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I Hate Bottling

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This weekend i will be bottling my fourth batch. All of my beers have turned out well, especially my czech pilsner with a softpack. Last time i did bottling, i bottled two batches at once and it took forever. Im trying to think of other methods than bottling beer for 2.5 or 5 gallon batches. I heard you cant refill a heineken or oberon, so im not sure what i can do. Bottling for a 2.5 gallon is fun but when you get mroe than that i feel its just a pain. Any suggestions on mini kegs to use or any other ideas. Thanks everyone and Brew on!!! :chug:

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move to the keg side you will never regret it It did cost but I am so glad that I did. I can have 2 kegs in the frig. 4 in various stages of conditioning before carbing

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Kegging is the only solution to end your bottling woes.
But you need a dedicated fridge/chest freezer.

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There is a low-tech, inexpensive entry-level alternative. I'm not trying to compare it to real kegging, but it works. I call it the easy-Bake version of kegging.

You get a Tap-A-Draft head off ebay for $30, including shipping. You bottle a LBK batch in three 3 liter soda bottles and corbonate/condition just like you would all your small bottles. Then you chill one bottle at a time, remove the cap and screw on the Tap. The tap is designed for a 16 gram CO2 cartridge, but you can simply slip a dime and then 16 pennies(I think) down into the tube so you can use an 8 gram cartridge with a rubber band and a little strip of duct tape around it instead. Works like a charm. You might need 2 to 4 cartridges per bottle, but they can usually be gotten for about 50 cents each.

Initial outlay in equipment is the $30 tap and a few cartridges and some recycled soda bottles. It doesn't get any faster cheaper or easier than that.

Again, it's not exactly the professional route, but you're enjoying your home brew on tap and bottling day is a breeze. It could be a lot worse.

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Use 22oz bombers instead of 12oz bottles. I usually use the bombers for the household drinking & the 12oz bottles for giving away.

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My first question would be ... do you have a botteling wand?

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I do agree about the bottles being used for a gift. And no i dont have a wand. One of the things i need to get next.

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See, I used to hate bottling too, but now with a vinator, bottle tree and bottling wand, it goes so much faster! Honestly, it's not a big deal at all anymore. But of course, kegging would be even faster.

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makes life so much easier,,,,I just put lbk on counter, sit in chair in front of lbk,,,grab bottle fill, next....prime 6 fill 6 cap 6 repeat 4 times!

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I also get tired of bottling especially with doing mostly 5 gal batches. I am planning on a keg system for my "House Beers", 22 oz and 1 lt PET's help some. The 12 oz is good for give-a-ways and I do a lot of that. Bottling can be somewhat fun if you get a system going, Drink beer, play music, Drink Beer, try to find someone to lend a hand and Drink Beer.

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=345959 said:

JohnDubya:

What's your objective and honest review of that system from Rebel Brewer?

The kegs are good heavy metal, Italian made, not Chinese junk for starters. You can use the kegs to do natural or force carbing, I do both with no problems. I can get my hand into them with ease for cleaning, I have big hands. The system they and others sell with the 16 gm cartridges are good for entry level and can easily be force carbed when you are ready to move up. I have 6 of them. I started force carbing them and use the little cartridge charger to serve them, only because I have so many of the little cartridges. Plus it makes them easy to move/take to parties/picnics, etc. On the down side, I can find 5 gallon cornies for the same price or sometimes cheaper. If you plan to stay with LBKs, don't get the 5 gallon kegs. I prefer these for the ease of moving/handling by my old body. I do like I can split a 5 gallon batch between 2 of these kegs, or keg half, bottle the other half with my keg being full (which is what I do most). While they are expensive for the size, I do highly recommend them, you won't regret it. It is so awesome serving your own kegged beer.

As a side note, Rebel is not the only place that sells these, shop around I have seen them on sale for less.

Another note.... LOL. Sometimes I feel like just drinking half a glass. I don't waste a whole bottle for a quick refreshing drink. Just a quick shot gives me a half glass, no beer wasted.

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The bottling wand will definitely help cut down on bottling time. After bottling 2 brews at once that ended with a broken spigot on one keg, I decided I needed to find an easier way, and the next time I went to LHBS I picked a wand up and played around with it while i had some wort boiling, and it looks like a great investment of 3 bucks.

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Also as others have said, a bottling wand and batch priming will make your live easier when it comes to bottling time.

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+1 on the bottling wand and if you wish, batch priming (I don't do that, though).

I don't have a problem with bottling. I like what comes out of the bottle in the future that its not a problem. I only do LBK sized batches, though. I don't end up bottling more than one case at a time which is more than tolerable to me.

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I must be weird or something cause I enjoy bottling. I use a bottling wand. I put on pandora and bottle away!

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"berryman" post=346004 said:

Also as others have said, a bottling wand and batch priming will make your live easier when it comes to bottling time.

+1 to that for sure. Even with those things, I almost dread bottling day.

I kegged my last two 5-gallon batches, they're in the keezer at 40*F on gas, and I'm hooked. I'll still bottle some to give away or special batches like the Chocolate Stout in the fermenter now. I want to let that stuff age 4-5 months and don't want to tie up a corny keg for that long. ;)

JohnDubya - I'm assuming that you're sugar carbing in the 2.5 gallon keg and just using the small disposable cartridges to push the beer through the picnic tap, right? Do you have to take any steps to avoid oxidation?

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"evily" post=345981 said:

See, I used to hate bottling too, but now with a vinator, bottle tree and bottling wand, it goes so much faster! Honestly, it's not a big deal at all anymore. But of course, kegging would be even faster.

Ms Hat is correct. These pieces of equipment make it less of a chore. I'd also suggest batch priming, if you don't already. I've gotten my bottling day down to a certain rhythm, and it moves along pretty smoothly.

It's still a chore, yes, but I tell myself that I owe it to the beer. Also, it means I'm freeing up a fermenter for another batch!

