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E-Mail: 7bridges@breworganic.com
Telephone:

1-800-768-4409 or
(831) 454-9665

Address: 325A River Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone/mail
Hours of Business:

Mon.- Friday.:
10:00 am- 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
Sunday: Noon- 4:00 pm
(Pacific Daylight Time)

Retail Store
Hours of Business:

Mon.- Friday.:
10:00 am- 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
Sunday: Noon- 4:00 pm
(Pacific Daylight Time)

 

 

Bottling The Beer

Bottling is a simple process, but a little time consuming. This step is more fun if you have a friend to help you... perhaps the same friend who will surely help you drink your homebrew!

 

 

Preparing To Bottle

First, we'll need bottles. The bottles should be brown or green glass for best results, and they should not be twist-off bottles. Proper beer bottles have a smooth, raised lip at the mouth of the bottle to provide a good surface for a positive seal once capped, and are made of heavy glass. We will need about 54 12 oz. bottles, 40 16 oz. bottles, or 30 22 oz. bottles.

We clean the bottles thoroughly, rinse, and then sanitize the bottles. Iodophor sanitizer is best as it does not need to be rinsed (if the solution made in the proper ratio- 1/10 fl. oz. per gallon of water). We'll drain the bottles on a bottle tree, in a very clean dish rack, or by having a friend hold them upside down just before we fill them.

Our bottle caps also need to be sanitized. Our caps should not be boiled (some caps have soft liners which can peel off the cap if boiled, and others have special liners to absorb oxygen, which can be damaged by boiling), so we will soak them in Iodophor sanitizing solution. After soaking in the sanitizer, the caps can be rinsed with hot water that has been sterilized by boiling for 10 minutes. Rinsing with this hot water also softens the inner plastic liner of the caps, which will help to provide a good seal.

Now we will prepare our priming sugar. This is a small amount of sugar that we need to add to the beer just before bottling. This sugar will cause a small re-fermentation in the bottle, which will provide natural carbonation. For priming, we can use 3/4 cup of corn sugar or cane sugar, 1 cup of malt extract, or 1/2 cup of honey. We'll add our priming sugar to 2 cups of water in a small stainless steel sauce pan, and boil it for 15 minutes. Then we cool the priming sugar solution by carefully resting the pan in a cold water bath, being very careful not to splash water into our now sterile priming sugar. Our pan has a lid, so we'll use that to help keep it from getting contaminated.

Once the priming sugar is cool (under 80 oF), we'll pour it slowly (to avoid excess splashing) into our fermenter of beer. We'll use our sanitized racking cane to gently stir in the priming sugar, being careful not to stir up too much sediment from the bottom of the fermenter.

Filling The Bottles

Now we are ready to fill our bottles! We'll set up our siphon as described in the previous section, and attach a bottle filling wand to the end of the siphon hose. The bottle filling wand is about 18" long, and has a special valve at the tip which allows liquid to flow through it when pressed down, but stops when lifted. This will help us avoid making a huge mess, but it is still a good idea to have a small pan or an old towel under the bottles and a small amount of spilling is inevitable.

With the bottle wand we fill the bottles one by one until all the beer has been bottled. The bottles may be capped immediately, or try this tip to reduce the amount of oxygen in the bottles:

HINT: Instead of crimping the caps immediately after filling the bottles, place the caps loosely on the bottles and wait 15 minutes before crimping the caps down with the bottle capper. This will allow CO2 to fill the space at the top of the bottle and will help to purge the oxygen from the bottles. Oxygen absorbing bottle caps will also improve the quality and shelf life of the beer.

Now that the bottles are filled and capped, it's time to hurry up and wait! The bottles should be stored at room temperature (60- 70 oF) for the first few days, then at cooler temperatures (50- 60 oF) for a week or two and until consumed. It is best to not store the bottles in a refrigerator until the beer is fully carbonated, because the cold temperatures will slow or even stop the carbonation of the beer.

After about two weeks, we will chill a few bottles and try them. Excellent! It is now time to brew another batch, before this one is gone!......

We Hope you enjoyed our "Virtual brewing class"! We welcome your feedback about this tour, especially advice about how to improve it! To contact us, send us an e-mail: 7bridges@breworganic.com, or give us a call: 1-800-768-4409.

If you are ready for the next step, mash-extract brewing, please continue to the next page. If not, we hope you come back soon!

 

ON TO MASH-EXTRACT BREWING

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