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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Almost Ready to Bottle. Need your Assistance
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:34 AM   #1
McLovinmylife
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Default Almost Ready to Bottle. Need your Assistance

Hey Guys,

Myself and a friend have just started our first batch using a partial extract and we are coming up to the time when we think we will need to bottle soon. I have a few questions about bottling, priming, and knowing when to bottle. I read through the sticky, but still feel a little lost.

We are brewing a partial extract in a bucket fermentor w/ 3 piece airlock., but do not not have a spigot at the bottom of the bucket. We plan to use a cyphon.

What is the best way to determine when the beer is done fermenting and its time to bottle?

Should we purchase and auto cyhpon rather than trying to start the cyphon some other way? Whats the advantage to the auto cyhpon? Will we be able to bottle just using the cyphon and a clamp?

We plan to prime it with Dextrose that we have left over from our brew. Assuming we get the ratio right. How long can we store the beer in bottles? Does it need to be chilled right away? Since there are no preservatives what will our shelf life look like?

Sorry for all the questions, were just a little lost at this point and would love some guidance. Obviously our setup needs some tweaking for convience, but were just focused on what we have now.

Thanks,

McLovin

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:06 AM   #2
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The general advise is to bottle when you have three consecutive daily readings of a steady FG. Also, ensure that the FG is within range of where it should end up.

Do you have a bottling bucket? I would recommend getting a bottling bucket and siphon the beer from the primary bucket up on a counter top to the bottling bucket.

boil 2 cups of water with about 4 to 5 oz of corn sugar (by weight, not sure of the volume), let cool down to ~80F and then start transferring the beer to the bucket in a whirlpooling fashion. It also helps to gently stir with a sanitized spoon to make sure the sugar is evenly dispersed.

The best way to start a siphon is to fill it with something like starsan, pinch the end of the hose so that the liquid does not leak out (like putting your finger over the top of a straw) and then put the cane part in the fermenter and the tube in the bucket and let go. This works without having to gargle mouthwash and suck on the tube and risk contamination.

Another tip it to cut off the long hose for the bottling wand and to attach only a 2" piece to the bottling bucket. This way it just hangs there and you can sit in a chair and just press the bottles up to the wand with one hand.

One final point, fill the bottles to the very top, as soon as you pull the wand out you will have the perfect head space

One more thing, make sure to disassemble and clean the valve on the bottling bucket each time to prevent contamination.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response!

I think our plan is to make a bottling bucket now, using a bottling wand and the spigot valve. Do we need to modify it at all to attach the wand to the spigot?

Also, After we have primed, how long should we leave it in the bottles before comsuming it?

Then for storing the bottles, do they need to be refrigerated right away? Or can they be stored in other ways? How long before our beer goes bad after we have primed/bottled it?

Thanks,

McLovin

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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I usually store my bottles at about 65-70 for twp weeks to carb before putting them in the fridge. And do yourself a giant favor .......... get a autosiphon

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
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Autosiphon is the way to go, but if you wanna try the "ghetto" method, just sterilize your mouth with some Vodka, and suck on the end of the tube......

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:11 PM   #6
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And how long will they last in the fridge?

Fridge space is limited for us at the moment. Any way to get crafty and store elsewhere?

How long before they would go bad?

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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The beer must be stored in a dark place or in enclosed boxes like I do for a minimum of three weeks at 70F or a bit more to carbonate & condition. Sometimes with average gravity ales,4 weeks is better. They will not spoil. then give'm 1-2 weks fridge time to settle any chill haze & get co2 into solution. 2 weeks is better for thicker head,& longer lasting,fine bubbled carbonation.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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Also, a good way to test carbonation is to use a plastic bottle, at least one. I generally fill up at least 6 Mr Beer 1L PET bottles. Then after about 4 days or so, everyday I squeeze the bottle to see how hard it is. Once it's to the point to where you can barely squeeze it, then you know it's somewhat carbonated. You could also take a soda plastic bottle, sanitize it, and fill that, to test your carbonation. Just use a 16oz - 1L one.

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