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"FedoraDave" post=346075 said:

"evily" post=345981 said:

See, I used to hate bottling too, but now with a vinator, bottle tree and bottling wand, it goes so much faster! Honestly, it's not a big deal at all anymore. But of course, kegging would be even faster.

Ms Hat is correct. These pieces of equipment make it less of a chore. I'd also suggest batch priming, if you don't already. I've gotten my bottling day down to a certain rhythm, and it moves along pretty smoothly.

It's still a chore, yes, but I tell myself that I owe it to the beer. Also, it means I'm freeing up a fermenter for another batch!

AND you are that much closer to drinking that bottled batch as well! :banana: :banana: :banana:

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"FedoraDave" post=346075 said:

Also, it means I'm freeing up a fermenter for another batch!

I need to look at it more in that way.

Thanks Dave.

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I actually like bottling. I use mostly 22's and a bottling wand. The priming is a bit tedious, but I figure I will work on batch priming some day. I really get a kick out of the capping, no idea why but it makes me feel like a little kid.

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I find it relaxing. But I have a high anxiety level. So the bottling keeps my mind and hands occupied. If I wasn't bottling I would just be worrying about something else I should be doing. So I would much rather be bottling beer.

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"Joechianti" post=345940 said:

There is a low-tech, inexpensive entry-level alternative. I'm not trying to compare it to real kegging, but it works. I call it the easy-Bake version of kegging.

You get a Tap-A-Draft head off ebay for $30, including shipping. You bottle a LBK batch in three 3 liter soda bottles and corbonate/condition just like you would all your small bottles. Then you chill one bottle at a time, remove the cap and screw on the Tap. The tap is designed for a 16 gram CO2 cartridge, but you can simply slip a dime and then 16 pennies(I think) down into the tube so you can use an 8 gram cartridge with a rubber band and a little strip of duct tape around it instead. Works like a charm. You might need 2 to 4 cartridges per bottle, but they can usually be gotten for about 50 cents each.

Initial outlay in equipment is the $30 tap and a few cartridges and some recycled soda bottles. It doesn't get any faster cheaper or easier than that.

Again, it's not exactly the professional route, but you're enjoying your home brew on tap and bottling day is a breeze. It could be a lot worse.

I like it, thanks. You got my CAD/CAM wheels spinning.

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"brewin bull" post=346188 said:

I actually like bottling. I use mostly 22's and a bottling wand. The priming is a bit tedious, but I figure I will work on batch priming some day. I really get a kick out of the capping, no idea why but it makes me feel like a little kid.

Agreed about bottling, I usually bottle prime my LBK's in 17-18 .5 litre bottles (quicker and easier)...I do Batch Prime when I brew in a 5 gallon ale pail. For 30 plus bottles, batch priming is easier and more reliable on even-priming per bottle and yes, I too, enjoy capping my bottles as well as my future ex-son-in-law (oops, I can't say that here)

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"T8r Salad" post=346205 said:

"brewin bull" post=346188 said:

I actually like bottling. I use mostly 22's and a bottling wand. The priming is a bit tedious, but I figure I will work on batch priming some day. I really get a kick out of the capping, no idea why but it makes me feel like a little kid.

Agreed about bottling, I usually bottle prime my LBK's in 17-18 .5 litre bottles (quicker and easier)...I do Batch Prime when I brew in a 5 gallon ale pail. For 30 plus bottles, batch priming is easier and more reliable on even-priming per bottle and yes, I too, enjoy capping my bottles as well as my future ex-son-in-law (oops, I can't say that here)

You don't need to say it. We all understand it and support you.

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"BigFloyd" post=346061 said:

JohnDubya - I'm assuming that you're sugar carbing in the 2.5 gallon keg and just using the small disposable cartridges to push the beer through the picnic tap, right? Do you have to take any steps to avoid oxidation?

I am/was doing both with these kegs, sugar priming, and force priming. The kegs I sugar pime in I cut 3/4 inch off the bottom of the pick-up tube, I do lose some beer but get clean pours from the start, no bottle trub. Using the 16 gm carts is the same as using your C02 bottle/regulator to pressure the beer out the tap. Just think of them as portable tank/regulator, with your trigger finger being the regulator. The 16 gm carts I get are food grade C02, so no oxygen to eff with the beer. I have stop'd sugar priming in the kegs recently since I am able to force carb now. I will still use the carts for ease of taking kegs elsewhere.

I hope this was what you were asking.

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"cwbunting" post=346181 said:

+1 My recipe exactly. Drink beer, listen to music, bottle, drink beer....

that is the way i do it as well

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"bigtaste" post=346202 said:

I find it relaxing. But I have a high anxiety level. So the bottling keeps my mind and hands occupied. If I wasn't bottling I would just be worrying about something else I should be doing. So I would much rather be bottling beer.

There's that aspect, too, bigtaste. Good point.

I've read a lot of posts from guys who want to save time in their brewing endeavors, and yeah, I'm all about the efficiency. No sense wasting time, after all. But with all the stuff that keeps me busy doing things I gotta do, I'm kind of glad for the opportunity to keep busy doing something I wanna do.

I've mentioned it before, but I find grinding the grains by hand to be sort of therapeutic. And I do it while the strike water is heating up, so I'm keeping busy instead of just waiting for the water to to get ready.

Same with bottling. It's therapeutic, and I can look at each bottle -- each six-pack, as an accomplishment. Then when I'm done, I can look and say to myself, "I met my goal!" It's a great feeling.

And the repeated actions are almost ritualistic. Very calming.

Bottling should be a joy, not a chore. It's your brewing efforts and your waiting paying off.

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I would rather have breast than bottle feed....

Oh, sorry wrong topic

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I don't mind filling the bottles, it's the sanitising of 60 bottles for a 5 gallon batch that I find to be a PITA.
I should probably get a big tote or something to do them all at once, but right now its one by one in the kitchen sink.

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I actually like filling the bottles with the wand.

I also feel an accomplished feeling when done and boxing them up for their 4 to 5 week hide in the dark.

