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Bottling Weekend.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by JimSmetana, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    Checked gravity and stable at 1.015 with my NB Brown Ale kit. 3 weeks after brewing so ready to bottle.
    I soaked the bottles in hot water with some oxyclean and the labels came off nicely. All the bottles were pre-rinsed. My plan is to wash the insides with fresh oxyclean and water using my bottle brush. Rinse and allow to dry upside down in 2 cardboard beer cases lined with a clean piece of foil.

    Tomorrow I will fill my bottling bucket with 5g starsan solution and sanitize the bucket, capper, caps, racking cane and hose. Allow everything to sanitize. Then I will pour the star san into a clean cooler and put all my bottles in there.
    Dunk and fill each bottle and leave them in there until I go to bottle each one.

    Can I pour out the starsan before filling the bottles or do I have to allow to dry. I have seen bottle trees but couldn't figure out where in the bottling "chain" you would need them.
    I don't fear the foam but....

    Any thoughts on my methodology?
  2. MRsojourner

    MRsojourner Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2011 Massachusetts

    feel free to not dry them. have done this numerous times with success. if there is bubbles left they will dissolve into the beer and I have heard that star san can serve as a yeast nutrient in bottle conditioning.
  3. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Disciple (347) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    The tree just makes things a little easier. I've heard of people using their dishwasher like a tree also. The way I do it is empty all of my bottles before I start bottling. Assuming they are already clean I put them in sanitizer for around a minute or two and then start filling the tree. Once I am done filling the tree I will transfer my beer into the bottling bucket. By this time most of the bottles have almost no noticeable sanitizer in them. Like MRsojourner said a little bit isn't a big deal and a lot of the time it gets pushed out when you are filling the bottles anyway. So your method should be fine.

    One obvious thing that helps is pour the sanitizer out like you would pour a beer. The less gulping sound the less foam you will have left over in the bottle. Takes a little bit longer but not much in the grand scheme of things.
  4. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    The tree is a convenient place to keep the bottles where they are all within reach during the bottling process. Having them upside down while waiting to fill drains some of the star san foam (but don't fear the foam!) and prevents dust from settling in the bottles. It's not too big a deal. I got it early on, when I had some bottling problems and was looking to revamp my bottling system. Probably, I needed practice more than fancier equipment. I'm sure I could get along without it.
  5. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    Thanks for the advise. Just worried about sanitation and making sure I dont get any off-flavors from too much starsan in the bottles. I guess using the dishwasher you want to spray the racks with starsan. Should be any easy workaround until I spring for a bottle tree.


    BTW. Anyone ever try to remove Two Brothers labels? They are a vinyl like product. Awful. I have 2 cases of empties...
  6. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2009 Illinois

    Nah, no worries on the starsan - that's what makes it an awesome product. I feel like I remember reading/hearing (maybe on BrewStrong?) that the product works BEST when its still wet on the surface.

    I hated taking the labels off a 2bros bottle. I like to get the bottles so hot (inside and out) with nearly boiling water so the label glue melts - short story, I hate those kind of labels.
  7. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,069) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Those vinyl labels are the worst hands down. I don't even bother with bottles labeled like that anymore. My favorite are the silkscreened bottles. Noothing like pouring a big stout out of a stone ipa bottle, or an ipa out of a cocoa mole bottle.
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Of course Starsan works best when it's wet. It's a liquid that sanitizes by contact. But once the surface is sanitized, it should be drained as much as possible. It's a 'no rinse' sanitizer, not a 'leave in' sanitizer. Though a little residue won't really hurt.

    Once you sanitize a bottle and hang it upside-down to drain, it will stay sanitary for quite a while.
  9. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2009 Illinois

    Yep, that's what I'm saying and why he's good to go. That was something I didn't realize when I first started so just sharing.
  10. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    All done! Now I see why making beer is mostly sanitizing and cleaning. Only spilled half a beer or so!
    Smells great! Tasted perfect. Even flat and warm.

  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Congrats. Looking forward to your kegging questions in a few months. :slight_smile:
    HeadyBeer likes this.
  12. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I have a bottling tree and I can't figure out why I didn't get one sooner. Immensely helpful.
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