Mar

21

2011

Brew Day #19 — Bee Sting Ale AGAIN! 

Yes. This may be our favorite recipe. Yes. We’ve brewed it three times now. But this time, we won’t be drinking it solely ourselves. Instead, we selected this recipe for an upcoming homebrewers brewfest that we will be participating in (as soon as I have details, I will post).

19 March 2011
Bee Sting Ale
5 gallons, 60 minute boil

5.0 lbs Pilsen Light Liquid Malt Extract (60 min)
2.0 lbs Orange Blossom Honey (15 min)

Specialty Grains:
0.5 lbs Crystal Malt 15L

1.0 oz Chinook Hops [ 11.8% AA] (60 min)
1.0 oz Amarillo Hops [ 8.6% AA] (15 min)

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min — clarifier)

White Labs California Ale Yeast WLP001

Seeds of Paradise tea — (TBD … tweaking the recipe)

4 oz corn sugar (bottling)

———

Create a yeast starter 2-3 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Heat to 155°F.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat, add malt extract. Bring back to a boil. Add Chinook hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 15 minutes, turn off heat. Add orange blossom honey. Stir until dissolved. Return to boil. Add Amarillo hops.

Chill wort to below 70°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast starter and aerate thoroughly. Allow to ferment to completion at 60-65°F.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Add seeds of paradise tea. Age for 1 – 2 weeks.

Rack to bottling bucket. Boil corn sugar with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Bottle. Age for two weeks.

Jul

27

2010

Brew Day #18 — Brew Day for Beginners 

Here’s monthly Bathtub contributor Ryan from The Healthy Hog on what it’s like to see brew day from outside our kitchen.

Mel explains hops

Mel explains about the types of hops used in the Bee Sting Ale.

On Memorial Day, Mel and Ray were gracious enough to invite Girlfriend and I and a few others over for a Brew Day. It would function as a small pot-luck, a beer tasting, and most importantly an instructional day for wannabe brewers like myself. And as an aspiring brewer who has no clue about homebrewing, it was important for me to see everything first-hand. Anyone can read a recipe, after all, but it always helps to see what the finished product should look like. Plus, there would be free food.

As we arrived, we were immediately treated to a tasting of a few of Bathtub’s previous homebrews—most of which I’d already had. After beer was lunch; after lunch was the main attraction. It was immediately apparent Mel had prepared everything for us just-so; hops were set out in little bowls to pass around and smell, (a sickly-sweet smell with a hint of bitterness; take a whiff of your strongest double IPA and multiply that by ten), malt was passed around for tasting, the water filter and wort chiller were on display, kettles and measuring devices were set up and ready to be used. The only things missing were a chalkboard and desks.

The first misconception of mine that was shattered was that homebrewing was hard.  Yes, it is regimented: You have to get things to the correct temperature, add ingredients at the correct time, complete the steps in the proper order or your beer will taste awful.  But, it’s also as easy as that. The temperature the mixture has to be brought to isn’t a secret; you don’t have to guess it on your own. Thanks to the abundance of recipes out there, you don’t have to guess at what kind of hops to put in or which other ingredients you need. It’s just a matter of doing things right.

Adding filtered water to the fermenter

Mel adds filtered water to the fermeter as Ray watches for it to hit the 5 gallon point.

Perhaps the whole experience was made to seem easier by having such good instructors. Mel and Ray were not afraid to pass things around for us to smell, to touch, to taste. They not only told us what they were doing, but why they were doing it and what it meant to the beer as a whole, the opposite of which is my biggest complaint in being taught something new. You can tell me what to do all you want, but I will be so much more likely to remember what to do if you tell me why it’s done. And Mel and Ray are the perfect combination for this: Mel is like the Please Touch Museum, Ray is the science center full of facts and equations.

