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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: jimbo44 on December 29, 2009, 01:03:08 AM

Title: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: jimbo44 on December 29, 2009, 01:03:08 AM
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I couldn't find any history.  My question is, When bottling a whole batch of beer is it good to use priming sugar, Or should I force carbonate and use a beer gun.  I know for shorter term bottling and comp. beers a beer gun is great.  What about long term bottled beers or just the whole batch in general.   
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: redbeerman on December 29, 2009, 06:46:00 AM
If I'm going to bottle a complete batch, I will usually prime with sugar and then bottle.  I don't like doing it, but doing a whole batch with a counter-pressure filler like I have, does waste quite a bit of beer, which in turn I must drink immediately. ;)  For small numbers of bottles (a case or less), the bottle filler is the way to go.  This is the way I do it, I'm sure others have their methods as well.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Kaiser on December 29, 2009, 07:57:22 AM
I have very good success bottling carbonated beer with a beer gun like device (picnic tap with short racking cane tube in the nozzle). The beer is at 30-32 F when I bottle this way and does not foam much. I catch excess foam in a large beer mug. Whith this method I generally bottle 12-24 bottles from each keg and in some cases, when I want to age the beer, I bottle the whole keg. It doesn't take me that much longer than bottling with a bottling bucket and the beer will be sediment free. The latter is a big plus if I take beer somewhere.

Kai
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 29, 2009, 09:59:29 AM
I like to carbonate in keg and then fill bottles with CPF if bottleing the whole batch or use picnic tap with filler wand then filling just a few bottles.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Beertracker on January 07, 2010, 02:43:56 PM
Good Q. There's really no wrong answer, just what works best for you. I prefer to force-carb & CP most smaller (<1.065) session-style beers that will be consumed within 6 months. Exception include sours & wheats, etc... I typically BC most of my big beers (>1.065) & Belgian-style ales, etc... that will continue to develop by cellaring. Again, there's really no "hard & fast" rules just what works for your homebrewery. Happy bottling!  :)
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: blatz on January 07, 2010, 03:07:29 PM
There was a great brewer, brewhobby, that used to post a lot on the boards (but has disappeared for the most part) and his contention was that big, lay down type beers do better with bottle conditioning (i.e. priming) rather than CPF.  IIRC, his reasoning was that the beer continued to develop in the presence of yeast, whereas when filling with a CPF it is as 'good as its gonna get' since most of the yeast was left behind after rackings and it would only degrade thereafter.

I used to argue with him about it since I'd gotten a beergun a couple of years ago and had begun bottling my bigs (RIS, Barleywine, etc.) this way. 

This year, I figure I will bottle my bigger beers and test his theory out.  I do still have some bottle conditioned barleywine from'06 that is still very good, and some beergun filled barleywine from early '08 - I'll have to do a test soon and see how they have aged!

I think I just further muddied the waters on this topic.  Sorry.  :-[
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: gail on January 07, 2010, 06:30:55 PM
Quote:
There was a great brewer, brewhobby, that used to post a lot on the boards (but has disappeared for the most part)

Blatz, I'm going to hijack this thread for a second: I know brewhobby (same club, too) and he was a great brewer.  Opinionated certainly but a really good brewer.  Sadly, he's moved on to some other things and I don't think he's brewing much, if at all, anymore.  I miss seeing him and sampling his beers.
That said, I agree that big beers do seem to benefit from sitting on the yeast during bottle conditioning.  Even during a judging session, often those bigger beers that have been counter-pressure (or similar) bottled for the comp don't have the same complexity--a generalization but an observation made.
Gail
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: jimbo44 on January 07, 2010, 11:44:36 PM
thanks for all the help.  I think I will condition my baltic for next Christmas and carb. bottle a couple winter ales and save for next year.  They're somewhat similar.  I think my baltic will benefit from conditioning with yeast.  Good info. thanks.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: corkybstewart on January 08, 2010, 11:24:47 AM
I was glad to see this thread, I've got a similar issue I'm dealing with.
I brewed a Belgian strong dark ale in January 2007, racked to secondary and added Roselare blend when it got to about 75% of expected FG and let it sit in a carboy until June last year.  Then I racked it back to the fermenter and added 8 pounds of fresh/frozen cherries.  It's time to get off my lazy ass and bottle it but I don't know if I should use priming sugar and new yeast or force carb in a keg and beergun it.  Anybody had a similar situation?
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Kaiser on January 08, 2010, 11:51:40 AM
Wow, Brewhobby moved on. I certainly wish him all the best in his new endeavor. Escpecially, that he is happy with it. He contributed a lot to brewing.

About bottle conditioning and yeast. I’ll put this to the test as well, When I bottle this year’s Doppelbock with a “beer gun” I’ll add yeast to a few bottles to see if it makes a difference as the beer ages. There will be no priming sugar as the beer will be fully carbonated.

Kai
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: blatz on January 08, 2010, 12:08:47 PM
About bottle conditioning and yeast. I’ll put this to the test as well, When I bottle this year’s Doppelbock with a “beer gun” I’ll add yeast to a few bottles to see if it makes a difference as the beer ages. There will be no priming sugar as the beer will be fully carbonated.