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"hindey19" post=346236 said:

I don't mind filling the bottles, it's the sanitising of 60 bottles for a 5 gallon batch that I find to be a PITA.
I should probably get a big tote or something to do them all at once, but right now its one by one in the kitchen sink.

Do you not have a vinator? It should be high on your priority purchase list, if not.

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Vinators make bottle sanitizing easy, quicker and more fun. Well worth the $.

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I thought about getting a vinator, as I also can't stand sanitizing 40+ bottles one by one, but the bad reviews I have read have stopped me

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"yankfan9" post=346321 said:

I thought about getting a vinator, as I also can't stand sanitizing 40+ bottles one by one, but the bad reviews I have read have stopped me

Bad reviews? Not from here.

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On the sites that sell them, I believe midwest, and northern brewer, say that the spring is defective a lot of the time or something along those lines

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"yankfan9" post=346328 said:

On the sites that sell them, I believe midwest, and northern brewer, say that the spring is defective a lot of the time or something along those lines

from what i've read on the threads here you just gotta be smarter than the spring

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I suspect User Error.

I got my vinator at my LHBS and haven't had a moment of trouble with it.

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"JohnDubya" post=346322 said:

"yankfan9" post=346321 said:

I thought about getting a vinator, as I also can't stand sanitizing 40+ bottles one by one, but the bad reviews I have read have stopped me

Bad reviews? Not from here.


+1. I don't recall any bad reviews on the vinator. I wouldn't bottle without it, nor a bottling tree.

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"yankfan9" post=346321 said:

I thought about getting a vinator, as I also can't stand sanitizing 40+ bottles one by one, but the bad reviews I have read have stopped me

Internet reviews have a tendency to be very skewed. People will complain a heck of a lot more than they will compliment.

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Gotta love the Vinator.

The bad reviews on it are because of folks not pushing the spring all the way up inside where it belongs. A flat screwdriver is all it takes.

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"Joechianti" post=345940 said:

There is a low-tech, inexpensive entry-level alternative. I'm not trying to compare it to real kegging, but it works. I call it the easy-Bake version of kegging.

You get a Tap-A-Draft head off ebay for $30, including shipping. You bottle a LBK batch in three 3 liter soda bottles and corbonate/condition just like you would all your small bottles. Then you chill one bottle at a time, remove the cap and screw on the Tap. The tap is designed for a 16 gram CO2 cartridge, but you can simply slip a dime and then 16 pennies(I think) down into the tube so you can use an 8 gram cartridge with a rubber band and a little strip of duct tape around it instead. Works like a charm. You might need 2 to 4 cartridges per bottle, but they can usually be gotten for about 50 cents each.

Initial outlay in equipment is the $30 tap and a few cartridges and some recycled soda bottles. It doesn't get any faster cheaper or easier than that.

Again, it's not exactly the professional route, but you're enjoying your home brew on tap and bottling day is a breeze. It could be a lot worse.

I just bought this off eBay. Going to put 3L of my recipe collaboration in one of these bad boys.

Thanks for the heads up Joe - this should be delicious and exciting!

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"calledthestig" post=346371 said:

I just bought this off eBay. Going to put 3L of my recipe collaboration in one of these bad boys.

Thanks for the heads up Joe - this should be delicious and exciting!

You too, ehhh.

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"BigFloyd" post=346350 said:

Gotta love the Vinator.

The bad reviews on it are because of folks not pushing the spring all the way up inside where it belongs. A flat screwdriver is all it takes.

Yeah, it's pretty common to not assemble completely right and then blame the product, I guess.

I wasn't even aware that this was an issue until recently. I just assembled my vinator and Bob's-your-uncle. Anyone tries to take it away from me, and I will kill them with my teeth.

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I guess that's why my LHBS sells them completely assembled, all I had to do was take it out of the box, set it on top of the bottle tree and fill it with StarSan. Like the Hat said, don't mess with a brewer's vinator.

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Well, I got home early today and decided to bottle my 5-gallon batch of 2 Daves Irish Red. I made the mistake of not using the trapper magnet when I pitched the yeast, so the stir bar wound up in the carboy, and I want to make a yeast starter Friday evening to be ready for the lager I'm brewing on Sunday.

Anyhoo, from start to finish, it took 2 hours (keep in mind, this is 5 gallons -- 51 bottles). That includes all the washing prior to and after the actual bottling

Considering it took me six hours when I brewed it, and I've waited 2 1/2 weeks (and will be waiting another four weeks until my first taste), 2 hours is small potatoes.

Long. Term. View.

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Bottling should be enjoyed not made to feel like work. I agree if you have the proper tools you can easily bottle two cases of beer in a couple of hours and I've done it many times.

I've completely eliminated 'gushers' too, you know every once in a while you pop open a bottle and it just foams over like mad. The fix was simple, buy a bottle brush and use it. I was rinsing my bottles right after emptying them, then on bottling day blasting the insides with hot water with a faucet mounted bottle sprayer before spritzing the insides with StarSan using a Vinator.

I still do all that but now I dip the bottle brush StarSan, push it into the bottle and scrub the insides before giving it another blast of hot water from the faucet mounted sprayer. I realized after some time that there was a slight ring of shmutz inside the bottle necks where the beer line was from the previous bottling.

It's a fact though that the combination of bottle brush, faucet bottle sprayer, vinator and bottle capper has made me a much happier brewer lately and much more confident with my packaging technique too.

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"Joechianti" post=345940 said:

There is a low-tech, inexpensive entry-level alternative. I'm not trying to compare it to real kegging, but it works. I call it the easy-Bake version of kegging.

You get a Tap-A-Draft head off ebay for $30, including shipping. You bottle a LBK batch in three 3 liter soda bottles and corbonate/condition just like you would all your small bottles. Then you chill one bottle at a time, remove the cap and screw on the Tap. The tap is designed for a 16 gram CO2 cartridge, but you can simply slip a dime and then 16 pennies(I think) down into the tube so you can use an 8 gram cartridge with a rubber band and a little strip of duct tape around it instead. Works like a charm. You might need 2 to 4 cartridges per bottle, but they can usually be gotten for about 50 cents each.

