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bluedragoon85

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I really dislike bottling and I think it is time to start saving up for a kegging system. I am down to my 3rd batch and it hasn't gotten any better. I guess I'm just not good at it because I make a big mess and the bottle filler just doesn't work 100% of the time and starts squirting. I'm thinking about getting a bench capper instead of using the two handed bottle capper. I seem to have trouble capping with the two handed one and I think a bench capper would make the whole process less overwhelming. This is just a rant because I dislike bottling so hopefully in the near future I will have a kegging system to look forward two :mug:
 

Vels

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Kegging is tops

Bench capper and a good racking cane with autovalve is a must when bottling.

Cheers
Jakob
 
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bluedragoon85

bluedragoon85

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I will definitely look into the the racking cane with autovalve. I really hate having beer squirted all over the place =/ I will also save up for kegging, but as of now I just want to make the bottling procedure a little less unbearable. btw, do you happen to have a link for a racking cane with autovalve?
 

Vels

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Thinking of it it would be a "bottling" and not "racking" cane you need.

Here is a close up of the bottom end with the valve - beer will only flow when pressed againt bottom af bottle.



I think every HBS have these

Cheers
Jakob
 
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bluedragoon85

bluedragoon85

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Thinking of it it would be a "bottling" and not "racking" cane you need.

Here is a close up of the bottom end with the valve - beer will only flow when pressed against the bottom of bottle.
Yeah, I got a bottling wand and it really sux. It doesn't work how it is supposed to. Sometimes it works and other times it just keeps squirting even though the end of it isn't touching any surface. This right here is what I got: http://northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/GenBFiller.jpg

I just got through seen this kind of bottling wand and it seems it would work better: http://northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/SpringFiller.jpg What do you think? It uses a spring so it doesn't depend on gravity to shut, so it looks more reliable.

I plan on getting this from Austin Home Brew Supply. It shows no picture, but it mentions that it has a spring, so I'm guessing it is about the same as the one I posted.
 

Pugilist

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I use a bottling bucket with a spigot and a bottling wand. MUCH easier than the old fashioned way, but I still get some air into the bottles from the wand it seems.
 
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bluedragoon85

bluedragoon85

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I use a bottling bucket with a spigot and a bottling wand. MUCH easier than the old fashioned way, but I still get some air into the bottles from the wand it seems.
What kind of wand do you use? the one that uses a spring or the one that relies on gravity to shut?
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I still like to bottle my beer even though I force carbonate in a keg. For my bottle conditioned stuff I use the above described bottling bucket with a spring actuated bottling wand attached with a 2" hose. Just push the bottle up into the wand until the bottle is filled. Also table top cappers are the way to go. I have something like the Super Agata and love it. When I bottle out of my keg I use a BeerGun and I love that to.

Some people just prefer to have their beer on tap though.
 

Poindexter

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What I tend to do is keg my session beer, and only bottle the good stuff I want to keep around a while.

Bottling sucks. Bottling with a leaky wand sucks more. Cleaning bottles sucks the most. I find a quirky pleasure in capping.
 
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bluedragoon85

bluedragoon85

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I guess I will just get a new bottling wand. The one I got hasn't been working for me. I will be getting the one with the spring; hopefully it is more reliable.
 
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I only read one mention of cleaning the bottles. That is the worst part of the entire home brewing process for me. I actually enjoy bottling and capping with a hand capper, but I always have plenty of help. And I am usually quite sauzed by then...

Eb
 

HBDrinker008

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I used to hate bottling, but now I kind of enjoy it. Like ebenezer said its the bottle cleaning that blows a$$ but the actual bottling is not bad. Its one of those things that I dread all day while I am at work but then when I get home I just say, ok, go time and get into. I get a sense of accomplishment from it seeing the five gallons finally in a finished product and packaged. I really enjoy the convenience of bottles too.
 

Austinhomebrew

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bluedragoon85 said:
Yeah, I got a bottling wand and it really sux. It doesn't work how it is supposed to. Sometimes it works and other times it just keeps squirting even though the end of it isn't touching any surface. This right here is what I got: http://northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/GenBFiller.jpg

I just got through seen this kind of bottling wand and it seems it would work better: http://northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/SpringFiller.jpg What do you think? It uses a spring so it doesn't depend on gravity to shut, so it looks more reliable.

I plan on getting this from Austin Home Brew Supply. It shows no picture, but it mentions that it has a spring, so I'm guessing it is about the same as the one I posted.

It is the same one.
Forrest
 
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bluedragoon85

bluedragoon85

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It is the same one.
Forrest
Thanks a lot for the reply Forest :D

I used to hate bottling, but now I kind of enjoy it. Like ebenezer said its the bottle cleaning that blows a$$ but the actual bottling is not bad. Its one of those things that I dread all day while I am at work but then when I get home I just say, ok, go time and get into. I get a sense of accomplishment from it seeing the five gallons finally in a finished product and packaged. I really enjoy the convenience of bottles too.
I sure hope I start feeling that way about bottling. i guess it must be the way I approach it. Cleaning the bottles really sucks, but I feel I have more control over it then when I do the actual bottling. Hopefully the new bottling wand and bench capper will make it much easier. What really bummed me down was the beer squirting and the capper which apparentely I am incapable of using properly.
 

