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02/24/11 01:07 PM  
bottle conditioning
I want to bottle condition a beer out of a keg with a beer gun but I have a couple of questions about how to best do it.

I have a Belgian Dark strong in a keg in the fridge. There is about 3.5 or 4 gallons in there, and it is not fully carbonated. A couple of weeks ago I just put about 25 psi on the keg to close it up and left it alone. It seems to have stabilized at about 6 psi. So I can figure out about how much co2 is dissolved in the beer based on the psi and the temperature (41F).

How do I figure out how much priming sugar to use? I guess I am shooting for about 2.8 volumes of co2, but I am not sure of the exact volume of beer in the keg.

I guess I could individually dose each bottle with priming sugar or solution, but that seems pretty inaccurate. Also, I am thinking about putting in just a little bit of neutral yeast to help finish the bottle conditioning.

Any advice would be appreciated.

02/24/11 04:19 PM  
Re: bottle conditioning
You are correct that you force carbed to about 1.9 Volumes (6 psi @ 41).

So you want 1 more Volume of CO2.

Per this site: http://kotmf.com/tools/prime.php

(Use the table half way down)

You need 3.8-4 grams/liter for 1 volume depending on the type of sugar.

So obviously you need to figure out how much beer you have to be able to dose correctly.

My idea would be to make enough sugar solution for 4 gals. Then transfer your beer to a bottling bucket very carefully and preferably in your fridge. Hopefully your bucket has the volume marked, if not do this first. Then dose the bucket with the correct amount of sugar solution and yeast. You may want to shoot a bit higher because you will lose some in transfer.

Good luck and let us know what works.

02/24/11 05:26 PM  
Re: bottle conditioning
Thanks for the reply.

I was kind of hoping to use my beer gun and the keg for bottling. I wonder if there is a way to figure out the volume of beer in the keg by measuring the height of the liquid in the keg.

02/25/11 03:37 PM  
Re: bottle conditioning
Sounds like a lot of extra work to me. Why don't you just finish carbing the beer up in the keg and use your beer gun to bottle the carbonated beer?

If you are hellbent on bottle conditioning your beer with priming sugar you might be able to take a weight of the beer in the keg on a scale to determine your volume. If I remember correctly I have read some posts online where people that were doing closed transfers from carboy/keg to another keg under gas pressure were using the weight of the keg slowly being filled as to know when to stop filling it up. I think I saw the posts with pics over on the Brewing Network forum. Try searching for closed transfers. sorry I couldn't be of more assistance and good luck!

02/27/11 09:30 AM  
Re: bottle conditioning
I find it hard to use the beer gun with highly carbonated beer, and so I thought it would be an interesting experiment to bottle the beer semi-flat and finish the carbonation in the bottle.

I like the scale idea, but my hop/grain scale only goes up to 11 lbs, so I guess that won't work.

I think I am going to try to determine the amount of beer in the keg by measuring where the condensation ends when I take it out of the fridge, and measuring the diameter of the inside of a keg, and using a volume of cylinder calcuator. Maybe add 1/2 cup for the little dimple in the bottom. That should get me pretty close. Add enough sugar solution to get about 1 more volume of co2 and throw in a little yeast and swirl the keg around to mix it all up.

tom sawyer
02/28/11 09:25 AM  
Re: bottle conditioning
You could also dose bottles individually with your priming sugar. I've done this to correct low carbonation. You make a solution where you can deliver a gram or whatever you need, in 1ml or 2ml of liquid. Then use a plastic eyedropper marked for 1ml or 2ml and put this in each bottle, before or after filling. Its simpler than weighing a very small amount of sugar, and the sugar tends to cause foaming anyway so a solution is nicer.
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