Author Topic: New to kegging  (Read 627 times)

Offline Jason

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New to kegging
« on: December 20, 2017, 03:22:24 AM »
If I cold crash a keg in a kegerator and force carbonate, can I bottle say 3 gallons, and leave the rest to dispense on tap?  If so, how do the bottles need to be stored?  Room temp or do they need to be kept cold?

Offline jkirkham

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 06:07:27 AM »
I just did this with 3 beers.  The way I did the bottling was to use a bottle gun.  Carbonate your keg and you can fill bottles with the gun, just make sure your carbonation is right or you will waste beer.  In the past I have used the same method.

As for storage, usually if I bottle off the keg I keep the beer cold. If you keep the beer at room temp the beer might not hold as long, or be as fresh, guess it depends if you’re gonna bottle a barley wine or an ipa, etc.
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Offline Robert

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 01:35:31 PM »
I havent bottled in a while but in the past I have bottled off the keg (counterpressure rig but I'm sure a gun is just as good.)  Since my whole reason for bottling would have been to free up fridge space for a new keg, I would store the bottles at room temperature in my basement.   They kept just fine, for as long as it took to consume them, but I never really tested the limits.  Be very careful with oxygen pickup, and you should have easily three months of reasonable freshness with an average beer.  I don't think cold storage would extend it much because oxygen ingress through the cap seal is the real issue. I found the ultimate, liberating solution is to have sufficient space for kegs that I never have to face the ordeal of bottling!

Note: If you try using oxygen-absorbing caps to extend shelf life, DO NOT SANITIZE THEM, RINSE THEM, GET THEM WET IN ANY WAY.  The way they work is, they are activated by contact with moisture, and then almost instantaneously exhaust all their capacity to absorb oxygen.  If you cap on foam, they will be activated by contact with the foam.  If they get wet beforehand,  they are just plain caps that cost you serious coin.
Rob
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Offline a10t2

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 04:22:54 PM »
The way they work is, they are activated by contact with moisture, and then almost instantaneously exhaust all their capacity to absorb oxygen.  If you cap on foam, they will be activated by contact with the foam.  If they get wet beforehand,  they are just plain caps that cost you serious coin.

James Spencer of Basic Brewing asked this question of the manufacturer years ago and the response was that the O2 scavenging reaction has a half-life of several hours, and there's no reason not to sanitize the caps before bottling.
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Offline Robert

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 04:30:53 PM »
The way they work is, they are activated by contact with moisture, and then almost instantaneously exhaust all their capacity to absorb oxygen.  If you cap on foam, they will be activated by contact with the foam.  If they get wet beforehand,  they are just plain caps that cost you serious coin.

James Spencer of Basic Brewing asked this question of the manufacturer years ago and the response was that the O2 scavenging reaction has a half-life of several hours, and there's no reason not to sanitize the caps before bottling.
But there's no absolute need to do so, either.  Ever seen the bottling line at your local brewery? Of course not, they don't let anybody in there for sanitary reasons.  But I guarantee the routine with caps is: rip bag open, dump in hopper, repeat.  A new bag fresh from the manufacturer is pretty darn clean. Keep them closed up and they remain so.  In nearly 3 decades I've never sanitized caps.  So many other things to worry about, but it's up to you.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 04:33:10 PM »
But there's no absolute need to do so, either.  Ever seen the bottling line at your local brewery? Of course not, they don't let anybody in there for sanitary reasons.  But I guarantee the routine with caps is: rip bag open, dump in hopper, repeat.  A new bag fresh from the manufacturer is pretty darn clean. Keep them closed up and they remain so.  In nearly 3 decades I've never sanitized caps.  So many other things to worry about, but it's up to you.

Varying degrees of paranoia I guess. I've always sanitized caps at either scale.
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Offline jkirkham

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 07:04:04 PM »
But there's no absolute need to do so, either.  Ever seen the bottling line at your local brewery? Of course not, they don't let anybody in there for sanitary reasons.  But I guarantee the routine with caps is: rip bag open, dump in hopper, repeat.  A new bag fresh from the manufacturer is pretty darn clean. Keep them closed up and they remain so.  In nearly 3 decades I've never sanitized caps.  So many other things to worry about, but it's up to you.

Varying degrees of paranoia I guess. I've always sanitized caps at either scale.

I have worked a bottling line at my local brewery and everything was sanitized, why take the risk? I have always sanitized caps at home but now I use swing tops, better glass, less work.

In general for this post I would be concerned with sanitation and your method of bottling the beer. Bottle guns work great for bottling off of a keg, I would not recommend pouring from the tap to bottle.  The only time I do this is for club competitions when I know the beer is going to be gone in 3 hours.

Also it should not matter if the bottles are stored upright or on their sides because the bottles aren’t being bottle conditioned.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 12:12:36 AM »
The way they work is, they are activated by contact with moisture, and then almost instantaneously exhaust all their capacity to absorb oxygen.  If you cap on foam, they will be activated by contact with the foam.  If they get wet beforehand,  they are just plain caps that cost you serious coin.

