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Old 11-27-2012, 12:50 AM   #1
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Default Is a bottle filler really necessary?

I've been bottling my beers straight out of the spigot of my bottling bucket. Is there any reason why I should use any additional equipment? What are the advantages, if any?

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:55 AM   #2
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Less splashing, less aeration, less oxidation, more uniform fill level, and perhaps faster/less work too.

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:59 AM   #3
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You should never bottle with the beer falling into the bottle, like through the spigot, rather you should use a wand or a length of hose to fill from the bottom of the bottle upwards.

The reason for this is two fold, first by letting the beer fall into the bottle you are pretty much guaranteeing that you will oxidize your beer. Since there's no way to avoid the fact that your beer is falling THROUGH all the air in the bottle. Oxygen + Fermented beer = LIQUID CARDBOARD. So if you like liquid cardboard, then yeah, it's probably not all that necessary....

Secondly by filling from the bottom up, you are actually pushing the oxygen out the top of the bottle as the beer (with it's co2 already in solution) rises up the column of the bottle.

That's also why you let the beer actually spill out a little above the rim, AND you don't cap for a few minutes. This allows the co2 to help void out any air in the bottle.

Thirdly it also allows for the correct amount of headspace in the bottle.

If you don't have a wand and still insist on bottling get a length of hose to attach to your spigot, that will allow you to still fill from the bottom up. It will by filling the beer up to the top and pulling the hose out of the bottle set the proper headspace which is about an inch to an inch and a half from the crown.

I have more info and tips on bottling here in the bottling sticky.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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Consistency, slightly less hassle (you don't have to shut off the spigot for each bottle, or maybe you're fast enough you don't do that anyway), less aeration so less oxidation of your brew. Not huge advantages, but IMHO enough to justify the $8-10 for a bottling wand.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:02 AM   #5
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I used to use just a piece of hose with a wood block and some screw to set the level above the bottom of the pot/top of trub. I got a bottling wand for Christmas. (It was an inexpensive and thoughtful gift) I love it.

...This just made me think. That wood block with the screws in it needs a name.

Does anyone else use these? I don't recall seeing anyone post a picture of one.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:10 AM   #6
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they are so cheap... why wouldn't you get one?? i just picked one up today for $2.00 it seems to be a worthwhile investment. especially for only $2.00

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:18 AM   #7
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Obviously a bottle filler is not dead necessary because you have been using the spigot. So did I. I got a bottling wand to try because it was not too expansive (about $10 in 2012).

A bottling wand makes it much, much easier to fill bottles. Lots. Scads. Oodles. I would suggest a wand if you ever plan to fill more than 6 bottles.

First, it fills faster because the hose and long wand effectively lowers the outlet and creates a pressure head, and the liquid flows faster than directly from the spigot. Second, you can pay attention to the fluid level and not split your attention between holding the bottle just so to avoid splashing, and fiddling with the spigot. I would especially suggest a bottling wand to Mr. Beer users because that little keg flows sloooowly for the last two bottles.

Tip: Some people fill right up to the top and remove the wand to create measured headspace. This leaves about 2 or 3 inches of space in a longneck. My nephew, a professional brewer, stated that is too much space - it wastes the carbonation pressure. You can fill to 1/2 or 1 inch of the top by touching the end of the wand to the inside of the neck.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:36 AM   #8
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I just got a second bottling wand when I ordered my last beer kit from NB. About $2 for a spring valve wand is cheap insurance. I would get real pi$$ed if I ruined 2 cases of beer tying to save a couple of bucks.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:37 AM   #9
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There just too cheap,not too. If you dont and you age your beers you may have oxidation problems. Dont you notice alot of foam,with just the spigot? I actually recently started filling 1/2-1 inch myself my last few brews.After further reading, I did this after learning about less oxidation problems.Yes you can fill up to 1/2 inch to the rim. If its a better practice,that works better Im gonna keep doing it.
Plus they are great,you dont have to open and close the valve. I know, that it is so hard-to close and open. If your method works for you and you have no issuses then keep at it though.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post

Tip: Some people fill right up to the top and remove the wand to create measured headspace. This leaves about 2 or 3 inches of space in a longneck. My nephew, a professional brewer, stated that is too much space - it wastes the carbonation pressure. You can fill to 1/2 or 1 inch of the top by touching the end of the wand to the inside of the neck.
By that method my longnecks fill to about 1.5 - 2" inches headspace.

Next batch perhaps I'll try having less but so far haven't had any problems with carbing at that level of headspace.
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