Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Bottling Day 8th Nov 2016

Bottling beer made on 20th October 2016

My hoppy porter had been in the fementer for 19 days so I decided to bottle it. To be absolutely sure I should have taken hydrometer readings to check the final gravity was not changing but I have never bothered to do this, mainly because I don't like opening the fermenter once the beer is fermenting. Anyway the FG was 1.016 (a bit higher than calculated so maybe I should have left it longer!) which gives an ABV of 4.46%


  1. Bottling bucket 
  2. Syphon
  3. Hydrometer and Test Jar
  4. "Little Bottler"
  5. Hand Capper
  6. Bottle Steriliser
  7. Bottle Tree
  8. Bottles and caps
Compared to brewing, bottling is a relatively quick job where organisation is the key since once you start you can't stop, although it still takes me a couple of hours including cleaning. Start by sterilising a bottling bucket with some no-rinse steriliser. My bottling bucket is basically a 25lt plastic bucket with a tap fitted at near the base. Put the syphon and test jar into the bucket and ensure everything is soaked in the sterilising solution. 

Next prepare the priming solution. Use one of many available homebrew apps to calculate the amount of sugar required and dissolve it in a little boiling water. This is then left to cool while I sterilise the bottles and caps. Pour some of the sterilising solution into the bottle steriliser, sterilise and leave to drain on the bottle tree. I also put the caps into steriliser and just take them out as required.

Bottle Steriliser

Bottle tree

Transfer the wort to the bottling bucket with the syphon and take a sample for the FG reading. As a final check don't forget to drink the sample from the test jar! Pour in the priming solution and get bottling.

Bottling bucket with Little Bottler attached to the tap
The Little Bottler is a great way to bottle home brew. To fill a bottle simply push the bottle up against the end of the bottling tube and the one way valve lets the beer flow into the bottle. When the beer reaches the top withdraw the bottle and the valve stops the beer flowing out. Place a cap on the bottle and move on to the next one. Once the bucket is empty cap all your bottles and leave to condition for at least two weeks, longer is better. The final task is to clean all the equipment. 
Some brewers reuse the trub (the yeasty sludge left in the bottom of the fermenter) by pitching a new brew directly on to it (something way beyond my levels of organisation) or save the yeast by washing the trub and storing it refrigerated in sanitised jars for later brews.   

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