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Old 02-18-2012, 02:38 AM   #1
Chesterbelloc
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Default Priming, Flocculating, Bottling...

I've been brewing for well over a decade but there is something that I haven't figured out... well... there's lots of things I haven't figured out.

Here, I am concerned with a conditioning, yeast flocculation, and bottling technique.

We know that priming a keg with sugars and sealing it with a bump of CO2 is an effective way to attain carbonation in solution.

We know that adding gelatin in solution as a fining precipitates yeast and haze causing proteins.

What approach would I take if I wanted to prime and condition in the keg, not relying on the CO2 tanks, then add gelatin to cause suspended yeast and protein to fall out of solution, and then subsequently package the beer into bottles, so that I would have a finished product, well-carbonated uniformly across all the bottles, and clear when held up to a light?

I imagine I would, firstly, add priming solution of the desired gravity to the keg, then secondly, transfer the green beer from the fermenter on top of the priming solution admixing it, then thirdly, seal the keg and bump with CO2 to seal the gaskets, then fourthly, allow the generation, build-up of and absorbtion of CO2 into solution (carbonation), and then fifthly, open the keg vessel and add gelatin finings, waiting a several days, and finally, dispense into bottles under positive pressure just over 1 atmosphere.

The question is then, would the newly bottled, already carbonated and fined beer retain it's freshness and quality or would the introduction of small levels of oxygen and small loss of carbonation be counter-productive?

(Please don't say... oh just bottle it like everybody else. I know how to bottle. This is a technique exploration.)

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Old 02-18-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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I'm not sure if gelatin findings are meant for already carbonated beer. However, yes, you can bottle from a keg with little to no ill effects. Personally I bottle from a keg by putting an 8" length of siphon tubing over the end of my picnic tap, turning the pressure down to 2-3psi, and filling that way. Pulling the tube out gives yo the perfect 1-1.5" headspace, and setting the caps onto the bottle for a minute or two before clamping down allows the off-gassing CO2 to fill that headspace. You'll lose a bit to drips and overfills the first few times but it's worth it.

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Old 02-18-2012, 03:45 AM   #3
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I just realized you weren't going to push with co2. Prime in the keg is a good idea, but opening and closing your keg multiple times seems like a good way to either infect or skunk it with O2.

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Old 02-18-2012, 04:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesterbelloc View Post
and then fifthly, open the keg vessel and add gelatin finings,
6thly, apply CO2 to reseal the lid and purge oxygen..

You are asking if you can add gelatin to a carbonated beer in a keg to clear it before bottling to avoid yeast sediment in the bottle.

I don't know... I hope you get an answer.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:32 AM   #5
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Thanks fellas... I was a little long-winded.

I hadn't thought of off-gasing the ounce or two of air at the top of the bottle. In truth, this was my principle concern.

I have dispensed from time to time finished beer into bottles, but never really sought an answer to the question long in my head. In the past I have used a CO2 bleed to fill bottles slowly. I have also used gravity, beginning it with internal pressure and popping the lid once the beer is flowing. A slow bleed of CO2 is a much better way.

For what's it worth. I have used the auto-siphon as a real-beer pump by opening a keg and just shoving it in. It worked well for at least one New Year's Eve party. It's wild how a large-can of beer retains it's natural carbonation for several hours. The caveat is spoilage by ensuring the whole tank gets drank.

I realise it's the whole thing is trivial pursuit because beer clears and yeast cakes well over time regardless of packaging.

Another thing I haven't tried is adding the gelatin fining and the priming solution to the keg at the same-time. It is my understanding that there is still billions of yeast cells suspended in solution even after fining with gelatin; that is, until the temperature of the beer is lowered to refridgerator temperatures where the yeast goes dormant and the wonders of gelatin kicks in.

(I have answered my own question it seems with that last paragraph.)

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Old 02-18-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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I cant answer your question, but to get what you want if your willing to spend some coin you good get the beergun. Clear in secondary and not use a priming solution, northern brewer has got a good video on you tube

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:34 AM   #7
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Even in sparkling clear beer, unless filtered, you will have lots and lots of yeast. While Hefe style beers are cloudy from lots of yeast it isn't the main cause of cloudy homebrew which I think is your concern. Gelatin fining clumps together small proteins to larger ones that then drop out due to gravity.

I guess I don't understand what your goal here is. Is it to save max $.70 per keg on CO2 for dispensing? Honestly just prime in the keg with sugar then push with your CO2 if that's the case. A 5# tank will last years if that's all you use it for.

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Old 02-19-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Can you bottle beer primed in a keg (as opposed to force-carbed) at room temperature using a beer gun? I realize CO2 tends to come out of solution faster at room temp, but does the purging and slow filling tend to offset any CO2 loss from the warmer temperature?

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