I'm new to brewing beer, i've made mead and wine in the past with varying success, I understand the bottling procedure with those two products but bottling beer is foreign to me and I just want to make sure I'm not going to completely ruin my first batch.

I started the fermentation process tuesday evening, and I'm planning on bottling sunday, which according to the instructions is the correct length of time for this kit. I started the fermentation at 28 C and I've kept the temperature between 24 and 27.

My question is: When I'm bottling should I rack the beer the same way I rack wine and mead in order to reduce the amount of sediment in the bottles? and is there any way I can prevent almost any sediment from being present in the beer that is cost effective?

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    The beer makes the schedule, not the calendar. It's really unlikely the beer will be ready to bottle that soon. In homebrewing, you can almost never go wrong by waiting longer.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 14:46
  • Those temps seem quite high for fermentation. You may end up with some off flavors. Attached figures from WYeast's site. Primary Fermentation Temperatures: • Ales: 62°F – 75°F (17°C – 24°C) • Lagers: 46°F – 58°F (8°C – 14°C) *Note: Lager fermentations can be started warmer (~60°F, 15.5°C) until signs of fermentation (gravity drop, CO2 production, head formation) are evident. Cool to desired fermentation temperature once signs of fermentation are observed. • Wheat and Belgian styles: 62°F – 85°F (17°C – 29°C)
    – DHough
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 21:43
  • Echoing what Denny said - you should allow this to sit in primary for another week or longer. Time will clear your beer up much more effectively than racking. Skip the racking to secondary at that point and just go straight to the bottling bucket. This has been debated endlessly, but there is really no point in racking to a secondary vessel unless you are planning to do long term storing (months).
    – Conman27
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 18:11
  • Just an Update on this, I bottled the beer following the timeframe I mentioned. I haven't had any bottle bombs and the beer has cleared almost completely, I couldn't resist and cracked one yesterday, it was slightly carbonated, which is good I think, means I didn't over prime, and it tasted great, a little sweet from the unfermented priming sugar but still very good, Thanks for all the advice and I'll keep it in mind for my next batch
    – Tory Hill
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


Yes, one of the best and most common methods is to rack your beer to a secondary fermentation vessel, and an additional transfer before bottling.:

  • Make sure primary fermentation is complete first. This is typically several days to a week. You can use a hydrometer to take successive readings to be certain. If the gravity of the beer doesn't change over a couple days, then primary is sufficiently complete.
  • Gently rack the beer to your secondary vessel, making sure not to pull traub from the bottom, or floating mass from the surface. I generally leave the beer in secondary for 2+ weeks to settle and mature, but this depends on the style and your goals, and you could shorten the time. More time = more settled.
    • Additionally, at the end of this period you can cold crash the beer by refrigerating the whole fermenter for 1-2 days. The cold temperature will drop the suspended yeast, making it as clear as possible without the use of fining additives or filtration.
  • Repeat the racking process a second time to your bottling bucket, leaving the remaining sediment behind. Add your priming sugar dissolved in a few cups of the beer, to the bucket. Mix it well to avoid uneven bottle carbonation, and then bottle. At this point the remaining sediment should be very minimal, possibly invisible.
  • You can achieve the same results without the racking to secondary. The sediment will settle just as much in primary vessel as it would if you transferred to secondary, and you will not run the risk of infection or oxidation, not to mention the extra work required.
    – Conman27
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 18:13

The only way you're going to prevent sediment from forming at the bottom of your bottles is if you force carbonate (most commonly done through kegging) and fill your bottles after it's been carbonated using something like a counter-pressure filler or a Blichmann Beer Gun.

Your best bet is to follow the instructions you were given. The steps will likely equate to the following:

  1. Boil and chill the correct amount of sugar included in the kit.
  2. Rack beer out of bucket/carboy into bottling bucket, careful to not oxygenate the beer during transfer. Also, slowly lower the tip of your syphon into the beer while racking it off. Don't simply stick it all the way into the bottom of the vessel. Try to follow the beer-line as to not stir up the sediment in your carboy/bucket.
  3. Add the sugar-water solution to the beer and gently stir thoroughly as to make sure the sugar-water is evenly distributed throughout.
  4. (I'm assuming you're cleaning & sanitizing everything, therefor omitting it) Attach the racking cane to the bottling bucket.
  5. Pour off the beer into the bottles
  6. Apply sanitized caps
  7. Condition as necessary before consuming
  8. When pouring, pour gently to prevent oxygen from bubbling into the bottle as you pour, which will stir up all the yeast and proteins at the bottom of the bottle. Pour off all but the last little bit to keep the sediment in the bottle.

One other thing to note, instructions only take you so far. Yeast is a mysterious, wonderful living organism that has it's own schedule. Just because your instructions say ## days are needed, you'll need to verify that it is in fact ready to bottle. The best way to determine this is to take daily measurements using your hydrometer after fermentation has visibly completed. If the measurements remain the same for three days in a row, you are safe to bottle. If the reading reduces, it is not complete and you need to wait longer until it does steady for three days.

Also, pro-tip: Set your full bottling bucket on the counter over your dish washer and open the door to the washer. 1 - Serves as an awesome bottle rack, and 2 - no cleaning up drips on the floor. Just close the door.

  • 3
    Putting the sugar water solution in the bucket before racking the beer into it will help it mix more thoroughly and easily. This way also means that you don't need to cool it first. It will cool almost instantly when you rack the beer onto it, with no damage to the yeast.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 14:48
  • Certainly is another way of doing it. I've heard of inconsistent bottle carbonation even when using Denny's technique. Simple answer is, just make sure your beer is sufficiently stirred when you add the sugar.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 3:46
  • Yeah, I still give it a gentle stir after siphoning the beer onto the sugar solution. But my experience is that it requires less stirring (and therefore reduced chance of oxidation) and ends up being mixed more thoroughly.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 14:52
  • I only chose the other answer because he gave more detailed answer to how I can get clearer beer, but your information was also very helpful, Thank you
    – Tory Hill
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 20:06

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