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Old 12-27-2013, 01:50 AM   #1
LowNotes
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Default Flat bottles to keg

So about 4 months ago I goofed up and forgot the priming sugar step on bottling day. I have left the flat bottles of beer just sitting since then, too lazy/bummed to correct the problem.

I just ordered my first kegging setup, and it seems to me I should be able to simply transfer the bottles into the keg, and then force carb it, with the end result being drinkable beer in just a couple days.

My main questions are, does anyone have pointers on how to get the beer from bottles into the keg while minimizing oxygenation? And is there any reason why my plan wouldn't work?

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Old 12-27-2013, 03:32 AM   #2
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I think you idea is good, however the difficulty will be in moving the beer from the bottles to the kegs.

You might be able to pour them gently into a bottling bucket and then using a racking can setup, into the keg.

Another idea is to buy the cooper carbonation drops, open each of your bottles, drop a drop into the bottle and re-cap.

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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I just did this with about a case of bottles that we're not consistently carbed. You'll want to minimize splashing. For the first few bottles, I had the keg laying on its side. I gradually increased the angle of the keg to keep the beer from flowing out the top. Then I added CO2 and made sure to burp/purge it a few times to get the air out and increase CO2 concentration. Then threw it in the kegerator. Since mine were already cold and partially carbed, it only took a week to carb up. It tasted, fine last weekend.

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Old 12-27-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mng8r View Post
I just did this with about a case of bottles that we're not consistently carbed. You'll want to minimize splashing. For the first few bottles, I had the keg laying on its side. I gradually increased the angle of the keg to keep the beer from flowing out the top. Then I added CO2 and made sure to burp/purge it a few times to get the air out and increase CO2 concentration. Then threw it in the kegerator. Since mine were already cold and partially carbed, it only took a week to carb up. It tasted, fine last weekend.
This made me think of something...I was wondering if cooling my flat beer before transferring it would help. At first I was thinking it would....but as I thought more about it I wondered if it could actually cause more ambient oxygen to dissolve into the beer, since cold liquids dissolve gasses more readily. Does anyone have experience or a firm answer on this?

I am also wondering if maybe I could rig something up with a funnel and a racking cane/tube to bring the beer to the bottom of the keg with minimal disturbance.

Thanks for the advice so far!
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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I would purge the keg with CO2. As long as you keep a nice blanket of CO2 in the keg, all the way up to the lid, you can just up-end the bottles and pour away without worrying about oxidation.

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Old 12-27-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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In your case, you have a lot more than I did. Perhaps, sanitize your bottling bucket and racking tubing. Then carefully empty the bottles into the bucket, connect tube to bucket spigot, put tube in keg, open spigot and transfer. If the tube doesn't reach the bottom, just run it down the side so the beer doesn't drop in.

I wouldn't worry about the temperature or gas absorption. The beer won't be exposed that long and it's not under pressure.

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Old 12-27-2013, 10:14 PM   #7
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Personally I think the easiest thing to do is uncap, add carb drops and recap.

Trying to transfer effectively to a keg opens up the possibility of oxidizing the beer and then it's a waste. Simply purging the keg will not purge the o2 that might be in the beer from transfer

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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Probably won't expose it to anymore oxygen or air than it already has since there would have been little, if any CO2 generated while it was capped in the bottles.

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mng8r View Post
I just did this with about a case of bottles that we're not consistently carbed. You'll want to minimize splashing. For the first few bottles, I had the keg laying on its side. I gradually increased the angle of the keg to keep the beer from flowing out the top. Then I added CO2 and made sure to burp/purge it a few times to get the air out and increase CO2 concentration. Then threw it in the kegerator. Since mine were already cold and partially carbed, it only took a week to carb up. It tasted, fine last weekend.

I did this with a batch of barleywine that wouldn't carb up. Just be sure to minimize splashing and glugging. Purge when done, carb and enjoy.
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