Debate: How Convenient Is A Counter Pressure Bottle Filler?

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PistolPatch

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Had a few beers this arvo with a great fellow AHBer. He saw the last topic I started here on AHB and said, "Geez, you certainly cause some controversy!" Frankly, I thought the thread was common sense - i.e. no debate required. (So did he by the way.) A lot of very good posts were made to that thread and some of those posts gave me some valuable ideas so thanks to you guys.

Anyway, this fellow AHB'er above is considering buying a CPBF. Assuming you can find one that actually works, does the convenience justify the maintenance and cleaning?

So,
1. Have you found one that works?
2. How often do you use it?
3. How often do you pull it apart?
4. How long does that pulling apart and re-assembly take?
5. Is there a major benefit?
6. In light of 2, 3, 4, and 5 above, are you pleased or do you regret your purchase? (Plenty of brewing things I have bought and regretted so don't be shy :).)

In other words, how convenient is a CPBF really? Is it just another thing we spend money on that we shouldn't?

Look forward to your thoughts,
PP

P.S. Hope using the word, "Debate," in the topic title is okay. Just made sense to me :unsure: .
 

Zwickel

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Hi Pat, old mate,

Id say, a CPBF is a very useful thingy and a must have for every homebrewer who want to give away some homebrew, or take the own beer to a party somewhere.


So,
1. Have you found one that works? yeah, made one by myself
2. How often do you use it? once in a while
3. How often do you pull it apart? hardly ever
4. How long does that pulling apart and re-assembly take? a few minuts only
5. Is there a major benefit? of course, no sediment in the bottle and perfect carbonated
6. In light of 2, 3, 4, and 5 above, are you pleased or do you regret your purchase? (Plenty of brewing things I have bought and regretted so don't be shy :).) Iwouldnt give it away anymore, I love it

In other words, how convenient is a CPBF really? Is it just another thing we spend money on that we shouldn't?
The problem is, the most of CPBF that you can buy on the market is really crap. Go and build one by yourself, that makes fun, generates knowledge and safes money
to the cleaning regime Id like to add some words:

because of the short time the beer is in contact with the tubes and other materials, there is no growth of bad germs. Right after usage of the gear, just rinse it with a soft cleaner followed by clear water, thats all.

Cheers mate


P.S.

here some pics of my thingy:

DSC03535.JPG

DSC03539.JPG
 

InCider

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I have no objections to CPBF, unless the beer was a no-chilled farmland lager with chinese bulk buy hops fermented at 32' in a stainless steel conical fermenter and gassed with a fire extinguisher with Butters, Jovial Monk and Darren sharing the general brewing duties and Graham L Sanders as supervisor. Otherwise +1 for me, no affiliation etc.
 

reviled

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:lol: gold, now that would be some brew!!
 

unrealeous

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I have no objections to CPBF, unless the beer was a no-chilled farmland lager with chinese bulk buy hops fermented at 32' in a stainless steel conical fermenter and gassed with a fire extinguisher with Butters, Jovial Monk and Darren sharing the general brewing duties and Graham L Sanders as supervisor. Otherwise +1 for me, no affiliation etc.
Sounds like someone has stainless steel conical fermenter envy :D

I've got one of these things linky Works well but would be better if I made a stand for it - as once you fill the bottle and need to cap, you have to put it somewhere out of the dust, and with all the tubes coming off it, it can sometimes be hard to balance on something. Zwickle has the right idea with his setup.
 

brendo

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I have one and I really only use it for two things - bottling case swaps and Homebrew comp entries.

I have the morebeer style one that craftbrewer sell and am really happy with it - very easy to use and have only painted the ceiling once or twice.

If I am just taking some beer with me to a party to consume that day/night I tend to just use the dribble metho direct from the tap.
 

MarkBastard

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dribble metho? this guy in the park was doing that once
 

tallie

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1. Have you found one that works?
2. How often do you use it?
Yes, I use one of these. It took quite a few filling sessions before I worked out the most effective way of using it, but it's straight forward for me now that I've got a routine down.

I use it about once every 2-4 weeks for bottling competition entries and also bottling off the remainder of a keg when it gets down to around 1/4 full and I have another keg ready to go on tap. I've also used it to bottle a big beer that I'm intending to keep for a few years.

3. How often do you pull it apart?
4. How long does that pulling apart and re-assembly take?
I haven't pulled mine apart completely yet after having it for about 9 months. After use, I soak it in cleaner, making sure the it gets all the way through the filling tube and in the ball valve, then I rinse with water and finish with no-rinse sanitiser. Right before next use, I hit it with no-rinse sanitiser again.

