The Washington Post

Chat Leftovers: An open bottle of beer on the wall

You and I, we probably woke up this morning, shook our foggy heads and put things right with a steaming cup of coffee. And the Earth became a better place. Pity Rachel Tepper, who started from a very different place: the world of the coffee-challenged. In today’s Food, she writes about her efforts to learn to love joe. Did she suceed? Read it and learn.

Also today, Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin grills two spring favorites that honor both his Lebanese family roots and his time in Texas: leg of lamb and lamb shish kebabs. And Sourced columnist David Hagedorn goes on a hunt for heritage pork and really brings home the bacon. (Well, almost everything but.)

Need I remind you of today’s Free Range chat, our weekly chance to sit down with each other and chew the fat? (Where did that expression come from, anyway?) Bring your questions, comments and concerns at noon, and we’ll be there to help. And to hand out the usual prizes of new books to chatters who charm us with their contributions.

Meanwhile, just to tide you over, here’s a leftover question we couldn’t get to in a previous chat:

How long can a bottle of open beer last? For instance, I’m a fan of Dogfish Head, and they made some kinds in ‘wine’ bottles but I can’t finish the bottle in a sitting. What’s the best way to ‘cork’ it and save for later?

I was able to pry Beer columnist Greg Kitsock away from the Beer Madness proceedings long enough to provide an answer. He says:

“There are a few possibilities. One is to pour the contents of the bottle into another container, like a soda bottle or growler, that has a twist-on cap, then reapply that cap tightly. But the act of transferring the liquid will cause some of the fizz to be lost.

“You could replace the crown cap using a bottle capper of the sort you can buy at a home-brew supply shop.

“But the best alternative might be to check out a wine shop. It should be possible to get a rubber stopper with a clasp that fits securely over the bottle’s mouth and keeps the carbon dioxide in.

“I know that some wine lovers use a device that pumps the oxygen from the bottle and replaces it with the inert gas argon. That method would protect against oxidation, but I’m not sure how well it would preserve the carbonation.”

So, a special heavy-duty wine stopper seems to be the best bet. Try it, and check back with the chat to let us know how it worked.


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