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gitchegumee
12-04-2003, 07:14 PM
Anyone have any experience with small homebrew sized counter pressure bottle fillers? I'm looking for something to transfer from BBT to bottles for competitions.

GlacierBrewing
12-05-2003, 10:15 AM
Hi ya'
I've used the counter pressure bottle filler (homebrew model) quite a bit to package our beer into more managable containers for sampling. Foxx Equipment (www.foxxequipment.com) has a few different models and they all are slow and messy but worth it for SHORT RUNS!!! They come with instructions and are pretty easy to use, just monotonous, like most bottling.:D

bluebrew
01-14-2004, 07:43 PM
i bought the CP filler on this page https://hoptech.com/index2.html?https://hoptech.com/kegging.html about half way down. everyone will tell you that the first time you use a CP filler, you'll spray beer ALL over the place. it happened with me too - in fact i tried it first with a stout!

anyway, i have read good reviews of this CP filler on other forums and i have been very satisfied with mine. the cool feature is the one hand valve - it works for on/off for both the gas and beer. i also keep a hand on the pressure relief valve while filling and adjust it during the process to control the flow of gas and beer into the bottle.

one other word of advice - make sure you freeze your bottles first! this helps reduce foaming. the most i have bottled at one setting is 20 bottles, so i can agree with glacier brewing about short term usage. although they are much better than the traditional yeast carbonated bottling.

good luck!

rudge75
01-15-2004, 09:13 AM
We've got something very similar to what bluebrew suggests, but I'm not exactly sure where it's from. I think the previous brewer picked it up from some company called California ______(?) - long before my time here, obviously. I think they were a wine company of some sort.

The single head valve is fixed to a solid stand. You set the height, then pin it in place. We use 22 oz bombers. There's a bleed set valve (use an allen key to set the outgoing pressure while filling, therefore the fill rate), and a button style pressure relief valve for quick filling.

If you get the "zen bottling" down just right, you can cap on foam every single time you fill. Approx. 45 (12/case) cases can be done by one person in an 8 hour shift. It's perfect for us, because we sell most of our beer over the taps.

It's a pretty slick system. Damn, if I could just remember the name of the company for you...

I'll see if I can check the records back a bit...

Dave Rudge
Head Brewer
Bushwakker Brewing Co.

jrdamas
01-15-2004, 09:48 AM
I have had great results with the homebrew CP filler from www.morebeer.com. However if you are looking for something a little more pro (and expensive) check out heavy duty products (HDP). They produce table mount single operater single and dual head CP fillers and cappers that range from full manual to semi auto. They are really nice fillers. http://www.hdpcanada.com/fillers.htm
-J.Boy

reno-jazz
01-15-2004, 02:34 PM
We used one of the fox models for a while (don't get the needle valve one, its really difficult to mess around with the needles valves. Really good control, yeah, but spinning those valves is difficult) but then dropped the money to get a Zahm and Nagel filler. That thing is nice, all stainless, swage lock valves. Really nice. And for capping on foam, just let the bottle fill up into the neck, then shut off beer flow but keep on releasing gas. When it is degassed, pull out the filler and give it another shot of beer until you have foam on top. Then cap.

Jazz, Great Basin Brewing Co.

BrewinLou
07-17-2007, 06:39 PM
I use one of the older model single fillers, that seem to be designed for a person with 3 hands.

I have a few friends that have tried the Beer Gun and like it.
http://www.blichmannengineering.com/BeerGun/BeerGun.htm

Hofer
07-24-2007, 11:52 AM
I'm going to bottle condition on a very small scale (2.5hl).

How the process of bottle filling could be improved relatively to a "homebrewer set" of tapping to a plastic filler?

Could the Blichmann BeerGun thingy help?


Cheers,

Leonid

Hofer
07-25-2007, 11:31 AM
I'm going to bottle condition on a very small scale (2.5hl).

How the process of bottle filling could be improved relatively to a "homebrewer set" of tapping to a plastic filler?

Could the Blichmann BeerGun thingy help?

Cheers,

Leonid

To whom who could be interested: the right answer was given to me on r.f.c. from Dan Listermann: “For bottle conditioned beers, any wine bottle filler will work just fine.”

I value it as genius simple.

Just don’t understand how I didn’t think about the solution earlier!

