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Grainfather Blog - Week 142: Filling bottles & growlers from the keg

By Trent Slater 19/01/2018 10:26 Comments

The holiday season is a time of socialising and sharing, and beers are great for this, however, taking an entire keg is often too much and not always feasible and bottle conditioned beer can often get mixed and over yeasty during transport. Filling a growler or a few bottles off the keg for an event or as a gift is an easy way to go. Below are a few methods with tips and tricks for doing just this.

 

Filling from a kegerator tap

This is the simplest method, however, this method is only really suitable for bottles and growlers that will be consumed soon after filling, as oxygen generally becomes a factor with this filling method.

  1. If you are filling glass growlers or bottles, sanitise these a couple of hours before you want to fill them and store them in your kegerator or fridge at the same temperature as your beer. If the glass is the same temperature as the beer going in a lot less foaming will occur during filling.
  2. Drop the psi on your keg to about 1-2psi this will help to lower the foaming and wastage.
  3. Sanitise your tap.
  4. Use a length of sanitised silicon tubing and fit this to the tap, this is easier done on flow restrictor taps.
  5. If you can flush your vessel with CO2­­ this will benefit the storage, but if you are consuming within a day of filling this will is not necessary.  
  6. Ensure you have a large bowl or something under the tap, insert the tubing into the vessel and fill the vessel from the bottom up.
  7. When the beer level reaches the top of the vessel remove the tubing and cap on the foam.

 

Pressure filler caps

These are designed for PET bottles of any size. Check out our video for some further detailed information.

https://youtu.be/ianeB7VJj-A

 

Beer gun or modified picnic tap

These are more dedicated equipment for filling bottles or growlers from the keg. With the modified picnic tap follow the same method as the kegerator tap. With the beer gun, it is possible to flush the vessel with CO2 before filling. 

Post Comments

Grainfather Recipes

posted on 01/02/2018 07:53
Personally, I have found with the kegking or Blichmann bottle gun 1.3m of 4mm ID tubing works the best

John Colebatch

posted on 30/01/2018 16:59
Thank you all. What are the guidelines for balancing a bottle filler? I am simply using it with the line length as supplied.

Brad Watson

posted on 22/01/2018 00:06
I made a counter pressure bottle filler with a piece of racking cane pushed through a cupped carboy stopper with a small piece of rubber hose at the top that fits into my tap. The stopper allows you to keep pressure in the bottle as you fill. I put a video on YouTube about this just search for counter-pressure bottle filler.

Shannon Harris

posted on 19/01/2018 16:30
Yes, the key is to bleed/burp the keg of all existing pressure. I also would recommend chilling the Beer gun and tubing as well. Once bled, you can adjust to 1-2psi and fill bottles with minimal to no foam. As mentioned in the post, flow control taps make all the difference when filling from the tap. Perlick and Intertap taps are suggested.

Grainfather Recipes

posted on 19/01/2018 15:21
Because your keg will still be at ~12psi when you dial down to 1-2psi the first one or two bottles will foam more than the rest. if your beer gun system is not balanced this will increase your foaming there will be a blog on how to do this coming up.

John Colebatch

posted on 19/01/2018 10:52
I have a real problem filling bottles using a bottle filler. I wonder if anyone can put me straight? I back the pressure off to about 1psi. I chill the bottles to about the same - or less - than the keg. I purge with CO2 and then fill the bottles. I end up with half beer and half foam. The only thing I have not done yet is tilt the bottles as recommended in another post since I last used the bottle filler.

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