James Spencer of Basic Brewing asked this question of the manufacturer years ago and the response was that the O2 scavenging reaction has a half-life of several hours, and there's no reason not to sanitize the caps before bottling.
But there's no absolute need to do so, either.  Ever seen the bottling line at your local brewery? Of course not, they don't let anybody in there for sanitary reasons.  But I guarantee the routine with caps is: rip bag open, dump in hopper, repeat.  A new bag fresh from the manufacturer is pretty darn clean. Keep them closed up and they remain so.  In nearly 3 decades I've never sanitized caps.  So many other things to worry about, but it's up to you.

This is also depends on the actual environment your caps were packaged in. For example, I know my LHBS packages these up in the room where they grind their grains. I would not trust them to be super sanitary in this situation.

Offline Robert

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 12:21:59 AM »
The way they work is, they are activated by contact with moisture, and then almost instantaneously exhaust all their capacity to absorb oxygen.  If you cap on foam, they will be activated by contact with the foam.  If they get wet beforehand,  they are just plain caps that cost you serious coin.

James Spencer of Basic Brewing asked this question of the manufacturer years ago and the response was that the O2 scavenging reaction has a half-life of several hours, and there's no reason not to sanitize the caps before bottling.
But there's no absolute need to do so, either.  Ever seen the bottling line at your local brewery? Of course not, they don't let anybody in there for sanitary reasons.  But I guarantee the routine with caps is: rip bag open, dump in hopper, repeat.  A new bag fresh from the manufacturer is pretty darn clean. Keep them closed up and they remain so.  In nearly 3 decades I've never sanitized caps.  So many other things to worry about, but it's up to you.

This is also depends on the actual environment your caps were packaged in. For example, I know my LHBS packages these up in the room where they grind their grains. I would not trust them to be super sanitary in this situation.
Good point, I always got caps packed by a manufacturer or distributor.   But that's mighty poor practice by your LHBS.  What other opportunities for contamination are they opening up?  Is there bacteria-laden grain dust in the priming sugar, for instance?  Milling has to be isolated!  At least you are aware of the risk -- some customers might not be.
(Yeah ok I know priming syrup should be boiled, but some guy's going to learn that the hard way.)
(Yikes, how about grain dust on those dry hops you're about to toss in the fermentor?   I keep thinking of nightmare scenarios...)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 12:35:08 AM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 12:35:09 AM »
The way they work is, they are activated by contact with moisture, and then almost instantaneously exhaust all their capacity to absorb oxygen.  If you cap on foam, they will be activated by contact with the foam.  If they get wet beforehand,  they are just plain caps that cost you serious coin.

James Spencer of Basic Brewing asked this question of the manufacturer years ago and the response was that the O2 scavenging reaction has a half-life of several hours, and there's no reason not to sanitize the caps before bottling.
But there's no absolute need to do so, either.  Ever seen the bottling line at your local brewery? Of course not, they don't let anybody in there for sanitary reasons.  But I guarantee the routine with caps is: rip bag open, dump in hopper, repeat.  A new bag fresh from the manufacturer is pretty darn clean. Keep them closed up and they remain so.  In nearly 3 decades I've never sanitized caps.  So many other things to worry about, but it's up to you.

This is also depends on the actual environment your caps were packaged in. For example, I know my LHBS packages these up in the room where they grind their grains. I would not trust them to be super sanitary in this situation.
Good point, I always got caps packed by a manufacturer or distributor.   But that's mighty poor practice by your LHBS.  What other opportunities for contamination are they opening up?  Is there bacteria-laden grain dust in the priming sugar, for instance?  Milling has to be isolated!  At least you are aware of the risk -- some customers might not be.
(Yeah ok I know priming syrup should be boiled, but some guy's going to learn that the hard way.)

No doubt. He just runs a tiny little shop and does the best he can. I bet that even using those caps without sanitizing them would probably be just fine too.  I am just an anal brewer when it comes to things like that.

Offline Robert

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 12:45:41 AM »
^^^^
Idea for a Christmas present for the poor guy: sheet of plastic and a cheap box fan. He can hang the plastic between the mill and the packaging area and point the fan out the window!  I mean, there must be some precautions possible.  Then again I mill in the same area where I do EVERYTHING cold-side; I just don't do any thing else on the same day I mill. Never caused a problem, but I'm not risking a business.
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Offline Aksarben

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2018, 06:28:02 PM »
I think a lot depends on where the caps came from regarding sanitation.  We get in around 120,000 corks from a supplier when I purchase corks.  They come in 1000 count bags that are filled with SO2.  They are sanitary, and we dump them into the hopper.  Corks brought home in your pocket, a bag or from some guy at the local store that sorted out corks into convenient count size bags have dubious sanitation.

Now for crown cap, since they cannot put SO2 in the bag, which is corrosive to metal, I would think they probably ozoneate the caps while filling the bag and seal it.  That would preserve the sanitation of the cap until the bag was open. 
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