BeerGun is just not sufficient.

Cheers.

Leonid

aswissbrewer
07-29-2007, 12:14 PM
I bottle condition all my bottled beer and recommend a counterpressure filler as opposed to a wine filler. My reasons:

Oxidation issues - surprising as it is. For bottle conditioning you are normally filling already conditioned beer and fermenting relatively little "speise" or rest-sugar. The bottle fermentation scavenges the oxygen in the bottle but the damage done due to air contact during filling will not be reversed. A counterpressure filler can be vented more effectively with CO2 as can the bottles. Wine is full of SO2 craft beer isn't.

Foaming - the beer still has some CO2 dissolved from fermentation. A counterpressure filler allows for a lot faster filling. Cooling the beer way down will solve this but the cold can shock the yeast you add for the bottle fermentation. Attenuation and autolysis problems can result.

The bottom line for me is a much better shelf life with a counterpressure filler.

Hofer
07-31-2007, 10:32 AM
I bottle condition all my bottled beer and recommend a counterpressure filler as opposed to a wine filler. My reasons:

Oxidation issues - surprising as it is. For bottle conditioning you are normally filling already conditioned beer and fermenting relatively little "speise" or rest-sugar. The bottle fermentation scavenges the oxygen in the bottle but the damage done due to air contact during filling will not be reversed. A counterpressure filler can be vented more effectively with CO2 as can the bottles. Wine is full of SO2 craft beer isn't.

Foaming - the beer still has some CO2 dissolved from fermentation. A counterpressure filler allows for a lot faster filling. Cooling the beer way down will solve this but the cold can shock the yeast you add for the bottle fermentation. Attenuation and autolysis problems can result.

The bottom line for me is a much better shelf life with a counterpressure filler.

Thank you for your comments.
My question is: could CPF be used when bottling from a non-pressurized vessel? I got a negative answer and it looks pretty logical.

I'd want to eliminate moving the green beer from a non-pressurized vessel where it is cold maturated to a kind of a pressurized vessel: keg or BT.
That is because a concept for my brewery is a kind of compromise (dirty cheap). It has been posted lately at "Plastic fermenters" thread.

I have my excuses for the sceme. Not all the breweries referment in bottles with fresh yeast. SO2 or ascorbic ("C") acid also could be added to beer.
And the beer is always cold when bottled after cold maturating.
There were no problems with attenuation or autolysis maybe thanks to an open primary fermentation and relative subsequent vitality of yeast.

Would be grateful if you take a look at "Plastic fermenters" thread and comment in view of the fermenting sceme considered.

Leonid

aswissbrewer
08-02-2007, 02:22 AM
I checked out those threads and must say I admire your guts. Go for it. Its better starting off "dirty cheap" than just dreaming all the time. Good on ya!

I take your point with transferring the beer from a non-pressurised vessel to a CPF - I use a pressure vessel and transfer using pressurised. nitrogen. Still I tend to think a good pump with a frequency modulator woul be a good investment , even in a "dirty cheap" start up. There are cheaper, manual, 6-valved CPF fillers available - in europe anyway.

I advise against not adding fresh yeast to the bottle. Been there - yeast not ready, still have to bottle etc. etc - results inconsistent at the least. Without adding fresh yeast you will run into problems. Even more so if the beer has been cold ( 0 - 1 Deg C) conditioned. Maybe you will get away with it using a bottom fermenting yeast, but even then - fresh yeast better performance.

As for adding SO2 or ascorbic - please don't go down that road. You want to use the major advantage of bottle conditioning and that is the beer quality not the cash savings. You shouldn't need the antioxidants, your customers will thank you in the long run.

Still you're in this because you're doing things the way you want to and there is no better motivation than that that. Good Luck!

Hofer
08-04-2007, 10:20 AM
Thank you for supporting words!

This point with a pump: I just don’t understand it.

For what a good pump with a frequency modulator: to regulate pressure of beer to CPF?
Should beer be at specific pressure even it will be bottle conditioned?
Have the pump to be throttled when CPF pauses between pours?
Could you give me either link to any of the “cheaper, manual, 6-valved CPF fillers” to see what is it about?

To referment with fresh yeast or not for me is not a question of laziness: with magnetic stirrer it is a matter of several hours. There are several honored Belgian breweries (Duvel?) that don’t, and Eric Warner wrote that alternatives exist.

