Author Topic: Automatic beer bottling system DIY  (Read 7549 times)

Offline guillaumeboulanger

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Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« on: December 30, 2014, 08:21:29 PM »
Hello to you eager Homebrewers,

After a couple years using my Automatic Boulanger Bottling System and never seen the concept around any forum, I’d like to share the idea with the community. So the concept of the ABBS is simple, it’s a system that allow to bottle conditioning big batch of beer in a fraction of the time. I do bottle 100 liter in about 4 hours but I’m a bit lazy. By the way ABBS can stand for Automatic beer bottling system as well.

So let’s get to the point, ABBS is a gravity feed multi bottle that automatic fill to the desire level your bottle. The key to the system is a float valve (I use the blichmann AutoSparge™ that I already own for my brew session), that level the uncarbonated beer in a second vessel before filling your bottle. I did forgot to say the most interesting part of this ABBS, the bottle stop filling when they are full so no more over filling and you can do other things while it fill, like sanitizing bottle.


Here what you will need for this project but you probably own most of those equipment if you brew big batch:

-A bottling bucket (19$) get one as big as your fermentor
-A Stainless Steel Kettle Valve Kit with Barb (50$)
-A Oval Stainless Roaster (26$)
-A blichmann AutoSparge™ (70$)
-1 Female Stainless 1/2" NPT x 1/2" Barb (10$)
-2’ of tubing ½’’ (I use silicone high temp tubing that I already own) (3$)
-4 Spring Tip Bottle Filler (12$)
- 5’ of  3/8" ID Siphon Hose (7.5$)
- 4 1/2" Auto Siphon Clamp (16$)
- 1 2"x4" 8’ wood studs (5$)
-some tool and some time

Here the picture: http://imgur.com/a/jI6sl

First drill a 13/16 hole (ideally with a step drill bit or a knock out punch) on the side of the bottling vessel (oval stainless roaster) the center is at 4" from the bottom. This is the hole for the AutoSparge™. Then drill a 13/16 hole in the bottom of your bottling bucket if it’s not already done.

Then the lid need 4 oval shaped hole for the bottle filler. I did drill 2 hole distant of 1 inch and then cut the center piece with a jigsaw. On my setup the hole are 3 1/2" apart.

Then you need to build the frame for the bottling system. 2x4 stud with a couple screw will do the trick. Cut down 2 pieces of 25" for the bottom piece, 2 pieces of 15" for the roaster pot holder, 2 piece of 12 inch for the vertical part of the frame and screw that together as on the picture. The last piece, the clamp holder, is going to hold the siphon clamp and is a 1"x1" by 18" long and need a angle of around 25 degree on one side, so use a table saw at that angle. Pre drill then screw at 12" from the bottom as on the picture.

After that the siphon clamp need to be modified to fit on the clamp holder, just cut down the curved part of the clamp, drill one hole and chamfer it, then pre drill the clamp holder and screw it on the clamp holder as on the picture.

Last part is the modification of the four spring tip bottle filler, which need to be cut to 9". Clean and chamfer the cut end. Cut three - 15" 3/8" ID Siphon Hose and one - 26" 3/8" ID Siphon Hose and plug it in the spring tip bottle filler. The longer one is use to empty the bottling vessel at the end of the bottling session, so just lower the longer bottler filler to finish filling the not full bottle due to the lower level of beer in the bottling vessel.

Gear up with Teflon the Stainless Steel Kettle Valve Kit with Barb on the bottling bucket and the AutoSparge™ with the Female Stainless 1/2" NPT x 1/2" Barb on the bottling vessel. Put on the bottle filler on the clamp holder and then in the oval hole of the lid.  Put some water on the bottling vessel and then start the siphon as on the picture. Then you need to adjust the AutoSparge™ for your water level to be just as high as the top of your bottle. Fill your bottling bucket with water plus all together and make a test. When you find the right level on the AutoSparge™ make a mark to easy adjustment next time.

Then empty everything, clean and sanitize. Transfer your beer and prime. Then enjoy the easiest bottling day ever.

Thanks for reading and let me know if there is some error or if you need help. And feel free to adjust and modify to your need and let us know your improvement.

