Author Topic: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys  (Read 2689 times)

Offline dano14041

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Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« on: May 03, 2011, 07:36:36 AM »
What set up do you use to blow CO2 into bottles and carboys?

I was thinking of using a cobra tap on a pressurized keg, which should work since CO2 is heavier than air.


Thanks!
Dano
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Offline gmac

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 07:55:46 AM »
I'm curious too. 
For kegs, I've just been hooking up the CO2 to the inlet and turning it on slowly to fill the bottom of the keg.  Like the OP, I'm thinking it's heavier than air so it should just stay down there right?  As long as my siphon is on the bottom, the gas should just rise up with the beer until it's full shouldn't it?  Or am I working under false assumptions?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 08:00:19 AM »
I think with kegs the standard practice is to fill the keg with sanitizer and then push the sanitizer out with CO2. Air and CO2 will mix to some extent even though the CO2 is heavier. Currents and mixing will occur. By filling the keg with liquid you remove most of the air to start with. WIth carboys it would e different cause you can't safely pressurize them. bottles? no idea
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Offline JKL

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 08:02:24 AM »
I think with kegs the standard practice is to fill the keg with sanitizer and then push the sanitizer out with CO2. Air and CO2 will mix to some extent even though the CO2 is heavier. Currents and mixing will occur. By filling the keg with liquid you remove most of the air to start with. WIth carboys it would e different cause you can't safely pressurize them. bottles? no idea

+1

But if you still want to for bottles/carboys this is an option:


http://www.winning-homebrew.com/CO2-Blow-Gun.html

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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 08:16:22 AM »
For kegs I connect the CO2 Disconnect to the Out Post & shoot some CO2 to the bottom of the keg. For Bottles & Carboys I unscrew the Disconnect & insert the hose. Cheers!!!
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Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 08:33:35 AM »
This is what I use.  However, use the food grade cartridges only. 

www.cornykeg.com/catalog.asp?prodid=668627
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 10:25:51 AM »
A cobra tap works great for bottles & carboys. 
About 21 years ago I hit on the idea of simply jamming a bottle sized drilled rubber stopper onto the spout on the cobra tap;  the hose for the cobra is attached to a manifold on my tank gauge which is set at 5-8 psi or less;  I insert the stopper, give it a quick shot, and then release it to let the co2 push the air out of the bottle, leaving enough co2 to settle in the bottle prior to filling.

For a carboy, I insert a drilled stopper into the top of the carboy, and then simply place the cobra with the bottle stopper on it flush against the hole in the carboy stopper.  A couple of quick shots and releases, and there's a nice blanket of co2 settling to the bottom of the carboy.  I noticed a big improvement in my long bulk aged brews when I started doing this, as well as in my stronger ales that I bottled out of the keg (even years after bottling).

There's no real danger form over-pressurizing  when you purge the vessels this way since if you have too much pressure,  the stopper would simply pop out before any glass could break. 

It's really simple, but it has worked well for me--I've done it this way since 1990 and have never had any excessive problems with oxidation in long secondaries or long bottle storage.
AL
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Offline tom

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 10:29:12 AM »
I think with kegs the standard practice is to fill the keg with sanitizer and then push the sanitizer out with CO2. Air and CO2 will mix to some extent even though the CO2 is heavier. Currents and mixing will occur. By filling the keg with liquid you remove most of the air to start with. WIth carboys it would e different cause you can't safely pressurize them. bottles? no idea
+100, for bottle I use a counterpressure bottle filler
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Offline homebrewgamecock

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 03:17:01 PM »
Are you talking about using a sanitizer like Star-San in the keg, pushing that out and then filling the keg with beer?

Offline tom

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 04:44:51 PM »
Are you talking about using a sanitizer like Star-San in the keg, pushing that out and then filling the keg with beer?
Yep.  I fill the keg with StarSan.  Then I transfer it to another keg with CO2.  This leaves the keg clean, sanitized and full of pressurized CO2.  No oxygen in sight.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 05:18:42 PM »
How terribly important is it to worry so much about a little air in a keg when you're filling it?  nd won't that little air in the 1" of head space in a bottle get used up by the yeast?
Lennie
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2011, 06:03:10 PM »
How terribly important is it to worry so much about a little air in a keg when you're filling it?  nd won't that little air in the 1" of head space in a bottle get used up by the yeast?

Probably right, at least about the bottles if you're bottle conditioning.  I'm always careful to purge bottles however  because I only bottle bright  and already conditioned beer, usually quite a few months after most of the yeast has surely dropped out.

Still, I wouldn't think of transferring even into the keg without purging it out first since it's absolutely no trouble to do so.  It literally takes  little more than a minute.   That way, I also minimize any worry about my kegs full of barleywine or 18th century porter sitting at cellar temperature for more than half  a year. 
Necessary?  Who knows.  But it's a quick, cheap insurance policy.

But, of course, everyone has their own individual procedures.  I've been following mine for 2 decades, so while I've tried and adopted a number of new things since I've been a member of the boards, I'm pretty set in my ways as far as the co2 purge goes.  It takes virtually no time, does no harm, and probably does some good...so why not!
AL
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Offline homebrewgamecock

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 06:51:15 AM »
How long can Star San sit in keg?  I know you don't want to keep it around too long or it's cloudy and not as useful.  Is prolonged contact to the keg OK?

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 06:56:56 AM »
Seems inconsistent to worry about oxidation of an 18th century porter that is aged for six months at cellar temps.  The 18th century brewers didn't.  Or maybe they would have if they'd had the apparatus.

I understand this hobby is all about rituals and feeling confident in your process.  I'm just wondering how important the avoidance of all oxygen is when brewing.  This is a discussion I've been having with a friend recently, so this thread was timely and seemed like a place to broach the question.
Lennie
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Blowing CO2 into bottles and carboys
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2011, 08:51:42 AM »
Seems inconsistent to worry about oxidation of an 18th century porter that is aged for six months at cellar temps.  The 18th century brewers didn't.  Or maybe they would have if they'd had the apparatus.

I understand this hobby is all about rituals and feeling confident in your process.  I'm just wondering how important the avoidance of all oxygen is when brewing.  This is a discussion I've been having with a friend recently, so this thread was timely and seemed like a place to broach the question.

 I agree that it probably wasn't a concern in the 1800's.   But it's more about personal taste and on the homebrew level, perhaps it is also about how much of that particular flavor one can live with. 

I like the changes that long aging contributes to the beers I brew for myself.  But I like to avoid those excessive sherry notes if I can.  That's just me.   So I should have added the popular "your mileage may vary" to the end of my post.   ;)

Brewing (and especially homebrewing) is all about interpretation;  so  the way I see it, the avoidance of oxygen in brewing (especially post fermentation) is very important indeed.  To me.    How important it would be to anyone else depends on one's individual taste  threshold  or if one simply don'y like the flavors that oxidation brings.   Commercial brewers generally consider it the enemy.

To myself (and most other brewers I know), post fermentation oxidation is a defect.
So who knows...perhaps a truly authentic 1800 porter (whatever that is) wouldn't even pass muster for me.    ;D
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
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Homebrewer since July 1971