Originally Posted by Powerslave1724
n00b brewer here so I apologize if this question is dumb but how do you go about bottling this?
More bottling advice.
I just bottled 10g this about a month ago. These batches were started on Aug 7 and had cleared around 6-7 weeks. I think bottling anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months is very normal and acceptable.
Sanitation: I use Starsan which is basically an acid sanitizer and should be mixed 1oz/5gal. I usually mix it stronger in 1-2 gal batches. I start with clean wine bottles (24 bottles per 5 gal), I then fill a spray bottle with Starsan. I give each wine bottle 10-15 squirts/sprays. After I spray, I swirl and shake each bottle. I then dump each bottle into a bucket. I also pour 1-2 gal mixture into my bottling bucket and I submerge my siphon hose in the bucket and let it sit 10-30 mins. I acquired (stole from my wife) a wallpaper tray. I fill it half full and submerge my autosiphon in the tray and let sit 15-30 mins. I also take 24-25 #9 corks and put then in the wallpaper tray to sanitize.
Siphoning: I start by positing the fermentation container on a counter which is a couple feet above the floor. I then dump the sanitizer out of the bottling bucket, the siphon hose, and the autosiphon. I place the bottling bucket on the ground. I insert the autosiphon into the fermentation container, attach the siphon tube and place the other end in the bucket on the floor. One or two pumps of the autosiphon and the apfelwein starts to transfer. Watch as it transfers and then tip the fermentation container carefully not to disturb the yeast cake. I tip it to try to get the most out. I sometimes use a tipping aid like a folded dish towel. At some point, you have transfer as much as possible and stop siphoning.
Bottling: I place the fermentation container out of the way. I have started to use Milk Crates to hold my glass carboys. Easier to lift and offers some protection. I then put the bottling bucket up on the counter. I have a bottling wand (plastic tube with spring valve). I also cut a piece of hose to act as a coupler between the bottling bucket spigot and the bottling wand. I sit on a small chair facing the bottling bucket with all the unfilled wine bottles on my left. I have attacked the short hose and bottling wand and then open the spigot (towel/rag underneath bottling wand handles drips). I give each bottle an extra dump to clear out any residual Starsan and then insert the wand into the bottle and start filling. I actually fill almost up to the top of the bottle. As the wand is removed, it will create empty space at the top of the bottle. I then place the filled bottles off to my right. Fill them and wipe off any drops.
I do not carbonate yet. If you decided to carbonate, do not use regular wine bottles, they will not handle the pressure which will pop out the corks. You could use Champagne or beer bottles for carbonation. Flip-Top (Grolsch) bottles would also work nicely.
I have also not started back sweetening yet. If we want the Apfelwein sweeter, we usually use something like Sprite Zero or 7UP.
Corking: I have a Portuguese floor corker that I found on Craigslist ($40). It makes it possible to cork by myself. Other types of corkers may make a second pair of hands a requirements. I adjust the corker to make sure that the corks are inserted until they are flush with the top of each bottle. Wipe em off and drink the rest of the apfelwein that wouldn't fit in that last bottle.
Let me know if you have additional questions.