Kai - I'm straight bottle conditioning my Barleywine and Old Ale that I brewed in Dec, but planned on kegging half and bottle conditioning the other on my Baltic Porter.  Perhaps I will do the same (and bottle a couple Baltics off the keg) and hold them to do a comparison at a later date.  I'll try to remember to post back.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 08, 2010, 12:17:50 PM
High alcohol is detrimental to yest.
Big beer are aged for some times.
If we bottle condition big beers would not we have atolises (decomposition of dead yeast) in there?

Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Kaiser on January 08, 2010, 12:20:24 PM
If we bottle condition big beers would not we have atolises (decomposition of dead yeast) in there?

Yes. Could they make a positive flavor contribution in these beers? Possible.

Kai
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: blatz on January 08, 2010, 12:29:11 PM
Yes. Could they make a positive flavor contribution in these beers? Possible.
Kai

right - it might contribute, which I think is what Brewhobby was getting at - I recently had a Fuller's Vintage 2005 that I'm sure is bottle conditioned - and all I could say was wow - certainly couldn't detect any yeast autolysis  ;)
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: bluesman on January 08, 2010, 12:47:09 PM
Yea that's too bad about Brewhobby. He made some really fine contributions on another board. He will be missed.

Most Belgian beers are bottle conditioned and it is believed that the conditioning is an essential part of the flavor that is achieved in the beer. The aging process in the bottle allows for the "Belgiany" flavor.

I believe the only way to find out the real truth is to do a blind tasting of the same beer, one bottle conditioned and another force carbed and bottled as Kai has suggested.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Kaiser on January 08, 2010, 01:33:07 PM
I believe the only way to find out the real truth is to do a blind tasting of the same beer, one bottle conditioned and another force carbed and bottled as Kai has suggested.

I think it is important to make a distinction between two factors:

- yeast consumes sugars and produces the CO2 for carbonation AND
- yeast is merely present in the bottle

My approach tries to identify if the latter makes a difference. If you bottle condition one part and force carbonate the other either one of the two factors can make a difference. Still a valid experiment though.

Kai

Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: blatz on January 08, 2010, 01:45:47 PM
I believe the only way to find out the real truth is to do a blind tasting of the same beer, one bottle conditioned and another force carbed and bottled as Kai has suggested.

I think it is important to make a distinction between two factors:

- yeast consumes sugars and produces the CO2 for carbonation AND
- yeast is merely present in the bottle

My approach tries to identify if the latter makes a difference. If you bottle condition one part and force carbonate the other either one of the two factors can make a difference. Still a valid experiment though.

Kai



that will also be somewhat difficult to get the CO2 volumes exact, which presents another issue.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: corkybstewart on January 11, 2010, 10:08:31 PM
I decided to keg and Beergun mine, it would be tough to get the carbonation right on an old beer like this.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: beerrat on January 19, 2010, 07:20:00 PM
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I couldn't find any history.  My question is, When bottling a whole batch of beer is it good to use priming sugar, Or should I force carbonate and use a beer gun.  I know for shorter term bottling and comp. beers a beer gun is great.  What about long term bottled beers or just the whole batch in general.   

I relativity new at kegging. When I tried my home made beer gun (racking cane in the picnic tap) I wasted too much beer and ended up making a mess.  So for my last 3 batches, I used a variation of the method than Gordon Strong talks about in his Zymurgy "Think Like a judge" article.
Chill 2 liter bottle, dispense beer from keg into 2 liter.  Using a carbonator cap, up the carbonation a few psi to adjust for CO2 loss in the transfers. Pour beer from 2 liter into freezer cold bottles ( pre purges with CO2), cap on the foam.

I am only kegging 2 6-packs, so maybe not good for large scale, but pretty smooth and clean operation for my needs. 
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: babalu87 on February 14, 2010, 09:21:16 PM
High alcohol is detrimental to yest.
Big beer are aged for some times.
If we bottle condition big beers would not we have atolises (decomposition of dead yeast) in there?



I've had OLD Bigfoot Barleywine and Thomas Hardys, if there are off flavors from the yeast I want that in my beers  ;D

Bottled a RIS today, it got half a pack of S-23.
English Barleywine will get bottle later this week with the other half.
Anything I plan on cellaring gets bottle conditioned.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: Rhoobarb on March 06, 2013, 11:03:47 AM
Resurrecting a really old thread here, but I'm wondering if anyone who said they were going to do a side by side test of one bottle conditioned and another force carbed beer actually did it.  If so, what were your observations?  I'm grappling with this myself right now.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Beer Gun or Conditioning with priming sugar?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on March 06, 2013, 12:02:51 PM
I normally bottle from a keg, mostly because I'm a HUGE fan of secondary fermentation and/or conditioning in kegs.

And comparatively - bottle conditioning is a PITA.

I'm actually finishing up a blog post about this right now. It mostly pertains to sour beers, but the pros and cons can be applied to any beer.

I'll update this thread when I finish the post - hopefully by next week. Promise I'm not just out for the shameless plug.