How necessary is a bottling bucket?

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savannahvan

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I'm getting prepared to bottle my first batch tomorrow, and I don't have a bottling bucket.

It almost seems easier to just siphon the beer directly into the bottles.

Do you brew-pros advise against that?
 

danorocks17

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that sounds like a nightmare to me. Just spend the 15 bucks and get a bottling bucket! Bottling is such a pain anyways, don't make it any harder on yourself!:D
 

Revvy

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How are you integrating the priming sugar? If you're using a prime tab, then yeah going directly from the fermenter is fine...BUT unless yours is equipped with a spigot, trying to manitain a siphon from the fermenter and manipulating a spring fed bottling wand can be tricky.

Even with adding prime tabs to the bottles, it's easier to fill with a spigot and bottling wand, rather than a siphon and bottling wand.

If you're not using prime tabs, and are planning to use sugar, then it is best to make a sugar solution and integrate it with the beer at bottling time. Adding dry sugar to bottles is very tricky, it can lead from under carbd to over carbed beer to even bottle bombs. Also dry sugar and the co2 in the beer already can lead to gushers while filling. The sugar acts as nucleation sites, and you get what amounts to the mentos/diet coke effect, all the beer shooting out of the bottle.

So then the issue is how to do that.....Do you add it to the fermeter or secondary? How to you get it all to mix?

The problem with bottling from a primary or secondary instead of using a bottling bucket, is that since you have patiently gone and let your beer settle and clear, in order to mix the priming solution and beer effectively, you would have to stir it in the carboy which would a) kick up all that nice sediment you have patiently let fall, b) possibly oxydize the beer.

It really defeats the purpose of both a long primary/no secondary or a secondary if you have to stir up all the nice sediment you patiently waited to settle just so you can have consistent carbonation.

Why don't you just go to the hardware store and make a bottling bucket? You can find everything you need, including a spigot there.

With my bottling bucket and my dip tube, I leave no more than about 3 ounces behind, which means I can get about 52 to 54 bottles per 5 gallon batch.

Go to a hardware store and get a translucent or white bucket...but look for one where the 5 gallon mark falls way below the top of the bucket. Usually it will say 5 gallons at 3rd band from the top. (oh get the lid too....I totally regret not getting it when I did.)

Then get a spigot and make a dedicated bottling bucket. It really defeats the purpose of both a long primary/no secondary or a secondary if you have to stir up all the nice sediment you patiently waited to settle just so you can have consistent carbonation.

Mine is the translucent Leaktite brand 5 gallon container with the gallon and liter markings from Homedepot.



Here's a pic of mine from my bottling thread.



One of my dip tubes and what gets left behind.



You'll find a ton of good info here to make bottling easier.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/revvys-tips-bottler-first-time-otherwise-94812/

Hope this helps you understand better.
 

BakRivrBruen

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So you mean straight out of the fermenter? You could do it that way if you were careful not to stir up too much of the cake. It would definitely be easier with a second set of hands. I'm assuming you're planning on using coopers drops to prime?
 
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savannahvan

savannahvan

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Revvy said:
How are you integrating the priming sugar? If you're using a prime tab, then yeah going directly from the fermenter is fine...BUT unless yours is equipped with a spigot, trying to manitain a siphon from the fermenter and manipulating a spring fed bottling wand can be tricky.

Even with adding prime tabs to the bottles, it's easier to fill with a spigot and bottling wand, rather than a siphon and bottling wand.

If you're not using prime tabs, and are planning to use sugar, then it is best to make a sugar solution and integrate it with the beer at bottling time. Adding dry sugar to bottles is very tricky, it can lead from under carbd to over carbed beer to even bottle bombs. Also dry sugar and the co2 in the beer already can lead to gushers while filling. The sugar acts as nucleation sites, and you get what amounts to the mentos/diet coke effect, all the beer shooting out of the bottle.

So then the issue is how to do that.....Do you add it to the fermeter or secondary? How to you get it all to mix?

The problem with bottling from a primary or secondary instead of using a bottling bucket, is that since you have patiently gone and let your beer settle and clear, in order to mix the priming solution and beer effectively, you would have to stir it in the carboy which would a) kick up all that nice sediment you have patiently let fall, b) possibly oxydize the beer.

It really defeats the purpose of both a long primary/no secondary or a secondary if you have to stir up all the nice sediment you patiently waited to settle just so you can have consistent carbonation.

Why don't you just go to the hardware store and make a bottling bucket? You can find everything you need, including a spigot there.

