Bottle Washing

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I may have mentioned once or twice that I've taken up brewing beer. There's plenty of pleasure and joy in beer making. The drinking it part is the most fun, of course, but watching the pot boil and smelling the malty-hoppy aroma is pretty fun, too. Planning out the next batch--that's pretty awesome. Reading about beer is also really cool. Truth be told, though, the biggest part of brewing beer is just sitting around and waiting for yeast to do what yeast naturally does, and most of the rest is janitorial work. I have a batch of brown ale downstairs fermenting away. It will be due for bottling in another week or so, but that means I need to have bottles to put it in. Turns out, while you can buy empty bottles to use for bottling your homebrew, for just a little bit more money you can instead buy bottles filled with actual beer. You just drink the beer to get an empty bottle, which is kind of like winning twice on a single play. The problem with using emptied beer bottles is that you have to clean the empties (which is one of the many examples of the janitorial aspects of homebrewing). [Warning to those trying this at home: the dish soap by the sink in the picture above isn't what I used for the bottle-cleaning, and it isn't what you want to use either--Oxiclean is a better bet]

Washing bottles isn't glamorous or exciting, but it's something you have to do if you ever want to drink your beer. It's the little tedious jobs like washing bottles that make the exciting jobs like boiling your wort pay off with actual drinking of yummy beer.

I think that principle may apply more widely than just making beer.