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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > First bottling tomorrow
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default First bottling tomorrow

Im want to bottle tomorrow and would like some last minute advice. I currently have a raspberry wheat that i have sitting in a secondary for 2 weeks, that im going to bottle soon. This is the process is was gonna use.
--prepare my priming sugar 5oz priming sugar 3/4cup of water which i will rack my beer directly onto the top of it. (should i stir it in?)
1-50 new bottles sitting on counter all diped into a bucket with star san
2-bowl with 55 caps with with star san in it with capper near by
3-sanitize my bottling bucket and run star san through the bottling wand
4-sanitize my racking wand so i can rack the beer from carboy to bottling bucket

I plan on filling each bottle placing loose cap on top once ive done 10 use the capper to securly attach caps to bottle, repeat until all are full. After i have all the bottles full im gonna take a wet wash rag and wipe off any residue off outside of bottles.

This entire process will be done in the kitchen bottling bucket above the diswasher so if any beer leaks i dont make a huge mess.

Any tips from the experts?

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:08 AM   #2
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I'm not an expert but I've bottled a lot of batches. Yes, I would gently stir the cooled sugar water to make sure that it's distributed evenly. When you transfer from your secondary the hose should cause the beer to swirl but I usually stir a bit more with a sanitized spoon. If the sugar water isn't distributed evenly, some bottles will be more carbonated that the others. Everything else looks good. The only thing that I do differently is fill my sink with a star-san solution and submerge (10-12) bottles in there for 1-2 minutes. After they've soaked I dump the star-san back into the sink to re-use. Then they go upside down in the empty and clean dishwasher. This prevents junk from settling in the bottles and makes it easy to grab another one. I put my caps in a bowl right on the washer door. When the wand comes out, the cap is set on and the bottles are set on the counter. I cap when they're all full. After a few bottles, youll get a feel for it and spill less.

Good luck!!!

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:20 AM   #3
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Yeah I concur, I cap after all are full. One thing I have found for even carbonation of bottles. I add my priming sugar dissolved in water to my bottling bucket FIRST. The is transfer the beer into the bottling bucket. This makes for a nice even distribution of the priming sugar. Just my personal experience. Good luck!

Tom

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:21 AM   #4
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thanks using dishwasher to drain your sanititzed bottles is a great idea. If im not mistaken after bottling i put all the bottles back into a box and put them into a dark place to condition? I was thinking i would just leave them in the corner of my bedroom and take a black blanket and cover them up

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:27 AM   #5
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thanks using dishwasher to drain your sanititzed bottles is a great idea. If im not mistaken after bottling i put all the bottles back into a box and put them into a dark place to condition? I was thinking i would just leave them in the corner of my bedroom and take a black blanket and cover them up
Good idea, as a general rule of thumb you should condition the beer at the same temp that you ferment at. As always I would keep them cover up. Simply put light=bad. :-)

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:33 AM   #6
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Get a spray bottle, fill it with sanitizer solution and spray the dishwasher racks that you plan to put sanitized bottles on. That way, you don't need to worry, at all...

After a few bottling runs, you'll have the system tweaked to how it works best for you.

Personally, since I don't have a dishwasher, I have the bottling bucket (once the brew has been racked onto the priming solution) on a small table. I have a damp towel on a low step stool, that I put a few empty bottles onto. I have the bottle tree to my right, stool and bucket in front of me, and filled bottles to the left (going onto a towel on the kitchen floor. With Grolsch bottles, I don't need to worry about using a capper. I can just fill, move to the towel to the left, cap with left hand, while starting to fill another with my right. I usually do check the bottles after to make sure the bottles are covered/capped properly. Then I just put them into their boxes and place them in the bottle conditioning chamber (the living room)... If I'm concerned, I put the boxes into plastic bags. With the range I usually carbonate to, though, that's not been needed. I'll probably not do that moving forward.

As another part of things, I usually pull one bottle at about two weeks, chill it down for a few days and sample it. At that point I give it a name. I make labels after that and put them onto the bottles (glue stick works great)... That way, I'll never have to guess, or try to find the secret marks saying what the bottle contains. I make my labels here: http://www.beerlabelizer.com/ Print out on my color laser printer, cut out, and stick on with the glue stick (about 5 ines of glue from top to bottom of each label, being sure to get the edges). VERY easy to remove later too, just run some hot water over the bottle (once you empty it) and then use a scraper (with a razor blade in it) to get the label off. Quick wash and it's clean again.

I like to have the ABV% on the lables for each bottle. That way, people don't need to ask me how strong it is. I often put when it was bottled on there too.

It's all fun stuff...

BTW, bottle carbonate/condition for 3+ weeks at 70F...

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:43 AM   #7
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I recommend that you label the bottles somehow, with contents and date. This way, you won't be wondering if you're grabbing a raspberry wheat or an IPA. And, if you find a recipe you like, you can keep track of whether you're drinking a beer from your first or third batch, and keep track of how well it ages. A sharpie works well on dry bottle caps, or if you want to get fancy you can buy 3/4" round labels (I bought the 1" variety, and they are juuuuuust a bit too big for bottle caps) and print them on a computer. The perfectionist in me goes for the printed cap labels, but the cheap-a$$ in me leans towards the sharpie.

I also recommend stirring gently (try not to incorporate air bubbles). In fact, I saw an improvement in carb consistency when I also implemented a gentle mid-batch stir while bottling.

As for capping after 10 bottles or the whole batch, my best recommendation is that you get a partner to help you (SWMBO, friend, roommate, etc). That way, you can cap each bottle as it finishes filling. I've bottled every batch in my brewing career (30+) with at least one partner, and I can't envision going solo now. Kegging, on the other hand....

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:44 AM   #8
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awesome thanks guys, usually our house is aroudn 67-69degrees so thats what they have feremented at and will condition at, hopefully these will be decent to drink for the first weekend of march madness

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Old 03-04-2011, 02:48 AM   #9
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awesome thanks guys, usually our house is aroudn 67-69degrees so thats what they have feremented at and will condition at, hopefully these will be decent to drink for the first weekend of march madness
1-3F shouldn't make that big of a difference. The conditioning chamber here ranges from the mid 60's to low 70's this time of year... Give them 2 weeks, chill own down a few days, try it and go from there. If it's carbonated, then you can chill down more to enjoy. If not, give them a few more days and try another... I would let them sit in the fridge for at least 2-3 days before you try one though. That way, the trub compacts nicely on the bottom of the bottle.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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2 things:
For labels, I use little round avery labels my wife prints for me at work that fit on the bottle cap. They say the type, when I brewed, and when I bottled.

Revvy or someone on here showed a pic of attaching the bottling want to the spigot on the bottling bucket via a ~1" hose. Set the bucket on the counter and bring the bottles up to the wand. This is the ONLY way I've ever done it, and probably ever will.

Lastly, it seems like 5oz is a little much priming sugar. I've been using 3/4 cup lately (I know, I know, I'm supposed to use weight, not volume), which is significantly LESS than 5oz. The only problem is, you can't find a consensus on here about what is the proper amount to use.

Good luck! I just brewed a raspberry wheat (my first all grain) last Sunday!

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