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mafifer

Incident during bottling

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So last night when bottling my belgian spiced, I noticed something occurring that did not happen with my first batch (Diablo IPA).  My first bottle in particular was the worst offender but with the bottle angled under the spout and the spout only turned about 3/4's open, a large amount of foam filled the bottle.  It filled it so quickly that I could not even fill the bottle before it began overflowing and foam was going all over the floor.  

 

My first batch I had the carbo drops and never ran into this issue, this time I used good ole sugar.  I am curious what exactly I did wrong that caused that to occur?  I don't recall doing anything different on every subsequent bottle and while a lot of them had some foam on top, none of the others had quite the same amount nor overflowed like that first bottle.  

 

Also, I seriously am awful at stopping the beer at the right spot when bottling.  Any tips to get a little better at it?  I don't know if part of my problem is I just keep the keg on my kitchen counter and hold the bottle below the spout.  I am 6'5" and the counter tops in my house are kinda low so its just a bit awkward for me to hold the bottle there.  Anyway I am all ears if anyone has tips to actually just make the process easier (aside from cold crashing and batch priming, those are not my concern right now).  

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The foam is most likely a result of residual Co2. You can reduce it by cold-crashing before bottling. I know you said "aside from cold-crashing", but that's really the best option.

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Just to clarify - did you use the Mr. Beer No Rinse Sanitizer, or something else?

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Also, I seriously am awful at stopping the beer at the right spot when bottling.  Any tips to get a little better at it?

 

Get a bottling wand. I did, and I'm glad I did. (You just fill it to the top, and when you take the bottle away, it's filled to the perfect spot.)

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Just to clarify - did you use the Mr. Beer No Rinse Sanitizer, or something else?

 

I did use it, both before starting the batch in the LBK and in the bottles before bottling.  

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Figured you probably did.  StarSan is known for foaming, and often the bottles overflow in foam during bottling - which is not the case here.

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Figured you probably did.  StarSan is known for foaming, and often the bottles overflow in foam during bottling - which is not the case here.

 

Could the no rinse do that if maybe I did not dilute it well enough?  I put the half packet in a gallon of water and shook it for a good 3 minutes so I don't want to believe I did not mix it well but who knows.  

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Could the no rinse do that if maybe I did not dilute it well enough?  I put the half packet in a gallon of water and shook it for a good 3 minutes so I don't want to believe I did not mix it well but who knows.  

 

No, the No-rinse doesn't foam at all, even in high concentrations.

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I put my lbk on the edge of the kitchen table and sit in a chair to bottle. I still am not great stopping it at the right time but getting better with more batches. I have more of a problem when the keg is getting empty and wants to push away when I try to close it One handed.

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I put my lbk on the edge of the kitchen table and sit in a chair to bottle. I still am not great stopping it at the right time but getting better with more batches. I have more of a problem when the keg is getting empty and wants to push away when I try to close it One handed.

 

I assume the same position for bottling. Both of your issues would be cured with a bottling wand.

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Get a bottling wand. I did, and I'm glad I did. (You just fill it to the top, and when you take the bottle away, it's filled to the perfect spot.)

Same here. The bottling wand makes filling the bottles alot easier.

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Same here. The bottling wand makes filling the bottles alot easier.

Well I think I am sold on this wand idea.  There is a LHBS near where I will be working tomorrow so I will have to stop in and hopefully they will have one.  Are they like 1 size fits all, or is there a chance I could buy one that does not fit the LBK?

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They are NOT one size fits all.  If you can bring the spigot with you, you need to buy a short piece of tubing to connect to the wand and to the spigot of the LBK.  If you buy a slimline instead, you don't need the tube, but then you need a hose to flow from the LBK to the slimline (or use the wand with the tubing).  

 

I believe it's a 3/8" wand, and you get 3/8" ID tubing to connect it.  There are also 1/2" wands.

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They are NOT one size fits all.  If you can bring the spigot with you, you need to buy a short piece of tubing to connect to the wand and to the spigot of the LBK.  If you buy a slimline instead, you don't need the tube, but then you need a hose to flow from the LBK to the slimline (or use the wand with the tubing).  

 

I believe it's a 3/8" wand, and you get 3/8" ID tubing to connect it.  There are also 1/2" wands.

 

So to make sure I have this right, I watched the Mr. Beer how to video for the wand and I just want to make sure I understood what I saw.  Once I attach the wand to the spigot, I turn the spigot on but the beer does not actually flow thru the wand unless something is applying pressure to that little black tip, correct?  I would just turn the spigot on once, and then not have to worry about being able to turn that off in time?  

 

In the video I never saw one of the person's hands go back off screen to turn the spigot off so I may just be jumping to conclusions here.  

 

One secondary question regarding wand use, once its attached is there risk that it could just come off and then my beer will go all over the place?  

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While never having used one, I believe you are correct - turn the spigot on once and the bottling wand will control the flow, meaning you don't have to turn the spigot on & off.

 

While I cannot speak for the Slimline containers, if you put 3/8" ID tubing on the LBK spigot, it isn't going to just pop off. It takes a fair bit of work to get it on the spigot (make sure it's connected well) and since there is no pressure behind the beer draining, it won't come off by itself.

 

 :)

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I also use the bottling wand. As others have said, you slide the tube over the spigot and turn it on full open. I have noticed that if I do not open it all the way, it seems to add air and does not flow smoothly. Before adding the wand to the LBK, I transfer the beer from the fermenting LBK to a clean, sanitized LBK then batch prime. When I am ready to bottle, I set a small cooler on my kitchen table and set the LBK on top of that. That puts the bottle just about the right height for me (but I'm only 5'9") sitting in a chair to fill it, cap it, then set it out of the way.

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