Getting Started, Part 5 – Bottling

October 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

By now your beer has been fermenting for a couple of weeks and the yeast has done its job. Now we need to get your beer in bottles.

Equipment

Here is what you will need to get your beer from the carboy to the bottle:

  • Sanitizer
  • Racking cane
  • Syphoning hose
  • Bottling bucket
  • Bottling wand
  • Bottles
  • Caps
  • Capper
  • Small sauce pan
  • Corn sugar
  • Measuring cup
  • Water

Process

Here are the steps you will take to get your beer into bottles:

  • Boil a cup of water and pour it into a measuring cup. Let the water cool because you will be using it later for syphoning.
  • Place the carboy of fermented beer on the kitchen counter, or whatever surface you’re using for bottling. Let the carboy sit for 15-20 minutes after moving it to let any particles settle back to the bottom.
  • Sterilize the bottles, caps, racking cane, syphon hose, and bottling wand.
  • Extract a cup of fermented wort from the carboy. I use a sterilized wine thief. Turkey basters work well, too.
  • Heat the cup of wort in a sauce pan and add 3/4 cup of corn sugar. Cool the wort to 75 degrees and set it aside for later. I typically place the sauce pan in the refrigerator so it will cool by the time I’m ready to use it.
  • Sterilize the bottling bucket.
  • Pour the chilled wort with corn sugar into the bottling bucket.
  • Get the cup of water and set it nearby. Insert the sterilized racking cane into the carboy, attach the sterilized syphoning hose to the racking cane. Pour enough water into the hose to begin syphoning the beer and transfer the beer into the bottling bucket.
  • Place the bottling bucket on the kitchen counter and attach the bottling wand to the spigot on the bucket and place a towel on the floor below the wand.
  • Fill each bottle by lifting the bottle so the wand is inserted into the bottle and touches the bottom. Push up on the bottle to let the beer begin to flow. When the level reaches the top pull the bottle back down. Seal each bottle with a sterilized cap.
  • Let the bottles sit at 65F-70F for a week to allow the yeast to carbonate the beer.
  • Celebrate bottilng your first beer.

Tips

Everything that touches your beer needs to be sanitized so be diligent.

When adding the corn sugar to the cup of extracted wort, be careful not to overheat the wort because it can suddenly blow up like boiling milk.

While syphoning the beer into the bucket, avoid splashing the beer. You want to limit exposure to oxygen. Also, you may consider filling all of the bottles first, then capping them after they are all filled.

Often the last bottle isn’t completely filled. I mark this bottle with a “T” on the cap. After a week has passed I open that bottle first to see if the beer is carbonated.

If the beer is carbonated and tasty, share it with your family and friends. Home brew makes the world a better place.

Congratulations!

You’re now a Hop Dad! Let me know about your brewing experience and if these posts have been helpful. Also, if you have any favorite recipes to share I’d love to try them.

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