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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > We no need no stinking beer gun...
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default We no need no stinking beer gun...

Here's a proven method for bottling your beer from the keg without an expensive beergun. I've been doing this for over a year and bottled dozens of cases this way. Every beer I've ever entered into a competition has received consistently high scores for carbonation.

Go ahead and keg the entire batch and get it to your desired carbonation.

To do this, you'll need a liquid hose with a picnic (cheap plastic) tap attached. The longer the liquid hose the better. I use about 7 feet. This provides adequate pressure to prevent foaming. The end of a racking cane fits very snuggly into the picnic tap nozzle. (Make sure the cane is pushed all the way into the nozzle of the tap) Go to your local HBS and buy a drilled stopper (I think it is a #2) that will fit over the other end of your racking cane. The end tip of the racking cane should be cut at an angle to allow free flow of the beer.

You now have a racking cane extending from your picnic tap with a stopper about midway up the cane. The idea is that this racking will go to the bottom of your bottle and the stopper will slide down snug onto the neck of the bottle.

It will help to chill your bottles ahead of time. Giving them a quick rinse in cold water will also keep foaming down. Recently, I've taken to just rinsing the bottels and have zero foaming problems.

Now follow these simple steps:

  1. Shut off the gas to your keg momentarily and open the (keg) relief valve to bleed excess pressure from the the keg.
  2. Turn the PSI on your regulator down to about 5. This needs to be a slow gentle process.
  3. Go ahead and open the tap and drain some beer into a waste bucket. This will prime and cool the lines.
  4. Now place the bottle filler into the bottle with the stopper pushed down snug onto the bottle neck. Open the picnic tap to the locked position.
  5. The bottle will begin filling but slow to a stop as the pressure builds
  6. Gently push the side of the stopper to allow the pressure to "burp" out of the bottle and the beer will begin to flow again.
  7. Continue the fill until beer (not just foam) begins overflowing and turn off the tap.
  8. Quickly move the rig to the next bottle and repeat.
  9. When all the bottles are full, give each one a quick "burst" of beer from the tap to top off.
  10. Move the bottles to your capping bench and place a cap on each bottle.
  11. Before locking down the cap on each bottles...tip the bottle on its side and back (holding the cap on with your finger of course). This will cause the beer to begin to foam.
  12. Place the capper on the cap loosely and as soon as the foam begins to overflow...lock down the cap.
This last step is important because capping on foam means you've purged the oxygen from the bottle and it will store much longer.

It will help to contain the mess if you load all of the bottles into a short five gallon bucket. I can usually fit about 13-15 bottles into one.

It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Very easy and you can get a sixer filled in about 5 minutes. Move the bottles to a fridge and open when ready. I just opened a porter this afternoon that I bottled this way about ten days ago and it was perfect.

From here on, I will keg everything and bottle off a twelve pack or so for keepsake and travel.


I recently (10/14/07) openned another Porter from my March bottling session and it was still just perfect. Nice puff of CO2 cloud in the neck of the bottle. Good foaming action during pour. Good thick head...and the beer laced nicely all the way through.

Notice the angled cut of the racking cane. Very important.
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bottlefill_4.jpg

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Old 03-14-2007, 11:14 PM   #2
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Hmm, the principle seems right, using a long wand to reduce foaming........

The only thing I'm wondering about it the fact the the air inside the bottle isn't purged with CO2 before filling. I wonder if it would lead to spoilage over time. Your post states that you kept one bottled for ten days without a problem.

Hmm I sense an experiment in the works. You could bottle, say a twelve pack or eighteen beers, and open one every two week till they're gone or spoiled, whichever comes first. It's certainly worth looking into, what with beer guns costing close to a hundred bones.

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Old 03-15-2007, 02:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
Hmm, the principle seems right, using a long wand to reduce foaming........

The only thing I'm wondering about it the fact the the air inside the bottle isn't purged with CO2 before filling. I wonder if it would lead to spoilage over time. Your post states that you kept one bottled for ten days without a problem.

Hmm I sense an experiment in the works. You could bottle, say a twelve pack or eighteen beers, and open one every two week till they're gone or spoiled, whichever comes first. It's certainly worth looking into, what with beer guns costing close to a hundred bones.
If I can keep my hands off my brew long enough...I'll give it a try.

I guess the secret is that when you let the bottle fill, you run the beer right up to the top and when you pull the wand, the beer does foam just a bit...but maybe enough to purge the remaining air.

I do notice that when I pop the cap, I see that nice CO2 cloud just inside the bottle neck. I have to beleive that the contents are pressurized under nearly perfect conditions.

I drink my beer way to fast to ever have anything spoil, so I may not be able to perform an effective test.

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Old 03-15-2007, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
I've had great luck using a method my LHBS proprietor showed me for filling bottles from a keg.

.
Man! I wish you had posted this a month ago.

Oh well.

It seems to me that the CO2 released from the beer should push the little bit of air in the neck out in the time it takes to get the rack cane out and the bottle capped.

I think its a great idea!
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:51 PM   #5
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Here's something I found on the net a while ago. Thanks to Ken Schwartz! It rocks!

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:00 PM   #6
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You posted this just in time for me. I am just getting started with kegging and typically give away a 12 pack or so every few batches.

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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Nice info! Saved to favorites and will experiment as well.

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Old 03-15-2007, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort
Here's something I found on the net a while ago. Thanks to Ken Schwartz! It rocks!

Yeah that's it. Same principal except I just push a #2 stopper over a racking cane to avoid the separate vynil/copper pieces and I don't have the airvalve piece. I just push slightly against the side of the stopper.

Ironic that a racking canes fits perfectly into the business end of a picnic tap.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Ironic that a racking canes fits perfectly into the business end of a picnic tap.
Kinda like human nature, eh?
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:50 PM   #10
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Try the BMBF (BierMuncher Bottle Filler) once and you will take apart your counter pressure filler for spare parts. I know I did!

CPBF =
BMBF =

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