How To Bottle Beer
Bottling your home brew will be the final step which needs to be completed before you’ll have the opportunity to finally enjoy your home brewed beer. The initial fermentation must be totally finished. For ales this usually takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks. The airlock on your fermenter should have very occasional, if any, bubbles passing through it. The beer will likewise start to clear due to the fact that the inactive yeast settles on the bottom of your fermenter.
To prepare your beer for bottling it is going to have to be primed. This method calls for adding a limited quantity of sugar to your completely fermented but uncarbonated beer. Although your beer may seem relatively clear there is still sufficient yeast present to consume the added sugar. Once the primed beer is bottled it is going to undergo a small fermentation which is going to provide the carbonation. This process is called bottle conditioning.
Bottling beer is a fairly basic procedure, but, it does involve a bit of preparation to get all the things you need ready. There are certain items of home brewing equipment needed for bottling beer. Generally home brewing equipment kits normally include all these items except for the bottles.
Here is a list of the items needed for bottling beer:
– Priming Sugar
– Bottle Brush
– Bottle Caps and Capper
– Bottling Bucket with Spigot and Bottle Filler Attachment
– Additional 5 Gallon Plastic Bucket
– Racking Cane with Siphon Hose
– Cleaning Solution
– Sanitizing Solution
Here are a few more household things needed:
– Small Bowl or Container
– Large Mixing Spoon (stainless steel or plastic)
– Rubber Gloves
You will also have to have a sufficient quantity of bottles to hold all the beer you’ve brewed. The preferred type of bottles are brown glass ones that have normal tops (not the twist-off kind) that are going to accept a cap from the bottle capper. Green glass bottles are also alright; the concept is to not allow light in the bottle. Based on the bottle size you will need to do some basic calculations. A 5 gallon batch of beer is approximately 640 ounces; therefore if you are using 12 ounce bottles you’re going to want about 54. If you select 16 ounce bottles you are going to want to have 40 bottles. It is a good plan to have a few extra bottles in the event there is a problem or a minor miscalculation.
Once again cleanliness is one of the most crucial things. It is VERY important that all of your bottles are thoroughly cleaned before they can be sanitized, specifically when you are reusing bottles. The easiest method to clean your bottles is to soak them in a cleaning solution and scrub them inside and outside using the bottle brush. Some great cleaning solutions are PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash), B-Brite and Easy Clean. You may want to put on clean rubber gloves when you are cleaning and sanitizing. The solutions that you’ll be using might cause skin irritation.
The next step is to sanitize all your bottling equipment and bottles. There are a number of sanitizers to select from. Some of the common solutions are Star San, and 5-Star. Add the specified quantity of sanitizer to your bottling bucket and to an additional 5 gallon bucket then fill both with water. Place all of the bottling equipment that will come in contact with the beer in the sanitizing solution within the bottling bucket. Use the extra bucket to soak the bottles. Put as many bottles as you’re able to in the sanitizing solution being sure that they are totally submerged. When the bottles have been in the sanitizing solution for the appropriate period of time (read through the sanitizer manufacturer’s instructions) remove and allow them to drain. Continue doing this until all the bottles are sanitized. Empty the sanitizing solution from the bucket. Almost all the sanitizers are “no rinse” so you won’t have to worry about rinsing any of the bottling equipment or bottles.
While your bottling equipment is soaking in the sanitizing solution you should make the priming solution. The most typical choice for priming sugar is corn sugar. It’s a simple sugar and will not have an effect on the taste of your beer. For this step add 2 cups of water to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Combine ¾ cup of corn sugar and stir slowly until it is completely dissolved. Put a lid on the saucepan and remove it from the burner.
Take time to arrange your bottling area. Make sure that all the bottling equipment is easy to get to. Carefully place your fermenter on the counter or table, try to avoid disturbing the sediment on the bottom. Additionally it is recommended to take a few notes. Document the date of the bottling and all other noteworthy things about the beer. You might want to refer back to these notes in the future.
Remove all the bottling equipment from the sanitizing solution in your bottling bucket and place it in the additional 5 gallon bucket. Then add a couple of gallons of the sanitizing solution from the bottling bucket in the event you need it. Discard the remainder of the sanitizing solution from the bottling bucket and let it drain.
Okay let’s get going. Just remember everything that will touch the beer has to stay sanitary.
Gently add the priming solution to the bottling bucket. It does not matter if it is still warm. Make use of the newly sanitized racking cane and siphon hose to move your beer out of the fermenter into the bottling bucket. Place the end of the siphon hose on the bottom of the bottling bucket. Don’t permit your beer to splash during the course of the transfer, you should not add any extra oxygen to your beer at this stage. Keep the intake of your racking cane just above the sediment in the fermenter. You do not want the sediment in the bottling bucket. Once all the beer is in the bottling bucket lift it up on to the counter or table. Gently stir it with a sanitized large spoon to make certain that the priming solution is evenly mixed in the beer.
Place your bottle caps in a bowl along with some sanitizing solution. Connect the hose with the bottling wand to the spigot on the bottling bucket. Turn on the spigot. Don’t do this unless you are actually using a bottling wand along with its own valve.
At long last it’s time to start bottling your beer! The bottling wand features a handy valve on the tip. To use it simply just press it against the bottom of your bottle and allow it to fill up. Stop just short of overfilling and take out the wand. This should result in the right fill height. Your beer should be ¾ of an inch from the top. Position a sanitized cap onto the top of the bottle and utilize your capper to secure the cap. Many brewers will just put caps on the filled bottles and wait to cap a number of them at that time. Do whichever is simpler for you or get somebody to help out capping the bottles.
When you finish capping, look over every single bottle to make certain that the cap is properly sealed. When all of the bottles are filled they’ll need to be rinsed off to get rid of any beer from the outside. Make sure that you also clean all of your bottle filling equipment. It’s easier to clean right after you are finished using it. Furthermore cleaning the equipment immediately will avoid many possible sanitation issues during future uses.
Now that you have bottled all of your cerveja it needs time to correctly condition. The bottles need to be kept upright in a place away from the light at a temperature between 65 -75 F. This conditioning process will take at the very least 10 days. If possible your bottles should be permitted to condition for 3-4 weeks.
Obviously you will certainly be quite anxious to try your beer so after 10 days cool off a bottle or two. When you open a bottle there should be the familiar “hiss” when it’s carbonated. Bottle conditioned beer is better enjoyed in a glass. Slowly pour it into a glass being careful to keep the sediment inside your bottle. Have your first taste! How is it? If it is not very carbonated it needs more conditioning time. If your beer tastes good give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy!