a few weeks it tastes rather good, albeit a bit wild – I think I probably over carbonated it slightly. It seems a bit light on bitterness and aroma, but I was using left-over hops that are a few months old so maybe they’ve lost some of their potency – I’ll use fresher ones next time and see if it makes much of a difference.