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Old 02-02-2007, 12:13 PM   #1
McCall St. Brewer
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Am I alone here, or is bottling day a big PITA? I have a batch that's ready to go (and, worse than that, I'm almost out of homebrew that's ready to drink), but I just don't feel like going through the whole sanitizing, filling, capping ordeal.

I don't have the funds right now to invest in a kegging system, so I guess I'm stuck.

The last time I bottled my father-in-law was here and we did it together. That made a big difference. He went back home to Louisiana, though. (Maybe I could fly him up here to help? )

I use my dishwasher to sanitize the bottles and it make a pretty good rack for them while they're waiting to be filled. A bottling wand was among my first brewing equipment acquisitions.

Anyone have any good suggestions on how to make bottling less tedious?



 
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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Well, I have to say by far the best piece of equipment I have for bottling is the Super-Agata bench capper. It makes it go like lightning (at least the capping). It does help a huge bunch to have an assistant filling, that's for sure.


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Old 02-02-2007, 01:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
Am I alone here, or is bottling day a big PITA? I have a batch that's ready to go (and, worse than that, I'm almost out of homebrew that's ready to drink), but I just don't feel like going through the whole sanitizing, filling, capping ordeal.

I don't have the funds right now to invest in a kegging system, so I guess I'm stuck.

The last time I bottled my father-in-law was here and we did it together. That made a big difference. He went back home to Louisiana, though. (Maybe I could fly him up here to help? )

I use my dishwasher to sanitize the bottles and it make a pretty good rack for them while they're waiting to be filled. A bottling wand was among my first brewing equipment acquisitions.

Anyone have any good suggestions on how to make bottling less tedious?

The way I see it, it's just another part of the process that has great rewards. I grab a homebrew, turn up The Hold Steady, and crank 'em out. I actually kind of enjoy it...gives me time to ponder things. Things like, man, I can't wait until this beer is carbonated.

In my opinion, if you didn't come into this hobby ready to work, then you should just go buy a sixer off the shelf. Half of the joy of this hobby is the hours, the work, that you put into this, the sweat and blood (not literally), that come together to make a piece of art that you can be proud of.

The only time that I've gotten really frustrated was when I was straining the wort of my Pumpkin brew. I strain my stuff through a funnel with a screen on it...and stir it with a butterknife to keep the flow steady. Well, pumpkin solids kinda screw that up. I put on Dr. Strangelove on my iPod...and when the movie was over, and I realized that there was still about 6" of wort to be strained...THAT is frustration. But...at the end of the day, the beer tastes that much better because of the crap that I had to go through to make it.

So just enjoy it...even the tedious parts. Because, if making good beer was easy, then anyone could do it, and we wouldn't be the rock stars that we are.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:16 PM   #4
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Having a helper is huge.

My son sanitizes bottles while I siphon into the bottling bucket. Then he fills and I cap.

I have two batches to bottle this weekend. That would be a daunting task without help.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
the sweat and blood (not literally)
Have you ever made a SS braid for a mash tun? If those little wire bits get stuck in your hand while you're cutting and assembling it I can guarantee there's blood involved
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:41 PM   #6
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I don't like bottling either. It is a necessary evil. cleaning bottles, removing labels, drying bottles, then filling them and capping them is a pain. I would love to keg but I just can't do that right now.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
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You could try putting SWMBO to work....so kegging it is.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:54 PM   #8
cweston
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd_k
I don't like bottling either. It is a necessary evil. cleaning bottles, removing labels, drying bottles, then filling them and capping them is a pain. I would love to keg but I just can't do that right now.
Can you get the ghost to help?
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:11 PM   #9
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Bottled last night...only 4 more batches to bottle...
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
I don't have the funds right now to invest in a kegging system, so I guess I'm stuck.

?
It's really not that terribly expensive to keg. You can get a cornie for $18
You'll need a regulator. That will be your biggest expense, a dispenser, the hoses and cornie connectors are all fairly inexpensive as well. You'll save some money on sugar for bottle conditioning but you'll spend most of it on CO2.

Just don't make the mistake I made and pay for a brand new CO2 tank that will just be exchanged for an old one. From what I've now gathered you are better off renting a tank.

Look at it this way, what's your time worth? Especially if it's something you don't enjoy doing.

You can always get 1 part at the time until you have everything you need.



 
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