Ooompa Loompa

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I've always enjoyed bottling. I find every step of brewing enjoyable and relaxing, and bottling is no different.
 

Smogre

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I use the spring filler and love it. I used the other wands without the springs and had the same problem as the OP.

I bottle and I keg. I guess being at the point where you can throw down a ton of bottles to age those heavy complex brews is great while you have full kegs of everyday drinking beer.
 

beergears

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I enjoy bottling as well, still working on making the setup more comfortable (heights, angles, motion sort of thing).

Washing bottles: I visualize all the goodness that will fill each bottle (repeat visualisation!) as I manipulate it through the cleaning.... works for me!

A plain setup with the filler wand is all one needs.

EDIT: the two-handed, hand-me-down, capper works flawlessly...
 

discgolfin

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If you rinse out bottles after you use them than the cleaning is not so bad..star san, bottle washer and bottle tree..bottle bucket and filler.

If you have all of these you can clean and fill 50 bottles in an hour. Well with some practice you get good and a routine you can. I have a nice old betch capper as well which makes life easier. Sure kegging is much easier..but I still like to have some beers age in a bottle. IMO


I also like 22 oz bottles as well..half the filling..

J
 

Homercidal

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Removing labels is the SUX for me. Last time my 8yo helped me bottle and we had a blast! I kept her running back and forth with empty and full bottles while I filled them. My wand was MIA, so I had to do it manual style with valve and she kept up with me!

I must say that I like my 2-hand capper better then my stand capper. Much faster, and doesn't need to be adjusted for different height bottles. She slides A bottle over to me with a cap sitting on it, and I tighten it down, and push it of to the side. Here comes another one! Got the whole 50 bottles done in like 3 minutes.

he he... I gave her a taste of the fermented IPA just before bottling (got to make sure it's ok!) and she couldnt' get to the bathroom fast enough! I doubt she'll be drinking any beer anytime soon! She still came back to help and we had a blast! Laughing and bottling.

I won't be kegging until I make a kegerator. Will probably still bottle half my beer even then. Much easier to give out to interested peoples.
 

BrewDey

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I don't mind bottling too much. I've been told that the method I use of:
-soaking the bottles for a few days
-scraping labels/rinsing/drying on bottle tree
-baking bottles in oven with foil on opening
Is excessive-but my basent is pretty nasty, and this way provides sanitized bottles ahead of time so that at bottling time-all I have to do is bottle.

I gives me something I can always work on if I have a little free time. I can't really do an AG batch on a weeknight, but I always seem to have empty used bottles backing up that need to be 'processed'. It helps spread the task out a bit, and it's a lot easier to cap a bottle if it's not wet and slippery from sanitizer.
 

Smogre

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I believe the worst part of bottling is removing the labels.
For me I rinse every bottle as soon as I pour a brew.
I fill up my bottling bucket with PBW with ubber hot water and let those pups soak for a day or more. Normally I pull the bottles out and the labels just fall off. Rinse out the PBW and viola. They're ready to be put away until it's sanitation time.

In my case, I run all my bottles in the dishwasher without soap and without that clear dry finish stuff. Not sure what it's called. I can do over 2 cases of bottles in the washer. I do run a high temp sanitizer dry on my washer. It hasn't failed me yet.

Fill those bottles up with your finest IIPA or oaked out brew, age it for a year and enjoy!

Otherwise clean that keg, force carb and drink a dozen pints!
 

Nosnum

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Smogre said:
I believe the worst part of bottling is removing the labels.
For me I rinse every bottle as soon as I pour a brew.
I fill up my bottling bucket with PBW with ubber hot water and let those pups soak for a day or more. Normally I pull the bottles out and the labels just fall off. Rinse out the PBW and viola. They're ready to be put away until it's sanitation time.

In my case, I run all my bottles in the dishwasher without soap and without that clear dry finish stuff. Not sure what it's called. I can do over 2 cases of bottles in the washer. I do run a high temp sanitizer dry on my washer. It hasn't failed me yet.

Fill those bottles up with your finest IIPA or oaked out brew, age it for a year and enjoy!

Otherwise clean that keg, force carb and drink a dozen pints!
I have found removing labels to be quite easy. All you have to do is fill your fermenting bucket with HOT water and add a scoop of oxi-clean. I let the bottles soak for 30 minutes. Not only does it ease the delabeling process, on many brands of beer it actually takes them off be itself. I did this and was amazed that there were so many labels at the bottom of the bucket.

Of course some of the bottles didn't get washed out right away therefore there was mold at the bottom. The oxi-clean even removed the mold, there was mold floating on top of the water in the bucket.

Oxi-clean is great!
 

HBDrinker008

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Oxi-clean is great!
Works well but I had nearly a whole batch ruined because I did not rinse them well enough. Just a couple of rinses. At least I think that was the case only thing I can think of and the off taste does taste a little soapy. Live and learn
 

davidndc

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One thing I do to avoid a big mess is to put my bottling bucket on the kitchen counter above my dishwasher. I open the dishwasher up and fill the bottles up on the open door. When I'm finished I simply close the door and any beer that may have leaked out all over the open door is contained in the dishwasher ready for the next washing cycle to clean up.
 

bensyverson

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It's all about EZ Cap swingtops. :mug: I used to hate bottling, but now I love it, because I never use my butterfly capper.

