Bottling off a keg is easy.
When I had picnic taps, it was easy. I had a length of tube that fit onto the end of the plastic faucet, and went to the bottom of my selected bottle, and all I had to do was let most of the pressure out of the keg, squeeze the tube onto the end of the faucet, stick the tube into the sanitized bottle, and pull the dispense lever. Fill it up, and cap it, and good to go.
It wasn’t long before I wanted to be able to bottle off some brews to share with friends. So I bottled a batch or two, just to be able to share it, or when my original keg fridge was at capacity with two kegs in it.
This did the job for every now and then, but eventually I wanted to be able to bottle beer from a keg at any time, or to carbonate with CO2 in the keg and then bottle after that (such as for a very strong beer that could pose problems bottle conditioning).
Prior to today, I had been using tees to split my gas line from the single output of my simple regulator to the many destinations for gas in my brewery. The first tee split into one line to go into the keg fridge and one line for outside the frdige for kegs that won’t fit in the fridge yet. Each of these had another tee, because there are two kegs inside the fridge and to support two kegs outside the fridge.
The problem came when I got my beer gun. It needs gas, and at a lower pressure than carbonation pressure. It was logistically difficult to connect the beer gun (my rigged contraption of an adapter notwithstanding – that’s been replaced by a proper converter now).
That is all solved by the manifold. As you can see in the photo, on the right is the inlet from the CO2 tank. Then there are three outputs, each with their own shutoff valve. In the photo, 2 and 3 are off, while only 1 is on. Valve 1 is the one that goes to inside the fridge. There are two kegs in there being served. There is still a tee inside the fridge to split that line. Valve 2 goes to outside the fridge. There are no kegs outside the fridge needing to be carbonated. There is still a tee out there, too. All four of the keg lines have ball lock gas quick disconnects (QDs) tightened to them. Valve 3 goes to ten feet of gas line for the beer gun. It has just a female flare swivel nut fitting on it, suitable for connecting to the NPT-flare adapter I got for the gas inlet for the beer gun. In a pinch, it could also hook up to a QD. Or anything else with a 1/4″ male flare connector.
I’m now looking forward to practicing a little more with the beer gun, and then bottling a few gallons of my 17.3% ABV IPA.
Since I’ve been kegging, I’ve been trying to get bottled beer out of my kegs. Bottling off the cobra tap is unreliable. Often I would lose a pint and get two bottles, and the two bottles weren’t even full. It was simple to setup the cobra filling station, but my results were poor.
So I bought a Blichmann Beer Gun.