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Bottling from a keg

Strange concept I think. Let’s say we wanted to have force carbonated beer so that there is no sediment and we don’t have to wait the 10 days or so for natural carbonation. But we want to be able to give bottles to friends or bring a six pack to a party where people may want to drink right out of the bottle. Or we don’t want to have to give people a lesson on pouring homebrew before they can drink it. Can the beer be kegged and force carbonated, then dispensed into bottles and capped? Would there be any problems encountered? How do the big breweries do it since they are not naturally carbonating?

I keg my beer and from time to time I draw off a couple of beers into bottles. The problem I run into is foaming. you may want to invest in a beergun.

Cool! That’s awesome.

It’s pretty common to use a straight racking cane stuffed into a picnic tap. Just try to make sure everything(tubing/cane/bottles) is as close to the beer temp as you can manage and it will minimize foaming. Pouring at a slower rate(5psi or less) will help too. And either fill the bottles right to the top or allow them to foam a bit and cap right on top of the foam to minimize any oxygen in the bottle.

I bought a beer gun recently to bottle kegged beer and will never look back!

The pros filter the beer to brilliant clarity, force carbonate it, and use equipment that does counter-pressure filling. The principle is that you seal the bottle to a nozzle that first pressurizes the bottle with CO2, then allows the CO2 to bleed away as beer is pumped in. The low pressure drop prevents foaming and preserves the carbonation level.

I’ve done the bottle filler in a picnic tap method, and recently got a beer gun, which is a huge improvement in terms of ease and better results. But I won’t fool myself into believing it works as well as a good counter-pressure filler. You will still loose some carbonation with the beer gun. Easier to use, yes, just as good results, probably not.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]

I’ve done the bottle filler in a picnic tap method, and recently got a beer gun, which is a huge improvement in terms of ease and better results. But I won’t fool myself into believing it works as well as a good counter-pressure filler. You will still loose some carbonation with the beer gun. Easier to use, yes, just as good results, probably not.[/quote]

Just FYI, I went the other way. I started off using a beer gun, and found I got results that were really just as good with a $1.99 bottling cane jammed into a picnic tap, filled with low PSI. The set up of the beer gun just got to be a bit of a production for me.

Getting the bottles cold (colder than the beer if possible) can help a lot to reduce foaming as well when bottling off a keg.

Keep in mind, some foam is good, as it essentially creates a CO2 blanket above the liquid fill line in a bottle. Oh and don’t buy any crowns other than the O2-absorbing ones. They are worth the extra few pennies.

I brew often enough that I will generally fill a keg, carbonate, and a lot of the time have to bottle off the keg to bring my next beer on line. I like to cellar stuff as well, which works out great in bottles. Said differently, unless it is a farmhouse ale/wit or other really special beer, I will force carb then bottle off the keg.

I will happily sell you my beer gun with fittings/accessory kit!

I have two methods of filling bottles with carbed kegged beer and they both work very well without losing carb or aerating the beer. See the two videos below:

Me bottling straight from Ventmatic tap

Me bottling with Cobra tap and bottling wand. The bottles are in ice - water -Iodophor to keep them really cold until use. This method I employ for multi year storage in my cellar.

Thanks for all the guidance. I think I gotta go and get a keg system now.

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