Author Topic: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler  (Read 7773 times)

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« on: June 16, 2010, 07:18:13 AM »
Beer Gun + accessories - $90-$100

Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler - $30 DIY
http://www.byo.com/stories/projects-and-equipment/article/indices/20-build-it-yourself/364-build-a-counter-pressure-bottle-filler-projects

Is the Beer Gun really worth it? I could use that extra $60-$70 on another fermenter for conditioning or a few extra kegs...
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 07:30:12 AM »
Another option is the picnic tap with the short racking cane tube:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/we-no-need-no-stinking-beer-gun-24678/

This costs you nothing if you already have a picnic tap and some broken racking cane.

I love this set-up. Key is to bottle when the beer is at ~32-34F and to keep the bottles at the same temp. Then you push the beer into the bottles with about 2-3 psi. Cap on foam and you are done.

CP fillers are nice for bottling something that is not as cold (e.g. from the serving fridge) but they need more cleaning. The beer gun seems like a waste of money for $100.

Kai

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 07:33:17 AM »
Forgot to mention...

I'm using this to fill bottles for competition at the end of the month... I'll occasionally use it to fill bottles for poker games, bbq's, etc., but it'll mostly be for competitions.
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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 07:34:59 AM »
I've been using a CPF for years and love it.  It's a little harder to figure out how to get it to work with only 1 person, but once you figure that out it's really easy to use.  The BeerGun seems easier right out of the box, but I agree with you that it's not $60 - $70 easier.  Just my .02.

Offline dak0415

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 07:44:56 AM »
Another option is the picnic tap with the short racking cane tube:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/we-no-need-no-stinking-beer-gun-24678/

This costs you nothing if you already have a picnic tap and some broken racking cane.

I love this set-up. Key is to bottle when the beer is at ~32-34F and to keep the bottles at the same temp. Then you push the beer into the bottles with about 2-3 psi. Cap on foam and you are done.


Kai

+1 on this.  If I'm bottling for competition, I purge the bottles with CO2 first, otherwise I just fill from a sanitized picnic tap.  Now, if I was bottling 2 cases....

Dave
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 07:54:02 AM »
Now, if I was bottling 2 cases....

I can easily fill a whole keg worth of bottles this way. This is what I do with my Doppelbock in order to free up a keg and allow the beer to age in the bottle.

Since the beer has to be near freezing for this to work well I always bottle 6-12 bottles before I rack a batch to its serving keg. Those bottles are primarily for sharing and comparative tasting.

Kai

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 10:56:39 AM »
Now, if I was bottling 2 cases....

I can easily fill a whole keg worth of bottles this way. This is what I do with my Doppelbock in order to free up a keg and allow the beer to age in the bottle.

Since the beer has to be near freezing for this to work well I always bottle 6-12 bottles before I rack a batch to its serving keg. Those bottles are primarily for sharing and comparative tasting.

Kai

Do you bottle those 6-12 from the carboy and prime?

If so, how is the comparative tasting between bottle conditioned and force-carbonated?

Do I smell an experiment?
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 11:05:31 AM »
Do you bottle those 6-12 from the carboy and prime?

No, they are bottled from a cold conditioned and carbed keg

Quote
If so, how is the comparative tasting between bottle conditioned and force-carbonated?

What I mean to say I always use a bottle for personal beer tastings where I take notes. It provides me with a more consistent beer presentation.

Kai

Offline bluesman

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010, 02:17:06 PM »
I have the BBG and really like the performance. I suppose if you need the money, the CPF will do the job but you won't be able to purge with CO2. That's the only real difference. If you can come up with the extra cash the BBG will be worth it for you in the long run. It's very easy to use and maintain as well.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2010, 02:39:00 PM »
if you go to the main website there is a section on free downloads.  one of these is about making gadgets.  there is a great description of something similar to what Kai is talking about that seems to work great.  it also has some interesting ways of filling plastic 2 liters from your keg to take to parties  (boundary waters canoe trips, camping, etc)
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Offline tom

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2010, 03:48:44 PM »
I have the BBG and really like the performance. I suppose if you need the money, the CPF will do the job but you won't be able to purge with CO2. That's the only real difference. If you can come up with the extra cash the BBG will be worth it for you in the long run. It's very easy to use and maintain as well.
A real counterpressure bottle filler will let you purge the bottle with CO2. Then you pressurize it to the same pressure as the keg (I like to overpressurize it at 18-20 psi). Turn off the CO2, turn on the beer valve and adjust the pressure relief valve for a smooth fill. When full, turn off beer valve, let out more pressure from the relief valve, remove CPBF and cap on foam.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2010, 06:00:58 PM »
A real counterpressure bottle filler will let you purge the bottle with CO2. Then you pressurize it to the same pressure as the keg (I like to overpressurize it at 18-20 psi). Turn off the CO2, turn on the beer valve and adjust the pressure relief valve for a smooth fill. When full, turn off beer valve, let out more pressure from the relief valve, remove CPBF and cap on foam.

I bottle using exactly the method that Kai uses...a cobra tap with a tube jammed into it... and it works great. 
As far as purging the bottles, I manage to do that too...I have a manifold on my co2 tank connected to another cobra tap that has a stopper attached...I give each bottle a shot (usually 6 at a time) then fill the forzen bottles with the nearly frozen beer, then cap 'em.  Works great, it retains the carbonation level I like, and I have subsequently kept beers bottled that way for a year or more with no problems whatsoever.
The Beergun and the homemade CPF's are both great, but by no means are they necessities for bottling up to a case or two of beer at a time.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 11:07:51 PM »
I'd either get a real counterpressure filler or got the DIY route... the beer gun seems expensive for something lacking true counter-pressure...


Also, regarding the DIY version: If you get the right sized tubing, you can put it through a drilled rubber stopper and stick it right in your draft spout.  This eliminates the need for a picnic tap.  This only works with the widest spout attachment on my ventmatics, though, so if you have regular rear-seal faucets it may not be possible... not really sure.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 11:09:48 PM by narvin »
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Offline wilypig

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2010, 07:07:33 AM »
I have a BBG and it is one of my top 5 gadgets for ease of use and functionality. I generally prime in a keg and bottle but I do some times bottles carbonated samples. The one handed operation is far superior to a CP filler in my opinion. I usually fill 3-6 kegs worth in a session - 4-5 hours from set up to break down. My 0.02.
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Offline tom

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Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2010, 10:09:31 AM »
A real counterpressure bottle filler will let you purge the bottle with CO2. Then you pressurize it to the same pressure as the keg (I like to overpressurize it at 18-20 psi). Turn off the CO2, turn on the beer valve and adjust the pressure relief valve for a smooth fill. When full, turn off beer valve, let out more pressure from the relief valve, remove CPBF and cap on foam.

I bottle using exactly the method that Kai uses...a cobra tap with a tube jammed into it... and it works great. 
As far as purging the bottles, I manage to do that too...I have a manifold on my co2 tank connected to another cobra tap that has a stopper attached...I give each bottle a shot (usually 6 at a time) then fill the forzen bottles with the nearly frozen beer, then cap 'em.  Works great, it retains the carbonation level I like, and I have subsequently kept beers bottled that way for a year or more with no problems whatsoever.
The Beergun and the homemade CPF's are both great, but by no means are they necessities for bottling up to a case or two of beer at a time.
Good point about the temperature. Keep the beer, bottles and hoses as cold as possible to minimize foaming.
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