Initial outlay in equipment is the $30 tap and a few cartridges and some recycled soda bottles. It doesn't get any faster cheaper or easier than that.

Again, it's not exactly the professional route, but you're enjoying your home brew on tap and bottling day is a breeze. It could be a lot worse.

McGyver much?

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"Joechianti" post=347076 said:

"GodSpeed005" post=347062 said:


McGyver much?

Very much indeed.

Do you use this setup Joe?

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"calledthestig" post=347082 said:

"Joechianti" post=347076 said:

"GodSpeed005" post=347062 said:


McGyver much?

Very much indeed.

Do you use this setup Joe?

Yes. I found a used dual 8 gm tap and some Tap-a-Draft bottles on ebay first, because I already had a bunch of the 8 gm cartridges on hand. I had heard you could adapt the newer 16 gm tap to use the smaller cartridges, but I figured best to find the one that's already made for 8 gm.

I ended up buying a new 16 gm tap just to compare and to have multiple beers at once. Was planning to cut the first empty 16 gm cartridge and slip an 8 gm inside to see how it worked. Then I decided to just skip all that and slide the 8 gm right into the housing by itself, and it worked like a charm.

For a 3 liter bottle, it took me 2 8 gm cartridges to sucessfully deliver all the beer. One tip I should pass along: make sure you close the tap lever all the way back after pouring a beer. First time I used it, it sure felt like it was closed, and the safety lock even closed over it. Yet when I came back to the fridge for another glass, it had been leaking quite a bit. Just have to push back harder than you might naturally think and you're okay.

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"Joechianti" post=347094 said:


Yes. I found a used dual 8 gm tap and some Tap-a-Draft bottles on ebay first, because I already had a bunch of the 8 gm cartridges on hand. I had heard you could adapt the newer 16 gm tap to use the smaller cartridges, but I figured best to find the one that's already made for 8 gm.

I ended up buying a new 16 gm tap just to compare and to have multiple beers at once. Was planning to cut the first empty 16 gm cartridge and slip an 8 gm inside to see how it worked. Then I decided to just skip all that and slide the 8 gm right into the housing by itself, and it worked like a charm.

For a 3 liter bottle, it took me 2 8 gm cartridges to sucessfully deliver all the beer. One tip I should pass along: make sure you close the tap lever all the way back after pouring a beer. First time I used it, it sure felt like it was closed, and the safety lock even closed over it. Yet when I came back to the fridge for another glass, it had been leaking quite a bit. Just have to push back harder than you might naturally think and you're okay.

I look forward to trying this out. I plan to MacGyver an adapter to the smaller and more common 2L bottles.

So, when you insert the co2 cartridge, does it all discharge into the bottle at once and then absorb, or is it somehow regulated on demand?

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Got my Vinator today, assembled it, gave it a test run..... and it.. works like a charm :woohoo: I never thought I would say this but I actually look forward to bottling my witbier in a few days! What do you all do after you are done using it? Disassemble it? Clean it? Dry it and leave it?

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I agree with everyone, the sanitizing equipment is key, as well as bottling wand. Preparation and sanitizing all the bottles without vinator and bottling tree SUCKS!

Also try batch priming if you have not already. But only if you have the proper siphoning equipment and autosiphon... or at least be damn good at a manual siphon before attempting to use it on beer.

That said, for an LBK sized batch, I've found batch priming saves no time (for me it takes longer) plus you got one more fermentor to sanitize, and then clean after you're done. I've switched back to bottle priming unless I need to get very specific with Carb levels. But a lot of people swear by batch priming so its a must try at least so see what works for you.

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"BrewThrough" post=347123 said:


I look forward to trying this out. I plan to MacGyver an adapter to the smaller and more common 2L bottles.

So, when you insert the co2 cartridge, does it all discharge into the bottle at once and then absorb, or is it somehow regulated on demand?

There's no rgulator, really. It just comes out at one speed until the pressure is equal on both sides of the tap, I am guessing. I'm very low tech, so that's the best I can describe it.

I have to tell you, I finish off a 6 liter bottle of beer with this tap on it in a week by myself. The main reason for the 3 liter size is to have more variety, especially since the tap fits right on it perfectly.

But a 2 liter bottle, especially if you have to alter the tap, may not be worth the effort. I guess it depends on how fast you will drink it. For me, two people sitting at the table with a 2 liter is a done deal, no tap required.

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"yankfan9" said:

What do you all do after you are done using it? Disassemble it? Clean it? Dry it and leave it?

Disassemble and let it dry.

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"Joechianti" post=347774 said:

For me, two people sitting at the table with a 2 liter is a done deal, no tap required.

2 liter, done deal by myself no help required. :laugh:

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"Jimjohson" post=347855 said:

"Joechianti" post=347774 said:

For me, two people sitting at the table with a 2 liter is a done deal, no tap required.

2 liter, done deal by myself no help required. :laugh:

I like your style.

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"Joechianti" post=347774 said:


There's no rgulator, really. It just comes out at one speed until the pressure is equal on both sides of the tap, I am guessing. I'm very low tech, so that's the best I can describe it.

I have to tell you, I finish off a 6 liter bottle of beer with this tap on it in a week by myself. The main reason for the 3 liter size is to have more variety, especially since the tap fits right on it perfectly.

But a 2 liter bottle, especially if you have to alter the tap, may not be worth the effort. I guess it depends on how fast you will drink it. For me, two people sitting at the table with a 2 liter is a done deal, no tap required.

Thanks for the answer, Joe. This is going to be cool.

I got mine already and I also have a cap, so the MacGyver adapter is in progress. The reason for that is those 3 liter bottles are impossible to find around here and I dont like paying $8.00 for a 6 liter. It could still come to that if I'm drinking a 2 liter too fast. My mod doesnt require any change to the tap. I'll post a pic when it's done.

One more question is about the 8 gram cartridges, do you wrap rubber bands on the nipple end or is that end the same as 16 gram catridges?

