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Old 03-04-2013, 02:28 AM   #1
gover151
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Default First bottling attempt, a few questions now

So I bottled my first batch this evening, a coopers kit IPA that has been sitting in a glass Carboy for 4 weeks. Sterilized everything, syphoned to my home-made bottling bucket and added my sugar while filling up the bottling bucket, turned up the hockey game loud and began the process.
Had to rush through it a fair bit as my self built bottling bucket (neither of the local brew shops had heard of a bottling bucket) developed a leak at the spigot as it was filling.
So started filling the bottles and couldn't get it quite up to the proper level due to the foam, is it normal to have to do a second pass to fill the bottle up to a decent level or am I doing something wrong? Might be easiest to just order a proper bottling bucket online and be done with it.
One other goof, I had an empty ice cream bucket that I store all my cleaners etc in under the spigot to collect the spill off from the leak, once it filled up I dumped it back in the bucket only to realize that I hadnt sterilized it, I at least caught what I had done and separated the bottles after that in case I infected anything. I guess time will tell.
I'm hoping this process gets easier and cleaner over time, as it stands I ended up with beer all over my kitchen floor (not a first) and was only able to get 4 dozen beers out of the batch.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:33 AM   #2
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Definitely get a proper bottling bucket and a bottle filler wand. Bottle over your open dishwasher drawer. All of these things will make your life infinitely easier. With a wand and proper bucket you will not need a second pass. A second pass should never really be needed.

Congrats on the first bottled batch.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:33 AM   #3
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Go here for some great bottling tips Revvy's bottling sticky

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:39 AM   #4
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Foam isn't normal, perhaps a bit if you use Starsan, but not otherwise...and Starsan shouldn't give you that much trouble. How did you transfer to your bottling bucket? Please tell me you racked it and didn't just pour it in? Foam indicates air, so I'm suspect of the transfer process.

A bottling bucket, a short tube and a bottle filler will go a long way and aren't that expensive. Definitely worth it and they get used on every single batch. If you don't have a racking cane (or autosiphon) to transfer your beer to your bottling bucket, that's a must have.

Yes, you will learn the process and equipment can help you have a cleaner process. My first foray into brewing was quite a mess, but these days, only a drop or two gets past me usually. It may help to view tutorials on YouTube to give you ideas on how to optimize your process by seeing other seasoned brewers at work!

Good luck!

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:50 AM   #5
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I did it without I wand, it was a spigot made with some plumbing supplies, I transfered with a syphon, I don't know if foam is the right word, there was no foam in the bucket to speak of, maybe just pouring into the bottle too fast, I'm going to track down a proper bucket and wand though before doing my next batch. Funny thing is I did it on the counter right above my dishwasher and didn't even think to open the door.
On a good note I did pour myself a couple and they tasted pretty good despite being warm and flat.

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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I second Revvy's bottling thread.

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gover151 View Post
I did it without I wand, it was a spigot made with some plumbing supplies, I transfered with a syphon, I don't know if foam is the right word, there was no foam in the bucket to speak of, maybe just pouring into the bottle too fast, I'm going to track down a proper bucket and wand though before doing my next batch. Funny thing is I did it on the counter right above my dishwasher and didn't even think to open the door.
On a good note I did pour myself a couple and they tasted pretty good despite being warm and flat.
Do the plumbing supplies you are bottling through have a perforated filter? That will cause lots of air bubbles. You should never need a second running to fill the bottles. Slow down the stream and don't run it through a perforated filter.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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For the supplies go to www.austinhomebrew.com. Everything you need is there.

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
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Thing to do is find what works for you. Myself I use a 10 gallon tote I bought from walmart for 3 bucks and with another 5 bucks for plumbing bits built my bottling bucket. A bottling wand and tree with a spray sanitizing thing though are terribly nice to have.

Bottling should not be a chore. If it is hard then you need to change something in your process. It takes me a couple of hours to bottle 6 gallons of beer but I am not trying to rush through it just enjoy the process. I am sure if folks saw my set up and system they would freak out and point out ways to speed it up. For me though it works since I am not trying to go fast.

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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I dont use a bucket with a spigot. I just use an autosiphon, with the wand attached to the same hose I use for racking, little long but still works fine. with the wand just fill up till you get right to the mouth of the bottle, then pull the wand up. perfect headspace. then cap it. My wife helps me, I prepare, sanitize, etc. she fills em up and I cap and package.

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