New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottle filling, to the top or leave space?




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-07-2007, 03:29 AM   #1
Dave the Brewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dave the Brewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Nederland, TX
Posts: 253
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

Default Bottle filling, to the top or leave space?

Just what it says, I'm just curious what the recommended/favored way to bottle. Do you leave some space like commercial brands or fill it to the top. I have read some where it was recommended to fill to the top. I'm not completely sure if its true or if I even read it right.



__________________
Dave the Brewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 03:33 AM   #2
homebrewer_99
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,957
Liked 80 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

If you use the spring loaded bottle filler that most of us use just fill it to the top. When you remove the tube from the bottle the level will be right.



__________________
HB Bill
homebrewer_99 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 03:38 AM   #3
Dave the Brewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dave the Brewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Nederland, TX
Posts: 253
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

Default

hmmm... No I don't use the spring loaded filler; about how much space would you say the bottle filler displaces?

__________________
Dave the Brewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 03:41 AM   #4
IowaStateFan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Western slope of Pikes Peak
Posts: 230
Liked 7 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

You absolutely need to leave a little space at the top for proper carbonation. As Homebrewer 99 said, get a bottle filler (mine has a gravity valve not a spring). It makes bottling easy and if you fill the bottle to the top when you pull the filler out it leaves a perfect headspace.

__________________
IowaStateFan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 03:43 AM   #5
IowaStateFan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Western slope of Pikes Peak
Posts: 230
Liked 7 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

We crossed posts. Leave about an inch at the top of the bottles.

__________________
IowaStateFan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 01:04 PM   #6
Funkenjaeger
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Funkenjaeger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 1,637
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

Default

If you leave too little, you will not get sufficient carbonation. If you leave too much, you'll likely get overcarbonation.

With that said, IowaStateFan, do you REALLY fill to within an inch of the top, or are you just guessing? Commercial beers are often 2"-2.5" of headspace, and I wouldn't say I fill DRASTICALLY more than they do. I just ran a simple test, filling a bottle and standard bottling wand (with gravity valve) with water, and when I removed the wand there was 1.75" of head space. That's a pretty significant difference from the 1" you have quoted - if you are actually filling to within 1" of the top, I would say you are overfilling.

For example, the bottles in this picture are filled about the same as the one I just ran the test with, and should be around 1.75" headspace:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=4175&catid=searchresults&searchid= 1888
And unless someone disagrees, I'd say those are properly filled.

__________________
Funkenjaeger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
camiller
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 1,883
Liked 27 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkenjäger
If you leave too little, you will not get sufficient carbonation. If you leave too much, you'll likely get overcarbonation.

With that said, IowaStateFan, do you REALLY fill to within an inch of the top, or are you just guessing? Commercial beers are often 2"-2.5" of headspace, and I wouldn't say I fill DRASTICALLY more than they do. I just ran a simple test, filling a bottle and standard bottling wand (with gravity valve) with water, and when I removed the wand there was 1.75" of head space. That's a pretty significant difference from the 1" you have quoted - if you are actually filling to within 1" of the top, I would say you are overfilling.

For example, the bottles in this picture are filled about the same as the one I just ran the test with, and should be around 1.75" headspace:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=4175&catid=searchresults&searchid= 1888
And unless someone disagrees, I'd say those are properly filled.

I agree with everything in your second paragraph. But I think your first part is backward. The more headspace there is for co2 to come out of solution into the lower your carbonation levels in the fluid, the less headspace the quicker equilibrium pressure is reached and the more carbonated the beer.

The only time I'd fill to the very top was if I was filling a growler from a tap and wanted to keep as much co2 in solution as possible to keep the beer from getting flat.
camiller is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 07:24 PM   #8
IowaStateFan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Western slope of Pikes Peak
Posts: 230
Liked 7 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Honestly, I've never bothered measuring it. I use a bottling wand and fill the bottles until they're full. When I pull the wand out the level falls leaving a headspace. I was just estimating off the top of my head when I said an inch. The headspace in my bottles is a bit less than those in the picture you posted.

__________________
IowaStateFan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2007, 08:09 PM   #9
Funkenjaeger
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Funkenjaeger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 1,637
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by camiller
I agree with everything in your second paragraph. But I think your first part is backward. The more headspace there is for co2 to come out of solution into the lower your carbonation levels in the fluid, the less headspace the quicker equilibrium pressure is reached and the more carbonated the beer.

The only time I'd fill to the very top was if I was filling a growler from a tap and wanted to keep as much co2 in solution as possible to keep the beer from getting flat.
There's a difference between bottling pre-carbonated beer and bottling flat beer with priming sugar. Yes, if it's pre-carbonated you want as little head space as possible so less CO2 goes into the headspace.

But the amount of headspace affects things during bottle fermentation of the priming sugar, I believe it is due to the yeast being sensitive to the pressure in the bottle. Pressure builds more quickly with less head space, and more slowly with more head space. In my experience with my first few batches (before I started filling them more carefully/consistently), this was the case - overfilled bottles were more flat, and underfilled bottles were overcarbonated.

Yes, I know it seems counterintuitive, but I know I've read it some places before, and come across some supporting evidence in the past, but I don't have it at hand now, I'll see what I can dig up.
Best I can dig up so far:
Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
lack of headspace can cause gushers too, but if you use a bottle filling wand, it'll displace the right amount of beer to give you good headspace.
__________________

Last edited by Funkenjaeger; 11-07-2007 at 08:14 PM.
Funkenjaeger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-08-2010, 08:53 PM   #10
salukikev
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC, NC
Posts: 2
Default

Hi everyone!

This is my first post, and I actually arrived at this forum while researching the counter-intuitive point that has been made. I realize that this thread is a few years old now but I'm delighted that it seems to address my concern.

As a hyper-curious mechanical engineer/designer, I have already queried all the other staff in the dept about the physics of this- including another fellow brewer- and we had a unanimous agreement (so far) that less air in a bottle ought to result in a higher carbonation due to the fact that co2 produced has nowhere else to go and would only serve to raise the pressure. I guess we oversimplified the chemistry at work in a beer bottle, however- and the general consensus seems to suggest that the opposite is true, while rarely going into an explanation of how/why this would occur.

Anyway- thanks for the info, and if anyone has any more scientific explanation to this or would just like to clarify the point, I'd be very interested to learn more.
Thanks in advance for any insights!

-Kevin



__________________
salukikev is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CO2 Bottle Filling In Memphis? Cpt_Kirks Bottling/Kegging 22 04-03-2014 12:05 PM
Back filling to remove head space? direwolf23 Cider Forum 1 10-22-2009 04:02 PM
How much headspace to leave when filling corny MrMoose Bottling/Kegging 6 05-27-2009 10:45 PM
Bottle filling. Whiskey Bottling/Kegging 3 05-21-2009 05:15 PM
CO2 Bottle Filling IllusionOfTime Equipment/Sanitation 16 12-08-2008 08:24 AM