|That time of year for Zombies|
For the most part I don't bottle condition my beers and opt instead to carbonate the beer in the keg to a volume I am happy with then BeerGun it into a bottle when I need it in a bottle. I have really only one exception to this and that is for when bottle conditioning is a very integral part of the of finished beer, such is the case for my "fancy beer with a fancy name" Westbennetteren 12. Even in these exceptions I still like to utilize the BeerGun in loo of a bottling bucket as it allows for a nice sealed O2 free environment and it's so much easy to use the controls on the Beer Gun.
So when it came time to bottle up Westbennneteren 12 b2 I moved the beer from it's long secondary to a flushed keg. I then added 5.5 oz of Candi Syrup Inc Simplicity and a fresh vial of WLP500 (I couldn't get any fresh WLP530 in time). Finally I shook and rolled the keg to get everything to blend together.
For this round I wanted to use as many genuine Belgian bottles as I could (especially Westmalle / Westveleteren trappist bottles) so I asked my friend Michael, who owns the incredible Belgian GastroPub The Globe, if I could have at some of his empty bottles. He said yes allowing me to secure just about a case of Westmalle, Rochefort, Orval and Straffe Hendrik bottles. Added to the Belgian bottles I had on hand allowed me to bottle over a case of Westbennetteren 12 in Belgian bottles.
The final key to this years batch occurred just as I was ready to order this years caps from Bottlemark. Just as I was about to place my order for the same cap I used last year, they came out with a new line of colored crowns including a gold oxygen-barrier cap which is the perfect cap for Westbennetteren 12. I have to tell you the new caps are incredible, not only do they look great but they are incredibly durable.
Now that the beer is bottled up it has about a month or room temperature conditioning ahead of it before it's debut at Quad-Fest 2013!
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