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Old 12-17-2012, 02:53 PM   #11
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It takes me longer to take the labels off and clean the bottles, than brew the beer. I think I am doing it wrong, because it's as much fun as shoving a screw driver in my eye.

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Old 12-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #12
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A huge Rubbermaid from target is my best friend when soaking. Costs $7 and you can store your bottles in it between batches

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Old 12-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #13
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I bottle during the boil...about an hour including everything...getting the bottles from the basement, cleaning, etc. I like bottling, its relaxing. I might even stop bottling during the boil just to make it a separate thing. Every aspect of brewing is fun and relaxing to me. Brewing is such a great experience to me...its not work. No aspect of it.

I like bottles better so I bottle, nothing about time or effort or price or whatever. If any aspect of homebrewing took me 5 hours...I bet those would be a very relaxing and worry free period of the day, probably the best part of it.

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #14
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I've never used a keg, so I can't comment too much on that. I can clean, sanitize and bottle a 5 gallon batch in under two hours, provided that they're all my bottles, which I've delabeled and rinsed properly before. If they've still got labels and/or haven't been rinsed properly it's more like three hours, counting the soak, scrub and acetone to get the label goo off the glass.

As a side note, if you want something that can soak 50-60 bottles at a time, check out these wash tubs. They're cheap, you can store them outside and they'll hold a ton of bottles.

Also, I'll second the point that I find bottling soothing. I've always liked repetitive, non-engaging tasks like that--probably why I was so good in the military! I always liked ironing my uniform, polishing my shoes, etc. I spend the whole day obsessing over data & reports, so there's nothing more relaxing than soaking, scrubbing and santizing a bunch of bottles and then filling them full of my favorite elixir...

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #15
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I bottle when I brew.

When the strike water is heating I rack to the bottling bucket. After I start my mash I sanitize and bottle. I am always done before the mash is finished. I do rinse my bottles very well after I pour them, so they are stored clean. Then at bottling time, just a quick squirt of starsan and they are ready to fill.

EAsy.

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:37 PM   #16
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I packaged 2 5 gallon lagers yesterday (both vienna lager). I bottled the first (53 bottles), took me 64 minutes. Kegged the 2nd, took me 32 minutes from start to finish.

No way bottling is faster than kegging, no way. I do both (bottled and keg) and I actually use Revvy's bottling how-to and it still takes me over an hour each time to bottle. How could inspecting, cleaning and sanitizing 50+ bottles be the same time amount cleaning and sanitizing one keg. NO WAY!

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:40 AM   #17
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If you can spare a few bucks pick up a vinator and bottle tree if you don't already have them. The process outlined in this video works really well for decreasing bottling times after soaking your bottles. Looks like the method in Revvy's thread with using the dishwasher too (which is sweet)

http://youtu.be/vh9Efa0Yjxg

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:48 AM   #18
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All I've got to say is if kegging isn't easier for you than bottling, you're doing it wrong.

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Old 12-18-2012, 03:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 241
If you can spare a few bucks pick up a vinator and bottle tree if you don't already have them. The process outlined in this video works really well for decreasing bottling times after soaking your bottles. Looks like the method in Revvy's thread with using the dishwasher too (which is sweet)

Video Link: http://youtu.be/vh9Efa0Yjxg
^this, I bought a Vinator and made a bottle tree. I can bottle 5 gallons in 45 mins and 10 in just over an hour. The Vinator cut my time in half, it is so simple to use.

And +1 to the bottle washer and Oxyclean, I use a 18 gallon tote (it holds 2 cases) and soak and delable before bottling day. I borrowed a bottle washer and went out and bought one when I gave it back, one of my favorite time saving brew gadgets.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:37 PM   #20
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I've only just begun brewing, have only bottled six cases thus far, but don't find it all that difficult.

I put a case of empties on top of my clothes washer to my left, with a utility sink in front of me, and a small table to the right of me with a 19 gallon tub about 1/2 full of oxyclean-free solution.

I have a jet bottle washer attached to the utility sink, with the hot water on full.

Take two bottles out, rinse the insides with the jet bottle washer, and then lay them down on their side in the tub of oxyclean, making sure both bottles are filled with the solution.

I lay a whole row of bottles on their side pointing one direction, and then another row of bottles on their side pointing the opposite direction. I can fit a whole case of bottles in that tub, with every single bottle filled and submerged. I put the top on the tub and wipe out the now-empty case.

Then I have a beer.

A few days later, the labels are nearly falling off all by themselves. I pull a bottle out, peel off the labels and toss in the garbage can, use a scotchbrite pad to clean the glue off the outside and scrub the mouth, with a bottle brushing to clean the inside.

These get stacked in the utility sink.

Once the whole case of bottles is de-labeled and clean, I turn on the hot water and rinse off the outside of each bottle. Then I attach the jet bottle washer, grab two bottles and rinse out the insides of each bottle, and place them onto a bottling tree sitting on my clothes washer.

Then I have a beer.

The next day the bottles are dry, and are put back into the case, and put on a shelf to wait for bottling day.

Then I have a beer.

On bottling day, each bottle gets sanitized using a Vinator and placed onto the sanitized bottle tree.

I rack the beer to the bottling bucket, place the bucket on top of a small table I've put on top of my kitchen counter, with a bottling filler attached to the spigot with a 2 inch piece of hose.

Take bottle off of tree, fill, and hand to the person doing the capping (who now has the Vinator dish filled with caps submerged in starsan.

Then I have a beer.

Also, when it comes time to clean out a carboy, I siphon the oxyclean solution out of the tub and into the carboy. When the carboy is clean, I dump most of the solution back into the tub, dump out the dregs, rinse out with the jet bottle washer, put it on the carboy dryer, and drink a beer.

I've seen youtube videos of bottles soaking in bathtubs followed by having to scrape off each label. I can see if those bottles are occupying a bathtub why you might not be able to let them soak for days, and why you might not want to dump all of that barely used oxyclean down the drain.

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