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Old 01-09-2013, 01:54 AM   #1
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Default Priming small quantities of bottles

When bottling a whole batch, it's easy. You know how much beer you have and it's easy to measure out the sugar.

Lately I've been trying to keg half my batch and bottle the rest. This is not straightforward because you have to measure out the beer first. I typically cold crash/dry hop in kegs. I could rack the beer from the keg to a marked bucket, and put the sugar in that, but I'd rather just bottle out of the keg.

If you assume bottles are all 12 ounces then you can calculate how much sugar to put in, but the quantities are small, like 2g per bottle. I have made syrup before and used a syringe to measure into the bottles, but that's pretty slow. I've used teaspoons, but that's a pretty crude measure and it's hard to get it in the bottle. I thought about buying some of those carb tabs, but I've heard bad things about them causing flavors. I'm thinking about priming the whole batch and just letting what's in the keg self-prime, but I'd have to let it warm up for a couple weeks and I don't think it would work with that much headspace.

Ideas?

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:04 AM   #2
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I just did this with a couple of batches where I bottled off just a gallon from each. I used a glass one gallon jug to transfer to and added the right amount of priming sugar for that volume as calculated on mr. malty. Seemed to work just fine.

You could do this for smaller volumes as well as long as you know the volume you can calculate the required priming sugar.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:16 AM   #3
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The thing is, if I try to siphon from a 1-gallon jug I always end up making a mess. Plus I end up with a partial bottle. I'd rather bottle using the keg. I found some recipes online for making homemade sugar cubes. If I could make the right size I could make my own carb tabs.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:21 AM   #4
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So, if you'd rather bottle from the keg... Why bother with all the calculations and recipes for sugar and priming etc.? Just bottle from the keg.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:20 AM   #5
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Why not use the commercially available carbonation tabs? I just tried them for the first time with a batch tonight. You can alter the amount of carbonation by how many you put in each bottle. Check your LHBS. I know Mutton makes some. The ones I bought were Brewers Best.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:28 AM   #6
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This is something I actually started thinking about today. Can you force carb in the keg and then bottle? Bypassing the whole priming with sugar part. If this is something that can be done do you force carb at fermenting temps or at cold crashing temps?

*Edit - Found the answer here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/we-n...eer-gun-24678/

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
So, if you'd rather bottle from the keg... Why bother with all the calculations and recipes for sugar and priming etc.? Just bottle from the keg.
The beer is flat.

I think you are suggesting I could first force-carbonate the beer and then bottle it. However, I'm not confident that the beer will have good shelf life using non-beergun bottling methods. The reason I bottle my beers is to make extended taste tests (1+year).

Quote:
Why not use the commercially available carbonation tabs?
I have heard bad things about them. I don't want to risk any batches.
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