Bottling... blimey,

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Beeblebear

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So I did my first bottling of my first beer kit today.

I think I'd better treat it as a learning exercise...

Some things I learned -

I need an FV with a tap - siphons suck.
Prime first, not as you go along. That will get messy.
Make sure you have a beer poured ready. Coffee is not good enough.


I got about 8 bottles less than I'd hoped, my siphon was too short and my last bottle could probably be served up in a restaurant as 'sediment soup'. However, having those 30 bottles lined up on my table, all capped, felt like a real achievement and I'm pretty chuffed.

I was hoping to attend the Manchester Homebrew meetup next month though, but I'm still not sure I'll have something decent to take with me. Unless I just call it my 'practice' beer.
 

terrym

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So I did my first bottling of my first beer kit today.
I think I'd better treat it as a learning exercise...
Some things I learned -
I need an FV with a tap - siphons suck.
Prime first, not as you go along. That will get messy.
Make sure you have a beer poured ready. Coffee is not good enough.
I got about 8 bottles less than I'd hoped, my siphon was too short and my last bottle could probably be served up in a restaurant as 'sediment soup'. However, having those 30 bottles lined up on my table, all capped, felt like a real achievement and I'm pretty chuffed.
I was hoping to attend the Manchester Homebrew meetup next month though, but I'm still not sure I'll have something decent to take with me. Unless I just call it my 'practice' beer.
It's good to know your first beer went reasonably well.athumb..
However I've been brewing beer over a period about 50 years and
- still use a siphon (of the correct length!), it just needs a bit of technique, a clip on the top of the FV (mine's made of two plastic clothes pegs and wire better than the clips you buy) plus I can get all of the beer out of the FV leaving the trub behind and I only get little spillage
- I mostly prime each bottle after its filled before capping off using a tsp and funnel (if the beer foams as you add the sugar it is likely to be not quite ready for bottling); I sometimes batch prime but there isn't much to choose between the two methods
-I don't drink beer whilst I'm doing any brewing, that's when you can make mistakes and more importantly become more vulnerable to accidents (look up Safe Brewing thread here https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/safe-brewing.82795 )
Next if your beer is cloudy at bottling time, you haven't left it long enough. Most beers will be pretty much clear after leaving them for a full 2 weeks in the FV and if you have a cold place put the FV in there for a couple of days at the end which will also help.
And do go to the Brewclub you will learn a lot by talking to people who hopefully know what they are doing.
 
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Beeblebear

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It's good to know your first beer went reasonably well.athumb..
However I've been brewing beer over a period about 50 years and
- still use a siphon (of the correct length!), it just needs a bit of technique, a clip on the top of the FV (mine's made of two plastic clothes pegs and wire better than the clips you buy) plus I can get all of the beer out of the FV leaving the trub behind and I get little spillage
- I mostly prime each bottle after its filled before capping off using a tsp and funnel (if the beer foams as you add the sugar it is likely to be not quite ready for bottling); I sometimes batch prime but there isn't much to choose between the two methods
-I don't drink beer whilst I'm doing any brewing, that's when you can make mistakes and more importantly become more vulnerable to accidents (look up Safe Brewing thread here https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/safe-brewing.82795 )
Next if your beer is cloudy at bottling time, you haven't left it long enough. Most beers will be pretty much clear after leaving them for a full 2 weeks in the FV and if you have a cold place put the FV in there for a couple of days at the end which will also help.
And do go to the Brewclub you will learn a lot by talking to people who hopefully know what they are doing.
Thank you Terry,

I think my siphon problem was just down to new brewer lack of preparedness. I've made rhubarb wine before, and had an auto-siphon. It wasn't long enough, so I ended up swapping to a different siphon and disturbed too much of the sediment. It was looking clear before my cack-handedness kicked in.

The beer was Punk AF - I like the taste, and it's no alcohol :)

I do want to go to the brewclub, I'm just worried that if I don't take something with me I'll look like a fella who's just looking for free beer.
 

thesteve

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Beeblebear - I normally used a FV without a tap but firstly siphon into a bucket with a tap which I then attach a bottling wand to for the actual bottling process.

The bottling wand makes a massive difference.

I think everyone has their own technique with the priming but I tend to just put half a teaspoon of sugar into each bottle using a funnel before filling the bottles.
 

RichardM

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Beeblebear - I normally used a FV without a tap but firstly siphon into a bucket with a tap which I then attach a bottling wand to for the actual bottling process.

The bottling wand makes a massive difference.

I think everyone has their own technique with the priming but I tend to just put half a teaspoon of sugar into each bottle using a funnel before filling the bottles.
This what I do. It's straight forward and works without a mess.
I hate to think how much beer I lost on the floor the first few times I bottled with just a bit of plastic tubing to use as a siphon
 

Bounce

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It's all about having the correct gear and then bottling process is fairly painless.
  1. Bottling bucket with bottling wand for batch priming.
  2. No rinse steriliser.
  3. Bottle tree
  4. Vinator to scoot the steriliser into the bottles.
  5. Bench capper
Job done
 

BradleyW

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New to brewing too and bottling is the bit I still haven't quite managed to get comfortable with yet. I always end up rushing and making daft mistakes! But one thing I will say, definitely get a proper bench capper! Got one for Xmas and soooooo much quicker and less faff.
 

Richie_asg1

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First of all congrats on your first beer done. acheers.

Bottling wand is marvelous. I use mine with the syphon. Clip the syphon tube on, suck on the little tap,then lower to fill the tube. Remove tap (so no spit in bottles), attach bottling wand, then press into a spare cleaned bottle you can use as a stand when faffing about with bottles.
Essential in my view to fix the syphon to the bucket side to prevent stirring up sediment, and start half way up - move down later.

I batch prime so the tricky bit is first, into another FV to be free of trub, then when bottling from that the aim is to get it all out again.

And a bench capper is worth the money twice over.
 

Victor Churchill

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I used to find a problem with batch priming when using a syphon for the bottling process direct from the FV: after adding the priming sugar the brew would begin to effervesce (fizz) enough to build up a barrier of CO2 inside the syphon tube stopping the syphon effect.

I suspect that this may have been partly because I was bottling too early (it was a while ago...)

Now when I bottle I do it via a bottling bucket with a gravity feed through a bottom tap to a bottling wand, and that problem doesn't arise.
(I do wince at the perceived waste of the beer left under the tap though. I tilt the bucket to lose as little as possible but there's still always some. Anybody else the same?)
 

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