Author Topic: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success  (Read 1531 times)

Offline daniel_cerveza

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Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« on: August 28, 2015, 03:35:53 PM »
Here's a quick write-up on bottling best-practices:

http://www.beersyndicate.com/blog/top-10-beer-bottling-tips-to-make-bottling-day-a-breeze/

Few questions for you:

Do you agree with the list?  What's missing?

What are your top 3 bottling tips (other than switch to kegging  ;))?

Any thoughts about the vinator?

And, have you ever gotten an infected beer from tap water coming in contact with your beer during bottling or some other time?  In other words, do you think the # 1 cause of infected beer is tap water as it mentions in the article?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 03:39:26 PM by daniel_cerveza »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 03:57:31 PM »
If you are really OCD do this.

Clean the bottles really well. Place AL foil over the necks, crimp foil on. Bake in the oven at 375F for an hour. Turn oven off and let bottles cool in place. Take out when cool and put in your storage, don't disturb the foil. When ready for use whenever you want to bottle, those are sterile and ready to go.
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Offline daniel_cerveza

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 04:10:26 PM »
Every time I put my PET bottles in the oven, they melt.   ;D

But seriously, I've always been nervous about the oven technique as, reportedly, the glass will weaken over time, potentially leading to bottle bombs.  Any advice on how many times you would bake the glass before getting a new set of bottles?  Or do you think this is not a problem?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 05:33:02 PM »
I have enough kegs I pretty much bottle for completions, so the bottles get one cycle of heat and are sent off.

Yes it will weaken the glass, so don't take them out cool to minimize the that.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2015, 05:52:08 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline beersk

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 05:47:50 PM »
This is all you need for a guide: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=94812

I had a vinator, it broke. I like filling my 5 gallon kettle up halfway with sanitizer, dunking 2 bottles at a time (filling a quarter full maybe), putting my thumb over the end and shaking, dumping, put on bottle tree, repeat. It's twice as fast as the vinator and the outside of your bottle gets sanitized as well. And always, always, always, triple rinse (shaking vigorously) the bottles after you pour a beer.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 05:49:23 PM by beersk »
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Offline narcout

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 08:13:48 PM »
Any thoughts about the vinator?

When I bottled, I liked using the vinator in combination with a bottle tree.  You can sanitize a whole run of bottles for a 5 gallon batch in a few minutes.
It's too close to home
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Offline chumley

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 02:40:15 PM »
I have only one beer bottling tip:

1.  Throw all those bottles away and invest in a kegging system.   :)

I am very happy that I no longer have vast stores of dusty bottles in my basement.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2015, 10:04:06 PM »
And always, always, always, triple rinse (shaking vigorously) the bottles after you pour a beer.
+1000 to this.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2015, 10:20:19 PM »
The vinator has worked great for me so far.

I believe the Fast-Rack bottle drain system (after sanitizing with vinator) works better for me than a bottle tree.

* Takes less space.

* I can flip a whole case of bottles over in one motion and have them ready to fill.

I use the "pump prime" method for priming.  It's faster and more versatile than the bottling bucket method.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=23215.msg296546#msg296546
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Offline daniel_cerveza

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 03:01:30 PM »
So I read the 'prime pump method' from the comment above... Assuming there are no other problems with that technique, one issue I see is that the spray bottle distributes a specific amount of sugar every time at the same store-bought, pre-mixed concentration (whatever amount is in a given brand of simple sugar mix).  This is good for consistency (all beers come out at exactly the same amount of carbonation), but bad for matching the appropriate level of carbonation to whatever beer style.

In other words, if the level of carbonation is an important part of beer, like hops or some other component, then it seems we may want to add the appropriate level of carbonation to a given beer, just as we might with hops. 

For example, if I told you that the amount of hops you want to add to every style of beer is 4 oz in a 5 gallon batch, that might make you a pretty good beer every time. One size fits all.  However, if we really wanted to be accurate about the style of beer we were making (Imperial IPA, Berliner Weisse, etc), you may need to add more or less hops to brew a good example of the style.

Accordingly, every style of beer requires a certain level of carbonation.  For instance, German Hefeweizen, Lambic, and Saison call for about 4 volumes of CO2 (possibly more), whereas English Bitters should be carbonated to about 1 volume.  In order to achieve a specific amount of carbonation, you're probably better off measuring and mixing up your own priming sugar yourself.  How you would adapt a spray bottle to spray out the desired amount into every bottle is probably solvable (dilute or concentrate the store-bought sugar mix to distribute the appropriate amount per spray), but I'm guessing not as practical as measuring your own priming sugar according to the style of beer you're making and mixing it in to the entire volume of beer you wish to prime.

For me, I still think using an online priming sugar calculator (which also will give you the recommended level of carbonation per beer style), and adding that to the volume of beer being primed is the best way to go when bottle priming.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 03:08:00 PM by daniel_cerveza »

Offline chezteth

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 04:01:25 PM »
Unless I overlooked it, the priming sugar should be added to a small amount of water and boiled for a few minutes before adding to the beer. This will help ensure complete and proper distribution of the priming sugar in the beer.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2015, 04:04:54 PM »
I have only one beer bottling tip:

1.  Throw all those bottles away and invest in a kegging system.   :)

I am very happy that I no longer have vast stores of dusty bottles in my basement.

^^^^   Just personal preference.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2015, 04:25:54 PM »
Unless I overlooked it, the priming sugar should be added to a small amount of water and boiled for a few minutes before adding to the beer. This will help ensure complete and proper distribution of the priming sugar in the beer.
You also want to be sure it is mixed in well, as it tends to stratify and you end up with uneven carbonation. I add mine during racking once there's about an inch if beer in the bottling bucket. The swirling motion of the incoming beer mixes the sugar in fairly well. I still always give a couple of gentle stirs with a sanitized spoon at the end, just to be sure.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2015, 04:43:44 PM »
I have only one beer bottling tip:

1.  Throw all those bottles away and invest in a kegging system.   :)

I am very happy that I no longer have vast stores of dusty bottles in my basement.
You don't want to bottle some off the keg every now and then?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Top 10 Beer Bottling Tips to Make Bottling Day a Success
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2015, 05:08:14 PM »
I have only one beer bottling tip:

1.  Throw all those bottles away and invest in a kegging system.   :)

I am very happy that I no longer have vast stores of dusty bottles in my basement.
You don't want to bottle some off the keg every now and then?

For me, I'll bottle from keg for comps or to give away. And sometimes to make room for another beer on tap, I'll bottle a partial keg. But otherwise, kegs all the way.
Jon H.