Step 12: Bottling

Picture of Bottling
As a homebrewer you're ultimately going to want brown beer bottles and caps or a kegging system to contain your finished product. There are many alternative options for the first time brewer. You can buy empty bottles and caps. You can reuse bottles and buy caps (not the twist-off cap bottles). If you're going to use regular pry-off cap bottles you're going to need a capper (included in starter kits) to press fit the caps on the bottles. You can reuse champagne bottles. You can reuse empty growlers from your local brew pub. You could use empty soda bottles and caps. In any case it's important to use something that will withstand pressure in the bottle resulting from carbonation. Again, sanitation is important. So, clean and sanitize the bottles prior to filling them. Soaking in a diluted bleach solution for 30 minutes and rinsing with clean tap water will do the trick.

Hey I got a great video here on bottling beer:


imarunner2 (author)  TheWineBrewer1 year ago
bill142246 years ago
I used 2-liter soda bottles with their original caps, washed and sanitized, with 5 teaspoons of table sugar added to each one for priming and ran into no problems. It's easier than the process described here. I also used a plastic fermenting keg from a home brewing kit that has a spigot at the bottom and a large screw-on lid with 2 notches under the lid to let gas escape, eliminating the need for a breather and siphon hose. (easier) With a spigot it's easier to keep the yeast at the bottom of the keg from getting into your bottles, clouding the beer. (again, easier) Unless you want to impress people, buying bottles, caps, and a capper is an expensive waste of time. 2-liter bottles with the caps screwed on nice and tight get the job done, and to me the whole idea here is to make good beer, easy and cheap!
im currently also using a plastic bucket with a spigot at the bottom and have run into an issue. once the fermenting was completed i hooked my tubing onto the spigot for bottling and once the spigot was opened i noticed some of the dead yeast and etc slip into the tube. being that i have been brewing wine for a little while i just siphoned the beer into a different bucket and solved my problem. upon inspection i discovered that the original issue was not that the dead yeast was making its way up from the bottom but rather that a decent amount of dead yeast had settled on the inside part of the spigot. ive been trying to come up with a method to keep the yeast from settleing onto the inside of the spigot but have not been able to think of anything logical. did you have a similar problem or what did you do to keep the yeast from settleing inside the spigot?
You can purchase a racking cane and siphon the beer off instead of using the built-in spigot. A racking cane will usually have a special "cap" at the bottom of the tube to prevent sucking in the sediment. Some racking canes feature a siphon starting plunger design which is really handy. Alternatively, you can purchase a second bucket ("bottling bucket") and transfer the beer to that bucket before bottling. Then, a little sediment in the bottling bucket usually isn't a problem. This also gives you the chance to put the bottling sugar (as a water/sugar solution) in the bucket before you rack in the beer so you don't have to add sugar to each bottle individually (usually 3/4 cup corn sugar dissolved in a pint of hot water for 5 gallons of beer).
Flash6355 years ago
Screw cap bottles are ok but you'll probably break them if you use the type of capper shown. This is the best kind of capper.

I found when using PET bottles that you get a better seal if you take off the safety seal ring that is left after you opened the bottle the first time.

Keep your fermentation temperature between 22 and 28 degrees C for ale. Any higher and your beer will taste skanky, any lower and the fermentation process might take too long.

If it's too hot you can stand your fermenter in a tray of water and drape towels over the fermenter. The towels soak up the water and the water evaporates cooling the fermenter.
check recycle bins and dumpsters if you have them in your area...dumpster diving is the homebrewers friend.
iamnotyou8 years ago
can you use screw off beer bottles? Like something you would see on a 40? thanks in advance!
You will read in many books that you should not use screw off beer bottles, but I have used them many times and have never had a problem. Perfect seals every time.
I have read from someone that has used screw top bottles like 40oz. you could also use plastic soda bottles. just boil the caps! and anything you use that is clear should not have any contact with the sun... store them a dark place else your beer be skunky mate!