Once your beer is ready to bottled you will need to package it, here is what you’ll need on hand on bottling day
As mentioned above, sanitising everything that will contact your beer is one of the most important aspects of brewing. Spend some money on proper sanitizing chemicals and do it as per the instructions.
A bottling bucket is not strictly necessary but is a huge help when it comes to bottling your beer. A bottling bucket is basically a fermenting bin with a tap at the bottom. When it comes to bottling your beer you will syphon your fermented beer out of the fermenting vessel into the bottling bucket and in the process leave behind all the old yeast. Now when you bottle you will have a lot less sediment in the bottles and a handy spigot to fill the bottles from. A bottling wand as explained further down can attach to the spigot and make bottling even easier.
You’ve brewed the beer so now you need something to put it in. Bottles are the easiest option to begin with. You could opt to buy them from your local home brew shop, either glass or plastic will be fine as long as they hold pressure. My preference is to reuse bottles from beers you buy at the shops. Pretty much any beer bottle is suitable as long as it has a crown cap. Once it’s finished rinse it out and store them up until you have enough for your brew.
If you plan to reuse glass bottles then you will need to cap them once they are filled. Crown caps are the same as the caps used by commercial breweries, they are supplied by home brew shops and are splayed out. You sit the cap on the bottle of beer and use a capper to fit the cap which makes the whole thing airtight and seals the beer.Bottle Capper
A capper is a piece of equipment to properly seal the beers. As mentioned above the caps come with the edges splayed out. A bottle capper or crown capper simply pushes the splayed edges around the opening of the bottle and seals it. A variety of options are available from devices that use a hammer with to bench mounted cappers. The best to start with in my opinion is a plier type capper as pictured, these are pretty cheap and will seal thousands of beers without deteriorating.
Syphon Tubing with Racking Cane
As I said before, you should never pour beer- always syphon to avoid introducing oxygen. A racking cane is a rigid tube that attaches to the end of the syphon tubing, the end of the racking cane has a cap to ensure the end of the syphon sits above the sediment and doesn’t pull any up into the bottling bucket.Bottling Wand
A bottling wand is truly a godsend when it comes to bottling day, if you can get one then consider it. You can attach the bottling wand to the end of the syphon tubing or even to the bottling bucket. You then insert the bottling wand into the bottle when it hits the bottom it starts the syphon and fills the bottle. When the bottles full you simply pull the wand up from the bottom of the bottle and it immediately stops syphoning.
This means you aren’t fiddling around with stopping and starting the syphon with beer splashing all over the kitchen flow, instead you can rattle through the bottling process much quicker and tidier.