Bottling from pressure barrels

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Bottling from pressure barrels

Post by Paddington » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:39 pm

I invested in some small pressure barrels as I was told by my local home-brew shop that they will continue to keep beer fresh for months once you start drinking it. I've since heard that's wrong.

I have made a few brews to give to people over Christmas which I've stored (primed with corn sugar) in pressure barrels for several weeks. Once I bottle them, will they need to be drunk pretty quickly, or will they keep OK in the bottles. Obviously, I will sanitise and bottle properly, I was not intending to add any further priming sugar/DME.

Also, I will be left with half full pressure barrels (with CO2 added). How long will that beer last (as that is for me!) Would I be better bottling it all?

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Re: Bottling from pressure barrels

Post by Eric » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:06 pm

My beers on average last 3 to 4 months in plastic barrels. They will last longer provided they are uninfected, the cask properly sanitised and constantly under CO2 pressure, but different beers can age in different ways.
Bottles usually last longer for a number of reasons, but the beer won't necessarily taste any better.
I always cask beers intended for bottling usually for a week or two and am about to do that in the next week of one casked 5 days ago. Those bottles will be primed with almost a half teaspoon of dextrose monohydrate, brewing sugar from Wilkos, even though fermentables do remain in the cask, but don't consider it to be sufficient for this beer.
The remaining beer should have no shorter life unless I make a pig's breakfast of the transfer.
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Re: Bottling from pressure barrels

Post by Fil » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:02 am

I agree PBs should keep your beer for months ok. As long as you keep a positive pressure in the barrel while pouring with co2 bulbs if necessary to avoid the glug of death (when the pressure falls to 1 atmosphere and air bubbles back up through the tap).

If you allow air to bubble back into the beer through the tap then you have a few days of shelf life left in the beer due afaik to oxidisation of the beer..

bottling from a PB with a bit of tube attached to the tap to reach the bottom of the bottle is OK for beer you intend to sup soon (later that day or the next) But it will have less condition than when poured. you can use this method to bottle and re-prime if needed which should provide you with a longer shelf life, but is also a bit of a gamble, and will take upto 3-4 weeks to recondition settle and clear..

I would bottle up your gifts last minute and suggest a swift drinking and keep the residue in the PB for when they come looking for more..

chilling and blasting with co2 bulbs could add some condition to the beers prior to bottling so the loss of condition due to bottling is less noticeable
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

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Re: Bottling from pressure barrels

Post by Paddington » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:43 pm

Thanks, both. That’s really helpful and also reassuring!

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Re: Bottling from pressure barrels

Post by FUBAR » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:32 pm

All the beers that I bottle always go into a PB for up to a month first,it is simple to attach a little bottler wand to the tap with a bit of silicone tubing and a couple of jubilee clips.The PB is vented the day before bottling to release any excess pressure that might cause froth when trying to bottle,using a PB this way works perfectly and gives the yeast time to drop and leave a bright beer going in the bottle.
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