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Is Speed Important In Bottling?

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famousguy

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Last night I decided to bottle my Black Rock Export Pilsener. As a relative newcomer to home brew I decided to have a fair crack at bulk priming, and must say was very impressed with the ease in which it was done. The brew is the most beautiful clear amber colour of any brew I have done yet.

My question is though, is there any impact when bulk priming on the time between filling the bottles and capping them? I completely filled all bottles and then went through and capped the lot instead of opting for the fill one, cap it; fill the next, cap it; etc...

I estimate there would of been 10 - 15 minutes between filling a bottle and capping it. With an additional 10 minutes of the bulk primed beer sitting in the fermenter whilst I finalised my bottle preparation.

Have I my some drastic mistake?
 

PostModern

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There are 2 things to consider here. Carbonation and sanitation.

1. Sanitation
So long as no nasties fall into the bottles while waiting for a cap, you should be fine. What I do is have all my caps sterilised and put one on each bottle as it is placed upright in the bottling area. I also sterlise my hands. The process is then, lift cap, bottle, replace cap. I fill all the bottles and line them up in size groups (to reduce the number of times I need to adjust the bench capper) then cap.

10-15 mins is fine, actually, it ~could~ help make the beer last a little longer in the bottle if the priming sugar has started to ferment. The CO2 produced (if any) would expel the oxygen in the bottle, but I doubt you'd get much of that effect in 10 mins...

2. Carbonation
As it takes about a week for bottle conditioned beer to carbonate. I don't think 10 mins will make a difference (in terms of lost CO2). Especially once you consider the lag time of the yeast in responding to the new sugars. The longer the beer has been in secondary fermentation, the less yeast will make it to the bottling bucket, and the longer the lag time will be.

I think your beer will be fine.
 

GSRman

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sorry to hyjack, but

at what sort of time period in the secondary should you start to worry about there not being enough yeast to do the job once in the bottle?
 

PMyers

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I carbonated a porter after it spent four months in a keg (uncarbonated) and it turned out fine. However, from what I have read, it was probably more luck than anything else. If you have any doubts, re-innoculate the beer with a healthy dose of fresh yeast of the same strain and you shouldn't have a problem

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

GSRman

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hmm i think i'll take my chances, its only been in the secondary for about 2 weeks... after just over a week in the primary...

if they dont start puffing up in the next week or so, i'll consider making a starter and opening each one :(
 

kook

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GSRman said:
hmm i think i'll take my chances, its only been in the secondary for about 2 weeks... after just over a week in the primary...

if they dont start puffing up in the next week or so, i'll consider making a starter and opening each one :(
Give them a while :) What strain of yeast did you use?

It can take 2-3 weeks for bottle carbonation to occur. It depends on the temperature too.
 

GSRman

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heheh crappy coopers yeast... i'll bottle them and keep them at 22 for a few days.. yeah 22 sounds good :)
 

famousguy

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Thanks for your advice PoMo... much appreciated :D
I am generally pretty good with the sanitising but think I need to make a bit more of an effort to make sure! The brew was in primary for 6 days, then in secondary for 2.5 weeks (18 days)

... and a welcomed hyjack GSRman, saves me asking the same question later down the track. But you mentioned that you are waiting for you bottled beer to start "puffing up" I am not sure what you mean by this?

Now that I have bottled both my fermenters are empty :( but now comes the joyous part of deciding what to brew next and making a trip to the local HBS :D
 

GSRman

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I bottle in PET bottles at the moment... so i can squeeze them to see if they are carbonated... :)
 

RegBadgery

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famousGuy I don't think you have anything to worry about. I've filled/capped singly and collectively and the results either way were good.

As Pete said - leaving the bottles sitting after filling but before capping may/will displace air with carbon dioxide.

(I've also injected fermented beer into the filled bottle prior to capping to help this process along a bit - results were fine)

cheers
reg
 

kook

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GSRman said:
heheh crappy coopers yeast... i'll bottle them and keep them at 22 for a few days.. yeah 22 sounds good :)
Nothing crappy about coopers ale yeast IMO.
Makes great brown ales actually. Only reason I could see people having a problem with it is cause of its storage if it came with a kit.

Keep them at 18-25 for 2 weeks and they should be carbonated fine.
 

RegBadgery

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I keep meaning to have at least one PET bottle on hand to use as GSR describes - certainly sounds like a good idea to get an idea of how carbonation is going.

cheers
reg
 

GSRman

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Reg, i need all the help i can get.. :)
 

RegBadgery

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Me too GSR - otherwise I don't think I would have returned to brewing after being disappointed with my initial cidery efforts.

cheers
reg
 

Jazman

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Ive used the brown pet bottles and are ok for short term storage ,good for a shortage of beer for summer.

the coopers yeast is not to bad i have used a double batch of it (pitched two packetes and rehydrated) grumpys use the same yeast in their kits too.
 

kymba

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*squeeze* *squeeze* the missus must be carbonated lol

I bottle in PET bottles at the moment... so i can squeeze them to see if they are carbonated... :)
 

fawnroux

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Thats some shovel you've got there kymba! :lol:
 

Brewtus

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10-15 mins is fine, actually, it ~could~ help make the beer last a little longer in the bottle if the priming sugar has started to ferment. The CO2 produced (if any) would expel the oxygen in the bottle, but I doubt you'd get much of that effect in 10 mins...
I think you will find any oxygen will be consumed by the yeast as they multiply in their aerobic mode (with or with out leg warmers) before going into the there anaerobic stage of fermentation to make the extra bit of alcohol. Both stages make CO2 so it doesn't matter as far as carbonation level matters. this is one thing those who polish filter and keg risk is a small amount of oxygen can stuff a beer where if there is active yeast in bottle conditioning, the risk of oxidising your beer is much less.
 

matho

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NO speed isn't important when bottling but it would make the process a hell of alot more fun :p
 

Greg.L

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I sometimes bottle 50-60L in one go. I set up all the cleaned bottles on a trestle table made with some saw horses and a piece of fibre cement flooring. I set the plastic barrel on top of the cellar wall and use gravity with a long tube to a bottling wand. About 180 stubbies so I do them in 2 lots (bulk primed). I fill half, then cap, then fill the other half and cap. (I mean half by number not each bottle half full).

I get a bit nervous having all those uncapped bottles sitting for up to 30 min (occasionally there will be interruptions) but I haven't had any problems so far. The biggest danger I see is oxidation, but if you're bottle priming the oxygen should get used by the yeast.
 

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