First Time Bottling

Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:36 pm

I've been home brewing since 2007, but have never bottled a beer - started kegging on day one. I'm entering a beer in this years National Homebrew Competition and will be bottling for the first time. I'm borrowing a Blichmann Beergun from a friend. Any tips or tricks for a first time bottler getting ready for a competition?

Thanks! :jnj
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Re: First Time Bottling

Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:19 pm

I've never bottled for a competition but some suggest to slightly over carb as the beer may sit after being poured and will be swirled. Hopefully someone with actual experience can chime in.
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Re: First Time Bottling

Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:57 am

Search YouTube for Blichmann Beer Gun. There are a couple of good how-to videos. The best advice is slow-and-go. Crank the PSI down below 5 for best results. Any higher usually results in a good bit of foaming and wasted beer. I actually keep mine around 2-3PSI. :jnj
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Re: First Time Bottling

Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:26 pm

Properly clean and sanitize your bottles and cover them with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil to prep them before bottling. Put the bottles in your fridge so they are at least as cold as the beer going into them. Overcarb your beer slightly before bottling (about 2-3 psi higher than desired). Always bottle 1 extra one first to make sure the CO2 is running well and the beer gun lines are cold for when you bottle your comp beers. Purge the bottle with CO2 for about 10-12 seconds and run your beer gun CO2 at about 4-5 psi (if the beer is flowing too slowly don't be afraid to turn it up 1-2 psi more). Do your best to cap on foam with an oxygen barrier cap for best results. Store them in your fridge until you ship them out to the comp as I have found the CO2 will "normalize" in the bottle over a couple days after bottling them.

BTW you will need an extra keg to push sanitizer through the beer gun lines prior to bottling. Good luck at the NHC!
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