Keep in mind, as well: these are people who have been brewing for years. They have everything down to a science, and they’re thinking outside the box. Coming up with their own recipes, adding different ingredients—but it’s still easy. This experience definitely showed me that, even for your first time brewing, all you have to do is relax and follow directions. Boil water. Add barley. Add hops. Add ingredients. Cool. Add yeast. Let sit. Bottle. Drink. Enjoy. The end.

Photos courtesy of Amy

Jul

23

2010

Brew Day #18 — Bee Sting Ale Revisited 

Ray adds the pilsen extract as Mel stirs the wort.

Because the Bee Sting Ale was such a big hit with friends and family alike, we decided it should be one our our first true repeats (though I should note that Ray’s Ginpel recipe was based off of the Belgian tripel we brewed waaaaay back when).

And to make it a little interesting, we decided to have friends over so they could see what homebrewing was like. And it was a success!

Ryan, LeeAnne, Amy and Bob joined us for a lunch of homemade pizza, accompanied by sides from LeeAnne and cheeses from Amy. The food was so good we almost could have skipped brew day completely, though I’m pretty sure our guests wouldn’t have appreciate that. Ray and I had them check out at our setup in the “brewery” and kitchen, smell hops and taste malts. We took turns answering questions, and cajoled Ryan into stirring the pot while I added the honey towards the end of the boil.

Wort poured into fermenter

Ray pours the cooled wort into the fermenter.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the food, and the beer we had on hand. We sent Bob home with our copy of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, and everyone got to take home some bottles of homebrew, with the promise that once the Bee Sting was bottled, they could collect even more.

We kept the recipe the same, with the only changes being the specific alpha acids of the hops and the seeds of paradise. In our original brewing of the Bee Sting, we added the peppery spice to the last 5 minutes of the boil, as well as making an extract with the spice and vodka. This year, after having success with the chai tea in Boris the Spider Chai Oatmeal Stout, we decided to go the tea route as well. I’m curious to see how successful it is.

31 May 2010
Bee Sting Ale
5 gallons, 60 minute boil

5.0 lbs Pilsen Light Liquid Malt Extract (60 min)
2.0 lbs Orange Blossom Honey (15 min)

Specialty Grains:
0.5 lbs Crystal Malt 15L

1.0 oz Chinook Hops [ 11.4% AA] (60 min)
1.0 oz Amarillo Hops [ 7.5% AA] (15 min)

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min — clarifier)

White Labs California Ale Yeast WLP001

Seeds of Paradise tea — 16 g of pulverized seeds of paradise in 8 oz filtered water, chilled overnight

4 oz corn sugar (bottling)

———

Create a yeast starter 2-3 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Heat to 155°F.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat, add malt extract. Bring back to a boil. Add Chinook hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 15 minutes, turn off heat. Add orange blossom honey. Stir until dissolved. Return to boil. Add Amarillo hops.

Chill wort to below 70°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast starter and aerate thoroughly. Allow to ferment to completion at 60-65°F.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Add seeds of paradise tea. Age for 1 – 2 weeks.

Rack to bottling bucket. Boil corn sugar with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Bottle. Age for two weeks.

Photos courtesy of the lovely Amy

Jul

22

2010

Brew Day #17 — Extra Fancy Brown Ale 

I feel like the brown ale often gets forgotten in the melee of its darker cousins, the crazy bourbon, oaked-aged stouts and chocolate porters (not to mention conventional stouts and porters). Who wants a simple brown ale when they can get something exotic?

But the standard brown ale is a great choice for a variety of occasions. It’s a session beer. It’s more substantial than a lager. It can be as roasty or as chocolatey as the brewer wants it to be, or it can be nutty and coffee like (remember our “Nuts About Coffee” Nut Brown ale?)

We decided to give the noble brown a shot with an original recipe this time, and after a little research, I decided to model the beer after Dogfish Head’s Indian Brown Ale, though it’s probably not as hoppy, but more on the roasty side.

