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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Dispensing a full keg at once, can I use air instead of co2?
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by nosmokingbandit View Post
I guess what I'm looking for is someone who has experience or scientific knowledge in regards to liquid dynamics.

...

I feel like I'm not describing things well or maybe I'm just missing something.
This really has nothing to do with fluid dynamics...

Anyway, I think you're describing it fine, and your logic is sound. The chemical engineer in me says that you'll introduce some oxygen into the beer, but it won't be a lot. Regardless, there are a couple things that make this very different from traditional bottling: Instead of having 0 psig of air over the beer (bottling bucket), you'll have a small positive pressure. So you'll be forcing more O2 into the beer than you normally would, though as you point out it will be a small amount given the limited time you'll have the pressure on there. There is generally a bit of O2 present when you bottle in the traditional sense, but if you're bottle conditioning with active yeast the yeast would eat up the O2 and this wouldn't be an issue. Finally, the beer is already carbonated; as others mentioned, properly bottling from a carbonated keg takes preparation, a bit of practice and a bunch of time. This isn't as straight forward as using a bottling wand. Not to mention, it's often hard to perfectly nail natural carbing in the keg (though some commercial breweries like Allagash do it no problem) so it'll be tricky to dial in an exact volume of CO2 without a lot of trial and error. Especially considering you'll be losing some as you bottle.

My take on it: you can certainly do it, but chances are you'll lose some carbonation and the risk for oxidation goes up a bit. And it really doesn't sound worth it to me, why go to the trouble to make your own beer if you can't store it properly? Either cough up the money for a CO2 setup (watch craigslist and you might luck out) or stick with traditional bottle conditioning. You can switch to a higher flocculating yeast if you want, some of the British strains (S-04, Nottingham) will generally drop out so hard in the fridge that there's no noticeable sediment when you pour everything into a glass.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #12
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In a broad sense fluid dynamics is appropriate. The motion of liquid and gas, displacement, and phase change between the two, etc.

Anyway, its nice to hear from someone else who has actually put some thought into it.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say I don't have the means to store my beer properly? I have been making beer and wine for a while with great success (the only thing that went bad was a batch of peach wine, which was due strictly to my own stupidity, but thats another story). I have plenty of fridge space; a large, cool, dark space for fermenting/aging; a handful of equipment; etc. The only thing I don't have is a co2 setup for displacing the liquid in a keg.

I'll probably try it once, just for kicks. I'll do it for a batch of cider, or maybe a sparkling fruit wine seeing as they cost me almost nothing to make (I have a small orchard, so i have tons of fruit with which to make wine). At this point I just have to try it and find out. I don't mind the risk of ruining a batch as long as I learn something. I hate to see people get all fussy about a little o2 near the brew when during a normal bottle day the beer comes in contact with tons of co2 as well.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:27 AM   #13
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I'm not sure what you mean when you say I don't have the means to store my beer properly? I have been making beer and wine for a while with great success (the only thing that went bad was a batch of peach wine, which was due strictly to my own stupidity, but thats another story). I have plenty of fridge space; a large, cool, dark space for fermenting/aging; a handful of equipment; etc. The only thing I don't have is a co2 setup for displacing the liquid in a keg.
I didn't mean anything like that, sorry for the confusion. By "not store it properly" I was referring to your proposed method of bottling; potentially losing some of your carbonation and possibly introducing additional O2 are both things that will negatively affect your beer's shelf life. I really think the O2 risk is minimal, but I try to minimize risks wherever it's convenient.

The fluid dynamics could be argued either way
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:12 AM   #14
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How about a portable CO2 charger?

co2-charger.jpg  
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:36 AM   #15
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Anyway, its nice to hear from someone else who has actually put some thought into it.
Yeah, I don't put thought into anything. I just make up random **** for the fun of it.

I will just say this- there is a reason that beer is pushed with C02, or nitrogen. Oxidized beer WILL happen when the beer is pushed with air. Believe it, or not.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:00 AM   #16
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Here:

http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=274

Paintball CO2 setup for $85. I know you said the $125 was way out of budget, but this is at least $40 cheaper. I'm sure you could dispense a good few kegs with each refill, which are usually around $3.50.

Skip brewing a batch and get drip coffee instead of lattes and you'll have $85 in no time

Kosch

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:19 AM   #17
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I think it would be easier to see how CO2 is used to purge the oxygen out of the bottle in the process of draft bottling! I'm not advocating that the original poster go and buy this system because it is expensive and there would also be a need for a distribution system anyway. While the video doesn't explain why the bottles need to be purged with CO2 I think Yooper has already done that for us.


Just my .02. Although I would hate to see some delightful homebrew oxidized.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #18
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What is the issue with bottling the traditional way and waiting 2 weeks? I naturally carb in the keg and as far as I know it takes about the same time. Am I wrong?

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #19
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Although there is much science to brewing you're over thinking it guy, and frankly, taking the fun out of home brewing.

I agree that clear beer looks good, I mean who doesn't want a clear brew? But the small amount of sediment should be a badge of honor of your hard work.

Just secondary the batch, use gelatin, cold crash it, and naturally condition in bottles. Don't use air, agreed, there is a reason why the world uses Co2 for dispensing.

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Yeah, I don't put thought into anything. I just make up random **** for the fun of it.

I will just say this- there is a reason that beer is pushed with C02, or nitrogen. Oxidized beer WILL happen when the beer is pushed with air. Believe it, or not.
No need to get pissy. Anyone can tell from the quality of the post that he had actually taken time to respond rather than just spout off a bunch of stuff that doesn't even make sense.

Have a beer and relax.


Rmike:
I'm not concerned about the time at all. I'm very patient when it comes to brewing. I'm just trying to avoid sediment in the bottle without spending more money than I have (which I have found gets several people very upset with me ).

Joe:
I'm the kind of guy who over-thinks everything. Mainly because I often don't have the funds to do things the correct way, so I try to over-engineer a hacked up way to make things works anyway.

Kosch:
I haven't used a drip coffee brewer in years. I'm a french press guy.


I asked, I learned, and I'm happy. I'm going to start setting aside part of my homebrew budget for a decent setup, but with christmas barreling toward us like a bat out of hell I'm sure that fund will take a hit.
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