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Old 09-05-2006, 02:54 AM   #1
Cornfed
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Greetings. I just brewed a Belgian Blonde Ale using that two-step method (half of a full boil on day one, the other half the next morning). It's now bubbling away like mad in my primary, and I plan to transfer it to a secondary 5 gallon carboy a day or so after it stops bubbling.

The brew on premises/homebrew shop at which I bought the ingredients bottled right out of carboys using an auto-siphon, some tubing, and a bottling wand. This is attractive to me since I have no bottling bucket, and would rather not get one due to space contraints.

Is this normal? And difficult?

If I do this, can I just open the secondary fermenter and dump in the sugar? Then wait a while for it to mix and bottle from that? Or should I transfer it somewhere with the sugar first? Like put the sugar in my pot or other carboy, transfer there, then bottle from that?

Of just buy the tap-a-draft thing and go that route

Is this a crazy idea? Any tips?

Later,
Dave

 
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:07 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage
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I keg directly from the secondary because I add my priming solution directly to the keg. Unfortunately, you can't do that as easily when you're bottling.

First, you definitely don't want to just dump priming sugar into your beer. Boil a cup of water first and dissolve the sugar into the hot water. Second, you don't want to add your sugar solution to the secondary because you'd have to stir it, and that would kick up all the yeast sediment that has settled.

You could use carbonation drops instead of priming sugar, adding one per bottle (or as recommended), and then you'd be able to bottle straight from the secondary.

As for the Tap-A-Draft, I've heard that it's a bit of a pain, but I have no experience with it.
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:28 AM   #3
GregKelley
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If you have a primary and secondary fermenter, you can just use your primary as a bottling bucket. All a bottling bucket is is an additional bucket to move your beer so that it is off of the sediment while you are siphoning to bottles.

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Old 09-05-2006, 03:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregKelley
If you have a primary and secondary fermenter, you can just use your primary as a bottling bucket. All a bottling bucket is is an additional bucket to move your beer so that it is off of the sediment while you are siphoning to bottles.
Geez...I completely missed the simple solution!
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Old 09-05-2006, 11:50 AM   #5
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Ah, thanks. Along those lines, perhaps I can use my brew kettle as well since that's even easier to sanitize, and also fits 5 gallons of beer.

 
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:13 PM   #6

When I bought my equipment kit, it came with 2 carboys and one bucket. It also included the bottling hose, racking cane and bottler tube that you speak of. When I get ready to bottle, I dissolve the sugar, cool it and put it in my bucket. Then I siphon (rack) my beer into the bucket with sugar, being careful not to agitate. Then I bottle using the siphon/bottling tube from the bucket. I have had no issues with this, though it is one extra siphoning. I use 3/8" tubing for the first siphon into the sugar, which takes about 10-15min for 5 gal.

 
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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I like to use a separate bottling bucket with a gravity tap on it. I prefer this because I just don't have enough hands. When siphoning, I focus on keeping the tubing just below the surface of the beer to minimize sucking up sediment. When bottling, I focus on the bottling wand to minimize overflows (which I usually do anyway when my attention wanders). I could not hope to do both of those at once and I don't have the kind of staff* available to me that would allow me to delegate one function or the other.

*Wife and kids, for some reason, rebel against being pressed into this kind of service.

 
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:04 AM   #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM
I could not hope to do both of those at once and I don't have the kind of staff* available to me that would allow me to delegate one function or the other.

*Wife and kids, for some reason, rebel against being pressed into this kind of service.
I was fortunate enough to have my 5-yr old daughter very excited to help me bottle yesterday. She pulled caps out of the sanitizer and placed them on the tops. She would also put the capped bottles in my rubbermaid bins and dry the caps so I could label them. In spite of all this, I ran several bottles over reaching for my glass 'o brew...

 
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:22 AM   #9
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I'm with SteveM. I think it could be problamatic using an autosiphon. A bucket with a spigot would be the best. It's just easier using gravity.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:12 AM   #10
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I only do a single stage fermentation so far, and I use the bottling bucket as described above, with great success. Boil water, add priming sugar, let it cool a bit, start siphoning the beer into the bottling bucket, add the sugar in as it starts, and let the siphoning process swirl and mix the sugar water into the main mass of beer.

I have cut a very short (2-3 inches) segment of plastic tubing off the main siphoning tube and use that to connect the bottling wand to the spigot, which makes it ridiculously easy to bottle now. On all four of my first batches, carbonation has been very consistent, and sediment has been very low.
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