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Bottling tips

I’m getting ready to bottle my Chocolate Milk Stout on Tuesday. I finally picked up a quality Escali scale to measure priming sugar. Unlike the other aspects of brewing I have not found a way to speed up the bottling process. The last batch I had my wife help me. She hates bottling day. After racking onto the priming sugar in the bottling bucket. I would grab a sanitized bottle fill it and pass it to her to put a sanitized bottle cap on it. Then after filling a bunch I would stop filling and go back and crimp on the caps. Then fill a bunch more and repeat. After filling and crimping all of them I would place them in a Sterilite crate which holds 30 and rinse the outsides of the bottle. Then bring them upstairs to carb. Anyone have any good tips for saving time bottling a 5 gallon batch? I did find that the spring loaded filler is the way to go. Before buying one I would waste a lot of beer from the leaky gravity filler. Also is 2.0-2.4 co2 volume good for a Milk Stout? I think I will be shooting for 2.1.

2.1 volumes of CO2 is about right on for a stout.
As far as bottling… having the wife help will speed things up. She should be able to put the cap on and crimp it while you are filling the next bottle. That’s how my wife and I do it when I bottle from the keg. Which brings me to my next point. Want to really speed things up??? Buy one big bottle (keg). I know that’s not feasible for everyone but it sure does make bottling day real nice. :wink:

+1 for kegging being the fastest.

Another idea would be to get some bomber bottles with the EZ top, or at least some 22oz regular bottles.

Bottling day is my least favorite also, but at the end I get to taste whatever can’t fill an entire bottle…so there’s a positive.

Namaste!!!

Flip tops are faster I agree. I have bottled from the keg and also from the bucket and I dont think bottling from he keg is any faster than bottling from the bucket if your bottling the hole batch. Of course from the keg you don’t have to do them all at once.

Take your time, don’t rush it. I think this is one area of the brew process where you just need to take your time and get it right.

All good suggestions. I don’t want to rush the process but I want to streamline it. I also enjoy tasting any beer that doesn’t properly fill the last bottle.

Using a bench capper will speed the process. One person fills, the other immediately caps. Would even be time to rinse the capped bottle before the next one is filled. If you do not cap along side a sink, have a bucket of water to rinse in.

The greatest tip I picked up was to open the dishwasher door and place all of your bottles on top of it. The benefits are that the lid will catch any spills, which can then be rinsed down into the dishwasher when you’re finished. It also lifts them off the floor, so when combined with a short stool to sit on it puts your body in a less awkward position. My dishwasher door can accommodate 33 bottles, so I fill them all, move them to the counter top, place a cap on top of each bottle, and then fill the next batch of bottles. When all of the bottles are filled, on the counter and have a cap sitting atop them I commence with crimping. When all of the bottles have had their caps crimped I dunk each bottle in 2 gallon pail filled halfway with StarSan sitting in one sink to rinse them of any spilled beer, and then set them in the other sink to run off most of the liquid and then finally set them on a towel to fully dry.

I use a adjustable height rolling mechanics stool for bottle filling. Roll it back and forth to reduce the need to lean and reach.

I set my bottling bucket on a cooler on top of the counter and stand straight up bottling . I bottle on a baking dish to catch over flow then cap the bottles on a dish towel. When I’m done a quick rinse and dry and into empty 12 pack boxes. Labels go on another day.

We’re similar to a bunch of the stories here. Our sanitized bottles get hung on a bottle tree. The wife picks bottles off the tree, fills them over the open dishwasher door, and passes them to me for capping. For the last 6-8 bottles. I hold the bucket up over her head (she’s very trusting) so that we can get most every drop out. I then cap the last few as she starts breaking down the bottle tree.

The dishwasher door and the spring-loaded fill wand each made huge improvements when we started doing them.

When you have a good rhythm bottling doesn’t feel like a chore. I kinda find it relaxing.

Try doing this by yourself…It’s no easy feat :slight_smile:

I usually solve this problem by just drinking the rest right from the bucket.

I know I keep posting threads from HomeBrewTalk, but there is seriously EVERYTHING you need to know about brewing over there. This thread has a ton of great info about making bottling faster and easier. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/bottlin … wer-94812/

I used to use a vinator, but it broke and found a faster way. I make a couple gallons of sanitizer, dunk 2 bottles in at a time, put my thumb over the ends, shake, then dump out. Put them on the bottle tree and move on to another pair. Cuts the sanitizing time in half.

[quote=“Beersk”]I know I keep posting threads from HomeBrewTalk, but there is seriously EVERYTHING you need to know about brewing over there. This thread has a ton of great info about making bottling faster and easier. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/bottlin … wer-94812/

I used to use a vinator, but it broke and found a faster way. I make a couple gallons of sanitizer, dunk 2 bottles in at a time, put my thumb over the ends, shake, then dump out. Put them on the bottle tree and move on to another pair. Cuts the sanitizing time in half.[/quote]

Sanitizing isn’t too much of a chore. Attaching the wand to the spigot and adding a diptube is such a good idea! I must do this!

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