Submitting Kegged Beers to Homebrew Competitions?

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adamjackson

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I haven't bottled any of my beers so far but, I have a beer coming up (a big barleywine) that I think is turning out VERY amazing. So, let's say I want to submit it to a competition next year.

How do I bottle from the keg? OR can I just show up with my corny keg and do some pulls from it for the judges?

I'm a n00b still so appreciate the feedback.
 

Lennie

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You get yourself a Blichman Beer Gun or make yourself a counter-pressure bottle filler, or you can just fill from the tap. Its preferable to put a long hose on it so you are filling from the bottom. You also want to get the beer really cold first, chill the bottles (but not freeze) and fill slowly and cap immediately and on foam. I'll even jack the carbonation up a little to counter what is lost during bottling. And the Beer Gun has a feature that lets you purge the bottle with CO2 prior to filling, I don't know if that is necessary.

Edited to add: Wow you guys are fast.
 
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adamjackson

adamjackson

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I have a nice collection of 750ML Swing-Top Growlers. With a beer gun, can I fill those up in the morning for transport to the competition as a good means or should I fill to capped bottle?

THANKS!
 

betarhoalphadelta

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I have a nice collection of 750ML Swing-Top Growlers. With a beer gun, can I fill those up in the morning for transport to the competition as a good means or should I fill to capped bottle?

THANKS!
Generally you don't "show up for the competition" with your beer (some exceptions apply). Submissions are usually made to a drop-off point or the competition site 1-4 weeks prior to judging day. They generally require bottles that are not really identifiable to the individual brewer to ensure that the judging can't be rigged. And you don't get your bottles back after the competition.

So I'd save your nice swing-tops for your own consumption, and use standard 12oz capped bottles.
 

Jwood

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i used the BMBF (we no need no stinking beer gun thread) for a recent competition and it worked out great. I bottled a few days before the competition and the beers turned out perfect from the bottle.
 

Yooper

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As was mentioned, most (all?) of the BJCP competitions have entry deadlines, require 10-12 oz crown capped bottles (sometimes brown color is stated, but some will take green bottles), and usually two or three bottles per entry. There is often also a form to fill out to enter, so that you can state the style of the beer. The rules are always clearly stated, so contact the organizer for the rules.

Here's the link to upcoming BJCP competitions if you want to enter some: http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_schedule/competition_schedule.php
 

Darwin18

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I have Perlicks but I didn't have the bottling wand. What I did was:

1) Turn the PSI way down to 2 - 3
2) Vent the keg
3) Pour slowly into the bottles and cap onto the foam.

It was a bit messy but beer arrived properly carbonated and scored well.
 

edmanster

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I use the blichman beer gun.. I bottle whole kegs at the same time.. I adjust my carbonation level up a little when force carbing to make up for the co2 that gets knocked out during filling.. filling off a tapped keg always seemed under carbed to me!!
 

Darwin18

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Is the beer gun really worth it? I've considered it but the price for the gun and the accessory kit turned me off. Actually it really angered me that you had to buy an accessory kit to operate the beer gun instead of selling the entire kit together in one package...
 

edmanster

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Darwin18 said:
Is the beer gun really worth it? I've considered it but the price for the gun and the accessory kit turned me off. Actually it really angered me that you had to buy an accessory kit to operate the beer gun instead of selling the entire kit together in one package...
I started with the we need no stinking beer gun and it works good.. I just decided to dedicate it to sours and get the beer gun.. I didn't get the kit since I have any fitting you can think of in my tool crib here at work.. I like the option of using co2 to purge the bottle and head space if needed.. :mug:
 

onthekeg

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I just jam a bottling wand into a picnic tap and attach that to the keg for the few bottles I do. Works well, and they score fine.
 

osagedr

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Sent something like 75 entries (over 150 bottles) to competitions this year and bottled every one with either a BMBF or Blichmann. Don't recall a single comment on a scoresheet about lack of carbonation.
 

MaltnHops

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I do the bottling wand jammed into the picnic tap to bottle from my kegs. Works out great!
 

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The only two in FL are 4ish hours away. :(
Well, you don't actually "go" to the competition anyway. You just enter by sending in the entrance fee and submitting the beer. I usually use UPS, but there are other carriers. I've never actually dropped off any beer in a comp in person, nor have I received any in person for comps I"ve judged/organized.
 

RobertRGeorge

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Like #10 said. Carbonate the keg a little more than usual. Then I freeze the empty 12-oz bottles first, and get the kegged beer close to freezing too. Then fill very slowly, put a temporary plastic cap on and refrigerate the bottles until the foam subsides in about ten minutes, top them up then crown cap. I've won some competitions using this method.
 

gr8shandini

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Most comps require unmarked capped 12 oz bottles.

Also if you have Perlick faucets I have one of these and love it:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/bottling-wand-perlick-525-75-aka-bowie-bottler-228344/
That's a nifty setup, but if you have perlicks, the 3/16" beer line will friction fit just fine on its own. So my "bottling wand" is just two pieces: about 10" of 3/16" beer line and a No. 2 drilled stopper. Works great and was essentially free as it was built from scrap.
 

gwdraper4

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I have perlick faucets on my kegerator and have used a similar tube/wand setup before...and I also have a beer gun. For comps, I like to use the beer gun so I can purge air out of my bottles and give a little dose at the top to cap it off...plus this to me is much more sanitary. When you go directly from the faucet you risk some infection unless you sanitize your faucet first. I bet for a comp where you bottle, submit, and it gets scored within a couple weeks you wouldn't have much of a problem, but any longer than that and you risk a little oxidation and potential infection due to a non-sanitized faucet. It seems many of the folks commenting here have'nt had that problem and have scored really well, which is awesome...congrats to you all! I did fill 2 swing tops directly from the faucet today to bring to work to sample this afternoon, but I don't think I'll hit a problem with less than 12 hours of contact time!
 
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