10 April, 2010
Extra Fancy Brown Ale
5 gallons

8 lbs Ultralight Malt Extract (60 min)

1.0 lb Crystal 60L
8 oz Chocolate Malt
2 oz Roasted Barley

1 oz Magnum Hops (60 min)
1 oz Vanguard Hops (15 min)

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min — clarifier)

White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001)

DME (bottling)

———

Create a yeast starter 2-3 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Bring to boil.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat and add liquid malt extract. Bring to a boil. Add bittering hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 15 minutes, add remaining hops.

At end of boil, remove all hops. Chill wort to 75°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Decant yeast starter and pitch yeast. Aerate thoroughly. Ferment at 70-75°F.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Age for 1 – 2 weeks.

Rack to bottling bucket. Boil DME with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Age 1-2 weeks.

We’ll have our tasting notes up in a couple of weeks, but a cool thing to mention is that we shared a bottle of the Extra Fancy with a homebrewer we met on a camping trip to Keen Lake this past weekend. Jay runs the Final Gravity podcast, builds all sorts of cool homebrewing equipment, and found some interesting spice notes (like cinnamon) in our brown ale as he sipped it with us by the lantern-lit picnic table. It’s always a boon to have new people try our beer — it let’s us learn so much more.

Jan

13

2010

Tasting #12 — Hefe the ORC 

Whu— Oh, hey. Hey! Hey, wow, how’s it going? Yeah, I’ve been meaning to blog, it’s just been— I’ve been so busy with… work and… stuff. Well, hey, you look like you’re doing well! Ha ha…

I’m just gonna get to talking about this beer now, yeah?

Appearance: Light-to-golden amber. Very clear. Fluffy, bone white head. Lots of effervescence.

Nose: Tart berries. Cloves. Faintly alcoholic.

Taste: A perfect mix of sweet and tart. Hop bitterness takes a back seat to the tartness. Cloves, oranges, berries. Noticeable alcohol could stand to be masked a bit more, but doesn’t detract significantly.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, yet somehow slightly viscous, especially as it warms up. Coats the tongue. A little bit of an alcohol sting.

Overall: Not utterly hefeweizen-like, but there is just enough clove to at least suggest that it might have been a hefe in another life, maybe one that was born in Germany but raised in Belgium. The raisins are not as overt as we would have liked, but we love the tartness from the cranberries, which is assertive without completely drowning out the orange. The dryness could also prove to make this a great gateway beer for wine aficionados.

In a word, Hefe the ORC is totallyfreakingexcellentnoseriouslyguysholycrap. It’s results like this that make brewing such a fun hobby. It’s barely the hefeweizen we advertised it to be, but that’s fine, because Hefe the ORC has so much weirdness and complexity that we stopped caring what arbitrary style it fits into long ago. It’s simply a delicious and fragrant beer, and we could not be happier with it.

Sep

21

2009

Brew Day #16 — Boris the Spider Chai Oatmeal Stout 

I am a child of rock n’ roll. Not like, child of Led Zepplin groupies, but more like child of a dad that played Led Zepplin and other classic rock on the way to and from church Sunday mornings. How many 5-year-olds have a classic rock radio station bumper sticker on their bikes?

Months ago I was driving home from work and heard The Who’s “Boris the Spider” come on and I fell in love. I danced in the car, bouncing around to the music, probably looking like an idiot in traffic. I consider it one of my “happy songs.”

I knew I wanted to use the song as an inspiration point for a brew. Spiders tend to be black … I’d be brewing in the fall … I love oatmeal stouts in the colder months … I was introduced to chai in college by a close friend and the smell of the spiced tea makes me think of chilly autumn days in Western New York … spiders and stouts are black …

So there you have it. A wild stream of consciousness that brought me to this: Boris the Spider Chai Oatmeal Stout. I could totally see Pete Townshend drinking this.

