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Khirsah17

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Hey guys,

A little late here with my question, but I'm finally getting to the point of building one of these. I'm still in the process of building my kegerator, so I don't have too much kegging experience. From what I understand, if you have a keg dispensing at 12 psi, you need a sufficient length of 3/16" ID thick walled tubing (between 5-10 ft) to get a tap pressure of about 1 psi. So if you have enough tubing, why is there a need to set your regulator down to 5 psi to dispense?

Thanks!
 

Bobby_M

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Because when you're typically designing the balanced system, you still want it to regularly pour with enough force to create a bit of a head in the glass. When you're bottle filling, you want no head at all.

That being said, since this method uses a stopper for backpressure, I suppose you COULD leave the pressure where it is. I'd just say that reducing the pressure makes the filling process a bit less tense. Try it both ways.
 
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BierMuncher

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Khirsah17 said:
Hey guys,
...So if you have enough tubing, why is there a need to set your regulator down to 5 psi to dispense?
The underlying premise is to slow your beer flow down to a "crawl". What your exact psi requirements are to do this will vary. Generally, I find that if I can get my 12 ounce bottle to fill within 35-45 seconds, that's slow enough to avoid excessive foaming and retain great carbonation.
 

Funkenjaeger

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Another possible side to the argument that occurred to me:
If you drop the pressure on the beer, then obviously carbonation is released. Ideally you'd want to keep the pressure in the bottle the same as (or higher than) the storage pressure, so that all carbonation loss would be due to the mechanical agitation inherent in the filling process...
For a beer normally stored at 12psi, lowering the serving pressure to 5psi or so also lowers the maximum pressure that will build up in the bottle to the same, which would seem to do a poorer job of keeping CO2 in solution.

The obvious problem with filling bottles at 12psi is in controlling the flow rate. Squeezing a stopper with your thumb to control flow isn't so bad at 5psi, but I suspect it would take some real finesse to achieve a nice, slow flow rate if the pressure in the bottle was 12psi instead. Using a really long piece of beer line might keep the flow in check, but then again, if you rely on the beer line to control flow rather than careful stopper control, that probably means you're letting gas out too rapidly to let sufficient pressure build up in the bottle, which defeats the purpose of using a higher dispense pressure in the first place.

Seems like there's a lot of factors at work and no very obvious "best" combination... And given the amount of success people have had with the BMBF the phrase "if it ain't broke don't fix it" comes to mind...

But at the same time one of my favorite phrases also comes to mind: "if it ain't broke, it don't have enough features yet" ;) Now to find a way to properly/easily regulate the gas flow from the stopper at higher dispense pressure without straying too far from the "cheap/simple" theme of the BMBF...
 
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Funkenjaeger said:
...If you drop the pressure on the beer, then obviously carbonation is released....
Temporarily dropping the gas levels long enough to fill 12 bottles won't be enough time for CO2 to come out of solution. This is especially true of beer that is stored at serving temps of around 37-42 degrees.

If that were the case, then we could apply the opposite logic and assume we could force carbonate a flat beer in a matter of hours and not days.

My flattest bottled beers were the ones where I didn't take the time to lower the PSI, bleed excess pressure and fill the bottles slowly.

But...those were for my in-laws so I didn't really care... :D
 

Funkenjaeger

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BierMuncher said:
Temporarily dropping the gas levels long enough to fill 12 bottles won't be enough time for CO2 to come out of solution. This is especially true of beer that is stored at serving temps of around 37-42 degrees.
That's true if you're talking about beer sitting stationary in a keg - and the beer that is still in the keg after you fill some bottles is likely just as carbonated as when you started. But the beer in question here is that which is going into the bottles, which is getting tumbled around quite a lot by the filling process.
BierMuncher said:
If that were the case, then we could apply the opposite logic and assume we could force carbonate a flat beer in a matter of hours and not days.
Forget HOURS, it's easy to force carbonate a beer in a matter of MINUTES when it's being shaken. When I keg a beer, not counting the time it spends in the fridge cooling down to serving temperature, I often go from flat to drinkable in 10 minutes. So reversing back to the original logic, since the beer is being agitated, CO2 loss will occur a whole lot faster than if it was sitting still. I know the filling process isn't quite as violent to the beer as a vigorous shaking, but still, the same should be true to a lesser degree.

The filling hardware is designed to minimize agitation to limit the amount of CO2 knocked out of solution, but it seems that if the pressure was maintained at the right level it could quite easily prevent any significant amount of CO2 from coming out of solution at all. Whether or not it's practical to actually maintain that level of pressure while filling is another issue entirely, and is what I'm wondering.

