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How to Bottle Beer
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Or at least it's how I have refined my process. I think I am down to approximately 90 min total time including set up and clean up.

    My goal is a parallel path as many of the tasks as possible. For example:

    First thing I do is get the priming sugar going and while that is working I start sanitizing the pieces and parts like spigots, auto-siphon, bottling wand, etc. I also take my gravity reading at this time. Then I start putting everything together. By this time I need to shut the boil of the priming sugar off and remove from heat. Next up I put the pieces and parts together and siphon sanitizer to the bottling bucket. Mix up another gallon and just dump into the bucket.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I stage a lot of the work because I think it's easier than first in first out process.

    Here is the bottle sanitizing phase:

    On the left I scavenged the bottom rack from an old dishwasher under the rack are two tuperware boxes I use for storage. This keeps the rack at the right height. I stand in between the rack, and bucket with unsanitized bottles on the counter on the right. This allows me to grab, sanitize, dump and place in the rack for drying with very little movement.
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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    The bottles have drip dried enough and I am ready to bottle. I remove the lower box so the bottles are again at the right level. I sit in the chair grab with my left hand fill and place on the counter to the right. One nuance here is that while I am filling a bottle I grab the next and get ready to transition to the new bottle as I am placing the filled bottle to the right. I filled 40 bottles in about 10 minutes or less. Bottles filled to all capped was 25 min.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Here is a shot of the filled bottles. They are now ready for bottle caps
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Again, I am staging the bottle caps. These have been sanitized and placed on the paper towel to dry.
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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I place all of the caps on at one time. In the past I placed one, capped one and stuck in a 6 pack holder. I haven't done a time study to prove one way is faster than the other but this feels quicker. Maybe I will test one day.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Now they are ready for the capper. I use a kitchen towel under the bottle. I have had problems with the bottle slipping under the capping pressure and this seems safer I guess.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Hey look all of the bottles are capped and ready for storage.

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  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,630
    Very nice.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Oh and I'm invisible.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I have done a similar process, but I try to get a partner to help cap. It is best to cap on foam immediately after filling, it reduces the amount of oxygen introduced to the beer and reduces the time the beer is exposed.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,885
    Benvarine said:

    I have done a similar process, but I try to get a partner to help cap. It is best to cap on foam immediately after filling, it reduces the amount of oxygen introduced to the beer and reduces the time the beer is exposed.



    not an issue when bottling instead of kegging.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,885
    i always like to slap a bottle cap on the bottle right after it's filled. i keep imagining dog hair or the kid sneezing on the open bottles. :-&
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417

    i always like to slap a bottle cap on the bottle right after it's filled. i keep imagining dog hair or the kid sneezing on the open bottles. :-&



    I have thought about this but figured it was a remote risk. Plus I think it would slow me down and I am all about efficiency.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,630
    jlw said:

    i always like to slap a bottle cap on the bottle right after it's filled. i keep imagining dog hair or the kid sneezing on the open bottles. :-&



    I have thought about this but figured it was a remote risk. Plus I think it would slow me down and I am all about efficiency.

    I fill six or so then cover and cap. Less efficient.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606

    Benvarine said:

    I have done a similar process, but I try to get a partner to help cap. It is best to cap on foam immediately after filling, it reduces the amount of oxygen introduced to the beer and reduces the time the beer is exposed.



    not an issue when bottling instead of kegging.


    How is that not an issue, if you leave space, it's got oxygen in it. If you keg, and purge your kegs with co2, then apply co2 after full and purge, it's no problem. I see a bigger issue with bottles than kegs.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I've not noticed an issue with oxygenation but I can see the concern.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,630
    Benvarine said:

    Benvarine said:

    I have done a similar process, but I try to get a partner to help cap. It is best to cap on foam immediately after filling, it reduces the amount of oxygen introduced to the beer and reduces the time the beer is exposed.



    not an issue when bottling instead of kegging.


    How is that not an issue, if you leave space, it's got oxygen in it. If you keg, and purge your kegs with co2, then apply co2 after full and purge, it's no problem. I see a bigger issue with bottles than kegs.


    If naturally carbing, the O2 in the headspace should be used up(ish) by the yeast as it carbs the beer. Plus the CO2 produced should thin out the O2 enough to make it a non issue. This is really only a problem with super long term storage, like a year plus?
    When bottling from the keg you definitely need to cap on foam.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    That makes sense.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766

    i always like to slap a bottle cap on the bottle right after it's filled. i keep imagining dog hair or the kid sneezing on the open bottles. :-&



    yeah, i would suggest setting caps on top of the filled bottles as you set them aside for crimping later. do all of the filling and covering first, then crimp them afterward. it'll be just as fast (the extra motion of grabbing a cap to set on top of the bottle is minor compared to setting up and crimping), and you don't have to worry about airborne contaminants.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,885
    Lakewood said:

    i always like to slap a bottle cap on the bottle right after it's filled. i keep imagining dog hair or the kid sneezing on the open bottles. :-&



    yeah, i would suggest setting caps on top of the filled bottles as you set them aside for crimping later. do all of the filling and covering first, then crimp them afterward. it'll be just as fast (the extra motion of grabbing a cap to set on top of the bottle is minor compared to setting up and crimping), and you don't have to worry about airborne contaminants.


    i hold the bottle with the left hand, and the cap in the right. i just slap it on top of the bottle as i'm moving over to the counter. i keep my pot of caps (i re-use caps, so i boil em before i use em again) on my right and my dishwasher rack is on the left.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,472
    You re-use caps? ????????
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,472
    I always boil the caps
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,885
    ceannt said:

    You re-use caps? ????????



    yep. i'm a cheapo.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,885
    and i hate buying something that can easily be re-used.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,472

    ceannt said:

    You re-use caps? ????????



    yep. i'm a cheapo.

    Damn ..... I end up bending them taking them off ... do they re-seal ok?
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.