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Old 04-05-2013, 03:03 PM   #691
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My method...and I can not remember ever having a bad-tasting bottle...1 or 2 have been flat...probably a bad cap seal.

This assumes you start from clean/rinsed bottles that you already "trust".

1) Always rinse ASAP and drain...never put a dirty or moist bottle away

2) Run through the sanitize cycle of my kitchen dishwasher but with no detergent. I always open and add 1/2 cup white vinegar as soon as I hear the first "washing" cycle start. This will get rid of any white haze on the glass, even inside (although I am not convinced that much water gets inside the bottle in the washer...it's mostly a heat sanitize thing).

3) Vinator...vinator...vinator...+1 for "the greatest invention" comment...pull from washer, vinator 3 squirts, back to washer to drain.

Bottling bucket sits on the counter and hangs over the open dishwasher door. Pull a bottle, fill it, place sanitized cap on, repeat. All capping is done after all bottles are filled.

I cannot imagine trusting a "used" bottle that I didn't drink the original beer from without hot oxi soak AND brushing plus close visual inspection...and if in doubt, days of soaking (after cleaning) in a pretty strong bleach bath.

Funny thing, I've gotten a lot less anal about label removal...it's a little fun to have random labels on the bottles. They come off over time (most do anyhow). I use Avery dots on the caps to record what's in there and date bottled.

Oh, and ALWAYS drink your FG sample (at least) while bottling!!! You will be amazed at how, over time, you learn to get a feel for how the beer will taste after carbing up and conditioning.

My favorite tip...and it's a repeat but I really love it...fill one cleaned soda bottle per batch, squeeze all the air out and screw the used cap on tight. When that bottle is almost as hard as it was with soda inside...drink it. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of "when can I try a bottle"...plus you can see the beer as it conditions if you use clear. Sometimes I'm almost tempted to change over to all plastic...but no.

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Everyone has to walk their own path as a brewer. Each home brewer must consider time, cost, feasibility, and results of their efforts. If a homebrewer can strike a happy balance between those 4 aspects, then they are doing it right regardless of the brewing method.
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Noone should have to defend themselves about what they want to brew or justify it to anyone... This is supposed to be about having fun. In whatever form it takes.

Don't be a troll about it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #692
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@Trainwreck;
PBW is great if you need it to be there for a while or if you need to keep the foaming as low as possible. Otherwise use Oxyclean. It's essentially the same stuff but IIRC the PBW has some stabilizing additives to keep it from causing some of the issues you can get with Oxy. I keep both but as PBW is more than double the price I lean towards Oxy first.

Also, I use a 1 part Borax for every 2 parts Oxyclean in hot water for bottles that got neglected, have nightmarish labels, and/or are growing mold or other nastiness due to neglect. It does a really good job at speeding up the process (which to be fair Oxyclean will do if you give it time). The only catch is it requires the water to be hot. Cold water doesn't really work very well comparatively. I still use the same size dose of Oxyclean for all situations though.

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Old 04-10-2013, 10:05 PM   #693
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Tip: Don't bottle two batches after work. You may get distracted by hungry kids, normal family life, etc... and forget something important.

As I was cleaning up from bottling two batches last night I noticed there was a cold pot of boiled sugar water on the stove. oops! Looks like my Cream Stout may be served "still."

This may be the last time I bottle two batches after work. ;p

On the positive side, I guess I don't need to wait 'til they carb to enjoy them!

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:17 AM   #694
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I have three carboys that need to be bottled. Just can't motivate to do it.

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Old 04-11-2013, 11:38 PM   #695
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from the pictures it looks like you just use the elbow inside the bucket and nothing else correct? Any issues with leakage this way since you are not using the nut?
Exactly the setup that I assembled today. Nope, the elbow *is* the nut. I've tested it with a full 5 gallon bucket and it works like a champ. No leaks at all.

I screwed up initially by drilling a 1-1/8" hole, which was too big and caused the gaskets to crimp. I got a new 1" hole saw today and a new bucket - perfect.

FYI - if you are using the Lowe's food grade buckets for this and the 3/4" elbows, drill your 1" hole 1-7/8" from the bottom of the bucket (i.e. hook your tape measure on the bottom edge of the bucket). This puts the suction side of the elbow just shy of the bottom of the bucket when dry, but when you put beer inside the bottom pushes down about a 1/4". I tested today and was able to drain all but 2 oz. out of the bottling bucket *without tipping it*.

I cannot wait until next bottling day to test this rig.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:42 PM   #696
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In the "Patience" department, I packaged two cases of homebrew for long-term storage in my crawlspace under my house.

They have been in the bottle for 5 weeks, and temptation was gaining on me. I wrapped them up, taped them, and stuffed them in the crawlspace (PITA to get to and usually attended by big alarming spiders). I also put my bottled apfelwein down there. I'll look into it in the fall when the spiders die.

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Old 04-12-2013, 06:18 AM   #697
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500 hundred years from now, some adventurous "archeologist" in a fedora is gonna be swingin' on bullwhips trying to loot that stash

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Old 04-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #698
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the spigot on the bottling bucket -

is there any reason the level would stop at where the tap is, and not at the bottom of the spigot? And does it need some sort of pump/syphon to get it going?

I have a similar thing on my cooking pot and it stops where the tap stops, very annoying...

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:52 PM   #699
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukbrewhaha View Post
the spigot on the bottling bucket -

is there any reason the level would stop at where the tap is, and not at the bottom of the spigot? And does it need some sort of pump/syphon to get it going?

I have a similar thing on my cooking pot and it stops where the tap stops, very annoying...
Here is why it empties all the way to the bottom of the elbow and you don't need to start a siphon. You start with the bottling bucket full or at least way above the spigot. There is a bottling tube attached to the spigot that goes way below the bottom of the elbow. The pressure of the full bucket forces the first bit of beer into the bottling tube and that starts the siphon and after the beer gets below the top of the elbow the siphon action takes over and empties the bucket.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:54 PM   #700
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ah that makes total sense, my tests were only done with a little bit of water. Just tried now will a good volume and it worked well, only leaving just over a pint behind!

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