Bottling for the first time (without a secondary!)
About 6 weeks ago, I threw my first ever brew into the 6.5 gallon plastic bucket (with a spigot), and through reading these forums I decided to forgo the secondary. Now that I finally have enough empties, I wanted to ask a few questions before bottling:
1) So first I add the sugar right? I've found two methods for this: transfer beer to another bucket and dissolve directly, or to add the sugar to boiling water and then gently stir into beer. The problem with the first method is that I'm using the plastic bottling bucket so I don't have anywhere to transfer to, and the problem with the second is that if I stir the solution, won't I stir in the yeast cake and have cloudy beer? Maybe I should have used my glass secondary after all... :confused:
2) After I've done the priming sugar, next would be to bottle? For this, can I just use the spigot on the bucket and pour into sanitized bottles, or should I use the racking cane and siphon that came with my equipment kit? I was wondering if the spigot would even work with the yeast cake there.
3) Then I just cap and let sit in a warm place for a week? Seems too easy...
Thanks for your help :rockin:
First, do you have a bottling wand? If so, good. If not, it will make things easier for you if you get one.
With a bottling wand, racking cane, ans siphon hose you can bottle. Since you have the beer on the yeast cake in your bottling bucket, you'd first boil 1-2 cups of water with priming sugar, then pour it into your secondary, then transfer the beer to the secondary.
Now you can bottle from the secondary using the racking cane, hose, and bottling wand. Leave the bottles for THREE weeks. Then refrigerate for a week before opening. Be patient!
you'll have to judge the spigot vs. Yeast cake height in the bucket for yourself. You can always just rack to secondary instead of using the spigot.
Yes, I suggest you rack to a secondary, even if only for a day or two, then bottle from there, that way you don't have to worry about stirring up the sediment, or getting trub in your bottles. After a couple days of clarifying rack your beer back into a cleaned, sanitized bottling bucket that contains your priming sugar mix, and do the gently stir with the wand thing, it's the best way to do it in my eyes. Use the equipment you paid good money for, it's there for a reason.
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