Bottling for competitions


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Trial Member
Feb 6, 2013
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I'm not naive or or cocky enough to think that my beer is good enough to win anything, but I'm interested in finding some local competitions in which to solicit legitimate opinions of what I'm doing. But now that I've gone to kegging, I was hoping to find out the best way to bottle beer for said competitions. In my online research, I have seen several recommendations for both commercial and homemade beer guns, though the information on how long the bottle will stay carbed is sketchy. I know that I could rack a small amount into my bottling bucket, then prime the bottles. If it's a same-day competition, I could see simply bottling from the keg, capping on foam, and being fine for the short period. But some bigger competitions will have a period of a week or 2 between submissions and judging. Advice?
Thanks, that actually the exact same thread I saw yesterday. I was just wondering if anyone has used this or similar methods and then tested its efficacy over time. I would think that 2 weeks would be enough. Also, do the oxygen barrier caps really make a significant difference over the standard crown caps?
All caps are "oxygen barrier" in that if they'd let gas in, they'd let it out....
Okay, so it's a semantics thing, but you can buy the "nicer" caps and I was wondering whether those actually make a difference if it's just a way to charge more for a cheap piece of metal.
I have noticed better stability and shelf life with oxy-caps. I buy them and they are worth it to me.
Sorry I didn't get back earlier but I've been busy today.
The Oxygen Caps actually have a plastic liner containing an oxygen scavenging agent.
They will absorb oxygen that is left in the neck space after bottling.
If you bottle from a keg, they will be very beneficial. When bottle conditioning, they're not as important but can still reduce the chance of oxidation.
I only bottle for competition and bottle from a keg with a filler setup similar to the link above and have no problem with carbonation levels.
Hope this helps
Thanks, very helpful info all around. I really appreciate the feedback I get on here, as I'm always a little angsty when it comes to brewing and equipment and such. I had been hoping to bottle up some of my summer lemongrass beer, but alas, I drained the keg too quickly. It's a bittersweet feeling to have to take it all apart and clean it; bitter because it's gone and cleaning is the worst part, sweet because it was really good and because my keg is cleaned and sanitized and ready for more!
I just found this handy little device on Amazon; the reviews seem to be quite good, but even if it isn't perfect, I figure that $9 is a small price to pay even for a failed experiment. I want to test it on a few bottles and open then at different intervals to test to carbonation. ... _re_dt_dt1
And don't be too sure your beer isn't good enough to win competitions: I took a silver at the Colorado State Fair in my flight for a blonde ale - the first entry I'd ever made!
Actually, I was really confident in my brewing after checking out several local cart brewers' samples at a beerfest. And now that I'm kegging, I feel a lot better about clarity and consistency. Now to find some contests.
Check for county and state fairs. You're in Indianapolis, right? You can enter Kentucky's as well! It's in Louisville, just a couple hours down the road....