Author Topic: Tips for Bottling from Keg  (Read 3124 times)

Offline wamille

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Tips for Bottling from Keg
« on: January 11, 2017, 11:56:42 PM »
I want to bottle some beer out of a corny keg for an upcoming event.  I am horrible at doing this and have no counter-pressure gun device available.  Could I simply de-pressurize the keg, pour the beer into the bottles via a cobra tap, and then add some priming sugar?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 12:04:23 AM »
I want to bottle some beer out of a corny keg for an upcoming event.  I am horrible at doing this and have no counter-pressure gun device available.  Could I simply de-pressurize the keg, pour the beer into the bottles via a cobra tap, and then add some priming sugar?


If the keg is already carbed and you bottle some with priming sugar, you'll have bottle bombs. Please don't! What you can do is to push a bottling wand into a cobra tap and use that as a makeshift beer gun. Be sure to vent the keg, then fill at no more than 3 or 4 psi. Less foam = less carbonation loss, so it helps to chill the bottles first. If there were any way to purge the bottles with CO2 before filling, even better.
Jon H.

Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 01:13:42 AM »
I agree with last post.  I dip my bottles in Star San and place in the freezer for 20 min, set keg pressure very low (3-4 psi works very well). 

I made a cheap beer gun by cutting an 18" length of clear, straight, racking tubing and added a drilled #2 stopper.  The end of the tube that goes into the bottle should have an angled tip cut so that it will fill if touching the bottom of the bottle. I also added a needle valve (like used for filling a football) through the stopper. The other end of the tubing fits snugly into a picnic tap.  When I fill, I place a finger over the needle valve and use that to slowly bleed C02 while filling (this maintains some pressure in the bottle while filling).  I fill to the top, quickly cap on foam, one at a time.  I find that I only lose 2-3 ounces for, say, bottling a six pack.

I think I got the idea from this post, my version is a little cleaner and does not use copper tubing.

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=194961



Offline The Beerery

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 01:24:07 AM »
I think I got the idea from this post, my version is a little cleaner and does not use copper tubing.

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=194961

Copper tubing!! :o :o :o

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 02:39:33 AM »
I do pretty much the same as everyone above, but I've got a T in my line so I can flush the bottles with CO2.

I use standard pneumatic fittings (on the gas side) and use an air gun fitting with a tube to purge the bottles.

Not perfect, but pretty much same as the beer gun.

Cold bottles, dipped in star san, low pressure fill and you can minimize foam.
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 03:03:43 AM »
I used a home-built bottling gun for a while but always had issues with foaming and wasting tons of beer.  Last year I bought a Blichmann beer gun and have been very happy with it.  About a week after I bought it, NB came out with the Last Straw bottle filler which also looks nice, although I haven't talked to anybody who has actually used one.  So, if you like to bottle beer from the keg for friends or whatever, I don't think you'll be disappointed with a Blichmann.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 03:11:09 AM »
I used a home-built bottling gun for a while but always had issues with foaming and wasting tons of beer.  Last year I bought a Blichmann beer gun and have been very happy with it.  About a week after I bought it, NB came out with the Last Straw bottle filler which also looks nice, although I haven't talked to anybody who has actually used one.  So, if you like to bottle beer from the keg for friends or whatever, I don't think you'll be disappointed with a Blichmann.



I agree. I had the homemade one for quite a while, then finally broke down and bought the Blichmann. Really glad I bought it.
 
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2017, 04:53:53 PM »

Offline narcout

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 05:16:57 PM »
What you can do is to push a bottling wand into a cobra tap and use that as a makeshift beer gun. Be sure to vent the keg, then fill at no more than 3 or 4 psi. Less foam = less carbonation loss, so it helps to chill the bottles first. If there were any way to purge the bottles with CO2 before filling, even better.

This method works surprisingly well.
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Offline BrewBama

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Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 05:24:44 PM »
I need to learn this technique. I owe Tommy a cpl beers plus I'd like to cellar some bottles. I tried it once and let's just say I need to do some practice.


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« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 05:28:20 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Tips for Bottling from Keg
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 05:34:08 PM »
What you can do is to push a bottling wand into a cobra tap and use that as a makeshift beer gun. Be sure to vent the keg, then fill at no more than 3 or 4 psi. Less foam = less carbonation loss, so it helps to chill the bottles first. If there were any way to purge the bottles with CO2 before filling, even better.

This method works surprisingly well.
Same here, but I use a racking cane rather than a bottling wand so you don't get the tip making extra foam. I also slide a small bottle-sized stopper over the racking cane to keep backpressure in the bottle - this helps cut the foaming down quite a bit. You just have to burp the seal to let out some CO2 every few seconds to keep the flow going.

I have also been using a keg as a makeshift bottling bucket for beers that are being bottle-carbonated. You can use CO2 to push the beer out of the cobra tap/racking cane apparatus and fill a bunch quickly. Plus, that allows you to have the bottles at or above the level of the keg. No more hunching down on the floor - I line up my bottles in the sink and fill them all in a matter of minutes.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer