I certainly wouldnt say that bottling outside is notably safe. But I also wouldnt say that doing so without catching an infection is tantamount to dodging a bullet. Its just like missing one of your sanitation steps. If you forget to sanitize your bottling bucket, for example, as long as its clean, you probably wont catch an infection. I know Ive forgotten to do this before, and everything turned out fine. Its that you dont want to make a habit out of it. We dial in our sanitation standards and steps, not because if you miss one thing, that batch is doomed. Sanitation is the process of leveraging in your favor the aggregate of probabilities from the myriad of vulnerabilities.
I cover my bottling bucket, either loosely with a lid or a sheet of foil, and the caps go right on from the sanitizer to cover the bottles. I always do this inside; so either there or outside, the beer shouldnt have much exposure to the air. Or light for that matter, although I concede that even refracted sunlight inside a garage or something is likely to be more detrimental than the light inside your house.
Originally Posted by Yooper
I'm certainly NO microbiologist, but I would think that there are far more microbes in a typical kitchen than outside in general.
As long as you're out of the sun (say, a covered porch), I can't see bottling outside being any riskier than being in my kitchen. You may have some insects outside that could be a problem though, that you may not have inside (like fruitflies). Fruitflies would ruin the beer.
+1 to this. The sponge, rag, or whatever sits next to the kitchen sink in your house, is the dirtiest object in the household, as measured by the number of little nasties, even worse than the toilet. And I expect a lot of people bottle next to their kitchen sink, but no one bottles next to their toilet. Or at least they wouldnt admit it.