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Nevermind the cartridge question, I can probably figure that out.

I made my 2 liter adapter, but I have a problem and will have to do it again. I used JB Weld and used a TAD cap as the mold. I cut the top and neck off a 2 liter and shoved it into the JB. I used some mold release and it worked, but only on one end. When the JB hardened I unscrewed the TAD cap and the blob has threads. The problem is I didnt use enough release on the 2 liter end and cant unscrew it from the blob.

I test fit it to the Tap and it accepted it without any problem, so right concept incomplete execution.

I'm going to try it again and this time I'll use chapstick as a release. That should prevent any lock up.

EDIT: I cut the first adapter apart and examined it, the problem is the threads I was trying to mold are not continuous and will lock no matter what. Take a look at a Mr. Beer bottle and look at the threads, they have vertical spaces. They'll lock if molded. It's still possible, but needs a slightly different approach.

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Harry,

Where are you at? Couldn't figure it out from your profile. The reason I ask is because I would rather see you find a way to get 3 liter bottles over to you than mess with the 2 liter bottles like that. For example, I'm collecting 3 liter bottles, which are readily available here in Austin, TX, for a friend of ours on the Borg in AZ, where they're not available. Maybe you can find a friend or relative or Borg member that can collect some for you and have them catch a ride your way with a mutual friend or relative. You might be successful with that 2 liter adaptation, but even so, that's getting to the point where the bottle is so small it hardly requires a tap with CO2. I'd just pour that 2 liters into a large pitcher and drink it all in one sitting with a friend, or leave it in the bottle and drink it within 24 hours, myself. That's just my thoughts. I don't mean to tell you what's best for you, but just some food for thought.

BTW, the tips of the 8 gm are virtually the same as tips on 16 gm. The rubber band and one layer of duct tape is just to make a snug fit of the main body so the tip is lined up in the center. And I counted the coins to make sure. It's a dime in the bottom and 16 pennies next to create the perfect height for the 8 gm to fit and meet the piercing pin just right in the plastic cup designed for the 16 gm cartridge.

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Thanks, Joe. I'll get it figured out. I havent checked everywhere maybe and summer is coming and those bottles might be more popular in summer with picnics and stuff. It's the off brands that still use them.

Anyway, I took the last of the JB I had and gave it another try. This time I took a cap which has the right threads already and sunk it in the JB after scoring it to give it something to grab. I'll have to drill the top out when it's ready. it'll work even if 2 liters is too small to be practical.

Worst case, I buy the overpriced 6 liter.

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I like your spunk. I admit, maybe the trouble of finding someone to get some 3 liter bottles and transport them to you is even worse than just buying a few of the 6 liter bottles. But those 6 liter ones are usually $10 plus shipping each, plus I like the fact that I can rotate the variety of beer more frequently or have several going at once more easily with the 3 liter bottles. But it always comes down to a matter of personal preference. What's best for me may be different than what's best for you. Many folks would even say we're crazy to even be messing with these taps.

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"Gluek" post=347771 said:

I agree with everyone, the sanitizing equipment is key, as well as bottling wand. Preparation and sanitizing all the bottles without vinator and bottling tree SUCKS!

Also try batch priming if you have not already. But only if you have the proper siphoning equipment and autosiphon... or at least be damn good at a manual siphon before attempting to use it on beer.

That said, for an LBK sized batch, I've found batch priming saves no time (for me it takes longer) plus you got one more fermentor to sanitize, and then clean after you're done. I've switched back to bottle priming unless I need to get very specific with Carb levels. But a lot of people swear by batch priming so its a must try at least so see what works for you.


I don't think anyone would say batch priming is better because it's faster, you might be missing the point on this one.

Batch priming means moving your beer into a clean vessel, which translates into an opportunity to clean your beer and keep the shmutz out of your bottles.

Batch priming also means even carbonation between all bottles being filled, from the first bottle to the last and all in between.

Another great thing about batch priming is it allows you to fill bottles of different sizes 12, 16, 22, etc. ouncers and get the same carbonation. While there are very good reasons to batch prime saving time would not be very high up on this list.

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"Screwy Brewer" post=348491 said:

"Gluek" post=347771 said:

I agree with everyone, the sanitizing equipment is key, as well as bottling wand. Preparation and sanitizing all the bottles without vinator and bottling tree SUCKS!

Also try batch priming if you have not already. But only if you have the proper siphoning equipment and autosiphon... or at least be damn good at a manual siphon before attempting to use it on beer.

That said, for an LBK sized batch, I've found batch priming saves no time (for me it takes longer) plus you got one more fermentor to sanitize, and then clean after you're done. I've switched back to bottle priming unless I need to get very specific with Carb levels. But a lot of people swear by batch priming so its a must try at least so see what works for you.


I don't think anyone would say batch priming is better because it's faster, you might be missing the point on this one.

Batch priming means moving your beer into a clean vessel, which translates into an opportunity to clean your beer and keep the shmutz out of your bottles.

Batch priming also means even carbonation between all bottles being filled, from the first bottle to the last and all in between.

Another great thing about batch priming is it allows you to fill bottles of different sizes 12, 16, 22, etc. ouncers and get the same carbonation. While there are very good reasons to batch prime saving time would not be very high up on this list.

How much sugar/water is needed to batch prime a LBK? I have never batch primed but I am thinking about it for this next batch.

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"Deejay" post=348518 said:

How much sugar/water is needed to batch prime a LBK? I have never batch primed but I am thinking about it for this next batch.

Lots of threads on this. 1/2 cup water to the right amount of sugar, using Screwy's calculator at www.screwybrewer.com. I use 65% of Mr. Beer levels, by weight, except for the Nut Brown I just did where I lowered it based on his calculator.

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+1 on using Screwy's calculator. It hasn't steered me wrong yet. Some of it is going to depend on what the style of beer is, but as an overall, blanket number, I would say around 2 ounces of sugar for an LBK batch.