The same is about SO2 or other anti-oxidants. I really don’t think it is a road down or any kind of adulteration. It is not instead of quality, these are pure expenses and effort in addition to what is made in the sake of quality.
Indeed if I should state it on the label I’d rather not use it just because customer would thank me if I would not, but most customers don’t know that there are phosphates in the malt and they sure wouldn’t like to know about any 4-vinyl guaiacol in their beer.
So, meantime I don’t use it anyway, and it is very simple!

Cheers.

Leonid

aswissbrewer
08-05-2007, 03:13 AM
Thank you for supporting words!

This point with a pump: I just don’t understand it.

For what a good pump with a frequency modulator: to regulate pressure of beer to CPF?
Should beer be at specific pressure even it will be bottle conditioned?
Have the pump to be throttled when CPF pauses between pours?
Could you give me either link to any of the “cheaper, manual, 6-valved CPF fillers” to see what is it about

The pump :
maybe I used the wrong term but what I mean is a good centrufugal, all stainless, pump dimensioned at say 10 Hl/hour. A frequency regulator, (added cost) allows you to lower pump speeds right down without damaging the pump motor as with a voltage regulator. This means in practical terms that you can use your pump for a variety of applications throughout your brewery. Put the pump on a good wagon and it's a better friend than a brewery dog. About the only thing you can't pump with it is spent grains.

A "dirty cheap" alternative would be a fish pond centrifugal pump with a voltage regualtor ( a light dimming device). You may eventually burn out the motor but these pumps cost only around 200$.

Filling:
With the pump you then have a means of pumping from a non-pressurised tank into a CPF and maintaining a pressure according to your filling speed. Just adjust the pumping speed. Alternatively you can pump into the CPF, close off both the filler and the pump and maintain the pressure in the filler with CO2 untill the kettle requires filling again - batch wise.

As for fillers - I don't have a link on hand but I know that such fillers were made by a hungarian company Fejes - Kaltenecker . Prices have risen for 6-Valved, aprox 6000 Euro.
See attachment

Hofer
08-07-2007, 11:55 AM
Thank you for a great info.

Before some time I bought March 809 Magnetic Impeller Pump for my will be brewery: “A high-quality, inexpensive wort pump. This 1/25 horsepower magnetic drive seal-less pump has a polysulfone head, rated for food grade use up to 250° F. It has a maximum flow rate of 7.2 gallons per minute, and a maximum head of 12.1 feet. The head has 1/2" MPT inlets and outlets. The motor housing is not drip-proof, so you should locate the pump in a dry location.”

It has a polysulfone and not a SS housing and just about 30W power. It is widely used by homebrewers and supplied by MoreBeer for their 50gal system. Don’t know does it comply with f-regulator.

Filling “on the fly” looks almost unachievable for me. I’m very batch minded making batch and not fly sparging: suppose it is not an acceptable practice for a pro.

Cheers.

Leonid

DancingCamel
08-07-2007, 11:52 PM
Hey Leonid -

Be careful with the polysulfone pump heads since they are not "bump-resistant". If you move the pump around too much sooner or later you'll bang it into something & the plastic will crack. Best to anchor it & build some sort of protective cage or splurge on the brass or ss.

Advice from my extensive "stupid homebrewer tricks" catalog.

D

Rosie
08-08-2007, 04:05 AM
Ditto DC's advice.

I would recommend having a spare head for this pump sitting on the shelf. These are also very easy to sheer off the in or out post when rebuilding/screwing on a ball valve.

If you don't have a spare, think about the contingency when you break it in the middle of a brew session...ask me how I know!

Cheers,

Jeff

Hofer
08-08-2007, 04:17 AM
Hey Leonid -

Be careful with the polysulfone pump heads since they are not "bump-resistant". If you move the pump around too much sooner or later you'll bang it into something & the plastic will crack. Best to anchor it & build some sort of protective cage or splurge on the brass or ss.

Advice from my extensive "stupid homebrewer tricks" catalog.

D

Thank you for the advice, David!

I cosider a kind of protective housing for the pump. Anyway the pump was bought locally, so the might-be damage could be an excuse for buying a stainless head.

Cheers.

Leonid

NB. Would you glance at your private PB messages?