How To Bottle Beer With BEERMKR
One of the major benefits of using BEERMKR is not having to bottle beer. There are however some scenarios where bottling your beer is the right move. For example, if you're brewing a Märzen and want to cold condition it throughout the summer so it's matured and ready for Oktoberfest. Or if you are brewing an Imperial Stout and don't want to devote an entire BEERTAP to a 10% ABV monster. Bottles are a great way have just one at a time. Bottles also great for sharing with friends.
The BEERMKR Bottling Kit allows you to take any beer you've brewed in your BEERMKR and bottle it for safe keeping. It comes with the following items:
- 24x 12oz beer bottles
- 1x Bottle Capper
- 100x Bottle Caps
- 1x Star San Spray Bottle
- 1x Star San Concentrate
- 2x 3ml Pipettes
- 270x Carbonation Drops
- 1x Bottle Filler
Before starting, be sure to wash your hands and start with a clean workspace that can get wet.
Step 1: Mix Your Star San
Using a 3ml pipette, measure out 1.5ml of Star San Concentrate and squirt it into the empty spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle up with water until it's full. Star San is a food-grade acid-based sanitizer that doesn't require rinsing. It is flavorless as well so it's perfectly fine for it to come in contact with your beer.
Step 2: Spray Down Your Bottles
Arrange 12 bottles on a drip tray. We like using the one that is included with the BEERTAP. Using the Star San Spray Bottle, spray down the inside of each 12oz bottle, ensuring you wet the entire inside of the bottle. Then tip the bottles upside down to drain the sanitizer.
Step 3: Spray Down Your Bottling Wand and GreyValve
Spray the inside and outside of the bottling wand so it is completely wet. Get enough Star San inside the bottling wand to partially fill the tube. Then move the tube around so it is completely sanitized. Grab a spare GreyValve (gasket color doesn't matter), give it a good rinse under the sink, then spray it down with Star San. If you don't have a spare GreyValve laying around, just disconnect it from your WasteBag. Connect the Bottling Wand to the GreyValve.
Step 4: Spray Down Your Bottle Caps
Array 12 bottle caps next to your bottles and spray them down so they are wet.
Step 5: Spray Down Your Carb Drops
Decide how much carbonation you want. Low carbonation (stouts and porters) require 3 drops. Normal carbonation (IPAs, pale ales, most American styles) require 4 drops. High carbonation (belgians) require 5 drops. Count out the total number of drops you'll need for your bottles and spray them down with Star San.
Step 6: Add Drops To Bottles
Place your sanitized drops into the bottles. Again, that's 3 per bottle for low carbonation, 4 per bottle for normal carbonation, and 5 per bottle for high carbonation.
Step 7: Connect
Disconnect the BrewTub from the top port of the BeerBag and remove the BrewTub. Spray down the top WhiteValve with Star San. Connect the GreyValve of the Bottling Wand into the top WhiteValve of the BeerBag.
Step 8: Test The Flow
Press the bottling wand to the bottom of your first beer bottle. Beer should begin flowing. If it does not flow, give the bag a bit of a press to start the flow. Once the flow starts, gravity will take over. Check the line and make sure there aren't any bubbles in the line. If there are, raise the bottling wand up above the bag and let the bubbles work their way out of the wand.
Step 9: Start Filling Bottles
Gently press the bottling wand on the bottom of each bottle, filling it up. Let the beer get up to the very top of the bottle before removing the wand. The displacement of the wand itself will create the right amount of headspace. Fill up all 12 bottles.
Step 10: Cap Your Bottles
Place bottle caps on the tops of each bottle and cap it with the red capper. Just center the capper over the bottle cap and press down with the two levers. We recommend capping each beer bottle as you go to prevent the beer from being exposed to oxygen.
The bottling process can be a bit involved. It is messy, it takes time, and it exposes your beer to oxygen and bacteria. Do your best to minimize splashing of beer and to reduce any exposure to air. Also be sure you get sanitizer on every part thoroughly. It only takes a little bacteria to ruin a batch of beer, so be vigilant with the sanitizer!