Quantcast

We no need no stinking beer gun...

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
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.
BottleFill_1.jpg

BottleFill_2.jpg

BottleFill_3.jpg

BottleFill_4.jpg
 

Bernie Brewer

Grouchy Old Fart
Joined
Feb 2, 2006
Messages
7,505
Reaction score
185
Location
Eldorado, WI
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.:mug:
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
Bernie Brewer said:
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.:mug:
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. :)
 

abracadabra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
10
Location
Newnan
BierMuncher said:
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!
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
EdWort said:
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.
 

Philip1993

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
19
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 = :ban:
 

Cheesefood

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
6,740
Reaction score
53
Location
Poo-Poo Land
BM, you rule! I have a broken cane in my car that I've been thinking about turning into a site gauge, but now I'm for shizzle making the BMBF.

Should you have chewed on the edges though? That "rough" look is trademark BierMuncher.
 

Funkenjaeger

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
1,595
Reaction score
18
Location
Nashua, NH
Hey BierMuncher, any chance you would be able to do a short demonstration video and stick it on youtube? Having no firsthand experience with a counterpressure filler, I'd love to see if your method is as easy as it sounds.
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
Funkenjäger said:
Hey BierMuncher, any chance you would be able to do a short demonstration video and stick it on youtube? Having no firsthand experience with a counterpressure filler, I'd love to see if your method is as easy as it sounds.
I take a ton of stills...but haven't done too many videos. Trust me...it's easy. I bottled up an entire case of 12 Ouncers last night (for a trip to KC) and 10-22 Ouncers (to free up keezer space).

The whole thing was done (filled, capped, chilled) in about an hour.

Just think of it as a really long tap spout…that goes to the bottom of your bottle.

The stopper and how much pressure you use on it, is used to regulate the speed the beer goes into the bottle.

Two things that really help:
~ Freeze the bottles first (empty bottles get very cold very fast)
~ Turn your PSI down to about 6-7. This low-slow fill helps to avoid foaming and CO2 release.


Cheesefood said:
BM, you rule! I have a broken cane in my car that I've been thinking about turning into a site gauge, but now I'm for shizzle making the BMBF.

Should you have chewed on the edges though? That "rough" look is trademark BierMuncher.
I think I used the same saw I used for my keggle... :D
 

Philip1993

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
19
Funkenjäger said:
Hey BierMuncher, any chance you would be able to do a short demonstration video and stick it on youtube? Having no firsthand experience with a counterpressure filler, I'd love to see if your method is as easy as it sounds.
It's so easy that your brain tends to over complicate it. Seriously, it will take longer to download the video than to master it.

Stick the cane into the tap (it fits perfectly), adjust the stopper so it seals the bottle, and pull the trigger. You'll know when to burp the bottle because the beer stops flowing.
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
94
Location
Honolulu, HI
I'm curious, has anyone tried one you've bottled this way several weeks later? How was the carbonation?
 

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
this works with a piece of vinyl siphon hose too. I tried with the racking cane but apparently the piece I had was narrower than others. It leaked out the sides of the tap. So I put a piece of tubing through the stopper and over the tap instead of in. I am curious too about how well it keeps. I just tried it this weekend.

BM did you raise the carbonation level in the keg first or just did it as is? I did it as is, but have read a suggestion to slightly overcarb to acccount for any lose in transfer.
 

newguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
271
Reaction score
2
Location
Sierra Vista
This is sweet!! I've got all he pare parts to whip this up. Just in time too. I've got a oatmeal and a klosch I did for my family around X-mas time. I was just going to fill some growlers but this will be much better!

I'll defiantly be game to try and test the carb lasting. I tend to drink slowly when its just me,it's my friends that bring out the beer guzzling :) It'll be no prob to put away a couple 6 packs and try them over a month or two.

cheers and thanks for posting this!
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
94
Location
Honolulu, HI
I wonder if I could just use a correct-sized hose that would fit in my perlick faucet tips on my kegerator. Hmmmm...
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,091
Reaction score
3,965
Location
Whitehouse Station
Don't do it man. Faucets tend to get nasties in the tip or anything forward of the seals. You want to use a fully sanitized ball lock connector, hose, and picnic tap... you know, something that soaked in starsan. If you're positive your stuff is clean, i'm sure it would work.
 

denimglen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
437
Reaction score
1
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
I've just bottled half a keg of brown that I don't like much (ie will be drinking it slowly over time). I'll try and remember to come on here and update the carb level.

The way I see it is that if it's carbed after a week of bottling like this (I'm guessing you'd have to give it a little time for the CO2 in the headspace to reabsorb) it should stay carbed as usual if the bottle is sealed fine.
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
Lil' Sparky said:
I'm curious, has anyone tried one you've bottled this way several weeks later? How was the carbonation?
I've got bottles that are "several months" post bottling that I'm proud to pop and serve to company.