BierMuncher said:
My flattest bottled beers were the ones where I didn't take the time to lower the PSI, bleed excess pressure and fill the bottles slowly.
I definitely agree that if you fill rapidly you knock out enough CO2 to make it pretty flat, and that using a higher dispense pressure makes it quite easy to fill too rapidly. I just wonder if it would help if you managed to fill at a higher pressure but still manage a nice slow fill rate.
 

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The filling process is nowhere near as aggitating as a keg shake.

The slight wrinkle is that when you use a counterpressure filler, you can pressurize the bottle to keg pressure before any beer flows. In that case, you could bottle a Hefe with the regulator set at 30psi if you wanted to.

With the BMBF, even with the stopper seated tightly, there's going to be an initial rush of beer just prior to the bottle's pressure equalizing. That's enough, even at say 12psi, to create a good 1-2" of foam in the bottle. By then, you've already lost the battle. Lowering the pressure to 3psi or so lets a good 1" of beer into the bottle, no foam, and by then the pressure has equalized for a continued no-foam fill. Trust me, the lowered pressure does not knock the CO2 out of the beer. If it did, you'd have foam in the bottle while filling and I only get that when I don't drop the pressure.
 

Lil' Sparky

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I've got everything I need to do this, but I haven't had a chance to try it out. I need to do this soon!
 

431brew

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This is great stuff, guys. I am a newbie and am a LONG time from kegging, but will save this thread for future reference. Thanks for all the time that you guys have spent sharing your knowlege.
 

pjj2ba

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Originally Posted by Jonnio
That's a good point Bier -- I was thinking of putting a hose that is big enough to fit over the tap and put that at the bottom of whatever container I am filling and use that...I might as well just not be cheap and spend the couple bucks to do this.

Funkenjaeger Quote: Yeah, I tried that method exactly once. Some people may get better results, but I got lots of foam and some very flat beer. I'm sure that with some tweaking I could have gotten it to work a bit better, but I'd much rather just invest the small amount of extra time and just use the BMBF which is practically foolproof.
I finally tried my adaptation of the simple hose on the tap method yesterday. Just a quick test to fill two beers to take to a buddies house. I still had some foaming but I'm very pleased. I modified my tubing into a homemade flowgate, stealing the idea of the one shown below from the maltose falcons website.
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/resistivegate.php



What I did however, was to put the flowgate AFTER the tap. I've got a 10" piece of 1/4" ID tubing with a larger short section of tubing on it so it fits on a tap. Then I put TWO of the epoxy nozzle inserts into the tubing. Presto!! In my first test yesterday I could fill the Grolsch bottle up to the neck before I got foam coming out. Ideally I'd like to fill a bottle higher, and it was still a little too foamy, BUT I WAS PUSHING AT 10 PSI!! I'm sure if I turned the pressure down to 3-4 psi this will work like a charm.
 

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Ok...thanks for the info!

I went one step simpler. I got 5 feet of 3/16 ID tubing (form Home Depot)...put a ball lock keg connector on one end...and fed the other through a stopper until it reached the bottom of the bottle. I marked the length pulled it back out a few inches and wrapped tape around it to thicken the OD a touch (so it would fit snuggly)...and pushed it back into the stopper.

I held the stopped secure with one hand.

With the other hand, I connected the ball lock to the keg and beer started to flow...it was alittle fast at first...but after an inch or so it slowed to a stop....I then proceeded like suggested (burping to allow some pressure to escape and slowly filling.

When the bottle was almost full...I slowed it to a stop (by letting out less and less pressure)...then I pulled the ball lock connecter off the keg. I moved to the next bottle and repeated.

Worked like a charm! I may invest in a inline valve to shut off the beer in the future...but this will work for now!

-JMW
 

kush

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Thank you BM for the great idea. Not only have you saved us from a PITA situation but you kept it on a budget. Two thumbs up and a raised glass. Also thanks to bobby for that great vid.
 

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I've tried this twice now and both times I've ended up with over half a bottle of foam, I'm lucky if there is beer in the neck of the bottle after I'm finished.

I put the bottles in the freezer for a couple days and then hooked up my picnic faucet, dropped the co2 pressure down to about 3psi and then inserted into the bottle and started to fill.

Right away I see more foam than beer in the bottle. Should I be only bleeding off the pressure when the beer stops rising in the bottle? Would this help keep the co2 in the beer?

I'd really like to be able to save a 6er out of each keg to be able to drink later down the road, but I have a feeling that the 12 bottles I've filled so far are filled with flat beer.
 

JustMrWill

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drunkatuw said:
Should I be only bleeding off the pressure when the beer stops rising in the bottle? Would this help keep the co2 in the beer?
You need to make a seal with the stopper. The pressure in the bottle should build quickly and stop the beer from flowing....only then do you gently "burp" the stopper....the beer will flow for a couple seconds and then stop when the pressure is up again...repeat until full.

