Am I the only one who enjoys bottling?

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PianoMan

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All the complaints that I read about bottling...kept me from ever getting into it. But when I do have the occasion to share some of my beer, I inevitably ask if they have a growler I can fill because filling up a bottle from the kegerator is a complete PITA and it seemingly wastes a lot. Granted...I know I could probably buy some hardware to make it a little less so...but..nah. I don't fill up bottles often enough to warrant any additional spend on it.
So trade HB sometimes then also need to empty a keg to refill so this is a big plus. Worth every penny.

 

dochawk

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or am I the only one?
Yes.

You pervert.

:p
🤣

My abhorrence for bottling pushed me into kegging and so far have never looked back.
It was the trip to the ER that did it for me . . .

The rest of the club was trying to convince their wives they need to buy a begging system, and mine ordered me to buy one . . .

(and it cost a lot less than the ER trip!)

These days, my idea of "bottling" is putting a PET bottle to the tap before I go somewhere . . .

Or if it's for a couple of days away, add a bit of sugar and close the car once it foams up and starts oozing out . . .

(for that matter, my idea of *kegging* is to pull the blowoff from the gas line after two days, and blowout the first pint or so . . .)

I've heard a story (or two) of such a device (DYI home brew equipment to fill 12 bottles at the same time) but haven't found anything on the interwebs.
shooting from the hip, a 14" turntable/lazy Suzan, 13 bottle-size holes around the perimeter, and a hand crank with with a set of teeth on part to turn the turntable, and other teeth or electrical tabs to lower wand into it, insert gas, insert beer, lift up.

For bonus points, the subsequent position can be a capper run of the same crank!
 

brewmanStan

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I too only know bottling, and don't mind it at all. Actually look forward to it as it means the beer is close to being ready to drink, and I have an empty fermenter to fill back up! Sure it takes an hour or so longer than kegging, but who cares? If we love this hobby what's an hour.

I also really don't understand why people think there's oxidation issues with bottling, I actually think the opposite (even for IPAs). Any oxygen introduced is going to get scrubbed during the re-fermentation. My IPAs stay bright and hoppy for months, have two bottles left of one that turns 4 months old next week.

Back to the time issue, with bottling all your beer is in bottles right away. With kegging, you'd have to set up your beergun or whatever and sanitize everything to bottle some beer for competitions, friends/coworkers, to take to parties, etc. I think that would be quite annoying.

I hope new homebrewers don't think they need to progress to kegging to improve the quality of their beer. In the last full national competition season here in Canada (in 2019), I finished 5th with all bottle conditioned beers, and the top 3 have been the same for years and pretty much impossible to bypass.

Sure filling one vessel is quicker and easier than filling 30-40. But for that extra hour and to not deal with leaky/empty CO2 tanks, keg issues, stressing over oxygen while kegging, etc, I'll keep on bottling. I also brew a lot of mixed fermentation beer which I would always bottle anyway, so might as well just bottle everything :)

And I also enjoy washing dishes by hand. 😂
I've never done anything but bottle, and according to my records I have brewed 86 batches of beer (mostly 3 and 4 gallon batches) since I started brewing. I've only had a few bottles that I had a problem with and most of those was when I was using a hand held capper. Like a lot of the bottlers here, I rinse my bottles out immediately and allow them to dry before storage. I then run them through a dishwasher/dry cycle with no detergent on or before bottling day and then sanitize with StarSan before bottling. All of this is a pain in the ass, true, but so far I have only had those few isolated bottle problems I attributed to when I didn't get a good seal for some reason. I've had a few gushers and couple with no fizz, but never, so far, a problem with a whole batch. I keep thinking that surely that day will come, but I hope it never does.
Some of the beers I make are as much as six or seven months old before I start drinking them, such as my Oktoberfeast that I usually bottle in the spring and don't really start drinking much of until autumn, and continue to drink into a throughout the winter.
Just today I opened a beer in one of my flip-top Grolsch bottles that was almost completely dead and I went "hum". I just happened to have another cold one in a Grolsch bottle and opened it to a hiss and a beer with a good head, flavor, etc. Go figure. The dead one had a new seal installed before bottling just like the one that was good. This is the stuff that drives you crazy.............
 

porterguy

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I don't bother with such extensive cleaning. I just make sure to triple-rinse my bottles soon after pouring the beer from them, let them dry, and put them away. Then on bottling day, they get dunked in Star San. In 30+ batches done this way, I have not encountered an infection.
Exact same process here. Only a LOT more batches over past 14 years. And never a problem.
 

Immocles

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Exact same process here. Only a LOT more batches over past 14 years. And never a problem.
I use a similar process as well. Rinse out that gunk immediately after pouring a beer, then the bottles end up on the fast rack thingy in the basement (my beer fridge lives down there anyway). But I do wash them with PBW about once a month or so as the empties pile up. Then they all get stored until bottling day where they get hit with some starsan just prior to getting filled with more beer.
 

day_trippr

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I have lots of respect for anyone brewing over 100 gallon per year that is still bottling. I think they're crazy, but I respect that :D

I ordered a thousand bucks worth of t-tower, six shanks, six faucets, lots of QDs, plenty of beer and gas tubing, lots of worm clamps and swivel nuts, a dual body regulator, my first (5#) CO2 cylinder, used ball lock kegs - and a chest freezer - the evening after bottling 40 gallons of beer on the hottest day of the year (iirc, it was the first week of May 2005). The trauma was that deep :D

Cheers!
 

Immocles

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Admittedly if I had the room, I’d have a tap or two. I just think it’d be a bad idea for me, personally haha. I also think I’d have driven myself nuts if I was bottling more than a case at a time. I randomly brew 4-5g batches, and it definitely gets a little annoying, but hammering through the 2.5-3g batches is a breeeeeeeze
 

Doctordregz

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First post here, started about a year ago when Brexit and the pandemic cut my supply line to my favourite uk ales as we live in France. Have brewed about 40 extract kits since, only had to get rid of 3 and I know why. I bottle in 75cls as we have an old pressoir with hundreds of them, I use plastic corks and cages, hard to get off but I don’t think I have had a dodgy bottle. I stérilise the night before and dry overnight on a large bottle tree to dry. I had a few incredibly lively bottles at the beginning but I used to put the 400ml of priming sugar solution for 23 litres in a second bucket through a filter to remove grub then bottle from that but found it gave uneven carbonation, so I now put 12ml of the prepared solution with a syringe into every bottle, seems to give a good result with even carbonation. Love brewing, and this forum is great!
 

macbrak

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I definitely understand the draw of bottling and it has many perks I sometimes miss. There is something about holding back a couple and letting them ride out time. Having said that, I am too lazy to go back. Too much time and extra stuff to worry about. I kept saving bottles after moving to kegging with the noble intention of bottling a size pack off of every batch. Two years ago I traded 24 cases of bottles to the local homebrew store.
 

Tancred the Brewer

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I have been brewing for over 15 years, 3-5 5-gallon batches a year. I started kegging about 7 years ago and now mix between kegging and bottling, as well as using the Beermuench DIY beer gun. Either my palette isn't very good or I have never had any issues with oxidation, and have never seen any evidence of infection. I have never had to throw out a batch. So I am either very lucky or just can't tell if the beer is bad. I age beers in bottles for over 2 years and they still taste wonderful. The flavor does change over time but I don't find it unappealing. So the moral of my experience is "relax and have a homebrew." If you want to bottle and enjoy it, go for it. If you want to keg and can invest in the upfront costs, go for it. Good sanitation practices go a long way. Enjoy the beer.
 
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