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Old 01-20-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
IL1kebeer
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Jan 2013
Inland Empire, CA
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Bottling day today for my first batch, an American Pale Ale. Could have went a lot better.

1st screw up: Dumped priming sugar in bucket with an inch of beer and splashed the hell out of it because I was holding the racking tube and still filling the bucket. Probably best not to multitask at that stage.

2nd problem: Lots of air bubbles while racking from carboy to bucket. The bubbles were in the racking tube. There were a whole bunch of small ones and a few big ones. Why did this happen and how can it be prevented?

3rd screw up: Spigot on bucked was half open, and alas, more bubbles while filling first 6 bottles. Fixed it after that and no more bubbles but the damage was done.

4th concern: 5 gallon batch only filled 24 22oz bottles. I left a bit in the carboy because of fear that I would get trub. Left some in bottling bucket because I didn't how how to get the bottom half inch under the spigot and keep the siphon going strong with just my 2 hands.

All in all I don't think it's the end of the world, but I'm guessing the beer might suck a bit. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
SVB
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2: Make sure your tubing is seated fully on your racking cane, if any air is coming through you can use a worm clamp (not so tight as to crack the cane) to get a good seal. I remember oxygenating a couple of beers before I realized that I had a leak at that joint.
4: You lost around a gallon of beer, most of the time you will have some losses (trub, and there is usually some in the bottling bucket). How sure are you that you had 5 gallons to start with. You can prop the back side of the bucket up on something to keep your losses to a minimum, no harm in tipping the bottling bucket.

Beer is pretty durable, it may still turn out fine, if it tastes a little oxygenated once its carbed refrigerate as much of it as possible to slow the process.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:54 PM   #3
diptherunner
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Sep 2012
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All of your mistakes sound totally normal! I can't say I have all the fixes, but 24 x 22 oz bottles sounds correct. With loss, I usually average around 50 12oz bottles, so I'd say your ok. Are you using a bottling wand? Do you keep the spigot on the whole time? Try to keep it open and line up your bottles like an assembly line. I keep mine in a case box and then just fill them all at once, then cap it.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
bottlebomber
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IL1kebeer
3rd screw up: Spigot on bucked was half open, and alas, more bubbles while filling first 6 bottles. Fixed it after that and no more bubbles but the damage was done.
No damage was done, everything is fine. Unless you really aerated the crap out of it, you won't notice anything. If I am going to be aging the beer for a really long time I will take extra measures to not let it get in contact with air, but as far as average beers you will not notice any effects of oxygenation. I promise. One tip - when I start racking I always get bubbles coming through at first. Just pinch the tubing and restrict the flow and the bubbles will stop.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
KBentley57
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Jun 2012
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+1 on the hose clamp. I use one of the yellow locking clamps that you squeeze, and unless I get it clicked to the point of mashing the vinyl hose, I get air coming in from the junction of racking cane and hose.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
IL1kebeer
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Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diptherunner
I keep mine in a case box and then just fill them all at once, then cap it.
Good idea. Will do that next time. I have a bottle wand and I keep the spigot open so this might be the fastest way to do it.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
rdann87
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I generally get a few air bubbles doing this.. never really had a noticeable effect.

Haven't found a way not to get a couple to be honest.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
davekippen
 
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You will be fine! You learned a lot, that is the real value in the first bottling day. Check out this thread for a bottling bucket trick...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/seri...p-tube-356581/
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #9
IL1kebeer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVB
2: Make sure your tubing is seated fully on your racking cane, if any air is coming through you can use a worm clamp (not so tight as to crack the cane) to get a good seal.
Will inspect this closely. Thx for the tip. I think I have a work clamp but it might be on loose. I'll have to check it out.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #10
IL1kebeer
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Also, I am using the sterile siphon starter w/ racking cane from morebeer. Wonder if that filter that you are supposed to blow through has anything to do with the bubbles.

 
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