Foam is caused by the change in pressure...that is why you need to get the same pressure in the bottle that you have in the keg.

I did mine at 12 psi...it took a little more effort holding the stopper in place but it wasn't impossible.

I didn't like the picnic tap solution because the spout on the tap is larger than 3/16" and I figure...going form 3/16" to 5/16 (or so) would cause a drop in pressure thus causing more foam.

-JMW
 
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BierMuncher

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drunkatuw said:
I've tried this twice now and both times I've ended up with over half a bottle of foam, I'm lucky if there is beer in the neck of the bottle after I'm finished.
...
Should I be only bleeding off the pressure when the beer stops rising in the bottle? Would this help keep the co2 in the beer?
...
Are you bleeding the excess pressure from the keg after you turn the PSI down?
Are you using a stopper around the racking cane to control the beer flow?
Did you cut your racking cane at an angle at the bottom to allow easier flow?

The idea is to use the stopper to keep the bottle pressurized, and slow/stop the flow of beer. Then slightly burp the stopper to let the beer continue filling.
 

Bobby_M

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JustMrWill said:
I didn't like the picnic tap solution because the spout on the tap is larger than 3/16" and I figure...going form 3/16" to 5/16 (or so) would cause a drop in pressure thus causing more foam.

-JMW
Yeah, but the interior of the racking cane is very close to 1/4". Besides, once the bottle builds a little pressure, it doesn't matter how large the spout is.
 
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BierMuncher

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A few months ago I bottled a twelve pack of some beer that I intentionally skunked in the sun light. (Going for the St. Pauli Girl style).

Some of you may remember...
skunked_2.jpg

Anyway...I tucked away 4-5 of them and decided that this weekend, some 5 months later, to pop one open and enjoy.

I thought I'd demonstrate the effectiveness of the BMBF when it comes to retaining carbonation. Remember, this is nearly 6 months after bottling from the keg.

Notice the still pic below, the sediment that formed in the bottle, verifying my theory that beer bottled from a keg will resume some CO2 production and result in some yeast procreation/sediment.


Notice also the nice lacing on the beer glass in the background.
BMBF_Bottle.JPG
 
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Sherpa FE

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Too cool, I take it that you like your DIY wand better than adding carbonation tablets to bottles??
 

DeathBrewer

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lol, great video

i'm doing one of these this week. my sister's coming to visit and i'd like to send some brew back with her. plus i can enter swaps and give bottles away on the fly, so i don't drink all of them first :D

:mug:
 
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beerbuddy said:
Just tried this tonight worked like a charm. Filled 3 six packs in about 15 minutes.
Nice job. Maybe you did this but remember that if you're going to keep this beer around a while, rocking those bottles to the side once and then capping on the foam will eliminte 99% of all oxygen that can cause beer to go stale.
 
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OK, I skimmed through the above so I hope someone else didn't post this.

If you are not going to prefill the bottle with co2, then take your original contraption, drill a tiny whole in the bung and insert a very narrow rolled steel pin in the whole.

That will act as a pressure relase but should be slower than the fill. Cover with thumb if it is letting air out to fast.

I hope that made sense.
 

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These are for consumption today at work. I'm sharing with my co-workers at a small startup company. I will keep that in mind for the next time.
 

Philip1993

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JustMrWill said:
I may invest in a inline valve to shut off the beer in the future...but this will work for now
Picnic taps make a great inline valve for controlling beer flow...


JustMrWill said:
I didn't like the picnic tap solution because the spout on the tap is larger than 3/16" and I figure...going form 3/16" to 5/16 (or so) would cause a drop in pressure thus causing more foam.
Sorry. Write before read error.... Done properly, there is little to no foaming with a BMBF.
 

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I'm gonna try this soon. I have a slightly bigger stopper though. Will it still work ok if the bottom of the stopper is held down on the bottle opening? It should still seal pretty well I would think...
 
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BierMuncher

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Soulive said:
I'm gonna try this soon. I have a slightly bigger stopper though. Will it still work ok if the bottom of the stopper is held down on the bottle opening? It should still seal pretty well I would think...
It's best if the narrow part of the stopper can fit inside the rim of the bottle.

This makes releasing the pressure with a slight "nudge" of your thumb more controlled.

If the stopper you have simple "sits" on top of the mouth of the bottle, dialing down your PSI to like 4 or 5, may make things more controllable. A bit slower...but easier to manage.
 

Soulive

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BierMuncher said:
It's best if the narrow part of the stopper can fit inside the rim of the bottle.

