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Bottling Question- How screwed am I?

I am fairly new to this. I have completed about 6 extract brews and I just made a pretty dumb mistake. I just got ready to bottle my latest batch. I put the priming solution in the bottling bucket and was just about done siphoning the beer to the bottling bucket when I realized I threw away my bottle capper when we moved because it rusted in storage. So now I have the beer in the bottling bucket with the priming solution and the HB store is closed. So i cleaned and sanitized the lid, stopper and airlock from the primary fermenting bucket and sealed up the bottling bucket.

I won’t be able to get to the home-brew store until tomorrow afternoon. How screwed am I if I can’t bottle this for 24-36 hours after mixing with priming solution? When I can bottle it should I add some more priming sugars to make for what is lost if it starts fermenting in the next day or so?

Oof… it’s a bit of bother, but maybe not hopeless. How carefully did you measure? Did you calculate priming sugar, or do 5 Oz corn sugar/ 5/8 cup table sugar? I’d only think about adding more sugar if you were really careful and precise. Even so, I’d probably not add much.

The yeast will probably take care of that little bit of priming sugar in 24 hours. If you go 36 hours before bottling that increases the safety factor.

I’m having second thoughts about this. A bottle that is over carbed may take multiple CO2 pressure releases over a few days. No, I’m not sure if the yeast will consume the sugar in the bottling bucket in a 24 hour period.

I just did 5 oz. of corn sugar, didn’t calculate. I did get a full 5 gallons into the bottling bucket though. So if it’s 36 hours before I can bottle you think I shouldn’t need to add more sugar?

I’m second guessing myself now… usually, that 5 Oz is a little over carbed for me. If it were 12-24 hours, I’d bottle and let it roll. But in big bulk, you might eat that sugar quickly.

Safest bet, let the bucket sit for a week, ferment out, reprime, then bottle.

Daring? Put the bucket somewhere cold, bottle asap, and hope for the best…

In all honesty, waiting it out is probably for the best. While you’re at it, look for a bottle priming calculator (Northern Brewer hosts one). You can dial in the carbonation pretty exactly with that.

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Thank you for the advice. Sounds like the safest thing to do is let it ferment all the way out and try again next week!

I’ll also opine that I would consider transferring it back to a clean fermenter NOW and being very careful. Any O2 exposure now will be used by the yeast as fermentation restarts. This will allow you to clean your bottling bucket, allow any additional trub to settle in primary rather than your bottling bucket, and allow you to mix in priming sugar without mixing up the trub from refermentation.

I disagree @loopie_beer I wouldn’t risk transferring it again I would let it ferment out in the bottling bucket. The co2 will scrub the o2 already introduced and the small amount of trub from the priming sugar shouldn’t be a problem.

You might be right since it’s a small amount… might be wrong too. Thinking about it though I might let it ride.

Gotta go back to my ‘original’ thinking about errors. The more you try to fix them the more things get screwed up.

Let it ride!

Maybe too late, git it as cold as you can to slow, stop yeast. Once you have yer capper, warm it up and proceed… Better late than never :grimacing: Sneezles61

Thank you all for the quick and helpful responses.

I agree with loopie… the more you try to fix a mistake, the worse it gets. I decided to let it go another week. To finish this thread out I will update in 3 weeks when I try the first the one (just in case someone else is dumb enough to try to bottle without a capper!). I did take a good sized sample while I was cursing myself out for forgetting the capper and it tasted pretty great (first time making an ESB). Hope it stays that way through my bottling misadventure.

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I wonder if you could have made little aluminum foil caps and then recap the next day. If you kept them cold

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If this is the worst mistake you do in homebrewing, you’re doing pretty damn good! A bad mistake is when you have to dump a batch down the drain! If you bottle tomorrow, you might risk a low carbonated beer. Aren’t ESB’s carbed on the low side anyway? According to the NB priming sugar calculator, an ESB is primed to 1.7 volumes of CO2. The lowest on the list is an English Bitter at 1.5 volumes. Considering it takes a good two weeks, and oftentimes longer, to fully bottle condition a beer even at temperatures greater than 70 degrees, I’m leaning toward bottling it tomorrow as is. Either way, if you bottle tomorrow or next week with another dose of priming sugar, I think you’ll be fine. On another topic, if you’re getting another capper, I would HIGHLY recommend paying the extra money for a bench capper. I love mine. I would always break a bottle or two per batch with those winged cappers. I have used my bench capper for 2 years now, and I only cracked one bottle this whole time. You can cap so much faster too, at least in my opinion. You won’t regret the investment!

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I never broke a bottle with a winged capper. It doesn’t take alot of pressure just a crimping

Same here. 3 + years of bottling exclusively and no broken bottles. I did get a second winged capper as I wore out the first one.

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I’ve broken some. I had some bad caps that didn’t seal well, so ended up wailing on my capper to compensate. Real kung-fu grip stuff. This, naturally wore out my capper, so boom, firmer squeeze. I broke maybe ten necks. New capper, and threw out the faulty caps, so I’m good now.

I bought a second capper as a backup. I was having trouble crimping some gold crown caps awhile back and I thought if I end up breaking the capper I will be SOL. Hoping to get my kegging system set up here in a couple weeks.

Only time i broke a bottle capping with a wing capper was when i tried to cap a noncompatible bottle :grinning:

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Geez, you guys let me know when you need a capper. I’ve got a few and they are collecting dust. :confused: Sneezles61

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