Where/how to store your Fermentation Bucket and Bottled Homebrew
Storage of your homebrew in fermentation and bottles is not an overly difficult task, but there are certain points you should be aware of.
First you must make sure your fermentation bucket or vessel has been cleaned properly with steriliser and can be properly sealed. You don’t need anything unwanted growing in there and messing up your brew. This is also why a drier area is preferable, as the various nasties generally prefer a damp environment.
Ideal temperature is around 21-22°C, room temperature should be fine, but don’t let it get too cold as the yeast will stop working. In winter some may find this more difficult, but don’t make the mistake of sticking it on top of a heater as this with end up overheating, even boiling your brew, and killing the yeast. Simply find the warmest room in your house and it should be okay, if it still seems too cold try wrapping a blanket around the bucket.
Don’t worry about having the bucket in the open, our 1 gallon buckets are small enough that you can easily keep them on a kitchen work top or a corner of your living room without them taking up too much space. Make sure it is not somewhere you will nudge it too much as you want to let the sediment settle. Larger vessels may get in your way so a spare room or closet are a great place for them. Airing cupboards are also a good place but make sure it is not damp.
When you are bottling your brew once again make sure that the bottles you are using have been sterilised and can be sealed properly. Reusing bottles is a very good idea but you must make sure to seal them tightly not only for hygiene reasons but so that no fizz is lost. You can buy crown caps and a knock-on capper from us which allows you to reuse old bottles. This equipment is easy to use though some may get nervous about using them in case they break the glass. This is rare however and is more likely because of cheap or old glass. Most bottles you get should not have this issue, but if you still feel nervous swing top bottles a great purchase. We also recommend using a rubber mallet not a hard metal one, while also making sure you work on a soft surface like a wooden table that is cleaned so nothing tiny can cause a crack in the glass. However it is a good idea to keep one or two in plastic bottles as it allows you to feel the pressure in the bottle. A good source of swing top bottles is buying Grolsch Lager the supermarkets often have an offer going and it doesn't taste too bad.
For the second fermentation your bottles want to be at a similar temperature to your fermentation bucket. The yeast still needs to active at this stage so that the brew is carbonated, if left too long however your brew may become a little explosive. Again avoid leaving them in a damp area.
After this comes a process known as cellaring, you don’t actually need a cellar for it though. Simply put your bottles in a cool area so that the yeast stops working like you were trying to avoid before. You don’t need to put them in a fridge but 10°C should do the trick.
These pointers should help keep your brew safe and minimise chances of it coming out wrong.