Noob Brewer: Guess What I’m Doing This Weekend?

Giving my babies a bath. It sure was fun emptying all of those!

If you guessed bathing with beer, you’d be wrong.  If you guessed taking my first shot at bottling my own beer, then *ding*ding*ding* WE HAVE A WINNER!!  What you see above are bottles soaking in the tub so I can easily remove the labels when I return home tonight. In the meantime, my four year old daughter (my little brew buddy) has promised to keep an eye on them today while I’m at work.  I told her it wasn’t necessary, but the women in my house don’t really listen to me, so I’m sure she’s staring at the tub right now.

Once these are stripped of their labels and dried, I think I’ll wash them in sanitizer (StarSan) in the kitchen sink, and then either run them through the dishwasher’s sterilize cycle, or bake them in the oven.  Once done, each will get a cute little tinfoil hat and wait til the morning to be filled.

The beer that’s going into them is actually my second home brew, a wheat beer, as the bourbon porter I brewed first is still a couple of weeks away from being bottled.  For the wheat, I was going to bottle a bunch of them with lemonade in order to create a light and refreshing summer shandy, but the good advice I received over at brewadvice.com has scared me off.  The extra sugar in the lemonade creates the potential for over carbonating the beer and creating bottle bombs that will explode all over my house, and I’m not ready to do the sugar math to puzzle out how to prevent that from happening.  So I’m just going to bottle them plain and add the lemonade to the glass right before drinking.  This is how a typical shandy is created anyway, so why coat my walls with beer for the sake of being clever, right?

I’m going to use table sugar for bottling, because it’s what we have lying around the house.  I’m also going to use the spigot at the bottom of my bottling bucket to fill my vessels.  Why am I sharing so much detail?  So you veteran homebrewers out there can stop my from totally screwing up my batch!  Please chime in and let me know if I’ve overlooked anything or if you think I’m headed for trouble.

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Categories: Beer, Home Brew, Home Brewing

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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5 Comments on “Noob Brewer: Guess What I’m Doing This Weekend?”

  1. April 2, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Jim, all you will ever need to know about prepping bottles can be found right here:
    http://www.simplybeer.com/blog/2009/02/03/de-labeling-bottles-and-bottle-sanitizing/

    Ten years of pain, torture, and finally nirvana wrapped into one neat web page 🙂

  2. April 2, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Sounds like I’m on the right track, Peter. I don’t have any OxyClean, but the the bottles will be soaking for 10 hours by the time I get to them. I’ll bathe them in the sink with cleanser and then pop ’em in the dishwasher. Presto!

  3. April 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Spigot yes, table sugar…maybe not that great an idea. Sugar concentration is bit high compared to corn sugar, which is what I’d use at 3/4 cup for 5 gallons. You can also use 1 1/4 cups of malt powder, which might fill the beer out a bit more. Everything else sounds really good. Just be careful with amounts if you us table sugar.

    • April 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

      I think it’s 1/2 cup for 5 gallons when using table sugar. For corn sugar, what type do you use? I see the Karo stuff in the store, but my local grocery only carries the “dark” variety. I figure that’d skew my favors. I also like the idea of using malt, but the closest I have are in the milk-ball form (Whoppers) for the Easter baskets!

  4. April 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    I use dextrose from the brew shop. It’s a white powdered version.

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