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Old 07-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #1
chrisedjohn
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Default Alternative to Bottling or Kegging for a Wedding

I'm brewing beer for a good friend's wedding. I'm planning on bottling about 14 gals, which would only provide about 1/2 the beer. Brewing more would be the easy part, but I'm looking for an inexpensive alternative to more bottling (which would take a lot of time and bottles) or kegging (which would be expensive to get started).

Ideally, I could somehow "bottle condition" in a large vessel(s) and dispense directly from there. Since all the beer will be consumed in one day, I'm not concerned with how well it would stay carbonated that long. Anyone ever hear of bottle conditioning in glass carboys? Could they take the pressure (approx. 2 volumes CO2) and how might one dispense?

Thoughts?

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Old 07-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Guh?

You could do a "real ale" style thing where you rack it to casks and use gravity to serve. Keep in mind that you will have VERY LOW carbonation on those beers, which a lot of people here in the US do not like at all.

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Old 07-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Sounds like just the approach I'm looking for. It would be a weiss beer and as long as it's semi-cold and has a head when poured it would fit the bill. Ideally I could get by using air tight 5-gal plastic buckets with a spigot on the bottom. Could I simply prime at racking for 1.5-2 vol CO2 as I would if bottling and just ensure I could get a lid on that would be air-tight and take some pressure?

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Old 07-22-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisedjohn View Post
Sounds like just the approach I'm looking for. It would be a weiss beer and as long as it's semi-cold and has a head when poured it would fit the bill. Ideally I could get by using air tight 5-gal plastic buckets with a spigot on the bottom. Could I simply prime at racking for 1.5-2 vol CO2 as I would if bottling and just ensure I could get a lid on that would be air-tight and take some pressure?

In a bucket, the top would blow off before you got the pressure you needed for carbonation.

What you could do is put the beer in kegs ($25 each or so). Then, prime just like for bottles. Use a co2 charger gun to push the beer out ($20?). When done, sell the kegs for what you paid if you don't want to keep them.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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In a bucket, the top would blow off before you got the pressure you needed for carbonation.
...even with an air-tight screw on lid?
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:09 PM   #6
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best bet is to get the 'best men' and put them to work filling bottles. glass carboy under pressure is bad,bad,bad. and plastic may not hurt you,it is still a bad ideal.

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Old 07-22-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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I'd think so. The surface area of one of those lids is over 100 square inches, so even at 10 psi you are talking about 1000 lbs of force pushing on that lid...

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Old 07-22-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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What you could do is put the beer in kegs ($25 each or so). Then, prime just like for bottles. Use a co2 charger gun to push the beer out ($20?). When done, sell the kegs for what you paid if you don't want to keep them.
Yes, this is a great idea. You do need to cool down the kegs for a few days ahead of time (either in buckets of ice water or a fridge if you can free up the space) to give the CO2 a chance to go into solution.

Those $25 kegs are also awesome secondaries (cheaper, lighter, and more light-proof than a carboy, and easier to clean)--plus if you hang on to them, you'll have them for whenever you actually start kegging. And if you have the CO2 charger, you'll have the option of using them at parties and such.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #9
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http://stores.kegconnection.com/Categories.bok?category=*Homebrew+Kegerator+Kits:P ortable+Keg+Kits has the type of keg charger Yooper's talking about (I think). $19 plus S&H, but you need the CO2 cartridges (sold on the same page). The 10-pack is probably enough to push 3 kegs, the 20-pack will do it for sure.
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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 07-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #10
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Are these $25 kegs I keep hearing about Craigslist finds or what? My LHBS sells 'em for $36, but after adding new seals, gray post, black post, gas line, beer line, and picnic tap, I walked out of there nearly 70 bones poorer.

Where should I be looking for these treasures?

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