This makes releasing the pressure with a slight "nudge" of your thumb more controlled.

If the stopper you have simple "sits" on top of the mouth of the bottle, dialing down your PSI to like 4 or 5, may make things more controllable. A bit slower...but easier to manage.
Thanks BM, I was planning on setting the PSI to 2 actually. Too low/slow?
 

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Fantastic idea. I actually ordered a beer gun over the weekend and called NB today to cancel the order after I found this post. Thanks a lot.
 

billym99

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I think i'm going to build on of these tonight... QUESTION: If i bottle a six pack from a keg that has been in the fridge for a few weeks will it hurt to store the six pack in a warm area, or should it be kept cold?
 
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BierMuncher

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billym99 said:
I think i'm going to build on of these tonight... QUESTION: If i bottle a six pack from a keg that has been in the fridge for a few weeks will it hurt to store the six pack in a warm area, or should it be kept cold?
I bottle up 15-20 at a time and refrigerate 4-5 and the others I store in a milk crate in the basement.

As long as you cap on foam, you should have a pretty good shelf life.

In my experience:
Lighter gravity (1.032-1.045), I'm fine with 2-3 months.
Medium gravity (1.047-1.055), 4-6 months.
Bigger beers, indefinitely. Especially if they're hoppy.

I did just crack a Northern Brewer Blonde (1.040, 20 IBU's) that I brewed in the summer, and it was perfect.

It's important to let those beer chill for 3 days or more to "set" the beer before serving. Simpy crash chilling on a freezer shelf for 1-2 hours will do the beer an injustice.
 

billym99

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Thanks BM, that helps a lot. I'm actually going to be bottling some "Ode To Arthur" this weekend... turned out to be a great brew and want to share some with friends.
 

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Well, even though I was one of the first 5-10 people to chime in on this thread months and months ago, I just used my BMBF for the first time today. Worked well and bottled up a nice 9 bottles of my Amarillo Pale Ale, some of which I plan to submit to NHC and a local competition here. Anyway... question arises now:

I turned the pressure down from the 12 I had it set at to 5, released the pressure from the keg, filled the bottles nicely. Quit, turned my pressure back up to 12, and tapped a beer. Seems much more flat than it was prior. Is this normal? How long is this going to take to get back to normal carb levels. Tastes like it would if I had it set at probably 7-8psi... probably < 2 volumes CO2 for certain, when it was 2.4... Thoughts?
 
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BierMuncher

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RoaringBrewer said:
Well, even though I was one of the first 5-10 people to chime in on this thread months and months ago, I just used my BMBF for the first time today. Worked well and bottled up a nice 9 bottles of my Amarillo Pale Ale, some of which I plan to submit to NHC and a local competition here. Anyway... question arises now:

I turned the pressure down from the 12 I had it set at to 5, released the pressure from the keg, filled the bottles nicely. Quit, turned my pressure back up to 12, and tapped a beer. Seems much more flat than it was prior. Is this normal? How long is this going to take to get back to normal carb levels. Tastes like it would if I had it set at probably 7-8psi... probably < 2 volumes CO2 for certain, when it was 2.4... Thoughts?
Hard to imagine that temporary drop in pressure flattened out the beer. Especially if you only bottled up 9 and went back to normal settings. I don notice that when we have company and several pints in a row get drawn that the beer “settles down” out of the tap. Was the beer just less foamy when you drew or was the effervescence less and the beer truly flatter?
 

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BierMuncher said:
Hard to imagine that temporary drop in pressure flattened out the beer. Especially if you only bottled up 9 and went back to normal settings. I don notice that when we have company and several pints in a row get drawn that the beer “settles down” out of the tap. Was the beer just less foamy when you drew or was the effervescence less and the beer truly flatter?
The beer was actually foamier (maybe from the keg being drug in and out got it shook up a little?) on the pour, but less effervescent when you got past the head and to the actual liquid... *shrug* I'll try it again in a day or three. PS - the 25psi for 36 hours definitely didn't overcarb the beer either. Still a bit light on carbonation, but letting it get the rest of the way on 13psi...
 
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BierMuncher

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RoaringBrewer said:
The beer was actually foamier (maybe from the keg being drug in and out got it shook up a little?) on the pour, but less effervescent when you got past the head and to the actual liquid... *shrug* I'll try it again in a day or three. PS - the 25psi for 36 hours definitely didn't overcarb the beer either. Still a bit light on carbonation, but letting it get the rest of the way on 13psi...
One thing to consider. That same thing always happens to me on the first pour after reconnecting everything. The cause is the air in the lines that causes foaming (beer flattening) . Subsequent pours are always right back to normal though.
 
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