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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: jjmccuejr on June 20, 2011, 09:50:44 PM

Title: Bottling from keg
Post by: jjmccuejr on June 20, 2011, 09:50:44 PM
I want to be able to bottle well conditioned, nicely carbonated brew from my kegs. I have done some research and it seems that I could either make my own counter-pressure bottle filler (using the BYO instructions) or buy one commercially made. I have been looking at the one from Fermentap and the Beer Gun by Blichmann. Any experience out there to help me make a decision. Thanks in advance. Brew on!!!
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 20, 2011, 09:59:18 PM
I just did this myself for the first time a couple weeks back.  I made my own CP filler with a racking cane and stopper.

It was EASY and worked great.

I had the kegs extra cold, the bottles cold, etc. and had zero foaming issues.

I've not yet opened a bottle (if I was going to drink it soon, I'd have left it in the kegs) but the DIY route worked great for me.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: johnf on June 20, 2011, 10:46:50 PM
I like the Beer Gun because I believe I can get as good of a result as counter pressure (I was skeptical at first) and it is easier to clean. Ball valves cannot be cleaned in place and a counter pressure with sanitary valves or easy to disassemble (3 piece) ball valves would be inordinately heavy and expensive.

I once emailed Jamil since I knew he was particular about sanitation and used a counter pressure and he told me he took his all the way apart every time. I do that with my beer gun but it takes 30 seconds.

I did find out that the B3 counter pressure filler will stand up to being pasteurized in water. I never tried to sterilize it.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Will's Swill on June 21, 2011, 12:59:58 AM
I just use a really small tube (it's actually catheter tubing) and a very slow fill rate.  Works great!
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: jaybeerman on June 21, 2011, 04:42:51 AM
I just use a really small tube (it's actually catheter tubing) and a very slow fill rate.  Works great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99ZMW_sKSBc

 ;D sorry couldn't help it
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: beersk on June 21, 2011, 03:06:14 PM
I use the picnic tap and bottling wand method.  Sanitize the bottles, cover the opening with foil, put in freezer.  Turn off gas, bleed kegs, turn gas down to 2-5 PSI, fill bottles to about an inch or half an inch from the top, cap on foam.  Works like a charm.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on June 22, 2011, 11:37:55 AM
^^^^This.  IMO, this is easier and works just as good as a counter-pressure bottle filler.  I used to have one and tore it down for CO2 manifold parts.  I won another one in some competition and haven't used or touched it since. I really think those things are a waste of money and time.  Never used a beer gun though.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: phillamb168 on June 22, 2011, 12:08:53 PM
I use this:

http://www.kegworks.com/product.php?productid=18982&source=nextopia

and it works pretty well. I squirt some CO2 into the bottle first using a picnic tap attached to an empty keg with some co2 in it, and then use this to fill it up.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: beersk on June 22, 2011, 06:31:29 PM
I use this:

http://www.kegworks.com/product.php?productid=18982&source=nextopia

and it works pretty well. I squirt some CO2 into the bottle first using a picnic tap attached to an empty keg with some co2 in it, and then use this to fill it up.
Hmmm that's not a bad idea either.  I assume you turn down the gas on the regulator and bleed the keg also?
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on June 23, 2011, 05:46:35 PM
Some guys on another brewing forum made a bunch of doohickeys that you stick into your faucet and just bottle straight from there.  IIRC they used o-rings to seal.  I don't trust the sanitation of my faucets so I didn't even consider it.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: narcout on June 24, 2011, 03:27:36 AM
I'm a big fan of filling bottles from the faucet: turn off gas to keg, bleed most of the pressure through the release valve, purge bottle with CO2 from extra outlet on manifold, fill at an angle straight from tap, and cap on foam.

I fill all my competition bottles this way, and it works very well.  I usually don't lose more than an ounce or two of beer throughout the whole process.

I have perlick faucets with removable spouts, and I remove and sanitize them before bottling.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: beersk on June 24, 2011, 02:45:40 PM
I'm a big fan of filling bottles from the faucet: turn off gas to keg, bleed most of the pressure through the release valve, purge bottle with CO2 from extra outlet on manifold, fill at an angle straight from tap, and cap on foam.