This really is no different than what a beer-gun does (except simpler).

Freeze your bottles.
Turn your PSI down
Fill gently
Cap within 10 minutes.

Think about a mass production bottling line. All that beer is already carb'd and speed filled. There's no reason to think that we can't preserve the same carb levels as those lightening speed bottling systems at the breweries.
 

Funkenjaeger

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
1,595
Reaction score
18
Location
Nashua, NH
Now this just makes me regret that in my recent northern brewer order (which is arriving tomorrow) I ALMOST bought a QD-beer line-picnic tap setup for portable dispensing, which would have been perfect for this. Now I'll probably have to go pay LHBS prices for the parts instead (10 bucks for a ball-lock QD anyone?)
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
Lil' Sparky said:
Thanks, BierMuncher. That's the only thing that's really kept me from wanting to try this.
To help contain any spillage (cuz I like to cap on an overflow), place as many bottles as you can into a shallow 5-gallon bucket. Then you just move from bottle to bottle and then carry the bucket over to your capper.
 

RoaringBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
4
Location
Lancaster County, PA
BierMuncher said:
(cuz I like to cap on an overflow)
BM - When you do this do you cap on foam (that dissipates and leaves a little headspace) or do you actually have liquid up to the cap?

I assume there is no drawback to this since the beer is already carbed and not going to get carbed up any further (like it would w/ natural carbonation/bottle priming), correct?
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
SilkkyBrew said:
BM - When you do this do you cap on foam (that dissipates and leaves a little headspace) or do you actually have liquid up to the cap?

I assume there is no drawback to this since the beer is already carbed and not going to get carbed up any further (like it would w/ natural carbonation/bottle priming), correct?
I like to overflow with liquid. Remember that the cane is instered to teh bottom of the bottle. I let the foam kinda spew slowly around the stopper and let the liquid slowly rise until it overflows. Much like a bottling wand, when you pull the cane, it will leave just the right amount of headspace.

There's no issue with continued carbonation once in the bottle. It (in my experience) maintains the carbonation almost exactly. Especially if you chill the bottles first.
 

RoaringBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
4
Location
Lancaster County, PA
Cheesefood said:
Has anyone tried or thought of modding this to add their bottling wand?
Aren't most bottling wands made from about the same diameter plastic tubing that the racking canes are? Would it be possible to just stick the wand right into the picnic tap? Or is it too short?

May be an idea, but its also just one more thing that may complicate the process (spring-loaded filling)... the process seems pretty good as is, take a little "over fillage" mess at times.

Someone try this with a wand! :)
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
THe only thing with the wand is it's etiher on...or off.

The stopper (and the pressure you apply) is essentially your "trigger" for releasing the air pressure and allowing the flow. More pressure on the stopper...slower flow. Especially important when you're nearing the top of the bottle.

Don't know that you'd need two triggers. I think I've read where someone did that so I'm pretty sure it would work.
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
94
Location
Honolulu, HI
I guess it wouldn't require the extra alcohol abuse bucket to catch all your spills. When it's full and you pull it out, there's no mess. (there's no way to say that without it sounding all wrong). :eek:
 

Philip1993

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
19
SilkkyBrew said:
Someone try this with a wand! :)
I did. It foamed a lot.

Lil' Sparky said:
I guess it wouldn't require the extra alcohol abuse bucket to catch all your spills. When it's full and you pull it out, there's no mess. (there's no way to say that without it sounding all wrong). :eek:
Hardly a drop spilled. Best thing I have used to date.
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
Lil' Sparky said:
I guess it wouldn't require the extra alcohol abuse bucket to catch all your spills. When it's full and you pull it out, there's no mess. (there's no way to say that without it sounding all wrong). :eek:
But it's the moving the cane fro bottle to bottle that drips everywhere.

At the end of a 12 pack (all I can fit in a bucket), I end up with the better part of a 1/2 cup of beer at the bottom.
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
94
Location
Honolulu, HI
BierMuncher said:
But it's the moving the cane fro bottle to bottle that drips everywhere.

At the end of a 12 pack (all I can fit in a bucket), I end up with the better part of a 1/2 cup of beer at the bottom.
I understand. A bottling wand wouldn't do that. But if it foams up, then it's no good.
 
OP
BierMuncher

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
923
Location
St. Louis, MO
Lil' Sparky said:
I understand. A bottling wand wouldn't do that. But if it foams up, then it's no good.
The other thing is that I tend to grab the bottles out of the bucket to go cap and leave the cane sitting in the bucket while I'm off capping the bottles.

Just easier cleanup at the end.

I was at the LHBS at lunch today picking up some odds and ends and saw a beer gun for sale.

Man that thing looked complicated.
 

Cheesefood

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
6,740
Reaction score
53
Location
Poo-Poo Land
Top