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Old 03-08-2006, 11:07 PM   #1
Monk
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I'm a newbie and I've only bottled about 5 batches (each 5 gal). However, each time I bottle I spend about 2 hours flailing around in the kitchen and doing everything in (probably) the most inefficient way possible. Anyone have some quick advice on how to efficiently take a box of empty bottles through the cleaning, sanitizing, filling, capping process? (i'm okay with the racking beer to bottling bucket issue). Thanks in advance.

the monk

 
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:16 PM   #2
God Emporer BillyBrew
 
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Yes, Buy A Keg!

Seriously, I don't think I ever got it down to much less time than that. I think that is what causes many homebrewers to either give it up or make the conversion.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:42 PM   #3
Mr_Turtlehead
 
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I agree. Bottling is a bitch...moving to kegging asap.

 
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:46 PM   #4
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Billy and Turtle beat me to it. Kegging is your salvation. You just wash one big bottle

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Old 03-08-2006, 11:48 PM   #5
cweston
 
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1. sanitize bottles in a big honking rubbermaid container that will hold a whole batch worth of bottles, or in 3-4 shifts in your 5 gallon bottling bucket. The mass sanitization option is convenient but a little lavish in the use of sanitizer.

Put bottles upside down in clean dishwasher to dry.

2. Boil priming sugar. Put in ice-water bath to cool.

3. Start siphon into bottling bucket, add priming sugar.

4. Put bucket on counter above dishwasher. Use open dishwasher door as a shelf to fill bottles on. This is a great way to contain the inevitable little or big spills.

5. I enlist a kid or two (or SWMBO, occaisionally) to help here: one person hands the filled bottles to me, I cap them, another helper wipes the bottles off and places them in the case.

Yeah, bottling is the most hassle-filled part of the process, but it's really not that big a deal. It couldn't possibly take me more than an hour from start to finish (assuming clean bottles).
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:52 PM   #6
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skip everything except the actaull bottling part, i find that as long as you clean and rinse your bottles youll be allright. (my last batch i used clean/rinsed bottles that were stored in brown paper bags for about a month, i took em straight from the bag and bottled them, all dusty and everything...

 
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:24 AM   #7
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Rinse and clean your bottles after each use and store upside down in the case box with a sheet of fresh newspaper on the bottom. That should do it.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:58 AM   #8
h2dk
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I hated bottling, that said, it seems to work much faster with at least one person helping. You could switch to 22oz bottles and cut your work in half. Another key is a decent capper.

I finally gave it up and put together a 5-tap kegerator (only waiting on the drip tray). It has renewed my interest in homebrewing...the three batches I brewed in the last month was more than I have done in the last 3 years...

 
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:47 AM   #9
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Rinse the sediment out of the bottles immediately after use and turn them upside down to dry. then at bottling time all that's necessary is sanitizing. Get a sanitizing pump to make it go faster. Then start saving your pennies for a keg system.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:16 PM   #10
Monk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Lendl
skip everything except the actaull bottling part, i find that as long as you clean and rinse your bottles youll be allright. (my last batch i used clean/rinsed bottles that were stored in brown paper bags for about a month, i took em straight from the bag and bottled them, all dusty and everything...

Really? Do you not have to worry about sanitizing because the green beer contains alcohol, or what?

Oh, and thanks to everyone who posted with help.

 
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