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Bottling Questions

I was looking over my brewing equipment, and I noticed that I’d managed to put a ding in the ring at the end of my auto-siphon cane, which will probably lead to bad things happening during bottling. Also my bottling wand is the kind without a spring. So I need to replace some things, and as I’m moving to brewing smaller batches, that leads to a question or two.

First, should I still use a bottling bucket, or would there be less loss of beer if I connect the bottling wand to the auto-siphon?

If I use the bucket, I’ve seen videos of people attaching a bottling wand directly to the spigot. How well does that work? I’m thinking of the last bit of beer, which generally requires that I tilt the bucket way over to get the brew through the hole. I’m trying to envision that with a wand attached to the spigot, and I keep seeing very messy results. Using that method, do people just throw away the last bottle or two?

Finally, do those Prime Dose capsules Northern Brewing has for sale actually work? Or is corn sugar still the way to go?

Until this current batch that’s fermenting, I’ve only done 5-gallon batches so I can’t speak for bottling small batches. But with my bottling bucket, I cut about a 4" long piece of tubing to use for connecting the bottling wand to the spigot. It works great, it’s short enough that it doesn’t flex all that much and it’s long enough that I can have someone tilt the bucket to get out the last of the brew. I set the bottling bucket on the kitchen island counter and sit on a small stool to bottle.

The little bit that’s left when I’m done, I’ve been pouring into a glass and throw it in the fridge for a bit to chill down, then drink it. But I think Denny said that he pours the last into a PET bottle with a carb top and hits it with some CO2 then chills it (be nice if I had a keg system and could do that).

…And this is why I’m not an engineer. A simple, obvious, elegant solution, which would most likely not have occurred to me before the heat death of the universe. :roll: I have all of those things, too, and I have used them in conjunction, just not with the tubing cut to a short length. Instead, every time I’ve bottled, I’ve tried to manage about a three-foot length of the stuff, cursing all the while. And I’ll bet that after you’ve filled a bottle, you can just let the thing hang there while you pick up another one, instead of having to fill half a dozen and then find a safe sanitized place to balance the wand-and-tubing assembly while setting up the next set.

Thank you very much. :slight_smile:

My bottling hose is long enough where I just stick the bottling wand INTO the bottling bucket and just rest the lid on top to keep it there.

Yep, I did that. And then it flopped out of the bucket, made a mess, and had to be re-sanitized. Plus I was never comfortable putting something I’d been touching into the beer. Felt I was courting contamination.

I do brew small batches (1 gallon).

My first batch I used the auto-siphon in conjuction with the bottling wand. It’s the first and last time I’ve done it, it can done but why deal with the frustration. The next kit was ordered with a spigot, another plastic fermenter and 3 feet of tubing (only used 4" but I’ve got some for spare). I cut a hole in the pail to make my own 2 gal bottling bucket.

For me, I put the Fermenter on a upside down, plastic, file crate (on the kitchen counter) and rack to the bottling bucket on a dining room chair inside a basin (also serves as a swamp cooler and general mess stopper). Once I start bottling the bottling bucket goes on the file crate and the bottles are filled over the basin. As a side note kitchen counter space is at a preimeium in our kitchen.

…And this is why I’m not an engineer. A simple, obvious, elegant solution, which would most likely not have occurred to me before the heat death of the universe. :roll: I have all of those things, too, and I have used them in conjunction, just not with the tubing cut to a short length. Instead, every time I’ve bottled, I’ve tried to manage about a three-foot length of the stuff, cursing all the while. And I’ll bet that after you’ve filled a bottle, you can just let the thing hang there while you pick up another one, instead of having to fill half a dozen and then find a safe sanitized place to balance the wand-and-tubing assembly while setting up the next set.

Thank you very much. :slight_smile: [/quote]

You’re quite welcome. FWIW, I did spend some time studying to become an Engineer. So yes, I do have that mindset.

You are correct, I set up the bottling bucket, have all the sanitized bottles sitting in easy reach and the bottling wand just hangs there (I do lay some plastic on the floor to catch any drips). I sit there and fill bottles then set them up on the counter. When I run out of counter in easy reach, I stand up and cap them all, then go back to bottling. At some point I intend to get a bench capper and rig it up so it sits down there with me, so I can fill, cap, and put in the case each bottle as I go. :cheers:

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