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dgorhcards

Not getting enough beer to fill all bottles

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I saw a little bit of what I am asking on another thread but just to calm my paranoia. Does everyone else come short when bottling the liter bottles. I bottled my Red Ale last week with the wand bottling system for the first time and even though I filled the MR Beer keg to a little over the 8.5 mark, I only was able to completely fill 7 of the liter bottles. I had the same problem on all of my previous (all he says, all of 5 batches) brews but just evened out all 8 to the same level. This may be too much head space but if I left the bottles until they were rock hard, I only have had one batch that didn't carbonate enough. That turned out just to be me jumping the gun on the carbing and conditioning as the last bottle was very good. Am I not filling the keg sufficiently? I have a few A&W Root Beer Pet 20 ouncers. I am thinking of using 6 liter bottles and 2 of the 20 ouncers per keg if it ends up that I am OK with the water levels. Thanks for all the advice I have received on other subjects so far. Have the Deluxe Pack Irish Stout in the keg right now.

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I am not totally sure about the plastic PET bottles, but if you use the wand for 12-oz, fill it to the top, and when you pull the wand out, you will have enough headspace. I believe it is the same with 1 liter PET bottles.

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I normally get 18 16oz bottles per Mr. Beer Keg. Sometimes 17. Depends on how much trub is in the keg...and if those bloody leprechauns have jumped the gun and started early... :huh:

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same with 12oz bottles i usually get about 22 12oz bottles that are really good. Its a stretch to get 24 of them but if i do i alsways have alot of trub.

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I fill to a little over the 8.5 quart mark on my kegs.

I've also cut down my "sampling" to once or twice during fermentation and not more than 1 ounce...first time to make sure it's not a bad batch, and then near the end to guage doneness.

I did get a hydrometer but I don't bother to use it. On these small batches it's too much beer to lose. I've had good luck with 2 weeks for two fermentables and 3 weeks with 3 fermentables (~12 batches now). That's sufficient empirical data for me. Since I'm not doing anything more complex than that and I've had very good results with it, I'm shelving the hydrometer for Mr.Beer beer.

All that said, it's tough to fill 24 bottles. I think, too, that the hop sack soaks up a fair amount of liquid...which impacts the ability to fill 24 completely.

But, I'd rather have 23 full bottles than 24 with less beer.

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I agree with investingdad on the hop sack soaking up liquid, and see no reason to even have one in the keg, unless dry hopping in a secondary container.

Bitter, flavor, and aroma hops impart tons of goodness during the boil and are easily removed by simply straining them.

I fill my kegs a little over the 8.5 mark and use the wand, filling to about 1/2 inch from top after wand removed, and have found that I must top off the last two without the wand because it gets clogged. Keep in mind I'm still bottle priming, so I fill every bottle 3/4, then go back and top them off. By the 5-6 bottle, I'm starting to tip the keg.

I've got another keg on order (8th) I plan on using for batch priming. That way there'll be less trub during filling, and I won't have to stop to shake the bottles. I'll be able to fill them to the top in one shot.

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I usually get 20-22 bottles and the first time I batch primed I only got 18, but the second time I got 20.

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Thanks everybody, what I am hearing is that I am not unusual. Sorry for the paranoia but I worry that I am going to spend around 6 weeks into each brew roughly and I sure don't want to loose any "product" from something that I could easily control. I have the ingredients to do the Witty Monk and after that one goes in the keg, I am going to start experimenting with more adjuncts and/or forum/my own reicpes. I feel a lot more comfortable when I can bounce my concerns off this forum. If things don't change, I am going to have to invest in MORE KEGS!!! Thanks guys.

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While it's true that each brew will take a minimum of 6 weeks to reach real drinkability there's only a 2 week window between brews. Eventually as you build up a stock you'll see what I mean.

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mcgrewc wrote:

While it's true that each brew will take a minimum of 6 weeks to reach real drinkability there's only a 2 week window between brews. Eventually as you build up a stock you'll see what I mean.

