Beer Bottling:

#1 Sanitize! Don’t let all your hard work brewing beer go to waste now! Use a powdered sanitizer or iodine to clean everything you will use for bottling, including the tubes, the caps, and the bottles themselves.  You can reuse beer bottles from the store. Make sure they are not twist tops, and remove the labels from the outside. You can use PBW, powder brewery wash, for label removal.

20130609_20246 #2 Priming. Hooray! You’ve made beer. Well, a flat beer. To get that fizz, you need to give the still-active yeast another snack: more sugar. If you’re working with a kit, it will have the priming sugar you need already neatly packaged and weighed. If you are trying to replicate David’s beer recipe, you’ll want to measure 5oz priming sugar and 2C of water in a very large pot. Bring it to a boil and then let it cool back to room temperature.

20130609_20078 #3 Check the Alcohol content. You’ll need to get one more hydrometer reading for this. You can use this calculator to determine your alcohol content (don’t forget your previous measurement during brewing).


 #4 Siphoning. First, toss your cooled priming solution into a (sanitized!) bottling bucket and get out your racking cane. This cane helps you siphon without sucking up sediment, which is primarily dead yeast. Attach a hose to the racking cane and fill it all with sterilizer, putting your thumb on the end to hold the liquid. Inspect the hose and cane to make sure there are no air pockets. Carefully place the cane in the carboy and let go of the end, letting the sterilizer spill into the sink or a waste bucket. Once you see the beer near the end, cap the hose with your thumb and place it in the bottling bucket. Let go and let the beer flow. Tip: Place the bucket below the carboy and let gravity help. David placed the bucket on the floor below the carboy. You’ll also want to make sure that the tube is all the way at the bottom to avoid splashing—this could oxidize the beer and give it a cardboard-like flavor.

#4.5 Now’s an excellent time to have a tiny taste. It won’t taste like the final product, but its fun to make notes on what you can taste now and compare it to the final batch later. 


#5 Bottling. Get dried and sanitized beer bottles and fill each about halfway up the neck. Some people fill all the bottles, then cap them all. David likes to fill a few and then cap them to minimize contamination possibilities. You will need about 2 cases of empty bottles.


#6 Capping. Place a cap on the bottle and use a capper like this to secure the lid. You just push both arms flat and voila! Your bottle is capped. If you are re-using bottles, make sure that you are not using twist off bottles as they will not allow for an airtight seal.


 #7 Label your beer! David Labels his beers by batch number, but you can make any note you want to remind you of its contents.

Check back in about 10-14 days to see if your bottled beer has had sufficient time to carbonate. Enjoy!




Published by Kristina

Hey, I'm Kristina, I write most of the posts around here. I'm an artist, lighting designer, native Vermonter, pancake maker, bread baker, and now writer. I get far more excited about real maple syrup than anyone should.

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