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Sep 15, 2014

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GABF brewers' diaries

Todd Ashman

Flossmoor Station - Aug. 26-27

After what seemed like an eternity the wait is over and it is time to bottle. Everything is tasted from the serving tank or from its aging barrel. Some beers might get a little tweek by blending if the character is not up to standard. Seven Hoff Steven one-quarter barrels are cleaned and then cleaned again, finally soaked in near boiling water. The kegs are emptied, allowed to cool a little, bunged and either purged or allowed to create a vacuum as required. Those with a vacuum are taken to our cooler, and barrel aged products are extracted and then carbonated. The other kegs are filled from the serving tank.

The next morning the kegs are loaded into the 'exploder' (the company vehicle) and Bill and I drive out to Aurora, and bottle at America's Brewpub. Mike Rybinski and Felipe Reyes have been more than cordial allowing us to bottle on their Meheen. We always leave them some beer and hope that we haven't worn out our welcome.

When we used to hand bottle it was long, tedious, cold and with results that could be better. Using Americas Brewpub's bottler has been a blessing. All went well during bottling, with a couple of brands giving some trouble. I'm pretty happy with the result so now is the time to wait again.

Next, shipping day.

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