I use a case (12) of 1L (32oz) swing tops and a case (also 12) of 500mL (16oz) swing tops, which is pretty close to 5 gallons. Then I use a few Grolsch bottles to get the last of it -- those become test bottles that I try at various points to make sure it's carbing up and tasting right.

Anyway, the point is, I'm usually bottling 24 - 28 bottles instead of 52, which may explain why I like bottling now. :cross:

Edit: I also don't wash my bottles... I just rinse them out after I pour them, and then sanitize them before bottling. So that's one less thing to do...
 

DUCCCC

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Didn't want to start a new thread, and this was the most recent one that look like it needed recycling....

I just had a very good bottling session. Maybe it was the fact that I was finally getting the first all grain batch out of primary, after about 23 days. I'm amazed at the clarity of my beer now I'm leaving it in primary over 3 weeks. I'm sold; no more secondary for ales. The only hiccup was with my label today. I printed them rather hastily, and I neglected to put the batch number and bottling date on them. I didn't realize this until I already had all the labels on the bottles, the bottles in six-pack holders, and all of it put up in a nice dark corner of my office/fermenting room. Fortunately I have good notes in my software, so I'll have reference if any questions arise.

I think today's bottling session was kind of therapeutic...
Brewing another batch up would be even better, but the kids and wife are preventing that. Maybe next weekend.
 

strohs

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I cant stand bottling.
Capping is the best part of the whole process, mostly because it means I am that much closer to finishing.
I just brewed a batch today that hopefully will be the last that I ever have to bottle, time to start kegging!
 

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I don't mind filling the bottles, but the sanitizing is what gets me. I bottle in 40's, so there's only 16 bottles to clean and fill, but I still hate the process.

My local convenience store owner has given me a couple of ball lock soda kegs, and I have a couple more pin locks. If I had a couple more hundred dollars worth of stuff, I would start kegging and dump the bottles.

Still beats the crap out of paying too much for inferior beer.
 
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I just finished a 5 gal Batch with SWMBO. She filled, I capped. This works great, and it was her first batch...she did most of the work 2 weeks ago. The suck part came when at 5 o clock on Sunday evening 120 miles from the LHBS...7 bottles on the table, and you break your dual lever caper.
Still made it through the batch, but I'm getting a good bench capper, and another one of these as a backup. That could have been much worse than it was.
:mug:
 

cuinrearview

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Bottling used to suck for me. I'd make the rounds to the local stores, ask to buy bottles, then spend the rest of the night cleaning yeast, mold and cigarettes out of my bottles.

Now, I hit co-workers up constantly for their screw-less bottles. They know I brew and are happy to cooperate with hot rinsed bottles.

A few hours in your choice of sanitizers, some hot tap water rinse with the bottle jet, right to the dishwasher for a heated dry cycle and I'm ready. Set the bottling bucket on top of the DW, pull out a tray, and start filling with the bottle wand. Hand to an assistant, and 50 are done in no time. The thing for me is, as previously stated, the convenience. I still give a bit of every batch away to curious beer drinkers. Hopefully, someday, I'll be getting some in return:mug:
 

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I think it gets easier the more I do it. Used a spring tipped bottle filler last night and these things definately make life easier.
 

rcb

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Kegging is the best thing i did. Don't get me wrong i didn't mind bottling but kegging saves time and in the long run(i think) money. The only time i bottle now is when someone wants to try my beer. But remember brewing is something to be savored almost as much a dinking brew, take your time and enjoy it!
 

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cuinrearview said:
Now, I hit co-workers up constantly for their screw-less bottles. They know I brew and are happy to cooperate with hot rinsed bottles.
I put up a sign in my cube that says I need brown pop-top bottles. Included a close-up picture of the neck of the right kind. They are starting to come in, rinsed out and all.

I did start using a springless bottling wand, and it's much easier than trying to control a spigot.
 

violins

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I really enjoyed Homercidal's post because my 10-year-old son is the best helper, especially for bottling.
His job is to hold the bottling spring tube for the transfer to the bottling bucket, and then to fill all the bottles. Works great. He just lifts it up off the bottom and it stops. He fills the bottles and I set down another empty when take the filled one to the capper. I can usually keep up with him, but he can easily wait for me when he has too.
We just bottled a stout last night and he wanted to stay up and talk about how good it was going to be. We made plans to make some rootbeer so he can drink the good stuff, too! :mug:
 

DUCCCC

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I just bottled up 5+ gallons of Apfelwein, still, in 750ml wine bottles. It was actually quite fun. I used my Portuguese floor corker, which my sons have a lot of fun watching in action, and my 3 year old insists on getting to cork at least one bottle.

ETA:
 

PapaWood

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I just put my bottling wand to the auto siphon, so when the wand doesnt stop flowing i just stop pumping ;)
 
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