Here are a few tips to make sure that your bottling process is smooth and faff free!
- Always ensure fermentation is complete if it isn’t this can cause pressure to build up in the bottles as the CO2 has no where to go. At the end of fermentation take two hydrometer readings 48 hours apart if the readings are the same then fermentation is complete and you are free to bottle, if not leave a little longer until the two readings are the same. When transferring to your bottles avoid any splashing as you would not want to oxidise your brew. This can be avoided using a little bottler or auto syphon.
- Priming your beer: It is important to get the right level of carbonation in your brew as it adds to mouthfeel and appearance. Too much priming sugar will lead to a very frothy beer and although a good head is nice this will be too much. We
recommend no more than two carbonation drops or a heaped teaspoon of brewing sugar per 500ml bottle for lager and cider. For ale we recommend one carbonation drop, a level teaspoon of brewing sugar or for slight carbonation half a teaspoon. Be sure to leave a gap at the top of your bottle to aid carbonation about 1″ to 1½”. Another method to consider is batch priming. A 23 litre kit would need about 80 grams of brewing sugar and a cider or lager would need a bit more up to about 100 grams. Making a sugar and water solution and then adding this to your brew will ensure that the sugar is properly dissolved. Mix thoroughly into your brew before bottling to ensure even distribution. Be careful not to splash and agitate the brew too much when doing this a gentle stir should do the trick.
What else can I prime with other than brewing sugar/carbonation drops? A few suggestions are honey which will may impart flavour, spraymalt; which one you use depends on the type of beer, for example you could use the light spraymalt with pale ale or an IPA. It is debated whether these alternative priming ingredients add flavour, some believe they do and others don’t but it’s always worth a try as you may prefer one of the alternatives.
- Buy good quality bottles: We sell 500ml brown and clear plastic bottles along with 500ml brown glass bottles. These are all high quality bottles perfect for storing your home brew and can be used again and again. If using clear you would need to store your beer away from direct sunlight.
- Use a little bottler: This is simply a must when bottling they cut time and mess
down to a minimum.
- Store your bottles in a cool dark place: This allows your brew to clear and prevents any damage caused by sunlight.
- Allow your brew to condition: You can drink your beer a few weeks after it has been bottled, however it is best left to mature. Leave it for at least two months and you will be rewarded with a great tasting beer because the flavours will have had time to develop.
- Happy Bottling!!
- Check out our website for all the equipment you need – Home Brew Online
- New video on how to bottle your brew! Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeYu5ZEi7Mo