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Old 12-03-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
robbo007
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Default Bottling process craft ales

Hi everyone,
I'm setting up a small micro brewery and got everything pretty much worked out. Just need to define the bottling process. I will be bottling all me beer in 330ml bottles and will be bottle conditioned.

My fermentation vessels (FV) are 400L.

Whats the best way to bulk prime and bottle?

I was thinking of using a pump to pump it from the FV to another empty FV (holding tank) positioned higher than the FV, where I would bulk prime. Then gravity feed the beer into a Syphon bottle filler. Where I would have my bottles hanging and filling.

Questions. if I use a pump to pump from my FV to the holding tank would I create too much 02 to damage the beer?

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Old 12-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo007
Hi everyone,
I'm setting up a small micro brewery and got everything pretty much worked out. Just need to define the bottling process. I will be bottling all me beer in 330ml bottles and will be bottle conditioned.

My fermentation vessels (FV) are 400L.

Whats the best way to bulk prime and bottle?

I was thinking of using a pump to pump it from the FV to another empty FV (holding tank) positioned higher than the FV, where I would bulk prime. Then gravity feed the beer into a Syphon bottle filler. Where I would have my bottles hanging and filling.

Questions. if I use a pump to pump from my FV to the holding tank would I create too much 02 to damage the beer?
Forgive me if I've missed something, it's 0630 and not a brew day.

Is there any reason you can't bottom dump from your FV and prime in there? 400l is small enough to be able to distribute your priming syrup by hand so you shouldn't need to rack onto the syrup.

All that said, I don't think you're going to get too much O2 pickup if you do a closed transfer.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DrWill View Post
Forgive me if I've missed something, it's 0630 and not a brew day.

Is there any reason you can't bottom dump from your FV and prime in there? 400l is small enough to be able to distribute your priming syrup by hand so you shouldn't need to rack onto the syrup.
Could you elaborate on bottom dumping and priming by hand?
thanks,
Rob
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo007

Could you elaborate on bottom dumping and priming by hand?
thanks,
Rob
Sorry if I was less than clear. You don't want dead yeast and other particulates going into your bottles. So, it is important to open up the bottom valve on your fermenter and drain out all of that extraneous matter. At that point, you should be able to add your priming syrup directly to the fermenter and you won't need any special equipment to distribute it evenly among the beer. It will take some stirring, but you should be able to get a fairly consistent mix. If you had a larger vessel it would probably be impractical to stir it by hand and get the sugar mixed consistently through the whole batch.

I'm not necessarily saying that this is a better solution, but it just might be something to consider if you're that worried about oxygen pickup.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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just my two cents but you'll want to recirculate your priming batch if you do not have an agitator. You will find it easier to keep it closed that way. Since you are bottle conditioning, I'm assuming you will want to avoid rousing with CO2. Your biggest risk of exposure to O2 is during the filling of the bottle itself, and the headspace therein. But you are bottle conditioning...

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:15 PM   #6
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Do you plan on pitching new yeast or trying to control cell counts?

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Old 12-05-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.
I plan on pitching yeast.

I'm using flat bottom polyethylene fermentors as I can't afford the nice conical ones.

Here is a photo of the FV:
http://www.pbcbreweryinstallations.c...y/100_0634.jpg

I've done a test brew on the system I'll be fitting and it works ok. I just did not like the way they bottled with it. They were passing the fermented beer to a barril, hoisting it up and gravity filling they syphon bottle filler.

I wanted to avoid this by having an empty FV up higher than my normal FV's and pump the fermented into this vessel and then add my priming syrups. Then from there gravity fill my syphon filler to bottle from it.

The brewery installer reckoned this would great too much O2 in and be potentially harmful to my batch. Hence the questions here... hmmmm...

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Old 12-05-2013, 06:46 PM   #8
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I don't understand how pumping into a purged closed container increases risk of oxidation, but your guy might know something I don't.

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