Many homebrewing kits today come with a useful bottling bucket with spigot and all necessary canes, hoses, and capper.

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Tips on Bottling Your Homebrew

Many homebrewers say that bottling their beer is the most difficult part of making beer! If you have an automatic dishwasher at home, try these easy tips to make bottling not quite such a hardship. Also, be sure to check out our other page on making a simplified three gallon batch of all-grain without lots of extra equipment and expense.

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More homebrewing information from Brewtopia Events...

How to Brew Simplified 3 Gallon Batches of All-Grain Homebrew

Recipes for the above procedure.


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Equipment Needed for Bottling Your Homebrew:
  • Racking cane and 3 feet of siphon hose. 
  • Bottling bucket with spigot. 
  • Bottling tube with spring/pressure flow tip. 
  • Bottles and caps. 
  • Bottle capper. 
  • Sanitizer such as unscented bleach.
  • Five Star Star-San no-rinse acid sanitizer. 
  • Powdered homebrewing sanitizer (oxygen or chlorine-based). 
  • Automatic dishwasher. 
  • Corn sugar for priming (carbonating). 


General Information: You will need 48 twelve ounce bottles for five gallons of beer, but only 28 for a three gallon batch. For mild carbonation, you should add around 3/4 ounce of corn sugar to prime (carbonate) each gallon of finished beer you end up with in your bottling bucket. Keep in mind that if you have three gallons of beer in your fermenter, you will end up with a little over 2 1/2 gallons in your bottling bucket once you siphon it off all the yeast sediment. Don't overprime!

Important Steps:

  • Be sure all your bottles are the thick returnable type that can handle repeated use. Soak and scrub off all the labels and be sure each bottle is free of debris or moldy areas inside.   Soak  bottles in a bucket of STRONG bleach solution overnight and then use a bottle brush to be sure each bottle's interior is free of sediment or residue.
  • The night before you are going to bottle your beer, set all needed bottles on your kitchen counter top and fill each bottle with water and Star San solution. Let these bottles soak overnight. 
  • Also on the night before you are going to bottle your beer, fill your bottling bucket (with hoses, racking canes, and racking tips inside) with water and Star San. Let these all soak together overnight. 
  • The next day, empty your bottles of all the water and sanitizer and put them upside down on the prongs in your dishwasher. Sprinkle a tiny bit of powdered homebrewing sanitizer/cleaner in the bottom of the dishwasher and run your bottles through the longest, hottest cycle. Keep the door of the dishwasher closed until you are ready for your bottles (this will keep them sanitized). 
  • When you are ready to bottle, dump the water and Star San out of your bottling bucket.  One quick rinse with hot tap water won't hurt. 
  • Count out how many bottle caps you will need and soak these for ten minutes in a little vodka or a cup of water in which you have dissolved one Campden tablet. (Campden is a safe, no-rinse sanitizer that will not destroy the preserving capabilities of oxygen-absorbing bottle caps.) 
  • Boil your carefully measured corn sugar in about one cup of water for ten minutes and add this hot liquid to the bottom of your bottling bucket. 
  • If you have made only three gallons, this amount of beer will not weigh that much, so you can siphon from your fermenter into your bottling bucket placed right on the open door of your dishwasher. Place your bottling bucket with corn sugar on the open door of your dishwasher and position your fermenter on the counter right above the dishwasher. Carefully siphon the beer into the bottling bucket (leaving the yeast sediment behind in the fermenter). If you drip or spill, you'll spill onto the door of the dishwasher, and will not make a mess. 
  • Now place your bottling bucket on the counter above the dishwasher. Using the siphon hose, bottling cane, and pressure filler tip, grab and fill each beer bottle right on the door of the dishwasher. 
  • Grab a bottle cap out of the Campden solution, shake it a couple of times to shake off excess solution, and cap your bottle using the capping mechanism of your choice. 
  • Use a sharpie marker to mark a code and date on top of the bottle cap to identify the beer. Don't bother with labels unless the beer is going to be used as a gift. Most labels are very hard to remove. 
  • When all bottles are capped, rinse out your bottling bucket and hoses, and again soak them with water and a big shot of chlorox for a few hours. 
  • Drain the chlorox solution out of your bucket and hoses (do not rinse) and put all equipment away after everything is just about dry. 
You can see how valuable a tool the dishwasher is at bottling time! Also be sure to carefully rinse out each beer bottle immediately after you drink your beer out of it. I keep a spray bottle of water and bleach under the sink to spray into each empty bottle that I'm going to use again.  I top the bottle up with cool water and leave it on the counter overnight before I store it away for next time. This insures that no mold grows in the bottles before you need the bottles again. 

*** Click here for great all-grain brewing tips ***

*** Click here for recipes ***

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