Author Topic: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?  (Read 1250 times)

Offline banjo-guy

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Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« on: February 17, 2018, 12:50:42 PM »
I bottle off the keg using the popular method of sticking a tube into a picnic tap and using a stopper on the tube.
I am really close to buying a Blichman beer gun. I’m starting to enter competitions and want to package my beer the best I can. I think that the advantage of the beer gun is that Co2 will  dispace the oxygen in the bottle prior to filling thus minimizing oxidation.

Is it worth the expense and effort to use a beer gun?  Would using it make really make a difference in the taste and possible score of my entries?

Offline Robert

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 01:05:53 PM »
A beer gun does not effectively purge O2 from the bottle.  You can get a proper counterpressure bottle filler, which will do so, far cheaper than a beer gun anyway.

EDIT for stupid precoffee typo
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 01:18:43 PM by Robert »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 01:18:04 PM »
You can build one for $28. https://byo.com/project/build-a-counter-pressure-bottle-filler-projects/


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 01:45:30 PM »
I think my beer gun was well worth the money.

Offline The Beerery

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 04:42:19 PM »
I was able to get 20ppb packaged with my beer gun, but I do some things differently so they can work.  I was also able to get 10ppb with a cpbf and a triple/purge vac.  The problem is with bottles is the caps leak. So the lower you can get into it, the longer you have in it. 


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Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2018, 04:55:25 PM »
So the consensus is that the beer gun is a big improvement over bottling off the keg with a bottling wand and a stopper on the bottling wand tube.
The beer gun looks great but I don’t want add new equipment unless there is a noticeable improvement in the final product. That’s why I’m looking for feedback.


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Offline Robert

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 05:45:03 PM »
The goal in bottling is to accomplish the following:  remove as much air as possible from the bottle and replace with CO2 so that beer entering will have minimal contact with air.  Fill the bottle with beer without excessive foam at first to preserve carbonation.  At the end of filling, get the beer to foam up and start to foam out of the bottle; you then "cap on foam" so that the only gas left in the bottle is the beer's own CO2.  Any procedure that will meet these goals will work.  The hardest part with a beer gun is the initial purge because just blowing gas in won't expel air, just mix it up.  A cpbf allows you to do a number of purge cycles which is somewhat better.  Capping on foam is your most important tool, if you can't do that, you'll leave a whole lot of O2 in the headspace.  Thereafter it's just a matter of time as oxygen will penetrate through the seal eventually,  even with caps that claim to diminish this effect.  Hope this helps you prioritize your needs as you choose equipment.
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Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2018, 07:06:36 PM »
The goal in bottling is to accomplish the following:  remove as much air as possible from the bottle and replace with CO2 so that beer entering will have minimal contact with air.  Fill the bottle with beer without excessive foam at first to preserve carbonation.  At the end of filling, get the beer to foam up and start to foam out of the bottle; you then "cap on foam" so that the only gas left in the bottle is the beer's own CO2.  Any procedure that will meet these goals will work.  The hardest part with a beer gun is the initial purge because just blowing gas in won't expel air, just mix it up.  A cpbf allows you to do a number of purge cycles which is somewhat better.  Capping on foam is your most important tool, if you can't do that, you'll leave a whole lot of O2 in the headspace.  Thereafter it's just a matter of time as oxygen will penetrate through the seal eventually,  even with caps that claim to diminish this effect.  Hope this helps you prioritize your needs as you choose equipment.
Thanks for the detailed answer.



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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2018, 07:14:26 PM »
Has anyone actually tested the difference or is this more theory becoming untested fact?

Offline Robert

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2018, 07:32:00 PM »
Jim, are you able to cap on foam with your beer gun?  As I said, that's easily the most important criterion in choosing a bottling method. 
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 07:38:31 PM »
Yes

So if it really bothers people, why not slide a stopper onto the beer gun, add a small tube that reaches the bottom of the bottle, fill bottle with sanitizer and push it out with CO2 through the little "out" tube.

Offline Robert

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2018, 07:49:25 PM »
Yes

So if it really bothers people, why not slide a stopper onto the beer gun, add a small tube that reaches the bottom of the bottle, fill bottle with sanitizer and push it out with CO2 through the little "out" tube.
Cool!

The extra effort might be in order for a competition.  Since you normally will never purge completely, cap on foam is the best you can usually do. I wanted to outline all the considerations for the OP.

 I used to use a cpbf but haven't bottled in a long time.  If I ever find the need to again, I think I'll buy or borrow a beer gun!
Rob Stein
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Offline coolman26

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Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2018, 03:43:52 AM »
Isn’t the purge for 10 sec?  I’m not sure what the flow/pressure is.


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 04:15:52 AM »
I run about 4-5psi, co2 is cheap, I count to 10 in small bottles, 20 in big, then fill.

Offline Adam

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Re: Will a beer gun really improve my beer?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2018, 12:02:57 AM »
I was able to get 20ppb packaged with my beer gun, but I do some things differently so they can work.  I was also able to get 10ppb with a cpbf and a triple/purge vac.  The problem is with bottles is the caps leak. So the lower you can get into it, the longer you have in it. 


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Just curious about how you are getting your readings.  Are you taking freshly bottled beer over to a brewery or shipping it out to a lab?

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