Use the calculator and see what you come up with, though; I'm just pulling that number from memory (AKA my @ss).

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I saw a vinator demonstrated at the LHBS. The beer guru who showed it liked it a lot, and it looked really simple to use.Married to a bottle tree the sanitizing step looks pretty painless. Using a bottling wand with a longish hose you can set a case of bottles on the floor and fill them quickly and easily. The 2" hose MB ships with the wand isn't really ideal.
Has anybody used the Party Pig? It looks perfect for a Mr. Beer sized batch.

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"pspearing" post=348930 said:

I saw a vinator demonstrated at the LHBS. The beer guru who showed it liked it a lot, and it looked really simple to use.Married to a bottle tree the sanitizing step looks pretty painless. Using a bottling wand with a longish hose you can set a case of bottles on the floor and fill them quickly and easily. The 2" hose MB ships with the wand isn't really ideal.
Has anybody used the Party Pig? It looks perfect for a Mr. Beer sized batch.


Answered here: http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/338377-1-gallon-mini-keg-instead-of-bottling#338533

The site search isn't great (although it found this answer), but using the search below you can find anything.

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My eBay listing says it takes 16g CO2 cartridges - does anyone have an idea of what type of cartridges work in this head?

I know I read something about 8g ones being cheaper but not sure if I just missed the talk about 16g?

Also does it take threaded or non-threaded? Thanks for your help guys!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tap-A-Draft-Tap-Uses-16-gram-CO2-Cartridges-Homebrew-Beer-System-Kegerator-/130740740345

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"calledthestig" post=348955 said:

My eBay listing says it takes 16g CO2 cartridges - does anyone have an idea of what type of cartridges work in this head?

I know I read something about 8g ones being cheaper but not sure if I just missed the talk about 16g?

Also does it take threaded or non-threaded? Thanks for your help guys!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tap-A-Draft-Tap-Uses-16-gram-CO2-Cartridges-Homebrew-Beer-System-Kegerator-/130740740345

This tap is built to take a 16 gm non-threaded cartridge. If you drop a dime followed by 16 pennies into the tube that holds the cartridge, then you can drop an 8 gm one in there and it will be virtually the exact height to accept the pin that punctures it. That takes care of the height difference. The 8 gm is also smaller in diameter than the 16 gm, so you can wrap a heavy rubber band around the main body and then wrap a layer of duct tape over that. Then it will fit nicely in the tube without wobbling and the tip will be centered nicely to accept the pin as well. That method was fast and easy for me, and it worked like a charm. I'm sure there's other ways to accomplish the same end.

One good thing about this is that the 16 gm head is designed for a 6 liter bottle. When using this tap on a 3 liter bottle, the 8 gm is not only more cost efficient, but it actually works even better than the 16, since the 16 is too much and foams up the beer something awful in the beginning. Halfway through, if you need to add another 8 gm cartridge, that's fine.

As for cost, the average price of 16 grams is about $2 each, more or less, depending on where you find them. The average price of 8 grams is closer to 60 cents, more or less, depending on where you find them. Where I come from, 60 cents times two is better than $2.

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"Joechianti" post=349112 said:

"calledthestig" post=348955 said:

My eBay listing says it takes 16g CO2 cartridges - does anyone have an idea of what type of cartridges work in this head?

I know I read something about 8g ones being cheaper but not sure if I just missed the talk about 16g?

Also does it take threaded or non-threaded? Thanks for your help guys!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tap-A-Draft-Tap-Uses-16-gram-CO2-Cartridges-Homebrew-Beer-System-Kegerator-/130740740345

This tap is built to take a 16 gm non-threaded cartridge. If you drop a dime followed by 16 pennies into the tube that holds the cartridge, then you can drop an 8 gm one in there and it will be virtually the exact height to accept the pin that punctures it. That takes care of the height difference. The 8 gm is also smaller in diameter than the 16 gm, so you can wrap a heavy rubber band around the main body and then wrap a layer of duct tape over that. Then it will fit nicely in the tube without wobbling and the tip will be centered nicely to accept the pin as well. That method was fast and easy for me, and it worked like a charm. I'm sure there's other ways to accomplish the same end.

One good thing about this is that the 16 gm head is designed for a 6 liter bottle. When using this tap on a 3 liter bottle, the 8 gm is not only more cost efficient, but it actually works even better than the 16, since the 16 is too much and foams up the beer something awful in the beginning. Halfway through, if you need to add another 8 gm cartridge, that's fine.

As for cost, the average price of 16 grams is about $2 each, more or less, depending on where you find them. The average price of 8 grams is closer to 60 cents, more or less, depending on where you find them. Where I come from, 60 cents times two is better than $2.

see if you can't fix it with duct tape, it just can't be fixed :)

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"Joechianti" post=349112 said:

"calledthestig" post=348955 said:

My eBay listing says it takes 16g CO2 cartridges - does anyone have an idea of what type of cartridges work in this head?

I know I read something about 8g ones being cheaper but not sure if I just missed the talk about 16g?

Also does it take threaded or non-threaded? Thanks for your help guys!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tap-A-Draft-Tap-Uses-16-gram-CO2-Cartridges-Homebrew-Beer-System-Kegerator-/130740740345

This tap is built to take a 16 gm non-threaded cartridge. If you drop a dime followed by 16 pennies into the tube that holds the cartridge, then you can drop an 8 gm one in there and it will be virtually the exact height to accept the pin that punctures it. That takes care of the height difference. The 8 gm is also smaller in diameter than the 16 gm, so you can wrap a heavy rubber band around the main body and then wrap a layer of duct tape over that. Then it will fit nicely in the tube without wobbling and the tip will be centered nicely to accept the pin as well. That method was fast and easy for me, and it worked like a charm. I'm sure there's other ways to accomplish the same end.

One good thing about this is that the 16 gm head is designed for a 6 liter bottle. When using this tap on a 3 liter bottle, the 8 gm is not only more cost efficient, but it actually works even better than the 16, since the 16 is too much and foams up the beer something awful in the beginning. Halfway through, if you need to add another 8 gm cartridge, that's fine.

