(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)
When bottling beer, sanitation should be your top priority. After everything is sanitized and dried you’ll begin the bottling process by mixing the priming sugar. Once you’re priming sugar is ready you’ll siphon your beer on top of it and make sure everything is mixed evenly. The next step is to grab your bottle filler, attach it to your siphon, and start filling the bottles. The final step to bottling your beer is capping the bottles, this is when you’ll use your bottle capper. Simply raise the bottle capper’s arm all the way up and you will be able to adjust the height of the capper to fit different size bottles. Great! Your beer is bottled, now what? Learn three things you need to know after bottling your beer below.
Where to Store Your Bottled Beer
For safe-keeping, store your beer in an enclosed cupboard, inside a plastic bin with a lid, or closed inside a cardboard box. Not only does this keep your beer out of the way and protect it from exposure to sunlight, but if the worst should happen and a bottle does explode, both the explosion and the mess it makes will stay contained.
When Do I Get to Drink My Beer?
After you bottle the beer, give it at least two weeks before drinking it. The yeast needs a few days to actually consume the sugar, and then a little more time is needed for the beer to absorb the carbon dioxide. (Read this post to learn about the science behind carbonation.)
The beer also goes through a bit of “bottle shock” right after bottling. During this period, the flavors of the beer can taste muted or unbalanced. It goes away after about two weeks.
How Long Homebrewed Beer Will Keep
Homebrew keeps well for about a year, and its flavor often continues evolving. The flavor tends to keep improving for a month or two after bottling, stays steady for several months, and then starts to deteriorate and turn stale after about 12 months. Some beers continue to age well even beyond that, especially beers with an ABV of 8% or higher.
Ready to start bottling your brew?
Visit The Hoppy Brewer in Gresham to get your ownBottle Capper.
SRC: Click for step-by-step instructions for bottling beer.