I fill all my competition bottles this way, and it works very well.  I usually don't lose more than an ounce or two of beer throughout the whole process.

I have perlick faucets with removable spouts, and I remove and sanitize them before bottling.
I have the same faucets, they're great.  Sometimes I forget to take the spouts off after a few kegs in the rotation and they get kinda stuck on there, but I can get them off after a second.  Need to remember to remove those more often to clean them.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Tim McManus on June 25, 2011, 02:06:22 PM
I have both a Phil's Philler and a Beer Gun.  The Beer Gun (with the additional accessories kit) works like a charm.  It's easy to use and does the job with very little loss.  It's expensive, so you're paying for the convenience.

I don't use it to fill growlers.  For those I use a piece of 3/8" ID over the end of a picnic faucet and it does the job.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: bowiefan on July 06, 2011, 02:29:26 PM
Some guys on another brewing forum made a bunch of doohickeys that you stick into your faucet and just bottle straight from there.  IIRC they used o-rings to seal.  I don't trust the sanitation of my faucets so I didn't even consider it.

That guy is me. As for sanitation, it was designed for taking a sixer over to a buddy's house so that wouldn't be an issue most of the time. I do however also use it for longer term bottling and have found no issues with beers I bottled back in January when I first came up with the idea. I do keep my taps fairly clean though.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: dbeechum on July 06, 2011, 04:24:17 PM
That guy is me.

Can you show us whatcha made?
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: bluesman on July 06, 2011, 04:46:31 PM
The Beer Gun (with the additional accessories kit) works like a charm. 

+1

I also use the BBG and love it.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: bowiefan on July 06, 2011, 05:08:21 PM
That guy is me.

Can you show us whatcha made?
I can't figure out how to post pictures from my phone, but if you google Bowie Bottler, the first link takes you to a thread with pics at HBT.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 06, 2011, 07:59:14 PM
I have used the poor man's counter pressure filler - plastic tube in the cobra tap with a #2 stopper.  Saw that in an old Brewing Techniques a guy was giving out at a club meeting, so it has been around for years.

Last year a very good Pilsner went down in the 2nd round due to poor bottling - I got rushed, and the beer had the diacetyl precursor, and then got to a diacetyl level that I picked up when opening the control bottle after reading the score sheets.  The judges were right on that one.

This year the wife and I agreed that we would invest in a BBG if we had more than 1 move on.  We had more than 1, bought the BBG, used it, and got a Bronze.  Did it help the beer, I can't say for certain but I think yes.  Did it hurt the beer, no.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Kit B on July 20, 2011, 07:36:46 PM
When bottling from a keg, is there any need to add priming sugar?
Or, do you dissolve the amount of co2 that you desire, before bottling?
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Malticulous on July 20, 2011, 08:24:00 PM
Don't add sugar, just fill it with carbonated beer. It works better if it's just a bit overcarbed. It will loose some. Besides I prefer higher carbonation out of a bottle.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Kit B on July 20, 2011, 08:48:46 PM
Will the carbonation last long enough for a competition?
I'm planning to bottle beers for entry in a couple comps & would like to know whether bottling from a keg will work.
Submissions are the first week of August...Judging is a couple weeks later.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: jeffy on July 20, 2011, 09:41:17 PM
I do it all the time.  Once you cap the bottle the carbonation will stay inside. ;)
Have your bottles cold, fill slowly, cap on foam and you're good to go.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: Kit B on July 21, 2011, 12:54:39 PM
I do it all the time.  Once you cap the bottle the carbonation will stay inside. ;)
Have your bottles cold, fill slowly, cap on foam and you're good to go.

After taking a second look at my question, I realized that it is one of the stupidest things I have ever asked...
"Will it stay in?", Geez!

I really should have asked something more along the lines of how to get the beer to carbonate correctly, before bottling.
Title: Re: Bottling from keg
Post by: beersk on July 21, 2011, 02:00:05 PM
It's really not that stupid of a question.  I've seen worse.  Sometimes caps don't seal completely, so you never know.  But most of the time, you can bet they will.  I make sure to fill within about an inch or less of the top and cap on foam.  That really reduces your chance of oxidation also.