As for cost, the average price of 16 grams is about $2 each, more or less, depending on where you find them. The average price of 8 grams is closer to 60 cents, more or less, depending on where you find them. Where I come from, 60 cents times two is better than $2.

Thanks Joe - greatly appreciated. I will try to find some 8 gram cartridges this week and try your pennies and dime trick.

BUT you're saying that the head I linked above (the one I have on a 3 liter soda bottle) won't be as good as its technically designed for a 6 liter bottle?

Thanks again.

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"calledthestig" post=349131 said:


Thanks Joe - greatly appreciated. I will try to find some 8 gram cartridges this week and try your pennies and dime trick.

BUT you're saying that the head I linked above (the one I have on a 3 liter soda bottle) won't be as good as its technically designed for a 6 liter bottle?

Thanks again.

No, the tap head is fine. I'm just saying the 16 gm cartridge it's designed to use on a 6 liter bottle is pretty powerful for a 3 liter bottle. It's just interesting to note that you get a softer, smoother flow of CO2 when you "cheat" and use the smaller cartridge in it. That lends itself well to using the smaller bottles.

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"Joechianti" post=349140 said:

"calledthestig" post=349131 said:


Thanks Joe - greatly appreciated. I will try to find some 8 gram cartridges this week and try your pennies and dime trick.

BUT you're saying that the head I linked above (the one I have on a 3 liter soda bottle) won't be as good as its technically designed for a 6 liter bottle?

Thanks again.

No, the tap head is fine. I'm just saying the 16 gm cartridge it's designed to use on a 6 liter bottle is pretty powerful for a 3 liter bottle. It's just interesting to note that you get a softer, smoother flow of CO2 when you "cheat" and use the smaller cartridge in it. That lends itself well to using the smaller bottles.

Oh, oh, oh okay. I am going to check Walmart for the cartridges and try the penny trick tonight if I can find some.

I have it hooked up to the Ginger Ale that came in the bottle since I haven't bottled my Collaboration beer yet -- hoping to do that this week. At least want to try the tap head now.

Thanks again for all your help (with everything).

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"calledthestig" post=349143 said:

Oh, oh, oh okay. I am going to check Walmart for the cartridges and try the penny trick tonight if I can find some.

I have it hooked up to the Ginger Ale that came in the bottle since I haven't bottled my Collaboration beer yet -- hoping to do that this week. At least want to try the tap head now.

Thanks again for all your help (with everything).

All I found in Walmart was 12 grams for Air Guns, basically. My LHBS was the place to find 8 gram and 16 gram. The only resaon I bought a single 16 gram was to cut the top off and use it as a sleeve for the 8 gram. Then I realized you don't even need that. Just put the 8 gram directly into the plastic housing where the 16 gram goes, using the coins to bring it up higher.

I've heard that Walmart may sell them in the baking supply area, but I've never looked there yet.

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I've got 1/2 the puzzle solved, found some 3 liters at the store hidden all by themselves. Now it's time to track down the CO2 and brew a batch. The one beer I brewed that would be awesome as draft was the Munton's hopped light for 5 gallons squeezed into 2. It was hoppy, amber/reddish and had a thick head like me.

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I love kegging to not bottle AS MUCH ... but I'll always bottle some batches, I bet.

It is a pain in the ass, rinsing every bottle when you're done ... sanitizing empty bottles for the next batch ... but the actual bottling process, while yah, PITA, isn't all that bad. I guess I got the knack, and I still use a wing capper with the bottles on the floor.

What made it much better for me was getting the hose and bottle wand, so I don't have to lift each bottle ... like with the "old" MrB spigots. That was PITA.

For years, I never realized that the beer would come out so much faster if I took the lid off first ... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

With 5 gal ale pale, I just take airlock out first.

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I just washed 113 bottles that I got via Craigslist, which is my full inventory of bottles with no labels on them. Took a few hours, but now I've got enough bottles, with some PETs, to do 6 batches. I might be at critical mass, where my bottle inventory and new bottles being emptied equals what I need to put new batches into. At least I'm good until mid-May.

If I have to dip into the nearly 10 cases of empties that I have left, then it's time to soak labels off again.

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Bottled my BIAB Witbier yesterday and used my vinator for the first time. What a breeze sanitizing was! Thank you for convincing me to get one :banana: Bottling now is much easier!

:cheers:

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I bottled for the first time on Sunday and I already hate it. Next time I'm definitely going to batch prime just to speed things up and hopefully to eliminate the mess.

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I decided to clean my batch of bottles yesterday as had a few swingtops that were given to me by a coworker of SWMBO to taste his beers. I plan on giving him a few of mine for feedback so wanted to return his bottles at the same time. Strangely, while doing the dreaded cleaning task, I found myself whistling and smiling, thinking of my beer that use to be in all those bottles and planning what I was going to give Who from my pipeline for feedback, to say thank you, or "just because." Plus, I was remembering the feedback and "thanks" from people who returned some of the empties as well as what was still out there waiting to be enjoyed. With everyone being so busy it seems to be far and few between that guests have time to come over and siphon off the keg. Ever single one of those bottles has some story behind it and it was nice to know I was behind it.

Now, if I can just keep that attitude when bottling in a week....

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Joe, so do you only use three 3 liter bottles for a batch, and then just bottle the rest of the batch as normal? I ask because the grocery store I work at has 3 liter soda bottles on sale for 99 cents right now. So I'm thinking can't I just get 9 of these bottles and be able to "keg" 2.5 gallons of beer? And if I understand this correctly, all you do is batch prime as usual, then when it comes time to use the tap (after carbing/conditioning), you just take the cap off of one the the 3 liter bottles and install the tap? Sounds too easy!

