Don't want to let his beer go to waste...

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lulu

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My boyfriend and I have split and we are not speaking. He left a watercooler sized bottle of beer in my pantry. I don't want it to go to waste and I don't know how to bottle it. I think the date they first made it was Dec. 6th. (checked bank records for pizza purchase) It has been "racked off" (?) one time. Probably about three weeks ago. I have bottles and caps here and I'm sure all the equipment I need but not the slightest idea what to do.
I am unfamiliar with proper terminology but am willing to try this. When i tasted it on the first racking (?) it was not particularly tasty to me. I thought it tasted of tobacco and bourbon.

Can anyone here be bothered to offer me some assistance?
 

Fingers

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Any single guys from Iowa can help out this greiving damsel? There's nothing like an experienced sypathetic homebrewer to give you a lesson in person.

Seriously, I'll let a bottler help you with the process, but I'll be the first to welcome you to the hobby. You made an excellent trade.
 

Lil' Sparky

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First off, BRAVO, and welcome aboard.

Bottling isn't hard, just a little time consuming. Other than bottles, caps, and a little sugar, the only thing you need is the capper.

This is a good run-down of what you'll need to do. As a side note, I think the easiest way to sanitize the bottles is in the dishwasher (no detergent).

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter1-3.html

Let us know if you've still got some questions. We're here to help.
 
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lulu

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my basic understanding is that i need to add some sugar (boiled with a little water?) add it to the beer (while it's still in the water cooler bottle?) and then get it into the bottles.

I've just found some one step santizer and i'm going to assume that will be ok, unless someone here advises against it before tomorrow.
 
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lulu

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oh, i missed your post before mine. that looks perfectly do-able and much less complicated that i thought. i haven't got a dishwasher so it appears washing and sanitizing will be my biggest chore. this will go down tomorrow and my sincere thanks for your assistance.
 

Jesse17

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OK, lets get some details here. Do you have:
A bottling bucket (bucket with spigot on the side)
a racking cane (plastic cane shaped tube with a hose attached to it)
bottle capper
 
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lulu

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bottling bucket **check
racking cane**pretty sure check.
capper**chickety check
 

Jesse17

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It's pretty simple then.

1. Sanitize your bottles, racking cane, bottle caps, a large stiring spoon, bottling wand, and bottling bucket. I assume you have some sort of sanitizer you can mix up according to the directions. Otherwise use a capfull of bleech in a couple of gal. of water.

2. Boil 2 cups water and add 3/4 C sugar (corn sugar is best, but white sugar will work). Continue boiling for 10 min. then cover and let cool for a while. Then pour it into the bottling bucket.

3. Fill your racking cane with sanitizer water, and cover the end of the hose with a sanitized finger. Then insert the racking cane into the carboy (water cooler size bottle) of beer and put the other end in a pot or the sink that is lower than the carboy. Remove your finger and let the sanitizer drain out. When the beer fills the cane/hose, put the end of the hose in your bottom of your bottling bucket and let the beer siphon into the bucket without splashing. Be sure not to siphon any of the sediment on the bottom of the carboy.

4. Stir the bottling bucket gently for a coupld of min. Don't splash, you don't want to aerate it.

5. Oh I forgot to ask if you have a bottling wand. It's a short piece of tubing with a needle valve at one end, and the other end attaches to the spigot on the bottling bucket. If so, install it now, and open the spiget 1/2 way.

6. Fill the first bottle by inserting the bottling wand all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

7. When the bottle is compleatly full, remove it from the filling wand, and there should be about 1" of head space in the bottle.

8. Set a cap on top of the bottle.

9. Repeat steps 6 - 8 Until you have about a dozen bottles filled.

10. Cap the bottles you've filled by putting the bottle and cap in the capper and pressing down as far as you can on the handle(s) of the capper.

Then repeat steps 6 - 10 until you've bottled all the beer.
 
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lulu

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i don't think there is a bottling wand. will i be alright just filling from the spigot on the pail?
 

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It would be if you have about 12" of tubing that you can place on the spigot. This way the tubing will hit the bottom of the inside of the bottles and cause less splashing (unwanted aeration at this point). You can control the rate of flow from the spigot.