Guillaume Boulanger


« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 10:04:34 PM by guillaumeboulanger »

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 10:11:48 PM »
that's pretty slick. I see the float valve but how does the auto shutoff on the bottle side work? are you just counting on the wand floating when it's full?
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline guillaumeboulanger

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 10:32:21 PM »
The bottling vessel and the beer will end up at the same level by commucating with the bottle filler. It's call the concept of the Communicating vessels .
Here wikipedia description of the concept of communicating vessels: is a name given to a set of containers containing a homogeneous fluid: when the liquid settles, it balances out to the same level in all of the containers regardless of the shape and volume of the containers. If additional liquid is added to one vessel, the liquid will again find a new equal level in all the connected vessels.This process is part of Stevin's Law[1] and occurs because gravity and pressure are constant in each vessel (hydrostatic pressure).

Sometime it's hard to keep it simple, but it does work really good.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 10:49:16 PM »
Guillaume, could you post some pictures showing the roaster pan with all the connections made but without the lid, preferably with liquid flowing through the pan, please. 




Offline brewinhard

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 10:53:19 PM »
That is pretty killer!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 10:57:30 PM »
The bottling vessel and the beer will end up at the same level by commucating with the bottle filler. It's call the concept of the Communicating vessels .
Here wikipedia description of the concept of communicating vessels: is a name given to a set of containers containing a homogeneous fluid: when the liquid settles, it balances out to the same level in all of the containers regardless of the shape and volume of the containers. If additional liquid is added to one vessel, the liquid will again find a new equal level in all the connected vessels.This process is part of Stevin's Law[1] and occurs because gravity and pressure are constant in each vessel (hydrostatic pressure).

Sometime it's hard to keep it simple, but it does work really good.

ahh, so the float switch stops the liquid at a level even with the top of the bottle. so to fill 22 ounce bottles, long necks, or short necks, or stubbies even, you adjust the height the bottles are sitting at?
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2014, 11:11:39 PM »
My thought for improving system would be to put a valve in the bottom of the roaster pan or to use a valved pot so that it wouldn't be necessary to have any siphons.

I wonder if there are any pressure regulators that are easily cleaned and sanitized, cheap and could be used instead of the roaster pan and auto-sparge to set the fill level.

Offline guillaumeboulanger

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 10:45:35 PM »
Here a video about the ABBS.

http://youtu.be/zpjC6VoOYWY

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 04:46:43 PM »
Sweet idea! 
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

Na Zdraví

Offline hmbrewing

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 01:20:51 AM »
That is really awesome!
I brew beer, I drink beer...it really is that simple

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 03:39:51 AM »
Wow!  That is ingenious. And your brew setup is awesome!  Do you actually have a life? :)

edit:  That video is really cool and well done.  Everyone should check that out.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 10:27:44 PM by Philbrew »
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline guillaumeboulanger

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 04:14:40 PM »
Done some bottling today,
And I got my oxymeter, truly I'm a bit disapointed with the result.

Here what I got:
Directly out of the keg (which I use as a bright tank for cold crashing) : 0.6ppm o2
In the bottling bucket after adding the hot water and sugar mix for priming: 0.8 ppm o2
At the end (bottle filler) : 1.7 ppm o2

So yes it does take some o2, I dont know the real effect on the oxidation of the beer and I will have another test in the final product when the beer will be ready (the yeast will certainly use some o2 while carbonating the beer)
Most of my uptake of o2 seem to come from the bulkhead valve of the bottling bucket from which I can see a lot of bubble in the silicone tubing. Gonna find a way to minimise that and run some other test when the next batch will be ready which gonna take at least a month since I'm cellaring the next high gravity beer that I'd just made.

Yep, there is still some work to do.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 05:00:54 PM »
Worm clamps. I put them on nearly every connection. I have started to use clamps with wingnuts so I don't need to have a screwdriver on hand.

Offline kineticgt

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Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2015, 08:25:41 AM »
I would love to see some ideas on how to do that with stainless steel nozzles. I can't find a way to recreate that little check valve at the end of the fillers.

I tried to get some ideas from the commercial siphon fillers but they also have a check valve located inside the tank.