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Hiney The Other – Day 35

Bottling Day!!

I got together my bottles, Starsan sanitizer, priming sugar solution, bottling carboy, trub/hop filter and got to work.

I make my priming solution well in advance, and pressure sterilize it in pint jars in my pressure cooker. That way come bottling day I just open a jar of priming solution, add it to the bottling carboy, and transfer the beer.

I took the secondary carboy out of the fermentation chamber, added priming sugar to my bottling carboy, hooked up my trub/hops filter, and transferred the beer to my bottling carboy. I also took a few ounces to taste: nice aroma, great hoppy flavor.

Next I sanitize my bottles using Starsan solution and a bottle sanitizer/rinser. This sends a jet of sanitizer solution into the bottle, which will kill any nasties that may have crept into the bottle. The sanitizer works as long as it’s wet, so I normally do about 2 dozen bottles at a time.

Using a spring loaded bottle filler, I fill the bottles, automagically leaving just the proper amount of headspace in the bottle.

After I’ve filled the bottles, it’s time to cap them. I paid a little extra and got a Colonna Bottle Capper and Corker. This baby is great. It’s easy to use, can be adjusted for various bottle sizes, and can also cork wine bottles and Belgian Ale bottles. Definitely worth the money. I also used my custom printed bottle caps from BottleMark Custom Caps.

Now I move all of my bottles to my “Bottle Bomb Shelter”, a 100 quart cooler, to allow the bottles to naturally carbonate. This way, if I’ve miscalculated the amount of priming solution, or have a bottle failure (try “beer bottle bombs” in google for examples), the cooler will contain the mess. This saves endless hours of cleaning, and argument with SWMBO if a bottle bomb occurs.

Now just have to wait a couple of weeks to try the final product.

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