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mixed feelings about bottling

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dwhite60

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I sanitize my bottles, mostly screw cap PET's, over a couple days and cap them. Bottling day I pull the caps, add sugar, fill and re-cap. Cleaning and bottling in one day is too much work.

Bottling wand is mandatory.

I've read about so many problems with kegging. Bottling, while a bit of work, is almost fool proof (there's always that one special fool though).
 

jayk34

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Only on my 4th kit brew but now found a method that works for me. After pouring a beer to drink I immediately rinse it clean and leave to dry upside down. When the bottle is dry(usually the next morning) I entirely wrap it in cling film. When it comes to bottling day I line all of the bottles up, remove all cling film and put them through the bottle rinser first and then rinse with cold water and put onto bottle Drainer for a while until I get everything else ready.

When bottles had drained, I dry the outsides and put them into crates and prime all of them.

Yesterday I bottled up my stout and used a bottling wand for the first time. I filled a bottle and moved the wand to next bottle and set a crown cap on the filled bottle. What an improvement over a Syphon tube tap. Only one little spill when my mind wondered due to thinking how easy it was bottling with the wand and added benefit of getting consistent head space in each bottle.

Finally secure the caps on all of the bottles at the end of bottling.

Have thought of using no rinse sanitiser but the warnings listed on the product frightened me off.
 

Martin O

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I managed to speed up my bottling slightly using a method I think I read about on here.

Fill first bottle using bottle filler, quickly switch to an empty bottle when 1st full, then use bench Capper one handed to cap first bottle whilst 2nd is filling and repeat 40 times.... I also keep a pint glass under the bottles filler to catch any drips which I obvs sample at the end(cough) of the bottling the batch
 

starseeker

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if you clean and sanitise your bottles as and when you have a drink ,come bottling day there is no cleaning
to do ,i just sanitise them again to be sure and off you go .
 

VW911

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Friend of mine uses only swingtop bottles.
When he finishes a beer, he rinses it out, pops in half a campden tablet and a splash of water, then leaves it until bottling day.
A quick rinse, and they're good to go...
Personally, I find bottling quite therapeutic!
 

Clint

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Like Hazelwood Brewery says though....with kegging you one wash and sanitise ONE thing....
I do like beer in bottles...the time spent on them is a ball ache.
 

lupinehorror

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got a few wine batches on at the moment but have 48 x 500ml bottles lined up for when my next 21L is ready (it'll start once the wines are off the heat pad).
thought my bottling wand would have appeared today but there's no rush.
thanks, again, all for your input. i'm feeling much more confident when the next bottling bonanza beckons.
 

JockyBrewer

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I used to find that with just hot rinsing I’d eventually get yeast build up on the inside of the bottle.

Maybe the SMB spray helps stop that?

Now I rinse, put 1/4 teaspoon of PBW in the bottle and then fill with hot water and leave to soak.
 

Cheyne_brewer

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I used to find that with just hot rinsing I’d eventually get yeast build up on the inside of the bottle.

Maybe the SMB spray helps stop that?

Now I rinse, put 1/4 teaspoon of PBW in the bottle and then fill with hot water and leave to soak.
SMB won’t harm the yeast and is not a cleaner. My bottled beers tend to have a loose yeast layer so it it easy to rinse out. So far so good. The only time I deep clean is with new bottles.
 

dwhite60

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After pouring I rinse mine then spray about 7ml of iodophor solution in and shake it around. I'll let them sit a few days and shake them periodically. I then dump the iodophor, cover the mouth, put them away.
 

JockyBrewer

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I didn’t think SMB would do much, but if others are having success with it, who am I to question them?

Anyway, this is what I’d see after a few fills, just rinsing between. Difficult to remove too.

