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I've been kegging for awhile now, but I still haven't managed to successfully fill bottles from my kegs without losing all pressure.

I don't have a counter pressure beer filler or a Blichmann Beer gun, and for the moment I'd rather spend my beer-money on something else.

The few times I've tried to fill a couple bottles I've done this:

  1. Chill the keg (well, already done)
  2. Chill the bottles
  3. Turn down the keg pressure to almost nothing, like 1-2 psi
  4. Raise the keg
  5. Insert a piece of bottle-length tubing over my cobra picnic tab
  6. Slowly fill
  7. Cap

I'll leave the bottle in the fridge, then come back a couple hours later (or bring it to a friend's house, etc) and the beer has almost no carbonation. My capper seems to work fine, as my regularly bottled beers don't seem to lose any pressure.

Any suggestions?

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5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use a BMBF! Get a racking cane and a stopper and you're all set. I bottle regularly from kegs using this method and it works great.

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This is how I do it as well. Still something of a PITA compared to pulling a pint, but sometimes homebrew needs to be portable. –  Tobias Patton Oct 22 '11 at 15:48
    
This is what I ended up doing; it works great. –  sgwill Dec 7 '11 at 20:13
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Your method looks correct. You may want to overcarbonate the beer by 2-5 PSI, and raise the keg pressure to around 5 PSI when bottling. Slightly overcarbonating will help ensure that there's still a good amount of CO2 in suspension after you lose some from the bottling process. You may need to play with the keg pressure a little to balance bottling speed and foam production.

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I never tried it without the Blichman Beer Gun, but after using the gun, it seems that would need to use something like that. I split the cost with a friend, since you only need it sporadically.

It's a bummer to spend money on something that doesn't actually make beer, but it's been a great investment. I buy seasonal commercial kegs and transfer the entire keg to bottles so I can have the beer I like and not take up a spot in the keg fridge.

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Use normal pressure, don't fill too slow, then fill them so a little foam starts pouring over, then cap right onto the foam. Wipe the beer off the bottle after.

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I tried that first, and it ended up being almost all foam for the last 1/4 of the bottle. –  sgwill Nov 9 '10 at 22:57
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Counter pressure and beer gun aside. I think you might want to up the pressure. ALso you can get a stopper to run through and squeese it to let a little pressure to let the beer in but keep it pressurized.

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