Author Topic: Bottling from a keg  (Read 2800 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Bottling from a keg
« on: May 05, 2013, 01:25:36 AM »
I'm considering a counter pressure filler. My reasons would be 1. If I have a keg that I want to tap and don't want to have a chugging contest to finish out the current keg. 2. If I want to ship a couple bottles somewhere. 3. If I want to store a few to see the effect of aging that recipe.

I'm looking at the morebeer version. I watched the video and I wonder what the point of purging with co2 would be, given that the beer volume will naturally purge the air, or in their case the co2 from the bottle anyway. I might by the counter pressure idea. It make some sense at keeping the beer CO2 in solution. But if they run the keg pressure at 3-5psi and the counter pressure at say 2-3psi, that's not much difference.

I'm wondering if it really makes any noticeable difference in the final product. Why not just chill the keg down to about 33-35 and fill with a picnic tap with a tube to reach the bottom of the bottle. Or just a tube off the kegerator tap?

Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 11:57:53 AM »
I have never used a counter pressure bottle filler, so I can't help you there.  However, I have used the Blichmann Beer Gun quite a bit.  I think the point of purging the bottle is so you don't pick up or add any excessive oxygen to your beer when you bottle it.  I have only used the purging option a few times, as I mainly only bottle one batch of beer a year, my big beer which is always bottle conditioned, so I figure in that case a little O2 would be fine.

As per your third suggestions, I've done both.  I definitely prefer the picnic tap with a tub option over filling from the tap.  I usually vent the keg a little so it doesn't foam, then start filling chilled bottles, that I want to ship to family.  I only do this with beers that are going to be drank in the next week or two after filling, as how I do it, isn't really sanitary.  I'd be overly worried about aging a beer using this process, without running cleanser and sanitizer through the picnic tap first.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 12:00:15 PM by liquidbrewing »
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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 12:17:31 PM »
I've only done the tap and tube approach but can testify that it works quite well. Standard sanitation is sufficient. I still have a 5 yo beer from bottling that way off a keg. 
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 01:11:43 PM »
The tap and tube process works, but some beer do not work well with exposure to O2. It does not take much to make them oxidize or develop diacetyl (if the precursor is in the beer).
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 05:32:17 PM »
Oxidation is a good point.
I used to bottle tap and tube approach for short consumption bottling. Now I do CPF and my bottles can handle 10+ month in cold storage.

It depends what you want to do.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 06:01:26 PM »
Why not just chill the keg down to about 33-35 and fill with a picnic tap with a tube to reach the bottom of the bottle. Or just a tube off the kegerator tap?

Either of those methods can work well.  You'll want to turn off the gas to the keg and bleed most of the pressure off first. 

I do think it's worth flushing the bottles with CO2 (which you can do just fine without a counter pressure filler).

Offline amh0001

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 06:19:58 PM »
If you listen to the brewstrong show about counter pressure filling over at the brewing network, Jamil talks about how he used a counter pressure filler for the longest time and once he went to the blichmann beer gun he never looked back. He said the counter pressure filler was such a pain because you had to keep this fine balance of co2 and beer going that was never easy with two hands and you would eventually get a beer shower from beer spraying out of the bottle. I think he said he had kegged over hundreds of gallons with the CPF and now loves the blichmann beer gun.

I just ordered they blichmann beer gun, but beware you will either need a dual regulator or about 30 bucks worth of keg parts to split the gas, AND the accessory kit (about $130 total). More beer says all you need is a "t" but if you read the reviews on the T, people say thats not the way to go.

I would totally suggest looking up "biermuncher dont need no stinking beer gun" on google and it will show you a thread about filling from a tube. I have bottled many beers this way, but my main complaint was that the tap always leaked where I put the racking cane in it, which would lead to oxygen and also foaming. Also I had a blonde that was light and ended up being affected by oxidation in the bottle.

I guess it depends on your budget. I would try biermunchers method first and if you dont like it then try the blichmann beer gun.

hope this helps!

CHeers

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 07:09:37 PM »
Yes,

Who is main sponsor of the show?
Just saying.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 07:06:41 AM »
I bottle with a piece of racking can stuck into the picnic tap and a drilled #2 stopper to plug the bottle.  Works great for me, although I have never used a beer gun or CPF so I cannot compare.

When I think of it, I change out the line and tap to a newly sanitized tap for bottling.

I'll also sometimes flush the bottles with CO2 using an airgun attachment (or whatever it's called) from my compressor.  I put a piece of tubing on the end so that I can get CO2 to the bottom of the bottle and flush about 6 at a time.

All of this is with things I've got lying around, so the investment was zero.  My recommendation is start like this and if it doesn't work for you look into the beer gun.  People really seem to love them.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 08:00:12 AM »
The beer gun is a lot simpler to operate and manage than a CPF in my opinion.  I love mine.  Before I decided to get one though, I used a bottling wand with a #2 stopper jammed into a picnic tap.  I didn't purge the bottles with CO2, but the stopper did create "counter pressure" and the fills were not overly foamy. Beer gun bottling just seems to go much smoother when I have a lot to do and lack a second pair of hands to help with the capping. 
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Offline yso191

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 08:21:14 AM »
I too love my Blichmann beer gun.  Very easy to operate, works great, and once I get going I can crank out a 5 gallon batch in just over a half an hour.
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Offline denny

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 08:21:23 AM »
Yes,

Who is main sponsor of the show?
Just saying.

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Offline denny

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 08:23:01 AM »
Before spending money on a counterpressure filler, check out tip #4 here....

http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap.html



That's what I've been doing for years and it works great for me.  If I anticipate storing the beer for a while, I flush the bottle with CO2 first.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 09:43:54 AM by denny »
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 08:55:57 AM »
I used to have a counter pressure filler. I now have a Beer Gun. The counter pressure filler is difficult to use (you almost need 3 hands). The Beer Gun is much simpler and more intuitive.

That being said, I haven't used the Beer Gun in a year now - I just bottle with my spring loaded bottle filler shoved up a Perlick. I only bottle to send to a competition, so aging isn't a concern. I've only kept the Beer Gun if I ever want to age something so I can purge the bottle with CO2.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Bottling from a keg
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 09:41:38 AM »
Having used the Foxx and the More Beer CPF....go for the More Beer. The 3 way valve makes it WAY easy to operate. I have also used the Blichmann and my feeling is with all of the above....they are a pain to sanitize and clean and they are expensive for how often they get used.

I now go for the bottling wand and rubber bung method.  Easy to use, easy to clean, cheap.
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