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Counterpressure Filler or Blichman Beer Gun?

Just wondering what experiences some of you guys have had with these two bottle fillers. I have seen complains on both. I want to eventually get one of these, but I don’t know which one is better.

They both are a PITA. I have tried both and the much easier way is the way I do it here. Both methods are what I do. One is off the tap and works fine; the other is with a bottling wand, cobra tap and COLD Iodophor solution.

Mullerbrau Bottling w Cobra Tap

Mullerbrau Bottling Demo off Tap

Hey Muller Brau, do both of those methods hold carbonation over longer periods of time or is it just for a while? I’ve never tried either of these but am curious

They hold for at least 3 years. That’s the oldest I have. I see no reason to lose carbonation unless you have a cheap cap improperly installed.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]They both are a PITA. I have tried both and the much easier way is the way I do it here. Both methods are what I do. One is off the tap and works fine; the other is with a bottling wand, cobra tap and COLD Iodophor solution.

Mullerbrau Bottling w Cobra Tap

Mullerbrau Bottling Demo off Tap

[/quote]

So is the COLD iodophor to keep the foaming to a minimum? And would a COLD starsan solution achieve the same thing? I was about to purchase a beer gun, but your systems seem MUCH cheaper and easier. And for the bottling wand… do you just have it shoved in the picnic tap or is there some sort of adapter?

[quote=“MullerBrau”]They both are a PITA. I have tried both and the much easier way is the way I do it here. Both methods are what I do. One is off the tap and works fine; the other is with a bottling wand, cobra tap and COLD Iodophor solution.
Mullerbrau Bottling w Cobra Tap

Mullerbrau Bottling Demo off Tap

[/quote]

Totally agree.
A CP filler and the Beergun are interesting contraptions, and of the two I think the Beergun looks more manageable… but I’m totally convinced that the method which MullerBrau uses (very similar to the method I’ve used for many years) is just as effective and in the end, a lot simpler to use and maintain.

As long as everything is kept cold at fill time (including the bottles, which should be purged with some co2 prior to filling) , little or no carbonation is lost. I’ve opened bottles filled this way anywhere from 2 to 10 years down the line and both the beers and the carbonation level held up very well. And better still, oxidation has not even proven to be a problem, even on the oldest bottles I’ve opened.

Like most things in this hobby, it’s as complicated or expensive as you want to make it. Most often, a simple solution gives as good a result as a fancy one.

I didn’t see Mullerbrau purging with CO2. And if that is necessary, wouldn’t it just be easier at that point to buy the gun? It seems like grabbing a bottle, dunking it in COLD sanitizer, purging with CO2, then filling and capping is a lengthy process. Especially considering you can’t really complete any one of those steps with all the bottles first. It seems like you’d have to complete that process in order with each bottle individually. Sounds very time consuming.

[quote=“dobe12”]So is the COLD iodophor to keep the foaming to a minimum? And would a COLD starsan solution achieve the same thing? I was about to purchase a beer gun, but your systems seem MUCH cheaper and easier. And for the bottling wand… do you just have it shoved in the picnic tap or is there some sort of adapter?[/quote]Yes, foaming is caused by a change in temperature so if you get the bottle cold (Iodophor or StarSan), it will minimize foaming. I like my system because I do not need to sanitize and clean a lot of extra stuff. The bottling wand is for when I am doing a lot of bottles. It is jammed into the Cobra tap and then I wrap a piece of black vinyl tape around it in case it wants to pull air in. That really helps.

I have the beer gun and like it if I am bottling a lot. For the random bottle or 2, or a growler I just use mullerbrau’s method.

One last thing: I understand the concept of purging the bottle with CO2 but I don’t think it is necessary if you are making a smooth transfer. As you are filling, a small amount of CO2 escapes and pushes the O2 up and out of the bottle.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]As you are filling, a small amount of CO2 escapes and pushes the O2 up and out of the bottle.[/quote]+1 And I sanitize all the bottles, put on the drying rack, put the rack in the fridge, set up the rest of the bottling equipment, adjust pressures, purge beer out of the lines, etc., then pull cold, sanitized, bottles out of the fridge one or two at a time.

Muller:

I saw that you mentioned cheap caps. I have assumed that NB’s caps are all sufficient for long term capping, do you or anyone else here disagree. Currently i have the oxygen absorbing caps from NB.

Mike

O2 absorbing caps are what I use. Cheap caps would be what my LHBS sometimes has in a bin for sale by the pound. Usually over-runs from a defunct brewery. The O2 caps are more money but well worth it.

[quote=“MullerBrau”] The O2 caps are more money but well worth it.[/quote]IIRC, they’re $0.005 more per cap when you buy in large bags.

[quote=“Shadetree”][quote=“MullerBrau”] The O2 caps are more money but well worth it.[/quote]IIRC, they’re $0.005 more per cap when you buy in large bags.[/quote]I can’t comment on that but at my LHBS, they are 2X the cost of the BB caps.

I tend to think the counter pressure guns are not needed. When I fill bottles directly from the Tap, I always chill the bottles first, and I fill them as full as possible, so there is little or no headroom for oxygen to remain.

When bottling from the bucket, I just use the cheap little wands.

I’ve read that you want the bottle the same temp as the beer, and you want the beer pretty cold so it holds more CO2. I know from experience that you don’t want your bottles frozen so they have frost, that is a perfect place for foam bubbles to form.

I just bought a Beergun but haven’t used it yet.

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