Yeah, you go from counting the days until a batch is ready to realizing that you have a batch ready for drinking you'd forgotten about.

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investingdad wrote:

mcgrewc wrote:

While it's true that each brew will take a minimum of 6 weeks to reach real drinkability there's only a 2 week window between brews. Eventually as you build up a stock you'll see what I mean.

Yeah, you go from counting the days until a batch is ready to realizing that you have a batch ready for drinking you'd forgotten about.

A Eureka moment, you're saying...

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dgorhcards wrote:

Thanks everybody, what I am hearing is that I am not unusual. Sorry for the paranoia but I worry that I am going to spend around 6 weeks into each brew roughly and I sure don't want to loose any "product" from something that I could easily control. I have the ingredients to do the Witty Monk and after that one goes in the keg, I am going to start experimenting with more adjuncts and/or forum/my own reicpes. I feel a lot more comfortable when I can bounce my concerns off this forum. If things don't change, I am going to have to invest in MORE KEGS!!! Thanks guys.

I run into the same problem. I'm still using the mr.beer bottles and get 7 out of a batch filling right out of the keg. I could probably get 8 but it would be half full of trub.

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I just bottled my first batch a couple weeks ago and got 8 bottles. On the 9th, it was full of trub so I stopped bottling at 8 and cleaned out the LBK since nobody wants to drink trub.

Odd that Mr. Beer says you'll get 2 gallons of beer when 8 of the 16 oz bottles is only one gallon (128 oz.).

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mikearienti,

Odd that Mr. Beer says you'll get 2 gallons of beer when 8 of the 16 oz bottles is only one gallon (128 oz.).

8 MrBeer one liter bottles is 270 ozs and 2 gallons is 256 ozs.

So if you fill the LBK to the proper level, 2.2 gallons you should be able to fill the 8 one liter bottles.

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FWIW, I have never (never) filled as many bottles as MrB says (8 1-L bottles, for example). This is even after I fill the lbk passed the 8.5 qt mark. Maybe I have more trub than MrB typically gets. If you're ok with a bottle that may have a whole lot more trub than normal, you may be able to squeeze out that 8th bottle.

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"OikoEco" post=277447 said:

FWIW, I have never (never) filled as many bottles as MrB says (8 1-L bottles, for example). This is even after I fill the lbk passed the 8.5 qt mark. Maybe I have more trub than MrB typically gets. If you're ok with a bottle that may have a whole lot more trub than normal, you may be able to squeeze out that 8th bottle.


Learned this trick from some of the best on this borg...Set your LBK immediately after putting wort & all into fermenter (on shelf or in cooler or wherever) on a piece of 1/2" or thicker piece of wood or something like that so that the spigot now sits higher than the rear of the keg...when you do this, the trub will settle slanted to the rear away from the spigot, then about 2 days prior to bottling, cold-crash LBK in fridge to pack the trub even better and also clears the brew a little. This kills 2 birds with one simple trick (stone). Not very much trub in the last coupla bottles. I have done this for my last few batches and WOWsers it works great. Thanks borg members who passed this idea on to me.

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Tr8 Salad,

+1 on the block of wood. Saw that on this forum before I brewed my very first batch and it works like a charm and might be the reason I never have a problem filling all 8 of the liter bottles or 22-23 12 oz bottles with almost no trub.

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I'll be giving that a try next time. I use the half-litre bottles and always fill to the recommended 1.5 inch from the top and had no problem filling all 16, but then I tip the LBK very slowly and gently before I start bottling, so may get just a bit of the trub as I go. No complaints yet, since it's mostly me drinking it. :gulp:

Tom Oxley

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I am on my second batch using the 1 litre plastic bottles and I only got 7 complete bottles. I had some left in the keg but didn't like the looks of it so poured it down the drain. I just assumed that there was an extra bottle included in the Mr. Beer kit.

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