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In our last article we put on a batch of beer, its now 7-14 days later and we ar e ready to bottle.

But first lets talk about some the options we have while brew ing. Secondary fermentation and dry hopping explained. These steps are not necessary, but will give you a better beer. Although not necessary you could secondary ferment your beer. This is the proces s of syphoning your beer into a carboy, this is done after 3-4 days fermentation . This ensures that you only have beer, live yeast and the remaining fermentable s in your carboy. All the sediment and dead yeast are left behind. Sediment wil l settle out in the carboy, when you bottle your beer from the secondary it will have less sediment. You could also mature your beer in the secondary fermenter. If you were doing a lager you might leave it for 2-6 months in the secondary before bottling. If youâ re making beer with an alcohol content over 6% it is highly recommended to do a secondary ferment. For those who like the hop taste coming through in their beer should consider dr y hopping. This is the process of adding hops to the fermenter. Hops should be a dded after you siphon your beer into the secondary fermenter. If hops are added to soon their aromas are lost with the Co2 that is escaping, so we wait till mos t of the fermentation has completed. Leave your hopped secondary fermenter for 7 -14 days before bottling, so the hops get a chance to impart their flavor. Wh en dry hopping use 20-60 grams depending on your preference. Lets get the beer bottled. Its been 7-14 days and our batch of brew is ready to be bottled. The first thing we are going to need are bottles. Ideally you will store your beer in a brown b ottle. If you use clear or green bottles store them in a cardboard box. The sun rays will pass through the clear and green bottles and will react with your beer and give your beer a skunky aroma. Bottles with screw off caps are not suitable for bottling your brew. Flip top bo ttles (Grolsch style bottles) are perfect. Strip off any labels and wash the bot tles thoroughly. A bottle brush will be needed to scrub the insides of those bot tles. You can also give your bottles a good wash by putting them in the dishwash er. Get yourself a brass bottle washer and hook it up to your outside tap and it will save you a lot of time and effort. For those capping there bottles, do not reuse the caps as they wont seal. Capper s come in many shapes and sizes and relatively easy to use. If youâ re lucky you have a stash of glass bottles with a flip top closure, you canâ t get anything better to store your brew. A cheaper alternative are pet bottles. They come with a screw o n cap and are reusable. Just prior to bottling you will need to sanitize the bottles. Fill a bucket or t he sink with sanitizing solution. Submerge the bottles in the solution. Keep sub merged for 10 minutes. Drain bottles and rinse them with water so that no saniti zing solution is left behind. Scenario 1: Bottling with a tap, bottling wand and carbonation drops. Place one carbonation drop in each 500ml bottle prior to filling. Carbonation drops are ba sically a sugar lump large to carbonate a bottle. Fit the bottling wand onto the tap and open the tap. There is a valve at the bottom of the wand which prevents the beer from getting out. Push a bottle up under the bottling wand, when the v alve in the wand touches the bottom of the bottle it releases the beer. Once foa m reaches the opening of the bottle, lower the bottle this will reengage the val ve and stop the flow of beer. Continue until all beer is bottled. After capping

the bottles give the bottle a shake to help dissolve the sugar drop. Scenario 2: Syphon bottling and batch priming. You will need a second bucket for this. Syphon the beer into the bottling bucket . Now in the the bottling bucket you just have beer, all the sediment has been l eft behind in the fermenter. When syphoning be as gentle as possible with the be er. Have the syphon touching the bottom of the bottling bucket. Do not splash th e beer; we do not want to oxidize it. If you do it will go off. Dissolve 80-150 grams of brewing sugar in boiling water. Depending how carbed you want your bee r. Lower for ales, and higher for wheat beers and lagers. Add the dissolved solu tion to the bottling bucket and stir thoroughly. If you have a tap on your bucket add a bottling wand and bottle the beer. If you donâ t have a tap on the bucket you can use the siphon to bottle your beer. If you h ave a bottling wand it may fit on the end of your siphon with a little encourage ment. If there are any connections on your siphon that could create air leaks th ese should be covered with tape. If you get an air leak this will foam up the be er and make bottling a lot more tedious. Storing your Beer For the first 3 weeks after bottling store the bottles at 20 Celsius, room tempe rature will suffice. This allows the sugar that was added to the bottles to ferm ent, the Co2 produced in the bottle gases up your beer. You can drink your beer now but with time your beer will mature and become even more delicious. The only exception being the Weiss (wheat) beer. It is beautiful after 3 weeks in the bo ttle. Ales you should leave a month. In an ideal world lagers would get at least 3 months to mature, this seldom happens with the new brewer. Homebrew beer kegging - For those who want their beer on tap. Kegging is the process of storing your beer in a pressurized vessel. A beer tap is used to dispense the beer. Kegging is easier, faster and simpler than bottli ng your beer. Forget about having to scrub and sanitize all those bottles. Wheth er you want a pitcher of beer or just a glass, you will no longer have to pick y our glass to suit the bottle just stop the tap when youâ re happy. The main disadvantage of kegging is portability and chilling. Ideally you would have an old fridge that could be converted to a kegerator. For those who want to take their keg to the party you will need a draft box, basically a picnic coole r with a stainless steel coil inside that is submerged in ice and water, you hoo k your keg up to the coil and dispense the beer with the beer tap that is on the front of the cooler. What is needed to keg beer? A Co2 tank: Co2 is used to dispense the beer because it will not spoil the beer. Bigger is better when it comes to the tank, as refilling the larger tanks is on ly slightly more expensive than getting a small tank filled. Co2 tanks are press urized vessels and should be treated with care. Set your tank up where it will b e secure and away from any heat sources, free standing in the middle of the floo r or next to a radiator is not a good idea. Secure the tank with some fastenings so it doesnâ t get knocked over. Dual Gauge Regulator: One gauge shows pressure for carbonating and dispensing in your keg. The other gauge displays how much CO2 is left in your tank. The silve r disc screw on the front controls the output of the regulator in Psi. Check the carbonation table for the correct psi for your beer type. Kegs: These kegs come in all shapes and sizes. If you bought a new keg all you n eed to do is sanitize and youâ re good to go. If you purchased an old soda keg comple

tely dismantle the keg by taking off the body connects, dip tubes, o-rings and k eg lid. Thoroughly inspect and wash all parts. Replace any parts that show wear. Use a carboy brush to clean. Never use bleach on your keg, it will damage it. Disconnects and Hose: Plastic or steel connectors are used to connect your keg t o your tap and Co2 tank. The recommended diameter is 3/16? inner diameter tubing about 4-5 feet in length if you are storing your keg in the refrigerator. Beer Taps: Taps can vary from a simple plastic tap to a metal tap. If youâ re really ambitious you can get a tower with taps. Ideally your beer tap will have flow co ntrol, it makes a big difference when you want a pint of beer and not just a gla ss of foam. Now all you need is a clean glass happy brewing