Author Topic: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?  (Read 1345 times)

Offline Pinski

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Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« on: April 14, 2011, 09:19:49 AM »
A colleague of mine recently  got motivated to brew up an IPA so he went down to a  LHBS, bought some ingredients, then came home to discover that he could only find about half of his brewing gear and was not able to proceed. Aparently he used to brew with a buddy and they shared the equipment, dude eventually moves away and yada... yada.. half of Bill's gear is gone.  So in disgust and disappointment Bill brings the ingredients to Pinski to do with as I will... and I will, or did. After substantially cranking up the recipe and brewing the beer, by this Sunday I should have a very nice keg of IPA to try.  I'd sure like to bring some to Bill and I'm wondering if you can bottle (traditional, not screw top or growler style)  force carbed, corny kegged beer from the taps?  Seems like it would be difficult considering head from the pour. Any thoughts and/or suggestions are appreciated as always. Cheers to free ingredients!
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 09:32:22 AM »
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Pinski

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 09:44:04 AM »
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
So, I think I'm seeing what you're saying but what is the purpose of the racking cane? By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 09:46:04 AM »
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
So, I think I'm seeing what you're saying but what is the purpose of the racking cane? By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?

No.

THIS is a counter-pressure filler.  You barely lower the pressure enough to allow the beer to flow from the keg into the bottle & then immediately cap - no foam, no loss of carbonation while bottling.

"The Counter Pressure Bottle Filler lets you fill bottles with carbonated beer from the keg. It fills the bottles under Co2 pressure so the beer stays carbonated in the bottles indefinitely. It's a great tool if you just want to bottle a portion of your batch without worrying about natural carbonation or if you want to send it to competitions sediment free! It is designed to be used with 1/4" ID high pressure line."

I'll be breaking out mine in a month or so, to bottle some of my Chamomile Ale when it's ready. 
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 09:51:52 AM »
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
So, I think I'm seeing what you're saying but what is the purpose of the racking cane? By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?
Yeah, like Beer Monger said, that is a CP filler.

When I said racking cane I really meant the plastic check valve thing you mentioned, a bottling wand or whatever you want to call it.  You can just shove one of those into the end of your cobra tap and away you go.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline jeffy

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 09:52:58 AM »
"By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?"


Now that you know what a counter pressure filler looks like, what Tom was saying was to put your simple plastic check valve filler that everybody has into the end of your black plastic cobra tap and use that to fill the growler from the keg.  It keeps your beer from picking up an excessive amount of air when bottling.  Most brewpubs that fill growlers put a plastic hose on the tap and fill the bottle from the bottom.  It's the same thing.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 09:58:36 AM »
Sounds very doable. Thanks guys.
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Offline denny

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011, 10:39:51 AM »
I've used this setup for years and it works great...



"This is a short piece of 3/16" ID racking hose with a small bung on it. The hose will fit snugly into a cobra tap.

To fill a bottle, chill the bottle to as cold, or colder than the beer, and ensure the beer is slightly more carbonated than you want it. Insert the hose into the tap, and then the hose into the bottle so the bung is snug. Start filling. The pressure in the bottle will quickly equilize, at which point you use your thumb to put pressure on one side of the bung to release bottle pressure. The beer will slowly fill the bottle. Cap as quickly as possible.

It sounds complicated, but it isn't."

From http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap.html
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 11:05:10 AM »
go to the downloads section of the main website.  their is a short book in there about gadgets and such. one section is completely dedicated to this concept takes all of 30-45 seconds to check on.
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 11:10:18 AM »
If you ever want to go the next step & get a counter-pressure filler, I think it's really worth it.

I also built myself a 'bottling table'.  The counter-pressure filler is 'mounted' with metal straps & some PVC plastic 'T's to a vertical pole attached to the table.  The pole has a 'stop' on it so the filler can't touch the table - stays suspended above it.

Right beside that on the table I have mounted a bench-capper.  So, once I fill a bottle I can just 'let go' of the filler, and grab the handle on my capper w/o worrying about setting down the filler someplace 'unsanitary'. 
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 12:26:12 PM »
You guys are making me want to bottle more.  Not really but this is great stuff. So have you guys found that once you have kegging equipment, that you force carbonate and bottle from from kegs on occasions when you want some bottles on hand or to give out? Or do you prefer the "add sugars" natural method?  I like that the keg method would allow you to bottle with minimal sediment potential.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 12:38:54 PM »
I do the "el cheapo" method and think it's great.  Use a picnic tap and bottle wand, chill the bottles, turn the PSI down to about 3 or so and release the pressure off the keg.  Fill bottles to about an inch or less of the top of the bottle and cap on foam.  Works like a charm.
I don't think counter pressure fillers really are worth it when you can do it this way.  But ya know, I could be wrong too...
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2011, 01:12:22 PM »
I only bottle for entering competitions.  When I share homebrew with friends I use plastic bottles with carbonator caps.
The Beer Gun is a great tool.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 01:20:03 PM »
I've used this setup for years and it works great...



"This is a short piece of 3/16" ID racking hose with a small bung on it. The hose will fit snugly into a cobra tap.

To fill a bottle, chill the bottle to as cold, or colder than the beer, and ensure the beer is slightly more carbonated than you want it. Insert the hose into the tap, and then the hose into the bottle so the bung is snug. Start filling. The pressure in the bottle will quickly equilize, at which point you use your thumb to put pressure on one side of the bung to release bottle pressure. The beer will slowly fill the bottle. Cap as quickly as possible.

It sounds complicated, but it isn't."

From http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap.html
This is basically the way I do it too. I've always wanted a CP filler or a Beergun, but this is just too easy to motivate me to spend the money.
Mark Gres

Offline denny

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Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2011, 01:22:15 PM »
This is basically the way I do it too. I've always wanted a CP filler or a Beergun, but this is just too easy to motivate me to spend the money.

Same here, man.  Until I find something wrong with this method, I'm not going to spend money on something else.
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