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Old 12-29-2008, 05:29 AM   #31
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I am really big into kegging right now. But I actually preffer bottled beer. it is just great for so many reasons. But in the end i am a very lazy man. And kegging is easy. If my LHBS was not so close to my house i would probably still be buying store beer. As of right now i am clean and sober from store beer for 5 months (the same time i started kegging.)

I try to bottle 18 beers from each 5 gallon batch. I drink 12 and save 6. it really helps the beer pipeline to have a big back stock of beer in bottles. Currently i have over 100 bottles and three 5 gallon kegs.

I usually do not type drunk, so i need to remember to check this in the morning to make sure i do not sound like an idiot. i do most of my posts from work, but i am on vacation right now.

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:17 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikeon3 View Post
I have another tip: Buy kegs that are already rebuilt/sanitized. Maybe even new.

I bought 4 soda cornies and 4 rebuild kits. After multiple soaks in oxy clean/iodine solution/boiling water, those kegs are still ruining batch after batch of my beer.

So I might be one of the only homebrewers with 4 rebuilt cornies in his garage who now doubts ever actually moving to kegging.
Sorry for the hijack- did you change your rings/seals? Once they are used for soda, you don't want to use them for beer without getting new O-rings.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:41 PM   #33
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Thanks for the tips Revvy. I moved the wand closer to the spigot. Much easier.

I've been using the dishwasher to sanitize my bottles the night before bottling. One full hot cycle with no detergent, and the heat cycle to dry. I can load all the bottles for a 5 gallon batch.

Brief warning: The bottles need to be cleaned prior sanitizing, and should be cool prior to bottling.

Then it's a short distance for the bottles to travel from the dishwasher to the counter prior to bottling over the dishwasher door.

Splitting up bottle sanitizing from the bottling helps with time management.

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:40 PM   #34
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I use the dishwasher and sit down to bottle. It is much easier than trying to lean over the washer.

It took me a little while to figure out that the bottling wand should be mounted to the spigot with a short piece of bridge hose. Trying to manage a long hose and wand just resulted in too many knocked over bottles.

Bench cappers are nicer than wing cappers. They are not much easier to use but they work with any style of bottle. Plus I was having some problems with breaking the necks on some bottles that doesn't happen with the bench capper.

I label all my beers on the cap only. Instead of trying to write something legible and meaningful on the cap I use some colored Avery 3/4" round labels. you can download a template from Avery for the label sheets so that you can use your computer to print out the label. I am able to find a beer name and brew date. This means I don't have to come up with some kind of code and even people who receive gifts from me have some idea what the beer is.

Craig

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:43 PM   #35
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I bottle from keg using Beirmuncher's gun design.
One quick tip - If you are putting off labeling until later, you can mark your caps with one or two letters with a Sharpie type waterproof marker to remind you what's in the bottle.

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:59 PM   #36
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Excellent tips Revvy. I had seen your dip tube idea and I got a plastic 90° barbed fitting like this:

It fits perfectly into a drilled stopper and is the perfect height.

I do have 3 questions though-

1. I do notice that when I bottle there is a pocket of air in the spigot due to the change (increase) in cross sectional area from the dip tube to the spigot. I don't get air in the bottling wand as another poster mentioned, but it does appear turbulent in the spipot as the beer moves through it. Any thoughts on this? I saw your suggestion about running sanitizer through it first but wouldn't that have the same issue?

2. Does it matter when you add your priming sugar to the water? i.e. cold or boiling?

3. How much should the priming-sugar-water-mix cool before it comes in contact with the beer?

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:41 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerapinChef View Post
I've got a dozen sitting in my basement. I'll go to kegging one day in the far far future but for now I have plenty of bottles (400+) a good organization system for empties, a full fridge for "fulls", a minifridge for drinking supply close to the living room, and a real love for opening bottles of my own beer. Now one day when I have room for a bar...I'll at least have a few more friends
If you want, I can "store" a few of those for you in my kegorator. I have 5 of them, and I need more.

I absolutely hate bottling beer. If it wasn't for kegging, I would have given up home brewing completely. I still have a couple hundred bottles in my garage that I swear that I'm going to fill some day, but I probably won't.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:56 PM   #38
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Thanks Revvy, I keg but bottle from time to time and will probably do more of it this coming year. My plan is to send everyone on my gift list an "assortment pack" next Christmas. This translates to more bottling for me. Certainly a few of your procedures will create time savings for me. Thanks again!

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Old 12-31-2008, 01:06 AM   #39
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I havent had clamps on my fill tube or tubing for the past 3 batches that I bottled. They havent leaked, or came off. In fact, the tubing is a pita to remove from the fill wand.

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Old 12-31-2008, 06:52 PM   #40
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Just my .22 cents.. Kegging is great for the Lazy Factor, but Bottling is perfect for the Transporting and Sharing factor. As Revvy said, much easier to sneak the HB in when it's in a bottle, although I know you can walk into a Las Vegas casino with the 5gal Keg in a Duffel bag and head straight for the room, no questions were ever asked. =)

Excellent Write-up Revvy, I plan on altering my bottling process a bit after this.

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