5 Tips for Fast Home Brew Bottling
Once your lovely new beer is fermented you’re faced with a choice, to bottle or to barrel. I won’t go in to the merits and drawbacks with each method but one of the reasons given for not bottling by a lot of people is the time it takes. Some claim this can take them hours, with scrubbing bottles clean, sanitising, capping, not to mention actually bottling the beer. But it doesn’t need to be this way, I’ve managed to cut my bottling time to well under an hour for a 23 litre batch, and that includes the clean up. Just follow the simple tips below and you can speed your beer bottling session right up.
1. Keep ’em Clean
The bottles that is. When you’ve poured your beer give the bottle a quick rinse out with warm water. This will save you a whole lot of scrubbing on bottling day as they just need a quick rinse and sanitising. Even better, sanitise them as you go and cover the hole with foil/cling film to keep them clean. The same goes for your bottling bucket and all equipment, a quick wash down straight after use saves time consuming scrubbing trying to remove dried on grime.
2. Batch Prime
Adding the priming sugar to each bottle is time consuming, much better to syphon your beer into another FV (sanitised of course), dissolve the sugar you need (usually around 90-120g for 23L of ale) in some boiled water and add to the FV with your beer. Give it a gentle mix and you’re ready to start bottling.
I use Star San, some use Videne, and there’s others available. Use a bottle washer (see pic) to quickly sanitise all your bottles and put them on the bottling tree until you need them (if you’ve not pre sanitised as suggested in tip 1 of course). This saves you a whole part of the process, VWP users generally rinse each bottle out 3 times!
4. Get a Bottling Wand/Little Bottler
The former attaches to the end of a syphon, the latter to the tap on an FV. Put the stick to the bottom of the bottle and the bottle will start filling, lift and the beer stops. Less mess, less wastage, less trying to fiddle with those annoying little syphon taps – equals time saved.
5. Get a Bench Capper
Great piece of kit, put the cap in, bottle under, pull handle and the bottle is capped. Simple as that. I can do all 40 or so bottles in just a few minutes.
And that’s it, follow the tips and you can drastically cut your bottling time.