How to Bottle Beer

Feb 22 08:56 2011 Bruce Carter Print This Article

Bottling your beer will be the last step which needs to be carried out before you will finally have the opportunity to drink your very own home brewed beer. The primary fermentation needs to be entirely finished. To prepare your beer for bottling it's going to have to be primed. This process calls for introducing a limited amount of sugar to the entirely fermented but uncarbonated beer. Bottling beer is a relatively basic procedure, but, it does require some preparation to get everything in place. There are multiple pieces of home brewing equipment required for bottling beer.

Bottling your beer will be the last step which needs to be carried out before you will finally have the opportunity to drink your very own home brewed beer. The primary fermentation needs to be entirely finished. For ales this typically takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks. The airlock on your fermenter should have very infrequent,Guest Posting if any, bubbles moving through it. The beer should likewise begin to clear as the inactive yeast settles to the bottom of your fermenter.

To prepare your beer for bottling it's going to have to be primed. This process calls for introducing a limited amount of sugar to the entirely fermented but uncarbonated beer. Despite the fact that your beer may appear somewhat clear there's still adequate yeast remaining to consume the additional sugar. After the primed beer is bottled it is going to go through a small fermentation which will make the carbonation. This method is known as bottle conditioning.

Bottling beer is a relatively basic procedure, but, it does require some preparation to get everything in place. There are multiple pieces of home brewing equipment required for bottling beer. Generally home brewing equipment kits normally include all of these items except for the bottles.

Listed here are the things required for bottling beer:

- Bottles
- Priming Sugar
- Bottle Brush
- Bottle Caps and Capper
- Bottling Bucket with Spigot and Bottle Filler Attachment
- Additional 5 Gallon Plastic Bucket
- Racking Cane with Siphon Hose
- Cleaning Solution
- Sanitizing Solution

The following are a few extra household things needed:

- Small Bowl or Container
- Saucepan
- Large Mixing Spoon (stainless steel or plastic)
- Rubber Gloves

You will have to have enough bottles to contain all the beer you have brewed. The best type of bottles are brown glass ones with standard tops (not the twist-off variety) which will accept a cap from the bottle capper. Green glass bottles are also alright; the concept is to not let light in the bottle. Based upon the bottle size you will need to do a bit of math. A 5 gallon batch of beer is about 640 ounces; so if you are going to use 12 ounce bottles you'll need to have about 54. If you choose 16 ounce bottles you're going to need to have 40 bottles. It is actually a good plan to have a few additional bottles in the event there's a problem or a slight miscalculation.

Once again cleanliness is one of the most important things. It is VERY important that all of the bottles are completely cleaned before they can be sanitized, specifically for those who are reusing bottles. The easiest way to clean your bottles is to soak all of them in a cleaning solution and scrub them inside and outside using the bottle brush. Some really good cleaning solutions are PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash), B-Brite and Easy Clean. You really should wear clean rubber gloves while you're cleaning and sanitizing. The solutions that you will be using will cause skin irritation.

The next step is to sanitize all of the bottling equipment and bottles. There are numerous sanitizers to choose from. A couple of the well-known options are Star San, and 5-Star. Add the specified amount of sanitizer to your bottling bucket and to an additional 5 gallon bucket then simply fill both with water. Put all the bottling equipment that will come in contact with the beer in the sanitizing solution in the bottling bucket. Use the extra bucket to soak your bottles. Place as many bottles as you're able to in the sanitizing solution being sure that they are totally submerged. After the bottles have been in the sanitizing solution for the appropriate period of time (read through the sanitizer manufacturer’s directions) remove and allow the bottles to drain. Repeat this until all the bottles are sanitized. Empty the sanitizing solution from the bucket. Almost all of the sanitizers are “no rinse” so you will not have to worry about rinsing any of your bottling equipment or bottles.

When your bottling equipment is soaking in the sanitizing solution you will want to prepare the priming solution. The standard choice for priming sugar is corn sugar. It's a simple sugar and won't have an impact on the flavor of the beer. To do this step add 2 cups of water to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Combine ¾ cup of corn sugar and mix gently until it is completely dissolved. Put the lid on the saucepan and remove it from the burner.

Make time to set up the bottling area. Ensure that all the bottling equipment is easily accessible. Carefully put the fermenter on the countertop or table, try to prevent disturbing the sediment on the bottom. It's also important to take some notes. Document the date of the bottling and any other noteworthy things about the beer. You may want to refer back to this information at a later date.

Take all your bottling equipment out of the sanitizing solution in your bottling bucket and put it in the extra 5 gallon bucket. Then add some of the sanitizing solution from the bottling bucket just in case you might need it. Discard the rest of the sanitizing solution from the bottling bucket and allow it to drain.

Alright let’s get rolling. Just don't forget everything that touches your beer needs to stay sanitary.

Carefully pour the priming solution into the bottling bucket. It's ok if it is still warm. Make use of the freshly sanitized racking cane and siphon hose to move your beer out of the fermenter into the bottling bucket. Place the end of the siphon hose at the bottom of the bottling bucket. You should never let your beer to splash during the transfer, you don’t want to introduce any additional oxygen to your beer at this point. Always keep the intake of the racking cane up above the sediment in your fermenter. You do not want the sediment in the bottling bucket. After all your beer is in the bottling bucket lift it up on to the counter or table. Slowly stir it using a sanitized large spoon to ensure that the priming solution is uniformly mixed within the beer.

Place your bottle caps in a container with some sanitizing solution. Attach the hose with your bottling wand to the spigot on the bottling bucket. Turn on the spigot. Only do this if you are actually utilizing a bottling wand with its own valve.

At last it is time to start filling your bottles! The bottling wand features a convenient valve at the tip. To use it just simply push it against the bottom of your bottle and allow it to fill up. Stop just short of overfilling and remove the wand. This will generate an ideal fill level. Your beer should be ¾ of an inch from the top of the bottle. Place a sanitized cap onto the bottle and utilize your capper to seal the cap. Some home brewers choose to put caps on the filled bottles and wait to cap a number of them at that time. Do whichever is less complicated for you or get someone to assist with capping the bottles.

After capping, look over each bottle to verify that the cap is appropriately sealed. Once all the bottles are filled they might need to be rinsed to get rid of any beer from the exterior. Make sure you also clean all of your bottle filling equipment. It's easier to clean right after you're finished working with it. Furthermore cleaning your equipment right away will avoid many possible sanitation troubles during future uses.

Now that you have bottled all of your beer it must have time to correctly condition. The bottles should be kept upright in a place away from the light at a temperature between 65 -75 F. This kind of conditioning method should take at the very least 10 days. Preferably the bottles should really be allowed to condition for 3-4 weeks.

Naturally you will definitely be extremely eager to test your beer so after waiting 10 days cool down a bottle or two. When you open a bottle there should be the typical “hiss” if it is carbonated. Bottle conditioned beer is best enjoyed in a glass. Slowly pour it into a glass being aware to keep the sediment inside your bottle. Have your very first taste! How is it? In the event that it's not very carbonated it requires more conditioning time. If the beer tastes good give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your creation!

When you feel that the beer is adequately conditioned it should be kept at cellar temp or in the fridge.

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About Article Author

Bruce Carter
Bruce Carter

Bruce Carter is an avid home brewer and enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for brewing with others. Click for more details regarding how to make your own beer. If you would like to find out more about how to bottle beer please visit his home brewing site.


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