With my bottling bucket and my dip tube, I leave no more than about 3 ounces behind, which means I can get about 52 to 54 bottles per 5 gallon batch.

Go to a hardware store and get a translucent or white bucket...but look for one where the 5 gallon mark falls way below the top of the bucket. Usually it will say 5 gallons at 3rd band from the top. (oh get the lid too....I totally regret not getting it when I did.)

Then get a spigot and make a dedicated bottling bucket. It really defeats the purpose of both a long primary/no secondary or a secondary if you have to stir up all the nice sediment you patiently waited to settle just so you can have consistent carbonation.

Mine is the translucent Leaktite brand 5 gallon container with the gallon and liter markings from Homedepot.

Here's a pic of mine from my bottling thread.

One of my dip tubes and what gets left behind.

You'll find a ton of good info here to make bottling easier.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/revvys-tips-bottler-first-time-otherwise-94812/

Hope this helps you understand better.
Yeah! Way helpful! Thanks man. I actually read your bottling tips earlier, but was going to attempt without a bottling bucket. :/

You're right though, I should just get one, or attempt to jimmy rig one.

How exactly did you make the bucket? Did you have to cut out the hole for the spigot?
 
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savannahvan

savannahvan

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cmiyc said:
So you mean straight out of the fermenter? You could do it that way if you were careful not to stir up too much of the cake. It would definitely be easier with a second set of hands. I'm assuming you're planning on using coopers drops to prime?
I have the sugar actually. I guess I better get a bucket... :)
 

Revvy

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Yeah! Way helpful! Thanks man. I actually read your bottling tips earlier, but was going to attempt without a bottling bucket. :/

You're right though, I should just get one, or attempt to jimmy rig one.

How exactly did you make the bucket? Did you have to cut out the hole for the spigot?
Yeah. For one of them I used a hole saw bit for my drill, the other one I used a small pair of scissors and an exacto knife.
 
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I tried bottling straight from the fermenter once and let's just say it was a pretty awful experience. I didn't even use a bottling wand so there was beer all over the place. I probably wasted an entire beer's worth since I couldn't stop the flow fast enough once the bottle was full, so I had to pull it out and spill some trying to get the tube to the next bottle. I have never made that mistake again.

@Revvy: I never even considered installing a dip tube in my bottling bucket. That's ingenious and I will install one prior to my next bottling session. Thanks for the tip.
 

TromboneGuy

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Or you can just rack from your fermenter into your (empty and sanitized) brew kettle, add the priming sugar, and bottle from there.
 

petey_c

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Ahh the voice of dissent... It isn't required to use a bottling bucket to bottle your beer. You could mix the 4.5 oz of sugar into two cups of boiling water. Then add it to your primary, stir gently and let everything settle down whilst you sterilize your bottles. I used a bottling bucket on my last three batches, the one I have had, has been my clearest brew yet. The previous brews all were a little cloudy. Good brews, but still not as clear as I'd liked. In the interest of honesty, (this is an election year after all...) I also used a Whirlfloc tablet. Bottom line, if you want clearer brew, bottling bucket first.
 

E-Mursed

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A bottling bucket sure is a lot easier than a bottling bag....



:drunk:
 

Clearcut23

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I never bought one. I put a spigot on my fermenter an inch or two above the bottom to keep away from the trub. Never had a problem. Just tip it a little to get the last few beers out. I haven't bottled in over a year. If I want a few bottles I bottle from my kegs.
 

Revvy

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Or you can just rack from your fermenter into your (empty and sanitized) brew kettle, add the priming sugar, and bottle from there.
Yep, folks do that, but you're still dealing with maintaining a siphon whilst manipulating a bottling wand. Some folks don't mind, but having done it once for a batch of cider (going right from the carboy) and personally it was a pita. But like anything ymmv.
 

Husher

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I started using a siphon, and was quite happy doing it by bottling bucket. It does relieve a lot of work and using a siphon and want can lead to spills, since you can't put the want down if you suddenly need to.

I also use my bottling bucket during the brew. I just use can kits so I poit 4 liters, add 15 liters of cold water to the bottling bucket and pour the wort on top. I then open the spigot and let the word drop 2 feed into a primary bucket below. the drop both aerates and lowers the temperature to perfect range for pitching.

