Bottling Issues

Hey all! I brewed my first batch of beer two weeks ago with my 1 Gallon Starter Kit I bought here. Everything went well with brewing (I think) but when I went to bottle today we ran into a couple of issues. First, the IPA that we brewed was pretty cloudy with quite a bit of sediment floating around in it so when we first started using the siphon the tip ended up getting clogged. After unclogging it we were having trouble getting the siphon to flow constantly. We had to continue pumping the siphon to get beer into the bottles which was a slow process but also kept bubbling up the beer through the tubing. The Carboy was placed up on the counter and we were filling them on top of a cooler that was placed on the ground.

The first attempt was a bit discouraging with the problems we had but am certainly going to try again. I’m looking for some suggestions from everybody to see if I was doing something wrong, if there are any tips outside of what was on the DVD for bottling, or if there is a better process or equipment for doing so. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Also - I ended up only getting 5 full bottles out of the batch. Partly because we couldn’t siphon towards the bottom without sucking up large chunks through the siphon, but seemed to still be a pretty low yield. Any thoughts there?

An extra week in the fermentor will reduce the amount of sediment suspended in the beer. Try at least two weeks in the primary and then dry hop. You could also cold crash in the refrigerator for a few days to get more sediment to drop out after extending the primary time.

Moving the fermentor will stir up some of the trub that has settled. Move your fermentor to the bottling area the day before bottling. Rack to a bottling bucket instead of trying to fill the bottles with the siphon. Terribly difficult to hold the siphon out of the trub layer and fill bottles at the same time. Have your siphon tube curled, and flat to the bottom of the bottling bucket to avoid splashing/oxidizing the beer.

A spring tip bottling wand, attached to the spigot of the bottling bucket, really simplifies the bottling process. The priming sugar would be added to the bottling bucket. Having the siphon tube curled at the bottom of the bottling bucket will mix your priming sugar solution with the beer. A gentle stir with a sanitized spoon can also be done to make sure the priming solution is well distributed.

I use a 1" x 6" bag on the out flow tube of the auto siphon, inside the bottling bucket, when I rack a dry hopped beer to the bottling bucket. Catches any stray pieces of hop debris. Made the catch bag from a fine mesh grain bag.

Make your own bottling bucket, for small batches, with a two gallon frosting container from the local market. I get various sizes of buckets for $0.50 to $1.00 apiece. Just drill a hole and add the spigot. They make good fermentors also.

I don’t understand why they even sell those 1gal kits. You will probably never get more than 8 bottles. Two people can drink that in less time than it takes to make. People try them and then never brew again. If you want to brew small batches and do kits, order a 5gal kit and split it in half. Most bang for your buck. Just my 2cents. :blah:

I’ve brewed 17 1 gallon batches since Feb, I love to brew. I’m not a beer drinker, having 1 a week would be an increase for me, so 5 gal batches would sit around (probably for years). As it is I have run out of bottles and space in my beer-fidgerator. The kits are nice to try something new if I don’t have ALL the ingredients on hand and has the benefit of having only a few bottle on hand if I don’t like the style.