Some bottling wands have a spring loaded tip. When it's pushed in it allows flow.
 
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lulu

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i have plenty of tubing but it did not fit easily over the spigot. i will try again tomorrow or maybe try heating it with a blow dryer a little.
 

BrianP

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If you have time, stop by the store where your boyfriend bought the eqiupment and get a bottling wand - it's about $3 - it will make bottling very easy.

Then follow the advice of the earliest posters and check out the bottling section of howtobrew.com.

Also, try to keep things sanitary. If you do go to the brewing store, StarSan is a very good sanitizer (no rinse necessary).
 

FSR402

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lulu said:
oh, i have that tube.
Good, that is the bottling wand. You hook it up to the spigot on the bottling bucket using a short piece of rubber (clear) hose.

When you insert that into a bottle and it touches the bottom it will let the beer flow (if the valve on the bucket is open), when the bottle is full just pull the bottle down away from the wand and it will stop flowing. Fill the bottles right to the top (when the wand is in there) then when the wand is not in there it will give you just the right amount of headspace.

After you're done with this you will need to brew your own batch. :D
 
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lulu

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i don't have any corn sugar, but i found some stuff that looks like rock sugar. it tastes sweet. should i use that, or regular can sugar from my pantry? i am unsure how to measure the rock type sugar, but i think there is a scale here i could use if anyone had a weight measurment.
 
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lulu

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FSR402 said:
Look around and see if you can find a plastic tube that's about 12 inches long and the one end will look like this..

after looking more closely i have a tube similar to this but it's not the same. the black part is narrower that the clear tube part. i can't seem to visualize the hooking up to the spigot and i'm wondering how bad it would be to fill from the spigot (carfully letting the beer run to the side? to lessen air?)

also, i the narrow black part will not fit down inside a bottle. i am at a loss.
 
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lulu

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i have decided i will get the beer into the bottling bucket with the cane thing and some tube. then i will use the cane thing, attach tubing to it, and use that to bottle without the spigot. hopefully the little plastic clamp thing will allow me to stop the flow when i need to. sound ok?
 

Jesse17

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It would drip quite a bit, and it's hard to control the cane while bottling. You'd be better off using a 12 piece of tubing attached to the spigot (you can cut a piece off of the tubing attached to the racking cane if you don't have any extra). Then control the flow with the spigot.

It's kind of a pain to get the tubing on the spigot, I dip the end of the tubing in near boiling water, to soften it first.

You probably want to put a couple of gal. of water in your bottling bucket, and practice filling up 1/2 a doz. bottles or so, before you start, and before you sanitize everything.
 
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lulu

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ok, gotcha. tubing on the spigot. then i won't have to worry about keeping suction going. makes sense. i got my mom here helping and we are going with 2/3 plain cane sugar to two cups of water and this is going down now.

much gratitude for all help offered!
 

jay_mack1

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Lulu...

Need help?

In Aurora, Nebraska...

Let us know how it goes for ya, welcome to the group and the hobby.

Beer! Jay
 
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lulu

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I got the equivalent of two cases. About a case and a half of regular sized bottles then i ran out and used a few of the larger sam adams bottles and then some other bigger thick bottle. Slight problem with spilling over, but nothing major. Everything went find and now all that's left to know.....

where (what temp) to store?
How long to wait?

I know i have to keep it away from light. I was hoping to just scoot it into my pantry and cover it will a blanket.
 

Brakeman_Brewing

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Keep it at around 70º and it should be fine. I would wait about 2 weeks, then chill one overnight and try it just to see how it tastes and how its carbed.

Should be perfect after about 3-4 weeks.

Good work on salvaging the brew! Alot of ex-SWMBO's probably would have dumped it out without a second thought!:mug:
 

FSR402

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lulu said:
I got the equivalent of two cases. About a case and a half of regular sized bottles then i ran out and used a few of the larger sam adams bottles and then some other bigger thick bottle. Slight problem with spilling over, but nothing major. Everything went find and now all that's left to know.....

where (what temp) to store?
How long to wait?

I know i have to keep it away from light. I was hoping to just scoot it into my pantry and cover it will a blanket.
Keep them in the dark and at room temp for 3 weeks. then they should be ready to drink. :mug:
 
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