Making your own beer at home can be an art itself.
You need to carefully watch your home brew for some time to make sure that it turns out exactly the way you want it.
The brewing process ends the moment when you start bottling your beer, but what should you do with your beer then?
We find out how to store your bottled beer and you should do after bottling beer at home.
The Beer Bottling Process
When it is time to bottle your beer, sanitization should be the highest priority. You need to sanitize the bottles and all your working equipment before you put the beer into the bottles.
Once you have sanitized everything, you can start the bottling process. Mix the priming sugar and siphon your beer on top of it.
Everything should be blended well. Then take your bottle filler, attach the filler to the siphon and then begin filling your bottles.
Once all the bottles are full, you need to cap them. This is best done with a bottle capper to ensure that the cap sits tightly on top of the bottle.
How Long Is The Carbonation Process?
Once you have bottled your beer, you need to let the bottles rest for up to 3 weeks. This will allow the beer to go through the carbonation process.
Depending on the kind of beer you are brewing, you can expect carbonation to be complete after two to three weeks.
The process of carbonation can give an insight into why you need to store bottled beer in a certain way (see more about this below).
Some beer experts believe that the carbonization stage, also called bottle conditioning, does not just add the fizz to your beer but it can also give the beer a unique flavor, which cannot be found in kegged beer.
When your beer is bottled and capped, you start something like a second fermentation process inside the bottle. This fermentation is on a much smaller scale and very different to the main brewing process.
When you add priming sugar to your beer, the yeast in the beer will receive more nutrients.
Together with the small amount of air in the head of the beer, the yeast will then start fermenting again.
As the amount of priming sugar and air is different in each bottle, you will get a slightly different aroma with every bottle.
For this reason, it’s important to know that certain beers taste very different when they are bottled.
Each type of beer has its own distinct flavor in a bottle, and we recommend allowing the beer to go through its carbonization stage so it can develop its full aroma.
Can You Drink Your Beer On The Day It Is Bottled?
Yes, you can try your beer at anytime during the brewing process. However, the beer will taste different with each stage.
The beer on bottling day will taste just like beer but it hasn’t had time to carbonate yet, which means that it will taste flat and warm.
In addition, the beer also goes through something called ‘bottle shock’ which means that it doesn’t taste as strong as it should. This will change after a couple of weeks.
What Should You Do With Beer After It Has Been Bottled?
Now that you know what happens after your beer is bottled, it’s time to take a look at what to do with the bottled beer.
Where To Store Your Bottled Beer?
Just like most bottled beers, you should keep your freshly bottled beer in a dark and cool place.
This can be a cupboard, basement or a cardboard box with lid. However, it is important that you do not expose the beer to sunlight and that it can rest for up to 3 weeks. The beer bottles should not be moved during this time.
Sometimes there is too much air in a bottle, and it can happen that a bottle explodes due to the excessive pressure inside the bottle.
That’s why, it is a good idea store the beer in an enclosed container. Also make sure that the beer is stored in an area where there are not many temperature changes.
When Can You Drink The Beer?
Once your bottled beer has rested for a couple of weeks in the right conditions, the yeast should have consumed all the sugar inside the bottle.
This means that you will be able to drink and enjoy the full taste of your homemade beer.
How Long Does Homebrewed Beer Keep?
Just like with bought bottled beer, you can keep your homebrewed beer for around a year but you will need to make sure that it is stored in a dark and cool place.
During this time, the flavor of the beer will evolve further, and you will notice strong changes in the first two months.
It’s best to consume between within 12 months as after this time, the beer may turn stale and flat.
Does Beer Get More Alcoholic After Bottling?
No, the ABV of beer does not increase after bottling. The priming sugar is only added for the purpose of carbonization. It will not create more alcohol.
Once the sugar is fully consumed by the yeast, the beer is ready to drink.
Can You Wait Too Long To Bottle Beer?
Yes, there is a cut-off time when you should bottle your beer. We recommend fermenting your beer for at least 24 days, and do not bottle it any later than 24 days after that.
It is possible to wait but the risk of any bacteria growth or infection increases with every day when you let it sit for too long.
Bottling your beer is the final step towards your own homebrewed beer. It is important that you allow your beer to rest after bottling, and make sure that you store it in a cold, dark place.
It’s also a good idea to place the beer in a container to ensure there is no exposure to sunlight.
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