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Old 09-16-2012, 01:38 PM   #581
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Default Notes from 1st bottling day

Some notes and questions from my first bottling day yesterday. Overall, it was very successful. I bottled over my open dishwasher door; very helpful for catching spills and arranging the bottles.

One of the issues I encountered was with my capper. I have the standard two-handle style that comes with most starter kits. About one out of every five or so beers the capper would shift to one side while trying to cap a bottle. I would have to disengage, rotate the bottle, and try again. Sometimes I would rotate multiple times. Is this normal?

Also, while I was capping one beer, the capper crunched right through the neck of the bottle sending glass everywhere and into the bottle. Had to sacrifice one beer. Has this happened to anyone else? It really made me think twice with each bottle after that; I was afraid they'd all break. I sanitized the bottles in a star-san solution in the sink with hot water, so didn't bake in the oven or anything that might weaken or stress the glass.

My batch ended up making about 44 or 45 beers, so I had several extra caps. However, I dumped all my caps into a star-san solution earlier. Is it okay to use these caps next time? I dried them all off.

Also, my kit came with a bottling bucket but only one lid (for the primary fermenter). I didn't even realize this until I racked to the bottling bucket and didn't have anything to cover it. Didn't want to use the lid from the fermenter either, so I just left it open and bottled quickly. Is it recommended to cover the bottling bucket? I guess I could have grabbed a large pot lid and spritzed with some sanitizer.

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #582
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....My batch ended up making about 44 or 45 beers, so I had several extra caps. However, I dumped all my caps into a star-san solution earlier. Is it okay to use these caps next time? I dried them all off.

Also, my kit came with a bottling bucket but only one lid (for the primary fermenter). I didn't even realize this until I racked to the bottling bucket and didn't have anything to cover it. Didn't want to use the lid from the fermenter either, so I just left it open and bottled quickly. Is it recommended to cover the bottling bucket? I guess I could have grabbed a large pot lid and spritzed with some sanitizer.

My first batch made about 48, so I had extra caps too. Just dump those extra in some sanitizer for the next batch you bottle. That's what I plan on doing. I think they will be ok.

I didn't cover my bottling bucket and my first batch came out alright, so no worries on the lid either.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:39 PM   #583
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Also, while I was capping one beer, the capper crunched right through the neck of the bottle sending glass everywhere and into the bottle. Had to sacrifice one beer. Has this happened to anyone else?
Absolutely! But after bottling several batches, you learn how hard to push the handles down! I sacrificed several bottles the first time I used my Red Baron! I didn't know I had so many muscles!!!

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:02 PM   #584
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Also, while I was capping one beer, the capper crunched right through the neck of the bottle sending glass everywhere and into the bottle. ...
Also, my kit came with a bottling bucket but only one lid (for the primary fermenter). I didn't even realize this until I racked to the bottling bucket and didn't have anything to cover it. Didn't want to use the lid from the fermenter either, so I just left it open and bottled quickly. Is it recommended to cover the bottling bucket? I guess I could have grabbed a large pot lid and spritzed with some sanitizer.
I had the same problem and tried putting applying less force on the levers, but then it didn't always produce a good seal - had some flat bottles in each batch. I finally got a bench capper. I think my capper was just out of alignment, and the metal grabbers/holders would always be a problem.
As far as covering the bottling bucket, I use a dish towel soaked in Star San.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:13 AM   #585
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Dude, so much info in this thread, I love it. Thanks Revvy, I gotta say ive learned and least three times as much about home brewing from your posts here then anywhere else.

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #586
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I have constant trouble with carbonation. I am with my 5th bottled 5gallon batch and I decided to increase the amount of sugar. Not sure that it is a good idea, but I cannot think of anything else. With my last 2 batches I went with 200 g (7oz) of sugar and after full 2 weeks at 19c (66 F) and 2 days in the fridge no carbonation, zilch. Though the flat beer taste very good, it is ale with OG of 1042 and FG 1012.
I understand perfectly well Revvy’s point “As I've said repeatedly the 3 weeks at 70 is just a minimum....and a rule of thumb anyway”
But after 15 days there should be something?
On the picture two different beers from two different batches with the same time in the bottles (1 L bottles)

beer.jpg  
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #587
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But after 15 days there should be something?
No....If there were something at 15 days, people wouldn't be complaining about beers not being carbed. You usually DON'T see anything until the beer is carbed, no matter what you may "expect."

This is not rocket science. It's simple. You put the CORRECT amount of sugar in the beer (you don't need to add more,) you leave in a WARM place, and you Walk away for at least 21 days. And then you come back and check on it. And if it's not carbed, you check in another week, or more.

The only reason a beer doesn't carb is if you've exhausted your yeast in a HUGE beer, and even then, there's still usually enough viable cells in suspension to carb the beer, it just takes longer.

The only carbonation problems there are, usually, are patience ones.

You add sugar, your beer will carb, in as much time as it takes to. It's a nearly foolproof process. But it takes time.

There's a great discussion going on about why it takes so long, HERE.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:44 PM   #588
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Thank you for your reply Revvy. I guess in two words it comes to this: Go to the liquor store and buy yourself some beer for this weekend and live your homebrew alone!

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #589
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Nonsense. If you're using the 3/4 cup of corn sugar for carbonation, your beer will carbonate. (And no you dont need 3 weeks). At most two weeks but typically 10 days is sufficient. The two questions I have are, how many days do you give yourself between when your initial fermentation is finished (over 2:30-3 minutes per bubble from your airlock) and when you bottle? Do you move to a secondary and how long is it there?

Based on your explanation and FG's, it sounds like perhaps your yeast is pooping out even before it can start carbonating your bottles.
This happens when your beer sits too long in primary or secondary.

It could also be your capping system. Do you get a firm seal once they're clamped down? I use the oxygen green caps which work well.

If for some reason it is the yeast. Do the following;
Get some dry Nottingham, rehydrate it, use a plastic syringe, open all your bottle, and hit them all with a little bit if yeast. Nottingham will not give you any off flavors and the priming sugar should still be there if nothing carbonated. I recently did this with a Oktoberfest beer were the yeast pooped out but it's normal for lagers so it was part of the process and it worked beautifully.

Good luck
La Fronde

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:48 PM   #590
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Thank you for reply. With this one, as usual: 1 week in primary, 1.5 weeks in carboy. With my other batches I did this: opened every bottle and added one full Tbs of corn sugr per bottle. After a couple of weeks it did carbonate, but it was a very little of carbonation and it really is a treaty experience; after you shoot the sugar in ,you have , like less then a second to cup it up, or you will have an eruption of sticky beer. So this time I just decided to bulk prime with 200 g per 5 gal. And let it be for 3 weeks (no matter how much I want to drink it) Bottles all different and cups are really tight.

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