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"yankfan9" post=352479 said:

Joe, so do you only use three 3 liter bottles for a batch, and then just bottle the rest of the batch as normal? I ask because the grocery store I work at has 3 liter soda bottles on sale for 99 cents right now. So I'm thinking can't I just get 9 of these bottles and be able to "keg" 2.5 gallons of beer? And if I understand this correctly, all you do is batch prime as usual, then when it comes time to use the tap (after carbing/conditioning), you just take the cap off of one the the 3 liter bottles and install the tap? Sounds too easy!

Actually, three 3 liter bottles is almost perfect for holding an entire LBK batch, right about 2.5 gallons. Figure, 2.5 gallons is 320 ounces and 9 liters is 304 ounces. If I feel like having some individual bottles from that batch, I'd just use two of the 3 liters and the rest to smaller bottles. With nine of them, you could bottle up three LBK batches. And yes, it really is that easy. I don't even batch prime. I just bottle prime those 3 liters., fill with beer, cap them off to condition, and then chill them before swapping out the cap for the tap.

They say to use only about half as much priming sugar as normal, I suppose because you'll be adding co2. First time I used the tap, it was almost pure foam for the first few cups, then settled down to a nice flow. I decided to see what would happen if I primed it with normal amounts and then put the tap on but don't engage the co2 until it was actually necessary. I found that the natural co2 from my priming sugar carried me nicely for awhile. Then I screwed in the co2 when the flow slowed down.

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Whoops yeah my math was way off there haha, that's awesome then! I bought the tap off ebay just now and plan to get those bottles and cartridges before my next batch! Thanks for all of this info

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"Joechianti" post=352491 said:

"yankfan9" post=352479 said:

Joe, so do you only use three 3 liter bottles for a batch, and then just bottle the rest of the batch as normal? I ask because the grocery store I work at has 3 liter soda bottles on sale for 99 cents right now. So I'm thinking can't I just get 9 of these bottles and be able to "keg" 2.5 gallons of beer? And if I understand this correctly, all you do is batch prime as usual, then when it comes time to use the tap (after carbing/conditioning), you just take the cap off of one the the 3 liter bottles and install the tap? Sounds too easy!

Actually, three 3 liter bottles is almost perfect for holding an entire LBK batch, right about 2.5 gallons. Figure, 2.5 gallons is 320 ounces and 9 liters is 304 ounces. If I feel like having some individual bottles from that batch, I'd just use two of the 3 liters and the rest to smaller bottles. With nine of them, you could bottle up three LBK batches. And yes, it really is that easy. I don't even batch prime. I just bottle prime those 3 liters., fill with beer, cap them off to condition, and then chill them before swapping out the cap for the tap.

They say to use only about half as much priming sugar as normal, I suppose because you'll be adding co2. First time I used the tap, it was almost pure foam for the first few cups, then settled down to a nice flow. I decided to see what would happen if I primed it with normal amounts and then put the tap on but don't engage the co2 until it was actually necessary. I found that the natural co2 from my priming sugar carried me nicely for awhile. Then I screwed in the co2 when the flow slowed down.

Oh sweet so if I bottle primed then I don't even need a CO2 cartridge to even start the tap - that's awesome.

I cannot wait the 3-4 weeks for my beer to be ready then. Woohoo!

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"calledthestig" post=352496 said:

Oh sweet so if I bottle primed then I don't even need a CO2 cartridge to even start the tap - that's awesome.

I cannot wait the 3-4 weeks for my beer to be ready then. Woohoo!

Well, I can't guarantee that, but it worked for me. the first day I just used the natural pressure, then the second day I screwed in the co2 cartridge. I think I actually went through an entire 6 liter bottle of beer with only 0ne 8 gram cartridge that way. A second one would have given me more pressure, but I still had enough to tap and drink all of it.

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I can't wait to do this now either, sounds awesome. So when when you replace the cap with the tap isn't all the carbonation that built up released when the cap is taken off? Or just some of it, then the CO2 cartridge replaces what pressure was lost when you opened it to switch the cap for the tap. Sorry if that is a dumb question, this is the first time I have even considered any form of dispensing beer other than bottles

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"yankfan9" post=352528 said:

I can't wait to do this now either, sounds awesome. So when when you replace the cap with the tap isn't all the carbonation that built up released when the cap is taken off? Or just some of it, then the CO2 cartridge replaces what pressure was lost when you opened it to switch the cap for the tap. Sorry if that is a dumb question, this is the first time I have even considered any form of dispensing beer other than bottles

I asked this a page or two back and the answer was that you should put the bottle with the normal cap on in the fridge for about 3 days before you plan on changing to the tap cap.

This allows the CO2 to be absorbed by the liquid so this way when you open the cap, you are only using the CO2 from the headspace above the beer. Makes sense if you think about it. You open a soda bottle multiple times and it stays carbonated for a while after opening it.

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"yankfan9" post=352528 said:

I can't wait to do this now either, sounds awesome. So when when you replace the cap with the tap isn't all the carbonation that built up released when the cap is taken off? Or just some of it, then the CO2 cartridge replaces what pressure was lost when you opened it to switch the cap for the tap. Sorry if that is a dumb question, this is the first time I have even considered any form of dispensing beer other than bottles

They say there's no such thing as a dumb question, right? Or is that a dumb question?

You hardly lose anything when you switch over from cap to tap. Just don't linger. lready have the tap sanitized. Have the bottle well chilled. Stand it up, make the sway, then sit it back in fridge lying down. make sure the tap is fully closed. Seriously.

I place the coins and the cartridge in the tap before putting it on the bottle, but I don't screw the housing in enough to pierce the cartridge until a day or two later, when the flow of beer gets too slow.


One thing to be careful about is those dang tiny black washers and O rings inside the tube where the cartridge goes. They tend to move out of place and block the flow of co2 or fall out and get lost. You'll see what I mean.

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Thanks for all the replies guys :cheers: And one last question.. until I think of more :whistle: Since you have three 3 liters full of beer but only one tap, do you leave the other two bottles conditioning for longer, or pop them in the fridge as well so the flavor doesn't change anymore? That is, if you don't want the flavor to change anymore. And how often do you change the bottles and get new ones? Thanks

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