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Pretty new to the home brew scene and about to have my first attempt at extract brewing next week. I have spend a lot of time reading up, but openly admit I may have glossed over some aspects. Nonetheless, I feel I have a good grasp to have my first go and hey, a lot of this is about trial and error isn't it.

Apologies if this question is answered elsewhere, too - I did have a look around before posting but could not find an answer.

In terms of bottling day, I understand the process of racking to a bottling bucket with priming sugar etc. My question is, is the bottling bucket absolutely essential? What potential pitfalls would I face if I were to either:

  1. prime the beer by adding the priming sugar to the fermenter and gently stirring in before bottling; or
  2. using carbonating tabs in the bottles and bottling straight from the fermenter?

I have read up on priming sugar vs carbonating tabs, and I know the pros and cons to each, I just wondered what risk (if any) there is in going straight to bottle from the fermenter assuming either way the beer is properly primed?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/tips on this.

  • Should have clarified that fermenter has a bored tap already to which a bottle filler can be added, so it seems like life would be much easier if I could go straight to bottle from there. – SteveMalyj Jan 18 '17 at 15:22
  • Please edit your question to clarify. Don't add comments, cause they may not be shown, especially if there is a lot of them. Editing the question makes sure everything is in one place, making it easier to read. – Robert Jan 18 '17 at 15:54
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If you have a bucket w/ a tap in it, it sounds to me like you already have a bottling bucket. I'd probably buy another bucket w/o a tap to ferment in and bottle using your current bucket.

You can ferment in your current bucket but the sediment can actually build up enough that it will block the spigot. Even if not, you will find the outflow will stir up enough sediment that it will likely be problematic.

Similarly, you could try to siphon the beer out over the top and disturb less sediment but I've found that if you are starting and stopping a siphon, the little bit of air that gets let in between the racking cane and the tubing makes it a constant fight.

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Most of the equipment is not really necessary. It may just make it much easier.

When you use a bottling bucket, you rack from fermenter to bottling bucket, leaving a layer of dead yeast cells and sediment behind, which makes for clearer beer. This is especially important when dry hopping or adding fruit.

With a bottling bucket you won't disturb all that sediment when you stir in the priming sugar.

  • Its not really dead yeast in there. Most if them are quite alive and waiting for something else to do. – brewchez Jan 20 '17 at 18:28

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