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mixed feelings about bottling

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lupinehorror

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Hope the IPA is good, I feel you pain of "slightly disappointing wine" fortunately I found out that I make pretty good beer to console myself.

I sit my FV on the kitchen table then sit on a chair next to it to bottle, I don't think someone with good knees could crouch for that long...
a chair may have to be gotten for next session. on the pain pills today.
the brew is decent however so the discomfort is worth it.
 

GhostShip

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I have grown to hate bottling day - it's such a faff but then again, so satisfying when all of the bottles are in the fridge ready for secondary fermentation.

I'm also a huge fan of PET bottles - for two main reasons;

1. When I've filled the bottle, I can give it a gentle sqeeze so that the beer comes almost to the top and then screw the cap on tight. It leaves the bottle looking slightly distorted, but within 2/3 days it's filled out again - and I've reduced the risk of oxidation by removing much of the oxygen.

2. Once the bottles have 'filled out' and tightened up, I have a clear indication that they're carbonated.

I obviously couldn't do either of the above with glass bottles.
 

freester

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Cider maker here but I feel your pain. Normally my bottling is a 23L carboy. That's 34x 660ml bottles that have to be sanitised rinsed a little sugar to carbonate added filled and capped. It's an afternoon job. If I'm feeling lazy I go and buy 11x 2L bottles of supermarket cheap sparkling water. Pour the water away and fill with cider removing the sanitisation step. Trouble is at the moment if I go and fill a trolley up with that much sparkling water I'll probably get hauled up for COVID panic buying 🤣
 

lupinehorror

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I have grown to hate bottling day - it's such a faff but then again, so satisfying when all of the bottles are in the fridge ready for secondary fermentation.

I'm also a huge fan of PET bottles - for two main reasons;

1. When I've filled the bottle, I can give it a gentle sqeeze so that the beer comes almost to the top and then screw the cap on tight. It leaves the bottle looking slightly distorted, but within 2/3 days it's filled out again - and I've reduced the risk of oxidation by removing much of the oxygen.

2. Once the bottles have 'filled out' and tightened up, I have a clear indication that they're carbonated.

I obviously couldn't do either of the above with glass bottles.
good squeeze technique tip. will be using that. thanks.
Cider maker here but I feel your pain. Normally my bottling is a 23L carboy. That's 34x 660ml bottles that have to be sanitised rinsed a little sugar to carbonate added filled and capped. It's an afternoon job. If I'm feeling lazy I go and buy 11x 2L bottles of supermarket cheap sparkling water. Pour the water away and fill with cider removing the sanitisation step. Trouble is at the moment if I go and fill a trolley up with that much sparkling water I'll probably get hauled up for COVID panic buying 🤣
the larger bottles appeal to my lazy side (and my knees and shredded back).
think a bottling wand will also help (though i was less messy than anticipated using just the syphon tube).
 

Nidger

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@lupinehorror



These work out cheaper than buying empty beer bottles. 60p for two.
(Thanks to @Wherrypuzzled for the tip )
I bought ten bottles, 5 raspberry and blackcurrant and 5 strawberry.
I only noticed when i got home that 5 were still water but the bottles look the same/generic.
@kelper says they are fine just some have vertical grooves in the threads to allow over Co2 escape.

I will just make sure i buy sparkling next time.

I bottled up some of the water in drinks bottles and put in the fridge, the rest went in my sanitised PB and the grandson is drinking it lol 👍😁
 
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terrym

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Only if you are overzealous with priming sugar, or bottle far too early are you likely to get 'high pressure' in bottles. But it would be interesting to know the pressure at which the PET bottle caps are blown off. I suspect it's far more than all but a handful of dozy homebrewers can achieve.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

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Only if you are overzealous with priming sugar, or bottle far too early are you likely to get 'high pressure' in bottles. But it would be interesting to know the pressure at which the PET bottle caps are blown off. I suspect it's far more than all but a handful of dozy homebrewers can achieve.
The 2-litre carbonated drinks bottle doesn’t blow the cap. The bottle rips down the side at about 170psi but not before mis-shaping and stretching so you get plenty of warning.
 

lupinehorror

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while i wasn't overly happy that my first big batch bottling didn't go exactly as planned i'm glad i started this thread. lots of good info.
thanks to all.
 

Thebiggestal

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I have used the 5L mini kegs to bottle up. But I found that they lose carbonation after a few weeks. Either I was lucky with the first couple or I damaged the bung therefore lacking a seal.
 

Richie_asg1

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I think a bottling wand is a must. Don't think I could do it without one.
Bottling and capping is easy. It's the hour of washing bottles that I can't stand. Every time I do it I promise myself to make some contraption that will make it easier. Maybe one day.

For the future find a beer that you like in a nice bottle, and just keep buying a few of them each time you are out. - It's an investment.
For Cider I buy the cases of Magners and keep the boxes. So far it has helped my system as Cider is always in a cider bottle.
 

lupinehorror

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I think a bottling wand is a must. Don't think I could do it without one.
Bottling and capping is easy. It's the hour of washing bottles that I can't stand. Every time I do it I promise myself to make some contraption that will make it easier. Maybe one day.

For the future find a beer that you like in a nice bottle, and just keep buying a few of them each time you are out. - It's an investment.
For Cider I buy the cases of Magners and keep the boxes. So far it has helped my system as Cider is always in a cider bottle.
i knew about bottling wands before i started this batch but now realise the difference one would make. got a couple sitting on my amazon list so will pick one up at the start of next month.
 

DavidT

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My top tip for hating bottling less is to get comfy. Put the fermenter/bottling bucket up above you, so you can sit while bottling.

No more bending down or kneeling on the floor.
That's it! Bottling tree on the sink drainer, fermenter next to it and sit in a chair with a stool in front with the bottling wand and do them all at once.

Like the tip to put the cap on and then cap them all at the end. Will use that thumb.
 

BrewMeHappy

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I also suggest breaking down bottling day so it's not so much of a chore.

Just tonight I have filled 35 bottles of Pink Grapefruit IPA and 8 of a raspberry turbo cider. I have had my bottles sanitising for a day or two in a big plastic container so all I needed to do earlier was rinse them which took me 15 mins. A spot of cling film over them and then left them for a couple of hours to have my dinner and stuff.

When I went back, I primed each bottle with sugar and filled them up with my wand, which I have at the end of a syphon tube, and capped them up. A clean up of the FV, demijohn etc. and quick mop of the floor and job done.

It generally takes about an hour that way and just listen to the radio. A little longer tonight as I also had the turbo cider stuff to clean up.

As for saving your knees, apart from the FV which I sat on a table that I use, I have all my bottles on the floor in crates and I sit on one of those kids stools from IKEA and the like.
 

RichieBeer

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It's the hour of washing bottles that I can't stand. Every time I do it I promise myself to make some contraption that will make it easier. Maybe one day.
I wash my bottles in the dishwasher. I poke the plate holder things on the rack into the upside-down bottles to hold them upright. If I arrange them correctly I can get about 24 on the bottom shelf. Put it on a quick-intensive wash (about 35 mins). I can do a whole batch of 45 or so bottles in two washes. Then I sanitize them using a Spinviator thing just before I fill with beer and cap.

I find the whole process fairly straight forward
 

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