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Old 04-28-2012, 01:45 AM   #1
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Default Bottling Day Check Lists?

I've read around in the bottling/kegging section and searched for bottling day threads...

My first bottling day is fast approaching (Tuesday, my next day off). My stout will have spent four weeks in primary with more yeast added at two weeks thanks to my gravity sticking at .020 after a week. I've gotten consistent readings at .016 for the last three days, so hopefully that's all set.

As of now, my day-of plan is to scrub the kitchen down and clean all the brewing gear with no-rinse. My bottles are all new except for one batch which are cleaned out. Most of my bottles will be swing tops, that I'm planning on sanitizing with no-rinse and then putting in the oven on low (about 150, I don't have a dishwasher) to keep sanitized until the bottling begins.

I can work a siphon, and have a bottling wand. I have a pack of priming sugar that came in my kit.

Does anyone have any sort of checklist/timetable/etc that they use? I'm very anxious that I'll forget something at a crucial moment. I haven't screwed anything up this far, I'd hate to start now!

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Old 04-28-2012, 04:14 AM   #2
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Just going off the top of my head:
  • Make sure your bottles are clean. If held up to a light, you shouldn't see any specs of yeast or dirt.
  • Sanitize all your tubing and racking equipment.
  • Boil your priming sugar and caps. Cool the priming sugar a little so it's not boiling and add it to your bottling bucket.
  • Siphon your beer into the bucket. I do this by starting the siphon and the placing the tubing all the way to the bottom of the bottling bucket with extra tubing coiled on the bottom. This helps to mix your wort with the priming sugar while avoiding splashing. Splashing at this stage will add oxygen to your beer and should be avoided. I also loosely place the lid on the bucket to help keep dust and things out.
  • Connect your bottling wand to your bottling using a very short piece of tubing, just a few inches is all you need. It's way more difficult if using a long piece of tubing. I just stole a few inches of tubing from the long vinyl tube that came with my kit.
  • I sanitize my bottles in a small plastic container filled with sanitizer. I spray the dishwasher rack with StarSan and dry the bottles there for a few minutes. I usually do this while the beer is siphoning into the bottling bucket, you can do it before then too.
  • Fill your bottles over the dishwasher (if you have one) for an easy clean up.
  • I place a cap on the bottle when it's filled and set to the side. If a run out of room, I cap the filled bottles and move them out of the way.

Other helpful bottling hints: When finished a beer, rinse the bottle well. Make sure your gear is well sanitized. Sometimes gunk gets into the bottling wand, make sure everything is clean.

Search on youtube for some videos if you've never seen the process done before. I find that useful for a lot of things. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:12 AM   #3
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Revvy has a great bottling thread, showing his equipment, how he sets it up, his work flow, etc. Read it, it will really help you get prepared and visualize the entire process.

EDIT: Here's the thread:
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale, Firestone DBA, De Koninck Blonde
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck: Pliny the Younger
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