Tired of bottling

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Tired of bottling

Postby Moichman » Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:05 pm

I have a question. I have seen the Pig and another device that runs off of CO2 cartridges, and I'm wondering....are either of them worth the money and time-saving aspect vs. bottling? I want to filter and keg, but I don't have a fridge to do that yet. Any input from Pig\other dispenser users would be great.
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mini-kegs are a good baby step

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:37 pm

I never used the pigs or the newer Tap-a-Draft dealies, but I used the classic 5-liter mini-kegs for quite a while and liked them a lot. I think any of these options are a good way to at least cut down on some of your bottling (I would bottle half and mini-keg half of each batch). And they are a good stepping stone until you get a fridge you can dedicate to 5-gallon kegs. If you find you don't like it for what ever reason you are only out $50 or so, and not a couple hundred.

Cheers,
Jim
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Tap A Draft is great

Postby dartedplus » Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:09 pm

I have the T A D system and like it very much. Like Grav said, I put 6L of my brew into the big bottle and then bottle the rest. A 5 gallon batch will fill 3 of the TAD bottles. so maybe youw would want to do two of them and then bottle the other third. Once you pressurize them, they should last close to 2 weeks if you dont drink it sooner. Plus you can always add more CO2 if your levels get low. You can use nitrogen if you want to for any style of beer that would be good like that. Go to tapadraft.com and order if directly from them to save a couple of bucks. They are good people and will do whatever is necessary to keep you happy.
if you have any more questions just let me know
Ed
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Using T A D to force carbonate

Postby jayhawk » Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:20 pm

I love bottled conditioned beer, but I find that after a few months the flavours just blend together. (I don't have the fridge space to store beer cold). Can one pressurize filtered beer in the 6L TAD jug, then dispense to bottles, thus force carbonating the bottles and not having to prime or have sediment in left in the bottle? I would imagine this would keep the beer flavour relatively static because of the lack of yeast.
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thats a good question

Postby dartedplus » Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:13 pm

you could force carbonate the beer, but then you would have to dispense it into the bottles, so I dont know how much of the carbonation would stay in the beer
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Fass Kegs... Not Too Hot In My and Anothers Opinion....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:28 pm

The following is a copy of a posting that I made a while back on the topic of Fass keg usage for homebrew:

Fass kegs (TM) like the ones in which you can get Warsteiner, Becks, Dinkel Acker, Bitburger... etc... and the new ones sold at some homebrew shops are not pressure vessels. They were designed as one-use containers to hold beer at serving pressure.

They are not designed to withstand the pressure that is generated when carbonating a beer via priming. Sometimes it works OK when the priming is at a very low level, but if you go much higher, they may distort (and subsequently not seal), or worse, blow. I know of a number of my friends who used these and they ran not only into that problem, but problems cleaning them as they are hard to get inside of and are thinly plastic coated inside. This coating comes off easily if you try to clean them adequately. Once this has occured, they tend to rust on the inside because they are made of tin, not aluminum or stainless. The rims and seams also rust after a couple of re-uses. Additional hassles include the expense and spotty availability of the CO2 chargers, the seals tend to leak over time, the plastic tap for them is very easy to break and in my experience, they drip like hell ! The metal tap is a big improvement, but is expensive (~$40 USD).

A number of the more well known homebrew wholesalers and retailers no longer sell Fass kegs because of these reasons as well as there there are more appropriate, durable and cost effective solutions available.

The following is a copy of andytv's take on the same topic:

"My buddy used to use Fass Kegs (ie. bitburger)to keg his beer. We would naturally carbonate the beer, then at serving time, he had a little CO2 cartridge deal that would let us drain the barrel. The stopper that was provided for these kegs was suppposedly a pressure releif device. So here's to the story; This buddy of mine was our computer guru at work. We had big time server problems and he had taken one of our servers home to work on it in his home lab. As he was asleep that night, he heard a loud crack, took a quick look around,and went back to sleep. Well anyways, he kept his kegs in his computer lab because it was the coolest room in the house, a keg of porter that was on a high shelf exploded and coated the entire room with sticky. smelly beer; including the server, which was on a bench in about ten pieces. It took all morning, and several gallons of solvent alcohol to clean the computer up, and our sevrer still smells like beer."

So there are two "nays". I think if you look around on other homebrew related forums you will see that these negative opinions regarding these "kegs" are far from rare.

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Nope... won't work very well at all....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:40 pm

You could force carbonate with a TAD, but bottling the resultant beer would not work very well. To maintain the carbonation level of the beer as it sat in the TAD, you would have to dispense the beer into the bottles under positive pressure, not atmospheric pressure. This is how commercial breweries and advance homebrewers bottle after filtration or multiple transfers and long settling and is referred to as counter pressure bottling. The equipment to do this at the home brew level with consistent, good results is expensive and somewhat akin to wrestling an octopus. They also require the usage of Cornelius cylinders, a CO2 tank and a regulator.

The cost WITHOUT the kegging stuff is between $85 and $ 125. Those that are cheaper than this work better than atmospheric bottling, but experience significant carbonation loss and oxygen pickup problems. A while back, Zymurgy did a test of 15 or so counter pressure bottlers which was quite comprehensive and revealing.

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T A D PIGS

Postby stouts » Thu Sep 19, 2002 5:20 am

i have both systems and i like the pigs alot.i plan to go to kegs soon but these alternatives are great for ease of travel. a suggestion if you go w/ the party pigs always have an extra bladder for it , it really sucks to have a failed bladder at bottling time , and just half a batch of bottles sterile.
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yeah, true

Postby Gravity Thrills » Thu Sep 19, 2002 7:46 am

To be honest I did have several of those downside issues myself, so my endorsement of the mini-kegs should be a reserved one. When my tap broke for it, that's when I called it quits. And I did deform kegs if a particular style called for extra priming (I mostly did English ale-type brews so I rarely encountered the problem and it didn't really stick out in my mind until now).

I dabbled in this system a decade ago when it was about the only cheap kegging solution to be had. I had also had some experience back in the day with the old Brit RotoKeg type pressure barrels and with just polypining beer for dispense. A lot of people detested those options, but again because I was brewing almost entirely low-primed ales, I found both of these primitive options adequate for my needs back then.

(I cut my brewer's teeth on the Dave Line books, so I always had a a Brit-skewed mindset on draft dispense.)

If I was to get one of the systems today, I'm sure I would try something else.

Cheers,
Jim
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i need some clarification guys

Postby stumpwater » Thu Sep 19, 2002 1:40 pm

Ok, so i have a cornelius keg system with CO2 and regulators. A couple friends really enjoy my brew and like when I bring the kegs over. This is an obvious pain in the a**. I was thinking of getting the Tap-a-draft system so that I could get some mini-keg type bottles of beer over to their houses without hauling everything around. If I get Tap-a-draft, will we still be able to enjoy the beer two-three days later if I end up leaving the tap-a-draft bottles at my buddies place? Do I need to bottle to the tap-a-draft with counter pressure or do I just put the beer in directly from my kegs? If I need counter pressure where do I get the info on the best way to do this? I read a Dave Miller book that described it but I don't own the book, can anyone email me this or post it here? Thanks friends!

Na Zdahroveh!

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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Postby andytv » Fri Sep 20, 2002 5:31 am

My friends like my beer too, but I'd rather invest in new gadgets for brewing, than accomodating my somewhat freeloading friends' needs. When I show up at buddy's place, sometimes I bring a couple growlers. The first beer is better than the last, but it's still pretty good. When my friends start showing up on brew day to sweat in my kitchen and clean pots with me, I'll consider a portable dispensing system.

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