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Old 01-24-2013, 06:37 AM   #1
Han_Solo
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Default So if I decide not to use a secondary

Should I transfer my beer from the primary and into another vessel before bottling? I don't have a bottling bucket but I was wondering if siphoning the beer from the primary into a carboy that had a priming solution was a good/bad idea. Could anybody explain the pros/cons of bottling straight from the primary? I have seen much talk of people using primary only, but little about how they bottle.

Thanks in advance and if you could explain the reason for doing things the way you do I would really appreciate it since there is still much I don't understand and, as much as I appreciate the forum, it would be nice to not be so dependent on it.



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Old 01-24-2013, 07:01 AM   #2
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To get even carbonation, you gently stir the primed beer. It'd be hard to do that in a primary without stirring up all the sediment, yeast, and/or trub at the bottom of your carboy.



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Old 01-24-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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i've done it by cold crashing the beer for a few days at 38 degrees which turns the yeast cake into concrete then i quit bottling and started kegging.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
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I suggest racking onto your priming solution in another vessel. I've found that the process of racking over is enough mixing to ensure even carbonation, and then you don't have to worry about sucking up a bunch of trub into one of your bottles. cold crashing for a day or two prior to bottling helps too, you get more yield (trub and yeast cake compact, letting you siphon off more delicious beer). also, since the beer only spends an hour or two in the bottling container, it cleans up very easily with just a quick rinse.

if you're bent on bottling from primary, make sure you cold crash. you have to be careful with the cane to make sure it doesn't drop into the trub. getting priming sugar evenly mixed in without stirring up all the crud on the bottom would be difficult, but you can solve this by using carb drops in the bottles themselves (much more expensive than sugar, but easier and more consistent). it does save you time and dirtying a container, though, so there is some benefit to it.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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I agree with using a secondary vessel. To be as careful as you need to be, without stiring everything up, you're going to need more hands. If you don't want to invest in a bottling bucket, you will after the end of this. But a second vessel will take a lot of the frustration out of the process.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Han_Solo View Post
Should I transfer my beer from the primary and into another vessel before bottling? I don't have a bottling bucket but I was wondering if siphoning the beer from the primary into a carboy that had a priming solution was a good/bad idea.
When my bottling spigot broke, I used my boil kettle as a substitute. I added my priming solution to the sanitized boil kettle, transferred the wort and used my auto-siphon with the bottling wand attached to bottle.

Worked great
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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You could use the carb tabs, I don't transfer to secondary, but then I keg, and rarely bottle anymore.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotspurdotus View Post
When my bottling spigot broke, I used my boil kettle as a substitute. I added my priming solution to the sanitized boil kettle, transferred the wort and used my auto-siphon with the bottling wand attached to bottle.

Worked great
When my bottling spigot broke I bought another bottling bucket with spigot, then bought 2 more spigots, you know, for spares. Now I have a bottling bucket and a fermenter with a spigot.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:10 PM   #9
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How are you integrating the priming sugar? If you're using a prime tab, then yeah going directly from the fermenter is fine...BUT unless yours is equipped with a spigot, trying to manitain a siphon from the fermenter and manipulating a spring fed bottling wand can be tricky.

Even with adding prime tabs to the bottles, it's easier to fill with a spigot and bottling wand, rather than a siphon and bottling wand.

If you're not using prime tabs, and are planning to use sugar, then it is best to make a sugar solution and integrate it with the beer at bottling time. Adding dry sugar to bottles is very tricky, it can lead from under carbd to over carbed beer to even bottle bombs. Also dry sugar and the co2 in the beer already can lead to gushers while filling. The sugar acts as nucleation sites, and you get what amounts to the mentos/diet coke effect, all the beer shooting out of the bottle.

So then the issue is how to do that.....Do you add it to the fermeter or secondary? How to you get it all to mix?

The problem with bottling from a primary or secondary instead of using a bottling bucket, is that since you have patiently gone and let your beer settle and clear, in order to mix the priming solution and beer effectively, you would have to stir it in the carboy which would a) kick up all that nice sediment you have patiently let fall, b) possibly oxydize the beer.

It really defeats the purpose of both a long primary/no secondary or a secondary if you have to stir up all the nice sediment you patiently waited to settle just so you can have consistent carbonation.

Why don't you just go to the hardware store and make a bottling bucket? You can find everything you need, including a spigot there.

With my bottling bucket and my dip tube, I leave no more than about 3 ounces behind, which means I can get about 52 to 54 bottles per 5 gallon batch.

Go to a hardware store and get a translucent or white bucket...but look for one where the 5 gallon mark falls way below the top of the bucket. Usually it will say 5 gallons at 3rd band from the top. (oh get the lid too....I totally regret not getting it when I did.)

Then get a spigot and make a dedicated bottling bucket. It really defeats the purpose of both a long primary/no secondary or a secondary if you have to stir up all the nice sediment you patiently waited to settle just so you can have consistent carbonation.

Mine is the translucent Leaktite brand 5 gallon container with the gallon and liter markings from Homedepot.



Here's a pic of mine from my bottling thread.



One of my dip tubes and what gets left behind.



You'll find a ton of good info here to make bottling easier.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/revvys-tips-bottler-first-time-otherwise-94812/

Hope this helps you understand better.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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I recommend getting a bottling bucket. It makes life SO much easier. They are cheap to buy or build.

Just make sure to disassemble the spigot and clean well when you are done. Lots of people just pour hot water through them and call it good, but in my experience you still leave a generous amount of beer in the space between the parts and you can get an infection there.

Spigots are cheap compared to a lot of Homebrew Equipment.



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