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Old 01-28-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
truekey
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Default Bottling by yourself... how do you do it?

So I just bottled an IPA and I had a hell of a time getting a siphon going, then a hard time going from bottling bucket to bottles. I just feel like I need more hands.

I was only bottling a one gallon batch so the bottling bucket was probably excessive, but I wanted to make sure my priming sugar mixed evenly.

I couldn't get a good siphon going and I felt like I had to constantly do a pump just to get it going again. I had my fermenter jug pretty high up away from the bucket for gravity, but it just wasn't happening. It's kind of hard to mess with the shape of the tube while holding all this stuff.

Anyways, are there any good tutorials or tips on doing this as simply as possible? Especially for smaller batches. I'll have a three gallon batch of cider to bottle in a week or so, as well.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/bott...ebrewer-94812/
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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I have found that most brew kits come with a diameter of hose that doesn't fit the auto siphon correctly. If you are having to stroje more than once your grabbing air. Try getting a new hose that fits the siphon tightly and this will fix your problem. It worked for me.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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If not using an auto siphon, the easiest thing to do is to fill the tube with water and cap each end with thumbs, attach one end to racking cane keeping other end plugged. Lower the end down to the vessel and release the end creating a siphon and allow it to drain out completely. Be sure there is at least a couple feet of elevation change between to the two vessels. (I place one on a table, the other on the floor)

From the bottling bucket to the bottles you should be attaching a hose to the spigot and using a bottling wand with a pressure tip to fill from the bottom up. If using a siphon to do this you are making your life very difficult. Fill all the bottles first, then cap them all. By myself I can usually accomplish this task for 60 bottles in about an hour start to finish.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Use the bottling bucket. I have my spring loaded bottle wand filler attached to the spigot on my bottling bucket with tubing and no matter the size of the batch, I always rack to the bottling bucket first. It's the best way i've found to mix priming syrup into my beers and fill the bottles.

Even small 1 gallon batches, I can tilt the bottling bucket towards the spigot to get out every last drop with one hand, while holding my bottle with the other hand. The spring loaded tip on the end of the bottle filler will continue to fill as long as I have the bottle pressed up against it, so it's pretty easy to get every last drop out of any sized batch.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #6
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There are ways of starting a siphon. I personally LOVE my autosiphon for cool liquids.

But I sometimes use a "T" fitting on a hose and suck the siphon. This has been a great time and frustration saver for starting the chill siphon.

Some people have a knack for starting a siphon with a water-filled hose, but I've never had good luck that way.

As far as bottling alone, I usually wait until my daughter is available for 1/2 hour and have her hand me empties and cap the full ones. Bottling is not hard once you've learned a few tricks (See the link above!)

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
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Bottling bucket set at counter height containing your beer and the priming solution (appropriate amount of sugar + enough water to dissolve).

Connect a sanitized short hose to bottling bucket spigot. Secure with a clamp, rubber band, or twist-tie to ensure no air bubbles escape.

Connect a sanitized bottle filling wand to other end of hose. Again, secure with a clamp, rubber band, or twist-tie to ensure no air bubbles escape. Open the bottling bucket valve and watch the hose fill with beer via gravity. No auto siphon needed.

With a short enough hose, the bottle filling wand will hang in mid-air. It will not drip out unless you press the bottom of the wand. At this point, you can comfortably pull up a chair and touch the bottom of the bottle with the bottom of the wand to extract the beer without introducing 02.

A towel on your lap or the floor, depending on the setup, will prevent any drops of beer from causing a mess. Immediately cap and wait about 16-18 days at room temperature for carbonating before refrigerating.

The process is very easy to do by yourself if you set things up in a way that makes sense and if you take care to avoid oxygenating the beer. An extra set of hands is convenient for capping the bottles, but it's unnecessary for all steps prior.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:33 PM   #8
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I bottled by myself once and I'll never do it again!

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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I bottle alone. (George Thorogood?) I add my priming solution to the bottling bucket, auto-siphon the beer into that, connect my bottling wand with a short length of hose to the spigot on the bucket, and fill.
It's not the most glamorous part of homebrewing, but it's beer I made, and I'm putting it into bottles, so life is good!
I use 22oz. bottles, so that there are fewer of them to cap. As each bottle is filled, I top with a sanitized cap. When I have a dozen or so, I stop filling and crimp the caps on. With roughly 24 or 25 bottles to do, this makes it a bearable 2 step process. And of course, I'm sipping on a homebrew the whole time.

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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Good grief. Get a bottling bucket with a bottling wand. Starting a siphon and trying to maintain it between bottles is for the birds.

Worst I have to worry about is spilling a couple of drops between bottles - mostly due to the wand being wet.

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