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Bottling my first batch

I am getting ready to bottle my first batch tomorrow ( chinook ipa). I am curious about sanitizing the caps. Supposedly they are oxygen absorbing caps activated by liquid ( I think…). Should I leave them in a sanitizing bath while using them ? I’m not sure how effective the oxygen absorbing caps really are …obviously sanitizing is most important here. Just curious what you guys do.

Thanks

Tom

Yep, leave them in the sanitizer while you bottle. It takes awhile for them to fully absorb oxygen, so it’s fine to have them in the sanitizer for a half hour or so while you’re bottling. Just don’t add a whole bunch extra caps that you aren’t going to use, as they’ll not be effective next time you use them.

Great, thank you for the help!

A spray bottle with star San works great too. Just give a little spritz to the caps and put them on the bottles. Cap when you get a bunch lined up.

I guess I’ve just been lucky, I’ve bottled 53 five gallon batches and haven’t sanitized a cap yet.

So I will be bottling the chinook ipa later today. It has been in the fermenting bucket for 21 days now. I expect it will need to condition in the bottles now for another 2-3 weeks. I just noticed a post advising the temperature for conditioning should be higher than the fermentation temp. I am not sure I can realistically increase my ambient temp much higher than 68 or I will be driving everyone out of the house. Any thoughts or recommendations on this topic?

Thank you!

Tom

I use an aquarium heater when I need higher temperatures than the ambient will produce. Use some sort of tray or storage tub with a flat bottom so the bottles remain upright. The heater I have is preset to 75°F. An adjustable one would be better. By the end of the day my STC-1000 will be wired for better temperature control.

Thoughts?
I’ve recently brewed some tasty batches where active fermentation was at 66* (for 3-4 days), the rest of fermentation was at ~ 63*, and bottle conditioning was at 60*. I didn’t do this on purpose (it’s my 1st winter in a new to me house) and I’m not recommending this approach - just offering a random observation that the fermentation process for “common” styles may be more forgiving than most people think.

Recommendations?
Pay attention to what @flars suggested (above). Others (below) will likely have good ideas as well.

Ok thanks I will stick to the 68-70 deg for this batch and see how it does. I may cobble together a little temp controlled chamber for the next one.

I got 45 bottles out of this batch, I may have been able to squeeze a little more out but the remaining beer was looking a bit chewy.

Does 45 12 oz bottles sound reasonable? I thought we had it at the 5 gallon mark heading into fermentation. Used a little doing the gravity testing but not that much. Maybe the bucket markings are also not exact. Maybe I will pour 5 gallons of water and make / check the mark.

But it’s finally in the bottle and its football time. Thank you very much for all your help and suggestions! It was a big help.

Tom

45 bottles may be a couple low for a typical 5 gallon batch, but certainly not bad! I usually get 48-50, so you’re right there. Also, I don’t worry about controlling temperature for bottle conditioning. Once you have a few batches going, it doesn’t really matter whether they are carbonated at 2 weeks or 3 weeks.

The conditioning time really depends on the type of yeast used. With us-05, I usually have good carbonation after 1 week in the bottle (yes, I check one at one week, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you do too. It’s for science.) With highly flocculant uk strains like s-04, or higher alcohol beers, it can take 4 or 5 weeks. Increasing temperature does speed things up, but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle of building a temp controlled box. Get a few more batches going, and the waiting gets much easier.

Congrats on getting your first batch into bottles! :beer:

45-50 is where I usually end up. You lose some to true, Gravity sampling, dries and draws left behind. That’s why some folks plan 5.25 gallon batches.

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I am a long way from moving away from using the kits I think. I don’t suppose there is a practical way to extend the kit by a 1/4 gal is there? I would like to get a full 48 bottle batch as it was just a little disappointing to come up a few short…

thank you,

Tom

I just bumped a Caribou Slobber to 5.5 gallons with a boost to the OG by adding a pound of Muntons Dark DME.

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Thank you flars, maybe I will add a half pound to the next batch and bring the batch to 5.25 gal.

I’ll prob have to wait a few weeks so the wife gets calmed down. Next time I may do the bottling out on my deck as long as the cold air does not screw things up. I sort of trashed the kitchen trying to get a system/ process going doing it today. I also forgot to take a fg reading in all the excitement. I was curious what the alcohol content will be.

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Well I may have put in about .5 oz more corn sugar than the priming calculator called for. I am hoping the results are not too negative on the finished product. I sort of assssumed I was to put in the packet that came with the kit but I was poking around on the site and found the calculator.

Give us a short description of your bottling process. Maybe we can offer some alternatives to your procedure that will allow you to stay in the kitchen for bottling.

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Might be a little over carbed. Not the end of the world… just open over the sink in case of a little over exuberance, and let it settle after pouring.

You can still take a FG reading when you start sampling your brews. As for bottling I usual bottle early Saturday or Sunday before the wife starts her day.

Just tasted the first bottle of the chinook ipa, it was very good but since it was only in the bottle for two weeks we will give the rest of them another week to further carbonate and clear. They are in temp that ranges between 65-68 so it may slow the carbonation rate I guess. But very happy with the initial results, many thanks to all you guys for the guidance and advice!

My heffe is in the fermentor and very active after just 18 hours. In a couple of weeks we will be bottling that up too.

Definitely buying the dark star burner before the next brew. My electric stove could barely keep up with yesterday’s brew. I started looking at the “all grain” recipes & process but that looks to be a much more involved. I will get there but not for a while I think.

Thank you again for all your help, this forum is a great resource to have.

Tom

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