444E27E6-B522-41C5-BDD2-B62E8162D8EA.jpeg
 

freester

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Cider maker here. Usually I'm bottling a carboy's worth - 23 litres. Over the last few years I've collected 660ml beer bottles. I get family / friends to save these slightly larger bottles, usually lager like San Miguel, Estrella, Moretti etc. To get the labels off I soak in a big plastic container with some washing up liquid the labels usually fall off after an hour or two.

So when I have 35 bottles. Stand them up outside. Big bucket of VWP solution, a funnel and a jug. Fill up all the bottles leave to soak while I do other things.

Empty then using a hose rinse once - fill up with water then empty.

Put the bottles out on the garage floor. The carboy is up on a bench. I usually prime half the bottles with a tsp sugar / pinch of yeast. I use a small, DRY (important) funnel to add the sugar and yeast. The other bottles I add nothing for still cider.

I have a syphon tube with a tap (prefer this to a wand for some reason). Fill all the bottles. Then cap.

The mentions above about a little seat are a good idea. I use one of those gardening mats to kneel on which keeps my knees and back in good stead!
 

Binkei Huckaback

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The best tip I can give (other than a bottling wand) is no rinse sanitiser. Star San is very popular and available at home brew shops. Videne/iodophor. Is also popular and can be ordered from a chemist (you want the 10% w/w Cutaneous Solution (Iodinated Providone) one), is about £15 for 500ml. Also ask the chemist for a syringe that will measure 1ml.

Add 1.25ml to one litre of water along with 1 teaspoon of citric acid. The citric acid helps in hard water areas. Pour some into bottles and shake to sanitise and for equipment, simply spray with a plant mister. Contact time is 30 seconds. A lot better than waiting 15 minutes and then having to rinse when you've dropped something while bottling.

Oh, and sanitise your caps too. Many crown caps these days have an oxygen scavenging lining which needs to be wetted in order to activate it.
 

lupinehorror

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good info folks thanks.
got my bottling wand in today and am looking forward to using it.
doing another evil dog double IPA next. got some extra hops (godiva) from crossmyloof brew so will be chucking some of them in.
star san is on my list of things to get before the next 21L marathon.
 

kodak79

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thanks for the tips all.
i take it that the spirit bottles lack structural integrity for carbonation?
oops.
i'll just have to go uncarbonated in that case as i have no means of getting alternatives at the moment.
Probably a bit late now but you could have gone to a supermarket and bought a load if the cheapest fizzy drinks you could find and re-use the PET bottles for bottling. Only downside being that you might have to drink it in 2l batches.
 

lupinehorror

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right i'll be ordering 48 x 500ml amber PET bottles tomorrow.
one last thing...carbonation drops or sugar? i've bean leaning towards the drops and have some in the cart along with the bottles. i'm sure there are downsides to the slightly lazier approach.
 

cushyno

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Bottling can be rewarding. I agree with other posters that it's the cleaning that is a bind. Usually on the cleaning front a quick rinse off the bottle is enough and a quick spray of starsan. However my last batch, an old hooky clone for which I used St Austell yeast cultured from a PB, has been on a completely new level of stickiness. Never known anything like it. I can pour every bottle without fear of sediment as it's all clinging to the bottle wall or bottom. This is a real swine to clean the bottles, though great for getting a clear pint!

If you set up right, clean and sanitise your bottles in advance, batch prime or syringe prime the lot as I do, get comfortable and get in the zone, bottling can be a zone-out pleasure as you sup a decent beer. :beer1:
 

starseeker

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right i'll be ordering 48 x 500ml amber PET bottles tomorrow.
one last thing...carbonation drops or sugar? i've bean leaning towards the drops and have some in the cart along with the bottles. i'm sure there are downsides to the slightly lazier approach.
The biggest downside is price compared to sugar :)
 

Jon1964

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Decided to clear out pantry today.
We have an old house with original pantry, North facing exterior wall.
What do you think for bottle storage after conditioning.
If I put a shelf in I can fit 112 500ml bottles under there, stood upright.
FB_IMG_1604069921083.jpg
 
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