Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottling Tips for the Homebrewer
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:59 PM   #751
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Well I used a lighter and smoothed out the bottom of the piece. Some sections got a little black. I was able to rub off some of the darkness but other parts still look pretty charred. I soaked it in oxy overnight - hopefully that'll help clean it up more.
Well the Oxy didn't do much. The bottom still looks pretty charred and sooty. I'm not really keen on using the dirty thing to bottle so I picked up another one to try again (they're cheap enough.) I'm gonna practice on the piece that was cut off first to see if I can smooth it out without scorching the thing.


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Old 09-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #752
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Well the Oxy didn't do much. The bottom still looks pretty charred and sooty. I'm not really keen on using the dirty thing to bottle so I picked up another one to try again (they're cheap enough.) I'm gonna practice on the piece that was cut off first to see if I can smooth it out without scorching the thing.
Go over the edges very quickly with the lighter--don't let the flame linger. All you want to do is round over the burrs, not melt the ends. Butane lighters give off some soot. If you have access to a propane torch, use that at the lowest flame you can set it at, as that will give you less soot.


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Old 09-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #753
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Also, for those who find this thread as they are saying... "I am bottling NOW and need to make a dip tube!"

A standard wine cork will fit perfectly into the spigot on the inside of the bucket.



I took a wine cork and drilled a 3/8 hole through the longitudinal center. Then I took an old racking cane and cut the curved portion off. I filed a slight angle in one end of the racking can to a length that would reach the very bottom of my bottling bucket from the center of the spigot hole. Then I jammed the cane into the cork and the cork into the spigot bulkhead. Viola! A free dip tube, NO MORE TIPPING!!!
I'm always looking for better ways to bottle. The dip tube is an excellent idea.... Something that I will definately implement. Thanks for the idea.

One thing that I've done to my bottling bucket that has really sped things up for me is that I've drilled another hole in the bucket and have added a 2nd spiggot. To the two spiggots, added tubing and bottling canes. When I bottle, I bottle 2 at a time instead of just one. Twice as fast.

Now... If I'd only been born with 4 arms and hands... That would really speed things up.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:24 PM   #754
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To speed things up I upgraded to the 1/2" diameter bottling filler (available at many online sellers).
I do mostly 22 oz or 750 ml bottles (the sparkling cider bottles are great...like Martinelli's) and both really fill a lot more quickly this way. You do end up with a little more air in the neck of the bottle (especially 12 oz bottles)...but I haven't noticed any issues from that. To "adapt" the standard spigot to this filler I cut about a 2" piece of 3/8" (thin wall) silicon tubing...it's a very tight fit on the filler and I slide it all the way up on the spigot. Be sure not to leave much tubing between the 2 pieces of hard plastic because if you do the filler tube swings around a little wildly and splashes beer...plus you end up "chasing" it around with the bottle. Put the silicon tube on the filler first about 1/2" maybe 3/4" but no more (after an hour or 2 of bottling it's really firmly stuck on the filler tube, I even ripped it once trying to just yank it off), then hold it up to the spigot and cut to length plus about 1/8-1/4". Perfect. smccarter....if you had 2 of these you'd be a real fillin' machine!!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:12 PM   #755
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Go over the edges very quickly with the lighter--don't let the flame linger. All you want to do is round over the burrs, not melt the ends. Butane lighters give off some soot. If you have access to a propane torch, use that at the lowest flame you can set it at, as that will give you less soot.
I haven't done this yet 'cause I was paranoid about screwing it up again. I used it to bottle on Friday night and it worked like a charm. Barely any beer left in the bucket. So simple and so great.

I've got a month before I'll need to bottle again so I'll try to smooth out the edges before then.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:40 PM   #756
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Great writeup Revvy, but it is missing one thing. Since you didn't mention it in the original post I'll just throw this out there.

Make sure the spigot on the bottling bucket is closed before racking into it.... I seem to forget this about 1 out of every 3 bottling days.
Ha, I just bottled for the first time yesterday and have about 3 cups of beer on my floor because of this.... But it turned out so clear and pretty, if I may say so myself
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:06 AM   #757
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I need to get a video or at least some pictures together. I bought a bottling bucket with spiggot. Bought a second spiggot and drilled a 2nd hole in the bottling bucket so that I have 2 spiggots. I come out of the spiggots with two tubes and two bottling canes. I bottle 2 at a time. Works very well.... I bottled 168 beers last night in about 3 hours... including boiling the priming liquid, racking, cleaning, capping, etc....

I totally stole the dip tube idea. I bought 2 rubber bungs that fit into the inner part of the spiggot. I bought vinyl tubing that comes out of the bung. Cut a V in the tubing and the arc of the tubing lays pretty well flat on the bottom of the bucket. What a great idea. I'm left with a thimble full of beer at the end of bottling... sometimes it pays to read these messages.

I hate bottling... but this method makes it much easier to get motivated to do. Just wish I had 4 arms and hands so I could cut the time in half again.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:25 PM   #758
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Default Fantastic thread

Just finished reading the entire thread over the past week (76 pages as of today). I'm studying up for my first brew, and now feel like the world's foremost expert on bottling. Knock on wood. In an effort to try and give back a little, I'll paste in the notes I took while reading the thread in order to provide a cliff's notes version. Thanks again!

Bottling Bucket Mods
Attach wand directly to spigot with 1-2" of tubing
Purchase 3/4" 90 degree elbow from Lowe's/HD, threaded on one end and smooth on the other, to attach to spigot and use as dip tube (see thread for multiple graphic images)

Prior to Bottling Day
Soak bottles in Oxyclean to remove labels
Brush quickly to remove any sediment
Rinse in clean bucket

Night Before Bottling Day
Set fermenter on counter above dishwasher to let settle
Put clean bottles in dishwasher and run with no soap

Bottling Day
Sanitize bottling bucket, auto siphon, bottling wand, piece of hose, bottle caps
Make sure spigot on bottling bucket is closed
Boil priming sugar (let cool before adding)
Add to bottling bucket
Rack beer to bottling bucket
Stir extremely gently to mix priming sugar without aerating

Next 4 steps to be done in batches
Sanitize bottles in clean bucket, set back in dishwasher rack (don't let dry before filling)
Fill bottle - try and only partially open valve at first when bucket is full to avoid aerating beer when pouring
Set bottle cap on top for 5-10 minutes
Cap

Store at 70 degrees for minimum 21 days (can taste periodically thru the process to learn how the conditioning process affects beer)


Note: the one recurring tip I have not included is use of vinator. I'm sure I'll end up with one at some point.

And one last question of my own: are swing top bottles just as effective as capped crowns? (assuming gasket is in excellent condition)
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:59 PM   #759
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Stir extremely gently to mix priming sugar without aerating

You don't need to stir. The racking will mix the sugar in with the beer. I haven't seen anyone that has had an issue from this.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:04 AM   #760
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You don't need to stir. The racking will mix the sugar in with the beer. I haven't seen anyone that has had an issue from this.
I actually have had problems with getting an even mix from the racking alone. Regardless, I changed my bottling routine to include a verrrry gentle stir at 1/3 full, 2/3 full, and when finished. This did improve the consistency of my carbonation without any side effects. Just be sure to maintain good sanitization processes and do not get too aggressive with the stirring.


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