Bottling from the Keg

Posted on 03.04.10 9:03PM under Bottle Conditioning, Bottling, Kegging

Over a year ago I started kegging my beer, forgoing bottling forever. Or so I thought.

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).

After much reading, I decided that the Beer Gun was the way to go. Less clumsy, one hand operation, CO2 purge for ultimate storage stability. It sounded awesome.

It turned out to be a little awkward to use: it needs its own gas connection, and it’s top heavy, so finding a place for it between bottles is tricky. But it did a great job of making foam free bottles pretty quickly (once you got the whole rig set up).

Lately it has just seemed like too much work to take a half an hour to hook up the beer gun just to bottle one or two for a few friends. So I’ve been cramming some tube onto the end of my tap and releasing most of the pressure from the keg and filling larger bottles very successfully.

I decided last night that I would give this a try with standard 12-ounce bottles. It turns out to work just as well on that smaller scale. And now I have a beer gun that I don’t think I’ll be needing any time soon. (Not that I’m quite ready to list it on Craigslist.) Maybe if I want to bottle an entire keg, the beer gun will be the way to go, but for the six to twelve bottles per keg slated for charity (AKA my friends), the ghetto tube on the end of the tap works just fine.

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