20 September 2009
Boris the Spider Chai Oatmeal Stout
Extract w/ grains
5 gallons, 60 minute boil, 30 minute steep

6.0 lbs Light Liquid Malt Extract (60 min)
1.0 lb Dried Malt Extract (60 min)

Specialty Grains:
1.5 lbs Flaked Oats
9.00 oz Crystal 60L
8.00 oz Chocolate Malt
8.00 oz German Carafa II
4.00 oz Roasted Barley

1.00 oz Sterling Hops [7.0% AA] (60 min)
2.00 oz UK Kent Golding [4.2% AA] (60 min)
1.00 oz UK Kent Golding [4.2% AA] (5 min)

Custom cold-brewed chai tea with traditional spices (recipe to come)

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min – clarifier)

White Labs Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004)

4 oz corn sugar (bottling)

Create a yeast starter 2-3 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Bring to boil.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat and add 1.0 lb dried malt extract and 6.0 lbs liquid malt extract. Bring to a boil. Add bittering hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 5 minutes, add remaining hops.

At end of boil, remove all hops. Chill wort to 75°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Decant yeast starter and pitch yeast. Aerate thoroughly. Ferment at 70-75°F.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Age for 1 – 2 weeks.

Rack to bottling bucket. Add cold-brewed chai tea strained of spices. Boil corn sugar with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Bottle. Age for 2 – 3 weeks.

I’m still working on my chai recipe, but I can tell you that I will be mixing it myself. Chai is typically brewed with Indian Assam tea, but I didn’t have the best of luck finding this tea. So instead I picked up Twinings of London’s English Breakfast Tea, which is a blend of Kenyan and Assam. I have a wonderful stash of spices to work with, so I’m excited!

Aug

24

2009

Brew Day #15 — Ginpel 

Back in May, we talked about my experiment mixing gin with our Tripel, and how wonderfully wonderful it was. We were inspired to try brewing a tripel with juniper and rosemary, and that happened yesterday:

23 August 2009
Ginpel
Extract w/ grains
5 gallons, 60 minute boil, 30 minute steep

5.0 lbs Pilsner Liquid Malt Extract (60 min)
4.0 lbs Pilsner Liquid Malt Extract (15 min)
2.0 lbs Demerara sugar (15 min)

Specialty Grains:
1.0 lbs Crystal Malt 15L
1.0 lbs Carafoam Malt

1.00 oz Sterling Hops [7.0% AA] (60 min)
2.00 oz Sterling Hops [7.0% AA] (5 min)

1.00 oz Crushed coriander seed
1.00 oz Sweet orange peel
1.00 oz Juniper berries
0.50 oz Grains of paradise
0.50 oz Rosemary

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min – clarifier)

White Labs Trappist Ale Yeast (WLP500)

4 oz corn sugar (bottling)

Create a yeast starter 2-3 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Bring to boil.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat and add 5.0 lbs malt extract. Bring to a boil. Add bittering hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 15 minutes, turn off heat. Add remaining malt extract while stirring. Return to boil.

At 5 minutes, add remaining hops.

At end of boil, remove all hops. Chill wort to 75°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Decant yeast starter and pitch yeast. Aerate thoroughly. Ferment at 70-75°F.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Add coriander, orange peel, juniper berries, grains of paradise, and rosemary. Age for 1 – 2 weeks.

Rack to bottling bucket. Boil corn sugar with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Bottle. Age for 2 – 3 weeks.

Definitely one of our odder recipes. I have a feeling the juniper and rosemary will end up being over-emphasized, but nothing ventured! *fingers crossed*

Jul

20

2009

Brew Day #14 — Barleywine 

Barleywine is that odd case of a beer style name making a lot of sense. It’s basically a wine-strength beer, literally a barley wine. Barleywine is fairly sweet and fruity, with just enough hop bitterness to keep it from being cloying. It’s meant to be sipped and savored, but if you want to drink it like a normal beer, by all means, go for it. Just don’t expect me to catch you afterward.

