Hello from US - and partial carbonation drops to offset CO2 loss when bottling under pressure?

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Good Truble

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Hello All!

I invited myself over US homebrew sites to seek out more info/opinions on all things homebrew.

While I'm saying hi anyway, I wanted to ask for any opinions on my newest harebrained idea. - Even when using a counterpressure bottle filler, I think I lose some amount of carbonation when bottling off a tap. Could I just add 1/4 of a carbonation drop/tablet to then dissolve and slowly offset that carb loss?

I also considered just adding sugar (but this causes more foaming) or dissolved sugar (no extra foaming but takes more time to prep). I guess I could also just keep a small bottle of pre-made sugar solution in the fridge to dose bottle as/when needed.
 

MashBasher

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Howdy there partner.

I do a lot of counter pressure bottling at times.

The attached article has some good info.

My take on your idea is that you risk an uncontrolled secondary fermentation in the bottle by adding more fermentables. Plus it adds time to get the beer back in drinking condition.

Here are my personal tips for good CP fills.

1. Get it cold. Everything. Filling source. Lines. Receiving bottles (Tip - pour yourself a beer or two out of the CP filler before you start. That will chill the lines down, But drink quickly or they will warm up again!)
2. Raise the keg pressure from its "perfect" level by a few PSI immediately prior to CP.
3. Fit a John Guest style non-return valve to the filling line. Its surprising how much it helps.
4. Pre-pressure the bottle properly and fill SLOWLY. There should be none or very little foaming during filling. When you get the speed right you will only get the slightest "pfft" sound as you remove the CP filler. Excess pressure will bleed off as gas is displaced by beer.

Now this is not in the category of "tips" but it is a useful gadget. The quality of your CP filler matters a quite bit, particularly the way it seals against the bottle and how controllable it is. I have one of these BrewBottler. Mine is the better (if more expensive) stainless steel Gen 1 version. It works very well but it is way overpriced.

WW get a lot of flack on this forum, so I'll probably get roasted, but meh. Their filler is much better than the home made CP filler I used for years and most importantly I can set up, bottle a half dozen beers and be off to a mates place in no time, with little mess and no problems.

Good luck.
 

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  • A Guide to Counter Pressure.pdf
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Good Truble

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Thank you for the info. The non-return valve is interesting and not something I had seen before.

I'm using a kegland nukatap CP filler. It was cheaper, smaller, and more adaptable than other options and matched up with my kegerator set-up.

I think once I get my system dialed in, it will work well, but I also wondered if partial carb drop would allow for some wiggle room if the filling doesn't go perfect. I realize it's impossible to measure the exact amount of total carb that will result, but I also don't think a 1/4 tablet could produce enough to result in a problem. But I'll keep that option in the background for now.
 
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