How to Bottle Your Homebrew Beer

Once your beer has finished fermenting, it is time to transfer it from your fermentor to bottles or kegs. This article will describe the process of bottling, including secondary fermentation using sugar, capping, and settling.

Cleaning

Make sure that all your bottles are sterilized and cleaned extremely well. Any kind of contamination can ruin your entire batch. Any kind of brewing cleaner can be used, such as Pink Stain Remover (PSR) or Sodium Metabisulphate. Mix the cleaner with a sufficient amount of water. This changes depending on what you are using.

Soak all the bottles in hot water, and scrub them well using a bottle cleaner. Also clean the bottle caps that you plan on using. All the bacteria that can potentially ruin your beer must be eliminated.

Prepare Your Empty Bottles

Secondary Fermentation

Dissolve about 180 grams in dextrose in hot water, and pour it into your fermentor. This gives the remaining yeast some more sugar to survive on, causing a secondary fermentation to take place. This means that once the beer is in the bottles it will begin to create more carbon dioxide, carbonating the liquid.

Bottling

Insert the bottling tube or boot valve into the fermentor, and remove the air lock tube. Fill the bottles completely to the top. As soon as your remove the tube from the bottles, the amount of liquid will fall, making sure that all the bottles have a constant amount of beer.

Capping

This depends on what kind of capper you have available. I strongly recommend buying a stand alone capper rather than a hand held one. They are a hell of a lot quicker, and easier. Fill all your bottles with beer and then cap them each in turn. Make sure that the caps are sealed completely and don’t allow any carbon dioxide to escape, or your beer will turn out to be flat.

Storage

Leave your beer in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks before refrigerating and drinking it. I strongly recommend leaving it for at least a month though, and others recommend leaving it longer than that.

Once this process is complete, you can finally begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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