Because of the huge amount of malt that goes into a barleywine, yeast can sometimes struggle for roughly the same reason that one slips into a torpor after a big bag of Skittles. A higher fermentation temperature can help out, and the resulting fruity esters will probably be welcome anyway.

Thanks to the high alcohol content (anywhere from 8-12%), barleywine ages well. Mind you, if you’ve under-bittered your barleywine, no amount of aging is going to fix it, as bitterness will tend to decrease over time, but if you open a fresh bottle of barleywine and it tastes like it could help a Saturn V make low-Earth orbit, there’s a good chance it’ll evolve into something tasty with a few months in the cellar.

18 July 2009
Barleywine
Extract w/ grains
5 gallons, 90 minute boil, 30 minute steep

8.0 lbs Ultralight Liquid Malt Extract (90 min)
4.0 lbs Ultralight Liquid Malt Extract (15 min)

Specialty Grains:
1.0 lbs Crystal Malt 60L
1.0 lbs Victory Malt

3.25 oz Kent Golding Hops [5.4% AA] (90 min)
1.00 oz Kent Golding Hops [4.2% AA] (90 min)
2.00 oz Centennial Hops [8.0% AA] (90 min)

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min – clarifier)

3 vials White Labs Dry English Ale yeast (WLP007)

2 oz corn sugar (bottling)

Create a yeast starter 1-2 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Bring to boil.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat and add 8.0 lbs malt extract. Bring to a boil. Add hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 15 minutes, turn off heat. Add remaining malt extract while stirring. Return to boil.

At end of boil, remove all hops. Chill wort to 75°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Decant yeast starter and pitch yeast. Aerate thoroughly. Ferment at 70-75°F.

At approx. 25% attenuation, create a yeast starter. After 24 hours, decant and pitch.

Repeat at approx. 50% attenuation.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Age for 3 – 4 months.

Rack to bottling bucket. Boil corn sugar with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Bottle. Age for 6 months to 1 year.

We had to improvise a bit on the hops. The hops that arrived in our Morebeer order were much lower alpha than what was listed on Morebeer’s website, so we had to find a way to make up for the missing IBU. Fortunately, we had some extra hops that were going to go unused in a future brew day. This is why the hop amounts listed in the recipe aren’t round and why there are two of the same hope variety listed with two different alpha acidities.

I’ll be honest here: I am not wholly optimistic about how this will turn out. Our original gravity came out to 1.093, exactly what we wanted, but an awful lot for yeast to handle. Theoretically, we’re looking for 75% attenuation, for a final gravity of 1.020-1.022, which would equate to about 9.5% ABV, but that’s feel-good optimism. In practice, there’s a lot that can go wrong, chiefly of which being severe underattenuation. An incomplete fermentation would leave us with a cloyingly sweet barleywine, but that’s the least of our problems. If the yeast should somehow decide to wait until they’re in the bottles to finish eating all of our maltose, we could find ourselves wading in a sea of beer and broken glass. Explosions are bad. Pointy explosions are worse.

That’s why we’re going to be pitching three separate yeast starters over the course of the fermentation. If the beasts that are already in there get burned out, then one hopes a fresh batch of fungus can start a new shift. Fingers are crossed. I’ll be content with 60-65% attenuation after four weeks. Worst case, we can always drop in a vial of champagne yeast.

Jul

15

2009

Tasting #11 — Bee Sting Ale 

Float like a butterfly, sting like a beer.The Bee Sting came out Jim dandy booyah, which is why our supply of it is not lasting very long, so let us get to the tasting notes:

1.045 OG; 4.9% ABV; 45 IBU

Appearance: Bright amber, mostly clear, just slightly hazy. Foamy white head that settles into a thin sheet of bubbles.

Nose: Sharply citrusy, with grapefruit being the most prominent, complimented by a hint of orange, pine, and resin. Slight alcohol aroma.

