• Part 5: Bottling

  • Finally! It’s time to bottle. This is probably one of the most time consuming parts of home brewing, it can be tedious, but it’s also fun. First off, you need to make sure that you have enough bottles. 5 gallons translates into 640 ounces, divide that into 12 ounce bottles, and you’ll need about 54 bottles. This will vary depending on how much liquid you lost from evaporation, and also from siphoning.

    Before your beer can be bottled, you need to make sure your bottles are all sanitized and clean. Next, you will need to add priming sugar to each bottle. Priming sugar is a small, additional amount of sugar we add to the bottles. Once the bottle is capped, the yeast will eat the priming sugar which will translate into carbon dioxide and a little more alcohol. But now, the bottle is sealed shut, and the carbon dioxide cannot escape through an airlock. This is how the beer carbonates. Different recipes call for different amounts of priming sugar, but as a general rule, add 1 teaspoon per 12 ounce bottle.

    Now, your bottles are clean and primed, it’s time to fill them with beer. Some kits come with a bottling bucket, here you will transfer all your beer into this bucket. This bucket has a spigot which will allow you to fill each bottle. Another method, is to simply siphon beer into each bottle. To do this, you really need a bottle filler. This device attaches to the end of your siphoning tube. It is basically a valve that will allow liquid to pass through while touching the bottom of a bottle, and will stop filling once lifted up.

    Once your bottles are filled with beer, they need to be capped. There are different cappers available out there, but any one will do. If your unsure on how to use the capper, I recommend trying it out on a few empty bottles first. After two or three times, you’ll be a pro.

    Once your bottles are filled and capped it’s time to condition. Part 6