CO2 Powered Bottling
Who likes lifting heavy things? Right, so why lift, when you can simply turn on the gas? In his article on CO2 racking, Falcons' President Drew described how you can use CO2 to move your beer from Carboy to Carboy (or keg to keg). But why stop there? Let CO2 assist you when it comes time to bottle.
What you need; you probably already have 90% of what you need if you have a CO2 setup:
- CO2 tank
- Standard out-hose -- 1/4" inner diameter (id)
- 2' of 3/8 id tubing
- Bottle filler (get a good heavy duty one – John sells "Phil's Philler – recommended)
- Screw-tight hose clamp
- 1/4" to 3/8" reducer-barb (this simply allows you to make the 1/4" hose talk to the 3/8" hose)
This process is even easier if you secondary your beer in 5 gallon cornies. Even if you don't, you can achieve the desired results by using a corny as a bottling bucket.
Setup as if you were going to move beer out of the keg using CO2; standard keg to keg transfer. But, instead of connecting to another keg, plug in the ¼" end of the reducer-barb to the beer line. Attach the 3/8" tubing to the other 3/8" end of the barb. You don't need a clamp here, as the barbs will hold. Jam the bottle filler into the other end of the 3/8" tubing. Secure it with the clamp. Now you are ready to bottle.
The Phantom Brewer recommends no more than 10 psi – use 3 psi if you are bottling out of a glass carboy. You will find that the CO2 fills the bottles about three times as quickly as gravity, and you don't have to lift or move a thing. Foaming is normal – you will lose a minute amount of beer.