Taste: Bitter and very citrusy with the same grapefruit, orange, and pine as the nose. Slight alcohol dryness. Smooth honey sweetness. Peppery heat is vaguely insinuated.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium bodied and smooth. Moderate-to-high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing. Leaves the tongue dry.

Overall: Mel writes: “I am so proud of this beer. It has gotten some of the highest remarks from those who have tried it—we’ve been told several times by friends and coworkers that this is the type of beer they expect to be able to order in a pub. I’m really pleased that I could take my crazy concept of a “bee sting”, deconstruct it, and then reconstruct it in a beer recipe—AND IT WORKED!!! This beer is both complex, yet extremely refreshing, and seems to be a real crowd pleaser.”

Yeah, damn, Mel really knocked it out of the park with this recipe. I’d like to try this again later with more seeds of paradise so the pepper heat asserts itself more, but other than that, this is the picture of delicious in my book.

Jul

10

2009

Brew Day #13 — Simie the SNAKE Simcoe IPA 

My uncle is second from the right.

During the 60s and early 70s, my Uncle Larry was in a real rockin’ band called Snake that was active during the anti-war movement. In 1970 they played to a packed crowd in Cornell University’s Barton Hall at the America Is Hard to Find Peace Festival.

According to whichever bandmate who does the most posting to the Snake Facebook fan page, “… this festival promised a venue for the Berrigan Brothers … Catholic priests who were wanted by the FBI for counseling draft dodgers. They actually showed up in biker attire with helmets and managed to make it on stage and off without getting caught.” Snake even was adopted by the East Coast motorcycle gang BREED and opened for a number of great artists like Janis Joplin.

Yeah. My Uncle was in a freakin’ kick-ass band (and still is, just a different one).

So, um, what does this have to do with beer? Well, one bandmate’s name was Simmi Slovacek, and I remember hearing that name on and off as a teenager. And you know what? Simmi sounds a lot like “Simcoe” … so in naming this brew, I pay tribute to my Uncle’s band with “Simie the SNAKE.”

14 June 2009
Simie the Snake Simcoe IPA
5 gallons, 60 minute boil

7.0 lbs Pilsen Light Liquid Malt Extract (60 min)
1.0 lb Wildflower Honey (15 min)

Specialty Grains:
1.5 lbs Crystal 15L
0.5 lbs Caravienne
0.5 lbs Special Roast

1.50 oz Simcoe Hops [11.9% AA] (60 min)
1.00 oz Simcoe Hops [11.9% AA] (15 min)
1.00 oz Simcoe Hops [11.9% AA] (5 min)
1.50 oz Simcoe Hops [11.9% AA] (dry hop)

1 tablet Whirlfloc (20 min – clarifier)

White Labs California Ale yeast (WLP001)

4 oz corn sugar (bottling)

Create a yeast starter 2-3 days in advance.

Add 3 gallons of water to kettle. Bring to boil.

Steep grains at 155°F for 30 minutes.

Remove grains, turn off heat and add malt extract. Bring back to a boil. Add 60 minute hops.

At 20 minutes, add Whirlfloc tablet.

At 15 minutes, turn off heat. Add wildflower honey. Stir until dissolved. Return to boil. Add 15 minute hops.

At 5 minute, add 5 minute hops.

At end of boil, remove all hops. Chill wort to 75°F. Rack to fermenter and dilute to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast starter and aerate thoroughly. Allow to ferment to completion at 60-65°F in bathtub full of cold water with a wet-towel wrap.

Rack fermented beer to secondary fermenter. Add dry hops. Age for 1 – 2 weeks.

Rack to bottling bucket. Boil corn sugar with 1 c filtered water and add to beer. Mix well.

Bottle. Age for 2 weeks.

Though we were a bit off with our gravity (it’s been a reoccurring issue that is quite frankly pissing us off), the wort tasted great, and the other samples we’ve taken have also been delicious. I’m excited to get this brew into the bottle, and most definitely into my uncle’s hands.