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The Beer Circle » Brew It Yourself » Novice Homebrewer: Bottling

Novice Homebrewer: Bottling

Bottle tree and bottle washer top attachment

Finally, after 10 days of fermentation, my first batch of homebrew was ready to be bottled. Waiting was difficult because I wanted to try the finished product, but to get through it I kept telling myself that the yeast in that carboy is working 24/7 while I get to sleep and have fun. I did some final prep work, including reading the bottling section of “Extreme Homebrewing” and, of course, sanitizing everything I was going to use.

I added the priming sugar as instructed to the bottling bucket before I brought in the beer. While not terribly difficult, I found the siphon that I had not the easiest to use. It was the type that needs to have water poured into the tube to draw out the beer from the carboy. I believe that this is going to be my first improvement purchase for my next batch. For reference, an improvement purchase is the one or two items bought for each homebrew that improve the process compared to the previous batch. It is a great and economical way to build a quality homebrewing operation.

One item I did purchase with my first set of ingredients was a bottle tree with a bottle washer topper. I read in several locations on the internet how advantageous it is to have this combination, so I thought it to be a worthy purchase. While I didn’t have another experience to compare to, I would say the bottle tree and washer helped my efficiency greatly. I was able to clean out two cases worth of bottles with Star-San, put them on the tree to dry, and start bottling within 15 minutes.

I thought that using the entire length of the tubing provided for the bottling process was not a great idea, and put me in an awkward position of being stuck on the floor and walking on my knees back and forth to the bottles. This involved a lot of up-and-down movements as well, taking its toll on my surgically repaired knee. During the process, I thought that cutting off a small piece of tubing from the kit would have been a good idea, and then I read in the instructions that my good idea was supposed to have been done for this process. Oh well. There will be a next time.

Homebrew bottles and capper.

Overall, bottling wasn’t as bad as what other people who have gone to kegging have told me. I enjoyed putting my beer into bottles and placing that clean looking gold cap on top. Now the hardest part has arrived: letting the beer sit in bottles to condition. The final post in this series will be the best one, as I get to taste my first ever homebrew! Cheers.

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Written by Jeff Kupko

Jeff is a traffic engineer that loves his beer, and especially loves trying new beer. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Yuengling was a staple and the beginnings of liking something better than fizzy yellow water. This has evolved into an entire hobby, with Jeff keeping a blog of all of the beers he tries. Vacations most certainly involve at least one brewery or bottle shop visit to gather a region’s coveted fruits. Now, Jeff has ventured into homebrewing, and there is probably no saving him from being engulfed entirely by beer. While Imperial Stouts and IPAs rank highest in Jeff’s eyes, sours are sneaking up on those styles, and Jeff loves to try all different styles. Find Jeff Kupko on Google Plus

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