|Homebrew bottle cap with schrader valve in it.|
This post will show you how to carbonate individual bottles of mead, cider, soda or homebrew beer at any residual sugar level, any carbonation level and without having to wait three extra weeks to bottle conditioning with yeast. I am not a huge fan of dry mead or cider, but I do prefer to bottle my homebrewed cider with some residual sugar leftover, so how can I leave some sugar in but carbonate in the bottle without the yeast metabolizing all of my sugar? I had written a previous post about force carbonating without a keg, but this is alot less expensive than the $20 carbonator cap at my local homebrew shop. In the past I would have to backsweeten with a juice concentrate and let the yeast add carbonation in the sealed bottle. This post will show you how by adding a schrader valve you can skip the whole bottle priming process and go straight to forced carbonation any beverage of your choice.This technique is really geared more towards 1 gallon brewers or people who frequently make small batches. I can see how constructing enough of these for a five gallon batch would be a pain in the ass! For me though I only have to make a few for my 1 gallon homebrew batches.
To do this the internal column of a hand bottling capper must be removed with a hacksaw to make room for the schrader valve while capping. So first we remove the walls on either side of the internal column to gain access to it and then remove it with a hacksaw. You will lose the magnetic bottom of the column that helps align the cap to the bottle. I have found that if careful this piece is not needed when bottling. I found that a dremel tool or cutting wheel attached to a hand drill work best.
|Homebrew bottle capper unaltered.|
|Bottle capper with outer wall removed.|
|Note the internal column.|
|Internal column removed with hacksaw.|
Take a quarter and place the corner of a piece of rigid paper over it. Using a pencil trace over the edge of the coin:
Once trimmed, place over more paper and cut out a second triangle the exact same size. Place one atop the other and align the edges as shown. Take a piece of glue and adhere them to eachother:
|Bottle cap with rough burrs.|
We will get to those burrs in a moment, first lets remove and sharpen up the hole on the underneat hside of the bottle cap:
Finally we grind down the top of the cap to remove the burrs. A grinder would be best, but I only have a sharpening stone:
Finally, insert your schrader valve into the bottle cap using pliers. I like to insert it as far as it will go, then use pliers to pull it from the top through the cap. Be careful not to damage the threading with the pliers!
I set my regulator to 55psi and let sit in 38 degrees F for three weeks as a bench test:
So by now you are probably wondering if this works right? You tell me:
|Removing homemade carbonator cap.|
Leave a comment!
Has anyone done anything similar to force carbonate homebrew, any thoughts on how to improve this? If so let me know!