Feb 28

Brewing Tricks: Swirl Your Bottles

It’s competition brewing season so I have gotten back into bottling beers instead of just kegging them. I also just made 10 gallons of single-decocted Bavarian Hefeweizen and put about half of it in flip top bottles to be a bit more traditional according to Stan Hieronymous’ Brewing With Wheat. One issue that always annoyed me was draining StarSan from bottles. It took a while to get the liquid out of the bottles and then I had to wait for the bubbles to subside or deal with foam coming out of the bottle.

Well recently I got the MoreBeer Counterflow Filler and watched the video by John Plise. In it he briefly mentioned a tip that I’d missed on previous viewings. When draining bottles rather than letting them glug and bubble straight out you can give them a quick swirl. A simple motion sets the sanitizer into a vortex in the bottle allowing air to come up the middle as the the liquid drains down the sides. The result is a much faster drain and significantly decreased bubbles in the bottle. All of this means that I can give up the bottle tree and just use a bucket with about three gallons of sanitizer during bottling. I invert the bottle, give it a swirl to set the vortex, and then wait a few seconds for the liquid to drain out.

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