Once the beer had been in the fermenter for about 12 days I started to take gravity readings to see if the fermentation was at the stage where it can be bottled.
Two readings of 1.000 on my slightly dodgy hydrometer, spaced 24 hours apart, means we're good to go!
Sanitising the bottles...
Here's something I wasn't looking forward to. I tried to get hold of a none rinse sanitiser from a 'local home brew store' which turned out to be a tiny market stall that didn't have any.
Oh well, out with the bleach!
Also sanitising are the bottle tops and the bottling 'wand'. This is just a tube with a needle valve at the end so when the bottle is placed over it dispenses beer and stops when it's removed.
Once they had soaked for half an hour they were well rinsed out. I gave got into a rhythm of 3 rinses with water, then one with the sodium metabisulphite, then another quick rinse with water.
30 bottles took about 45 minutes... maybe more. Next time I will have no rinse sanitiser!
In the interest of keeping these posts manageable and not too long I'm going to stop here and talk about the bottling in the next one.