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Thread: bottling and kegging from bbt

  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    bottling and kegging from bbt

    Hi all,
    I hope someone can help me solve this problem.
    I pressurize my 15 bbl bbt's to 15 - 17 psi for my bottling line. Recently I've been getting requests for kegs but not very many.
    I plan to keg as few as 8 kegs per 15 bbl batch but obviously the pressure is too high. My thought was to fill the kegs at 15 psi and put the kegs in my store room and let them rise in temperature to ambient of 65f. then release the pressure over time until I get to the equivalent of 10psi when chilled to 40f.
    My question is if this is the best practice?
    My other thought was to carbonate to 10 psi, fill the kegs I need and then continue to carbonate at the higher level for bottling. My problem here is the time factor as I condition for 7 days and would then have to add more time to raise the co2 level for bottling.
    Thanks for any suggestions
    mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbirdlane View Post
    Hi all,
    I hope someone can help me solve this problem.
    I pressurize my 15 bbl bbt's to 15 - 17 psi for my bottling line. Recently I've been getting requests for kegs but not very many.
    I plan to keg as few as 8 kegs per 15 bbl batch but obviously the pressure is too high. My thought was to fill the kegs at 15 psi and put the kegs in my store room and let them rise in temperature to ambient of 65f. then release the pressure over time until I get to the equivalent of 10psi when chilled to 40f.
    My question is if this is the best practice?
    My other thought was to carbonate to 10 psi, fill the kegs I need and then continue to carbonate at the higher level for bottling. My problem here is the time factor as I condition for 7 days and would then have to add more time to raise the co2 level for bottling.
    Thanks for any suggestions
    mark
    It seems to me that you are over complicating this. You should be able to keg at the same carbonation level as the bottling line. The amount of dissolved co2 is what counts and not so much your PSI during filling. That is more important for even flow rates during filling to prevent gas break out or changing fill levels on the line.

    Do yourself a favor and purchase a Zahm or TapRite and find out how much actual dissolved co2 you are seeing. If you are saturated at 15-17psi at 37*F you will be around 2.9 to 3.1 volumes (or 5.68 to 6.08 g/ml). This is often too high for most bottling lines (at least at 35-37*F) to function properly and causes gushing. Its more likely you are below this anyways. If your kegs are slightly more or less carbonated than your bottles, that is not really an issue as far as I would be concerned. In fact, without a dissolved co2 measuring device you are probably inconsistent from batch to batch anyways. Just check that they are within acceptable levels for the style and consistent. Kegs will handle higher pressure than a bottling line easily, so I'm not sure why you would think you need to bleed down the kegs at all. If you are actually saturating to 3 vols or more, then you may have foaming issues on draught systems you sell the kegs to. They may have to balance the lines to pour your product properly.

    I am assuming you are spunding and not adding any more gas via tank, otherwise simply keg and then add more gas before bottling. I would just keg at bottling carbonation levels and then bottle afterwards. Just one mans opinion. KISS method.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
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    mexico
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    I guess my point is getting kegs at the proper carb level for draft system. I find that 10lbs (or the equivalent in volumns co2) is the best pour with the least foam. So how is it best to get to that lower pressure after kegging at 2.6v that I use for my bottled beer. I suspect that carbing the bbt to the level I want for kegs and then filling kegs, then raising the carb level for bottling after that.
    mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    179
    Are you saturating the beer over a period of time @ 15psi or just raising to 15-17psi in order to push the beer into the bottling machine?

    If you just have the headpressure increased for a few hours to push the beer into the machine, it shouldn't change the carbonation level much. You can simply bleed off head pressure to 10psi when you are done bottling until its time to keg.

    If you truly want different levels of carb between bottle and keg, do the lower carb level one first, then increase to the higher amount and then do that one so you don't have to mess with bleeding off kegs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    mexico
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    Thanks brian,
    Yeah, I think that's what I'll do on the next batch.
    My process now is to purge bbt, fill, apply head pressure to a few pounds below where I want to end up, chill to 33f. and then start carbonating at 4 liters of co2 per minute. These are 15bbl bbt's and with this process it takes a day of continued carb flow. This eventually will also raise my head pressure to 15 lbs. At this point I stop over night and check the pressure gauge the next morning. It's usually lower at that point at which time I will continue carbonation flow as before until head pressure is slightly higher than where I want it. By the next day head pressure has settled back down to where I want it. I will bottle a beer to confirm the carbonation is where I want it and if yes will schedule a bottling run, if not I will add more co2 in the same way.
    I feel like I have time to go through this process because I want the beer in the bbt for 7 days to condition/clear. So, I guess I can use this same process to achieve the 10lbs for my kegs, fill kegs and then begin adding co2 in the same manner as above. Sound good?

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