Buy the bucket, you will not regret it, even if you only use it for bottling. Make sure you get a fill stick/wand. And when you bottle, I recommend you put the empty fermenter (or a pot or something) below the bottling bucket, to catch any drops. I put a paper towel in there to prevent splashing. I also use drop cloths but that's because I'm always getting drops of beer or sanitizer on the floor. Nothing's stickier.
 

divrguy

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danorocks17 said:
that sounds like a nightmare to me. Just spend the 15 bucks and get a bottling bucket! Bottling is such a pain anyways, don't make it any harder on yourself!:D
I love opening up a bottle of beer! I love the ritual about it and I have kegs that I can't stand using, I read Revy's post a long time ago about bottling efficiently and he is right on the money. I like pouring out 12 oz when I just want one and a 22oz bomber when I want 2ish and sometimes 3ish lol but I just like bottles. But, I mostly use swing tops for me and regular bottles for gifts!
 

danorocks17

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I love opening up a bottle of beer! I love the ritual about it and I have kegs that I can't stand using, I read Revy's post a long time ago about bottling efficiently and he is right on the money. I like pouring out 12 oz when I just want one and a 22oz bomber when I want 2ish and sometimes 3ish lol but I just like bottles. But, I mostly use swing tops for me and regular bottles for gifts!
I love opening up bottles too, it's just the process of actually getting into the bottles that I don't care for hahaha. I by no means hate it like some folks do, it's just not something I enjoy. One thing I do like about bottling is the portability. I've tried bottling from the keg without a lot of success, so I don't really do it.
 

jonmohno

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I broke my bottleing bucket on my last bottleing day,luckily my other fermenters were empty,I just racked on the priming sugar to one of those then used a racking cane and bottleing wand sanitized then filled the tubing with preboiled rinse water and bottled from there. I wouldnt have hesitated to just use a big pot to rack it into if I didnt have a free fermenter to use to bottle.

Only problem was the long tube,so I draped it over a chair(which I fumbled and dropped many times before I secured it and bottled.
Fumbling with the long tube and long ass racking cane was the only pain,otherwise it was almost as easy.I would recommend getting an autosiphon also,not much more $$ and they make it very easy to rack to a bottleing bucket or secondary fermenter. No priming,just pump so no gravity mess.Oh and another thing about that day my floor was very wet after dealing with the racking cane sanitation/priming.

I did even manage to get the fermenter tiltled while bottleing the last bottle,myself. You really probably need two people to manage it well,but clips work too,and you still need to tilt the last of it some. I dont care about the sediment in my last bottle because it clears and settles anyway and its always my first bottle drank from the batch anyway.

That said Im still definatly getting another bucket.
 

petey_c

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I set my bottling bucket on my dryer and use an inverted dust-pan to give the bucket a good tilt without too much additional movement. That's also where the primary sits to fill the aforementioned bottling bucket. I'm a bottling bucket convert. I'll have to fill the baptismal font with beer and get beer baptised. Amen brothers.
 

boxofjibboo

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petey_c said:
I set my bottling bucket on my dryer and use an inverted dust-pan to give the bucket a good tilt without too much additional movement. That's also where the primary sits to fill the aforementioned bottling bucket. I'm a bottling bucket convert. I'll have to fill the baptismal font with beer and get beer baptised. Amen brothers.
I will definitely be using the inverted dust pan approach next time. Great idea!
 

Calichusetts

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Or you can just rack from your fermenter into your (empty and sanitized) brew kettle, add the priming sugar, and bottle from there.
I've done this for two years now...just yesterday ordered my first bottling bucket. I have an auto-siphon and a clamp so there was no issues...didn't see the need for the bucket or bottling wand as I treated the hose as one. I really liked it because I could just heat up my honey on the stove...siphon the beer into it then siphon into the bottles. The tubing works just like a bottling wand at displacing enough head space. I have used swing-tops from the start so I could cap one while filling the next

I realize that the bucket and wand will be easier but I am still a little nervous as to how the honey will do in the bucket. I don't want it to get down to room temperature before I am done bottling just to make sure I get even carbonation. Probably an excessive worry but the honey has always sat on the pot which was rather warm.
 

ludomonster

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I bottle from a carboy. I start by siphoning about a gallon of beer into the carboy, then I add the priming sugar. I use positive pressure to start the siphon and I attach the bottling wand to the end of a hose. I do this with a friend. We stage all of the bottles and put a few in a pot for catching any spillage.
 
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savannahvan

savannahvan

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Thanks everyone! I made my own bucket, as I'm not sure anywhere in SLC sells a single bottling bucket. It worked though! My amber ale is bottled and carbonating! Thanks for all the help!
 
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