Bottling Cold VS Warm?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

willtravel02

New Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2024
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
Massachusetts
I just moved to a keg system away from bottle conditioning most of my brews. I am trying to figure out if I can just bottle off the taps cold then bring the beer to room temp or buying a counter pressure bottling system and just do it all at room temp. I do competitions so flavor, CO2 saturation. And color/ clarity are a concern. Thanks for the help.
 
Bottle cold to keep CO2 in suspension to reduce foaming. Competitive brewer myself and fellow Mass resident. I clean and sanitize bottles, then put them in the fridge to chill (with sanitized foil on top of them). Then I use a TapCooler counter pressure filler (very easy and simple to use, highly recommend it) and fill directly from the taps. Bottles being cold helps reduce foaming.

Were you thinking of just sticking a bottle under the tap and filling it? Or attaching tubing to the tap and filling with that? The first one would be a bad idea, as you would be allowing oxygen in and probably get a ton of foaming. Filling with a tube will work, I used to use a growler filler to fill bottles, then got one of these Bottle Filler, which works great. However, I was always getting "low carb" comments on scoresheets, so then moved on to the Blichmann Beer Gun. However, the Beer Gun requires turning down CO2 to like 2-5 psi before filling and would cause a lot of foaming in the first few bottles. Then the TapCooler came out and it was a game changer, so simple to use, don't need to lower pressure to fill and works like a charm. One tip - Whatever you wind up using, make sure to chill that too so the cold beer does not hit warm filler and foam...I do it by just opening the tap and let beer run out into a bucket for 3-4 seconds. This chills the TapCooler and moves the beer that has been sitting in the lines for who knows how long out.

I know some competitive brewers keep a whole separate line for bottle filling to avoid filling from the taps. You have to be diligent about cleaning the taps frequently, including breaking them down and soaking the parts, to avoid buildup inside your taps getting into your bottles and then causing an infection as the beer warms up traveling to a competition somewhere around the country. It's killer when you have a beer that scores 40+ in 3 comps all of a sudden gets a 16 in another because it's an infected mess.
 
Thanks for the info. I was going to either get the Blichmannn and fill from my kegerator, or get a complete counter pressure filler and separate tank. This way I will not chill jut pressurize and fill. I am not sure I trust bottling cold from the keg the the bottles warming and causing off flavors.
 
Thanks for the info. I was going to either get the Blichmannn and fill from my kegerator, or get a complete counter pressure filler and separate tank. This way I will not chill jut pressurize and fill. I am not sure I trust bottling cold from the keg the the bottles warming and causing off flavors.

You're welcome! I hear you, for the most part, I have not had an issue with off flavors from warm bottle except when shipping long distances in the summer though it happens occasionally. After I bottle I store the bottles cold until the night before shipping, then I take out and let sit until they stop sweating...put the labels on and pack them up. Then I drop off the following morning at UPS. I mean unless you plan on shipping with dry ice, or only doing local comps, the beers are going to get warm. And even local comps are not guaranteed to be stored cold...my LHBS used to be a drop off point for a few comps in New England and NY and a shipping point for one of the local comps. The beers just sat in their warehouse and it was hot back there, like so hot when my club would meet there in the summer, we had to move outside.

What I did last year when I had a beer make finals of Nationals and had to ship cross country in summer, I bought a styrofoam container from ULINE and packed the beers and a large ice pack in it and shipped to San Diego two day air. This year, I have two beers (6 bottles) in finals and instead of finals being in June like in the past, the shipping dates are July 29 to Aug 9. No way would I let those beers sit in a hot UPS truck going cross country from MA to CA in middle of summer, so guess I will have to go with the Uline option and 2 day air again. However, just recently a fellow competitive brewer turned me on to these ice packs she uses when shipping in summer...Amazon ice packs
 
Thanks for the info. I was going to either get the Blichmannn and fill from my kegerator, or get a complete counter pressure filler and separate tank. This way I will not chill jut pressurize and fill. I am not sure I trust bottling cold from the keg the the bottles warming and causing off flavors.
You cannot fill bottles with warm carbonated beer even if you counterpressure. The beer will turn to instant foam and erupt out of the bottles before you can ever get a cap near it. Full stop.
 
If bottling uncarbonated beer from a bucket into a bottle with a bottling stick it's better to do it warm, less oxygen pick-up.
If packaging carbonated beer using counter pressure you need everything cold or it doesn't work well.
 
Thanks for the info. I was going to either get the Blichmannn and fill from my kegerator, or get a complete counter pressure filler and separate tank. This way I will not chill jut pressurize and fill. I am not sure I trust bottling cold from the keg the the bottles warming and causing off flavors.
I only bottle for competitions. I bottle cold beer into room temp bottles with room temp beer gun, works great and little to no foam. Keg set to 5 psi, beer gun set to 10 psi.
 
Back
Top