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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through December 23, 2006 * Blichmann Beer Gun....reviews? < Previous Next >

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Dave Witt
Advanced Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 893
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 64.53.226.78
Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 03:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CP filling for comps, etc. is a PITA, so I've been looking at the Blichmann Beer Gun. Anyone have one and how do you like it?
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 538
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 139.76.128.71
Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 04:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have one and I like it better than the counter-pressure filler I used to use. you still have to over-carbonate and darn-near freeze your beer first, but it works great. Especially when you have to fill a couple bottles real quick.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Frank Barickman
Junior Member
Username: Bigdog

Post Number: 65
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 152.119.116.138
Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have had great luck with the Beer Gun. Here is excerpt of the a post I made to our clubs message board in response to a similar question.

In my opinion, I think the Blichmann Beer Gun is the easiest solution for filling bottles from the keg. I have (and still own) an ABT SS counter pressure filler and think its a PITA. I have also made my own homemade filler (picnic tap, stopper, and some tubing that goes into the bottle.) I have also just filled growlers (and some bottles) right out of the tap (with/without a tube). All of the above work, but it just depends on what you want and what you are doing with the bottles.

For competition, I will fill using the Beer Gun (or previously the ABT CPF). These methods produce a good fill with minimal to no foaming and introduce very little O2 when done properly. I have had beer gun bottled beers win after several months of being packaged (judges were happy with CO2 and did not say it tasted oxidized).

I like the Beer Gun because its simple to clean and sanitize. I can quickly fill bottles in no time with no foaming. Cleanup is simple. It's hard to paint your ceiling (anyone who has CPF'd before knows what I mean). It works just like the instructions say it should work! I no longer worry about chilling bottles before I fill.

For NHC this year, I had forgotten to bottle one of my entries. It was the day before the due date, 5:15pm and UPS has their last pickup at 6pm. Using the Blichmann Beer Gun, I was able to clean and sanitize everything, fill three bottles, clean and put away everything and still make the UPS drop by 5:50PM!!!! The beer did not win but scored 36.5 points (not bad at NHC).

This is just my opinion. I am no way affiliated with any of the above products.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1149
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.227.26.89
Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 01:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got one for Christmas last year from my wife.

I've used it maybe 6 or 8 times, filling 8-12 bottles each time.

Works great!

I've met John Blichmann (He & I were taking the BJCP exam at the same time last March), but other than that I have no affiliation with him or his company.
 

Flobey
Junior Member
Username: Flobey

Post Number: 72
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 204.124.198.29
Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 03:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with all comments above. Trick is to get beer and bottles very cold and dispense slowly. It works best for me to do a lot of bottling at once, rather than a quick hit or two. Also, I've had beers foam if I'm trying to bottle a beer that was force carbed in the last few days. Older beers definitely work better. Fortunately the score sheet said "low fill, but no oxidation".
 

Dave Witt
Advanced Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 894
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 64.53.226.78
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 01:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, sounds good. I guess I'll have to put in my order. Thanks for the responses.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1152
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.208.159.109
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One thing to remember, Dave, the 10 ft length of beer line is an essential part of how the beer gun works. Don't try and use a shorter length. The 10 ft length drops the pressure over it's length, which helps minimize the foaming.

And Flobey makes a good point. Cold bottles really help the process. I clean & sanitize my bottles, cover the mouths with saran wrap or aluminum foil, then put the botttles in the refridgerator for a while.

I use a 1 gallon jug of StarSan to hold the gun while I'm capping the one I just filled. The gallon jug sits in a 5 gal bucket to keep the floor clean. I also have a tray under the bottle as it's filled to keep any overflow from getting on the floor.
 

Colby Enck
Intermediate Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 390
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.115.253.180
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Note that you may need a brass "Y" for your regulator; it's not in the accessory kit, either.
 

