Today, I volunteered to help bottle beer for Jester King. I had a fun time!
My job, when I was not drinking beer, was to load 750ml bottles onto the washing machine. It kept me pretty busy. I went through a ten foot high palette of bottles and a half of another one. I got lucky with this day. We started at 10am and worked until 4pm. Which was a half day. We only bottled half of one of their fermenters/bright tank. I’ve heard stories about going until 3 or 4 in the morning.
The machine you see in the immediate background is the bottle washer. And the operation is simple. There are two zones. When you fill a section with upturned bottles, you turn the valve on for a minute to let the sanitizer spray the insides of the bottles clean. I just had to keep pace with the guy grabbing bottles for the bottler.
The bottling machine pumped beer out of the bright tank and into one of six bottles. Each bottle had an overflow valve at the top which let out air and a little bit of beer. Which drained off into a nearby drain. There had to be like six dogs running around the brewery. And I was surprised that none of them drank the run off beer from the bottling machine.
After we were done, we hung out and drank free beer from their taps and deep fried a turkey for dinner.
And I came home with a case of Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale for my effort.