5. Is there a major benefit?
6. In light of 2, 3, 4, and 5 above, are you pleased or do you regret your purchase? (Plenty of brewing things I have bought and regretted so don't be shy :).)

In other words, how convenient is a CPBF really? Is it just another thing we spend money on that we shouldn't?
As mentioned by Zwickel, benefits are much lower sediment (I still usually get a dusting on the bottom of the bottle, as I don't filter) and controlled carbonation. Also lower exposure to oxygen, and in my situation, increased rotation of kegs.

For me, it's a "nice to have" for the benefits it gives. I wouldn't say it's convenient, in that it takes much more time (at least double?) for the same number of bottles than filling straight from the fermenter using a bottling wand. But brewing the beer in the first place takes a lot longer than going down to the bottle-o and picking up a couple of cases too ;) It's all part of the fun :)

Cheers,
tallie
 

raven19

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I find they are useful, but I only tend to make a pseeudo CPBF from my various leftover JG fittings when I am bottling off the keg for comps, or I need to bottle a whole batch for case swaps.

If heading to a mates place for a couple of quiet ones, I will just turn down the flow on my celli's and use a swing top bottle.

They are bl00dy useful though.
 

PistolPatch

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Wow Zwickell, that is a mighty impressive machine! You are the man :icon_cheers:.

Nice to hear that you guys have positive reports. I did buy a Blichmann Beer Gun a few years back and found the thing, along with quite a few other brewers, to be pretty useless and also time-consuming to rip apart etc., but I think quite a few of our Yankee friends use them a lot.

I reckon I need to learn to clean less. I'd be too scared not to pull these things apart pretty regularly???

Thanks for all the detail above. Maybe I'll re-investigate this. I'll google InCider's model now.

:)
Pat
 

kevin_smevin

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Wow Zwickell, that is a mighty impressive machine! You are the man :icon_cheers:.

Nice to hear that you guys have positive reports. I did buy a Blichmann Beer Gun a few years back and found the thing, along with quite a few other brewers, to be pretty useless and also time-consuming to rip apart etc., but I think quite a few of our Yankee friends use them a lot.

I reckon I need to learn to clean less. I'd be too scared not to pull these things apart pretty regularly???

Thanks for all the detail above. Maybe I'll re-investigate this. I'll google InCider's model now.

:)
Pat
I'm surprised that so many people dont like the the blichmann beer gun. I bought one last year and use it regularly. Works a treat and the beer certainly last longer due to the CO2 purge. Why would you rip it apart. The beer only goes through the inside tube so just flush it with some no rinse sanitiser after you use it and wipe the outside tube down, couldn't be easier or quicker. I've got John guest fitting on it the gas line and the T-piece so it takes about 2 minutes to set up or pull apart.
 

Bribie G

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As posted by others, they are great for running off a few bottles to give away, and for comps. If you are going to spend $100 on one, go an extra thirty bucks and get one of these as a stablemate. I use it for one bottle (say for a mini comp) or to gas up a 2L PET to take somewhere. Leave it under pressure overnight and it turns out perfect. Pity they don't do the 3L coke bottles any more :icon_drunk:
 

Thirsty Boy

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I have two

One that I made myself, closer in style to the More-Beer type units. Its a full CP, works well and is the one I generally use for comp entries and bottles I plan to have around for a while. It is however a bit of a pain in the arse to set up... so I don't get it out for a "couple of bottles for a party" type situations.

My design uses plastic picnic taps instead of built in valves, so they just pop off and apart for cleaning, and the rest of the unit just has a straight through path for beer - so its a breeze to sanitise. Gas side gets a bit of starsan forced through to make sure no bugs are hiding in there.

Second unit is a commercial CPBF that only does PET bottles - and it is my unit for short filling runs and specifically for filling a few bottles to take to parties etc. Sets up in a matter of seconds and could be font mounted. So simple and easy to use its ridiculous. Doesn't come apart so it gets a rinse with water and sanitiser after every use and an occasional run through with PBW.

Disadvantage - well it only does PET, but I'm working on that. I don't think it purges as well as the other type, or not without a bit of dicking about anyway, so I might not be happy using it for long term bottles.

I had very poor results trying the "dribble" method from my adjustable taps, so thats why the second unit was purchased. You dont "need" a CPBF for short term bottles/parties etc, I could have come up with a solution/technique that would have worked.. but tossing some cash at the problem made it go away.
 

Kleiny

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1. Have you found one that works?

Yes i have the keg king PET bottle filler and it works simply (photos on the forum somewhere).

