Author Topic: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg  (Read 346 times)

Offline scrap iron

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Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« on: May 03, 2018, 01:49:58 PM »
I have been using closed transfers to kegs and experimenting with bottling from them. These  are  beers that are closed transfers where the keg is filled with sanitizer and pushed out with co2. After priming with sugar the first keg was left at room temp for four weeks. The keg was then put in fridge for about a week. Then I placed the bottles in the fridge and chilled them. I then tried the method with a cobra tap with short piece of racking cane. Turned down the psi to 2-3 and proceeded to make a big mess. Seems like I lost a lot of co2 and still a lot of foam, it's a good thing I had them in a old roaster pan for the mess my wife said. I tried one of the bottles after chilled for a few days and it was a good beer but was about half normally  carbonated. Maybe the bottles warmed too much during the transfer. The second keg I used a bottle filler and filled bottles right after priming the keg, using the small amount of co2 pressure that set the lid. The pressure was a little high at first  but reduced as I filled the bottles and I had to hit with a small amount of co2 later. Wow, keg two was a lot easier for me to bottle from. I tried a bottle from keg two after four weeks  at room temp and chilled. Night and day difference, this beer was perfectly carbonated smelled and tasted great. This is my new method for bottling a few beers for contests and friends.     sorry for being long winded but I wanted to put out all the info , cheers Mike.
Mike F.                                                                               "I am what I am and that's all that I am" Popeye the sailor

Offline Bob357

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Re: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 03:43:46 PM »
Guess you can't lose carbonation if it isn't there. Good idea on keeping the Oxygen low. As a plus the fermentation in the bottles will scavenge O2. Great process for anyone who has great concerns about oxidation.

I force carbonate and almost always finish a keg before any signs of oxidation manifest. I do take the normal precautions to reduce O2 exposure.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline scrap iron

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Re: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 04:06:25 PM »
"Guess you can't lose carbonation if it isn't there." Bob357                That was my thoughts,  bottle it before foam is a concern and let the yeast do it's job in the bottle instead of the keg. I also think this may expose the beer to less oxygen than a bottling bucket would. I have been trying to use low oxygen methods as much as possible and have had improvement in my beers.
Mike F.                                                                               "I am what I am and that's all that I am" Popeye the sailor

Offline metron-brewer

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Re: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 04:55:01 PM »
Assuming the kegs were at "serving pressure" once they went into the fridge, after reducing PSI to 2-3# did you vent the keg before bottling?
Ron B.
White Bear Lake, MN

Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 08:34:42 PM »
I think you were pretty close on your attempt to bottle carbonated beer. Couple of things could help: I spray sanitize my bottles, then put them in the freezer for 15+ min. The colder the bottle, the less tendency for C02 to come out of solution. Add a small #2 stopper to your cobra tap / racking cane (and make sure the out end of the tube has an angle so you can't block it at the bottom of the bottle). Drop the keg pressure temporarily, as you did, right before bottling.  Then as you fill each bottle, try and keep pressure in the bottle by allowing a small amount of gas flow (slow hiss) past the stopper.  Sounds tricky, but pretty easy after 1 or 2 tries. The pressure in the bottle keeps the  carbonation in the beer.  I quickly cap as the foam starts as I remove the tube/stopper. This is my workaround to mimic a bottling gun - I don't do it enough to justify the expense.

Oh, and make sure to purge the bottles with C02 as you pull each one from the freezer right before filling.


Offline scrap iron

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Re: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 01:53:52 PM »
    I did pull the PRV and vent the keg. I think the bottles just warmed too much as I was trying to fill a dozen bottles. Guess I should put them in the freezer instead of the fridge. I did use a racking cane cut at angle in a corba tap and had put the #2 stopper on it. I got so much foam I didn't know when to quit. This all seems like a PITA to me and too much potential for a mess. I also think the lines warmed even though I tried to keep the door on the kegerator closed. I have two original Vent-Matic  taps [love- em] with threaded spouts and wonder if there is something that can be used to fill bottles from them. That would keep the door closed and the lines cold.
The method I described worked well if you don't mind the little amount of yeast left in the bottle. I thought that it might be helpful to those who find bottling carbonated beer too much trouble.
Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate the advise and if anyone has ideas about bottling from Vent-Matic taps please let me know.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Mike F.                                                                               "I am what I am and that's all that I am" Popeye the sailor

Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Bottling from naturally carbonated keg
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 04:32:58 PM »
Sounds frustrating and I have been there too!  C02 coming out of solution (foam) comes down to temperature and pressure.  Without knowing more details and assuming the beer is not overbarbonated, I would say maybe try lowering the temperature of the beer in the keg if it is higher than 40F.  Also, try and get the pressure at the tap nozzle to be no higher than 1-2 psi.  Maybe this means increasing the length of the hose between the keg and picnic tap to increase it's total pressure drop without having to drop the pressure even more in the keg.