Graham Cox
Advanced Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 764
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 06:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK, guys, I'm about to make a brew-life-changing move, that being to force-carbing my lagers and light ales - so I'm seeing an endorsement for the Beer Gun here? I have an experienced bud who has had a lot of foaming issues with it.
 

Paul Edwards aka "Buster"
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1161
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.229.31.76
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 02:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm, that's puzzling, Graham.

Does he chill his bottles thoroughly before filling?

Did he shorten the 10 ft beer line going to the gun?

I've never had any foaming problems with my beer gun.
 

Graham Cox
Advanced Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 767
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 03:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, he does all those things as far as I know. I remember him specifically mentioning the 10' length. I've never seen him use it in person, but he is a very experienced bottler - he's a perennial best-of-show type guy.

Based on you guys' input, unless I hear a blood-curdling "NOOOOO!!!!" from someone soon, I think I'm going to give it a try.
 

Paul Edwards aka "Buster"
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1164
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.229.31.76
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Will your friend let you test drive his before you decide to part with your $$$ ? or maybe go over and watch & help him bottle?

My LHBS owners let me test drive their personal BG before I bought mine from them.
 

JimTanguay
Advanced Member
Username: Pizzaman

Post Number: 621
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 24.18.213.14
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 07:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have had great success with the beer gun. No real foaming issues even with room temperature bottles. I've had bottles keep with no problems up to 2 months. That is the longest I've personally tested but I am sure they would have been fine longer. The only thing I do is turn the pressure down to around 5 psi after venting the keg. It does fill kind of slowly but I normally am only filling up to 12 22-oz bottles at a time and am not in a hurry. I leave it filled with starsan and flush out with clean starsan under about 30 psi of pressure. This seams to clean the line and help with any foaming issues. I keep a 3-gallon bucket around to set it in between fills. Oh, and I have the CO2 hooked up with a QD to my other tank rather than splitting it off my dispensing tank.
 

Chris Vejnovich
Advanced Member
Username: Cjv85vmax

Post Number: 531
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 71.28.144.194
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 08:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey,

Don't know if my opinion matters, but let me just say that I really like the BG. It works as advertised with minimal problems. NO beer will ever go without oxidation when bottling. I have talked with pro's who have problems with oxidation with thier 100K bottling lines. But, if you are interested in using this device for filling bottles for comps and so forth, then I think it is way better than using a CPBF.

Just my thoughts.

Peace out.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3744
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Monday, December 04, 2006 - 01:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris, it is my feeling that the reason commercial beers sometimes oxidize and home brews don't seen to is that commercial beers are almost invariably filtered and usually pasteurized. The yeast has been removed and/or killed. In homebrew, this is usually not the case. The yeast seems to protect the beer from oxidation. In bottle conditioned beers, the reason seems obvious in that the O2 is scavaged during conditioning. Perhaps something similar happens with counterpressured filled homebrew, I don't know for sure.

Dan

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Dave Witt
Advanced Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 895
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 64.53.226.78
Posted on Monday, December 04, 2006 - 03:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The BG has been ordered. I'll report back on my user experience after I get a chance to try it.

I have CP filled bottles usually only for comps or to free up a keg. But I have also CP bottled 3 full batches, (for the purpose of controlling carbonation over long term storage), a barleywine, an Eisbock, and a Scotch ale. Oxidation has been a minor problem over the course of 2-3 yrs, with only a few random bottles showing any problems.
 

Joakim Ruud
Intermediate Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 424
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.209.10.232
Posted on Monday, December 04, 2006 - 10:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dave, where did you order the BG? I'm thinking I want one too :o)
 

Dave Witt
Advanced Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 896
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 64.53.226.78
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 01:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This place called Northern Brewer.
 

Joakim Ruud
Intermediate Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 427
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 85.166.51.70
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 09:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok :-)

I've only ever shopped at B3, and they don't sell it.
 

Colby Enck
Intermediate Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 391
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.115.253.180
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got mine from Ausin Homebrew. At the time, they had the best price, but I see that NB has lowered theirs, too.