2. How often do you use it?

About once a week to bottle a couple of take aways or bottle off the end of a keg.

3. How often do you pull it apart?

Never. it doesnt really come apart but i give it a good flush out after each use with a pressure pump line cleaner and some Starsan.

4. How long does that pulling apart and re-assembly take?

5min to clean

5. Is there a major benefit?

Can bottle when i want as it is permanently set up on my kegerator

6. In light of 2, 3, 4, and 5 above, are you pleased or do you regret your purchase? (Plenty of brewing things I have bought and regretted so don't be shy .)

Very pleased simple and great product, only downside is it only fills PET bottles but for takeaways and short term storage its great

Kleiny
 

Batz

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I'm setting one up ATM Pat, the keg king type. So often we get invited somewhere with little notice and I end up buying a six pack to take along...madness !
I've seen the other type and there's no way I could be bothered with that sh#t.

I intend to have the unit an absolute snap to set up and use, it's going to be that too ! Pictures will follow in a week or so.

Batz
 

Online Brewing Supplies

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Hi Pat, old mate,

Id say, a CPBF is a very useful thingy and a must have for every homebrewer who want to give away some homebrew, or take the own beer to a party somewhere.




to the cleaning regime Id like to add some words:

because of the short time the beer is in contact with the tubes and other materials, there is no growth of bad germs. Right after usage of the gear, just rinse it with a soft cleaner followed by clear water, thats all.

Cheers mate


P.S.

here some pics of my thingy:

View attachment 40835

View attachment 40836
Why not do away with the bottle and just stick ones head in the chamber. Now that's what I call Aussie engineering. When you come over next I will get you to help me make one, well a two headed one. :lol:
GB
 

haysie

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So,
1. Have you found one that works?
2. How often do you use it?
3. How often do you pull it apart?
4. How long does that pulling apart and re-assembly take?
5. Is there a major benefit?
6. In light of 2, 3, 4, and 5 above, are you pleased or do you regret your purchase? (Plenty of brewing things I have bought and regretted so don't be shy :).)
1/ Morebeer/Craftbeer works great although the bung supplied doesnt fit PET, so another $2.50 for a universal bung.
2/ Nearly every batch, if I think the beer is good enough for comp or long term storage or I need the keg.
3/ I only ever remove the bleeding valve and spring, and flush the lines, stem and neck
4/ ?? Not sure why pulling apart would be warranted.
5/ For sure, CPBF beer is by far superior to bottle conditioned beer IMO, i.e my Marzen CPBF tastes like a Marzen, my bottle conditioned Marzen tasted like a Vienna. Since purchasing and using my cpbf......... bottle beer is much much better.
6/ One of the best pieces of kit I have, it gets used more than my chiller these days :)
 

Bribie G

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I've found the same as Haysie, I keg and also get four bottles off extra, which I bottle condition and keep as an archive. However after a few weeks they taste, well, like home brew - maybe because they have been sitting on the yeast, or maybe it's those big coca cola type bubbles you tend to get with many bottle conditioned beers. Sure some beers cry out to be bottled, such as Sparkling Ale. However now I have a double-header urn system I'm thinking I might just do 20L double batches and purely keg. Or two 25 L batches overgravity and get 3 kegs after dilution.

Edit: possibly politically incorrect statement but: I've been drinking bottled beers for 45 years and apart from CSA and LCPA in this country and the regionally-packaged old Guinness in the UK I don't think I've ever drunk a bottle conditioned beer. There is not really a tradition of bottle conditioning as 99.9 recurring % of the world's beer, including the great brewers Germany, Czechoslovakia, UK etc have since the 1800s packed their bottled beers on counter pressure filling lines, off the filtered main batch. Bottle conditioning is let's face it a home-brew specific workaround developed in the days before kegging became available to ordinary punters so that you could actually get some fizz in your brew, and in Australia the availablilty of kegging was thanks almost entirely to postmix going to bag in a box. And thus enabling home brew to start approaching and surpassing commercial standards.

Endeth lecture. :rolleyes:
 

Nick JD

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I find if you have 19L of something and 2L of the same but slightly different something ... you'll always find the one you've been drinking most of to be the "standard" by which the other is judged by.

I still remember back in my K&K days, going to the pub and taking the first sip of a schooner of real beer, and finding it a little bit "wrong".

EDIT: I'm not saying that kegged beer is better or worse than bottle conditioned (commercial beer IMO is not bottle conditioned purely due to asthetics, the ability to shake the bottle during transport and worst of all - drink from the bottle/can) I'm saying taste is such a relative thing.

Nickstein's Theory of Beer Relativity.
 

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