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Old 10-24-2006, 02:49 PM   #1
DeadSquirrel
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Default Counterflow bottle filler help needed before I cut it into little pieces

I love Kegging. There is nothing better to me. I hate bottling. It's soooo much work just getting the bottles prepared. So six months ago I bought the Listermann Counterflow bottle filler. The directions don't make any frakin' sense to me! I had my husband and a couple of handier guys (sorry hun) and wasted a lot of beer trying to get the damn thing to work.

HELP!!!

I go back to it about once a month to see if fresh eyes could get it working. I just get more wasted beer.

Now that X-mas is around the corner, I've gotta start bottling for my traditional beer gift baskets. Can anyone put down in the most retarded, simple way how the frak to get this thing to counterflow?!

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Old 10-24-2006, 03:34 PM   #2
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If this is a traditional counter-pressure filler, the type that is basically a T with 3 needle valves, then try this out.

First to set it up you need a T in your CO2 line, one side goest to the keg, the other to one side of the CPBF upper T. You also need a line running from your keg to the other side of that CPBF.

I personally like to take most of the pressure off of my keg and readjust my regulator so I am filliling with a light amount of pressure.

Start with all your needle valves closed, your lines connected and your CO2 on.

Insert the filler into the bottle so the rubber stopper is snug. Open the CO2 side of your filler (probably a needle valve) and pressurize your bottle. It is a quick process and you can tell it is finished by listening. Next, close the CO2 needle valve and open the liquid side needle valve. Not much should happen at this point because the bottle and the keg should be at about the same pressure. Next, open the evacuation needle valve on the stem of your filler. Do this VERY slowly. As you do the pressure in the bottle will decrease and beer should begin to flow slowly and quietly into the bottle. Slowly fill the bottle and when it gets to the correct height turn off the liquid, remove the filler and cap your bottle.

It sounds involved, but it isn't too bad. My filler has a 3-way valve on top which really makes thing quicker. I even used those fillers to bottle more then 40 cases at the brewery when we first got going.

Good luck and don't chop it up.

Additional Notes: Actually, I just looked up your filler. It looks a bit odd, but I think I get it. It has a 3 way valve on top, so where I say "open a needle valve" just turn your 3-way to that side of things. The pressure relief is supposed to be adjustable and so I will have to leave that to you.

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Old 10-24-2006, 04:18 PM   #3
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If you still have no luck with it, the Blichmann Beer Gun is much simpler to use. I bought one after looking at counterpressure fillers.

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Old 10-24-2006, 04:47 PM   #4
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Another vote for the beer gun.

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Old 10-24-2006, 04:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob
Another vote for the beer gun.
I know three people that have used the beer gun recently, and none of them had any success.... flat beer.

I've looked at the thing, and can't understand what it could possibly be doing for you other than purging the bottle of air prior to filling it.

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Old 10-24-2006, 04:57 PM   #6
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I have a all stainless CPBF with a 3-way valve and like it a lot. I won't say I love using it, because all bottling is a pain, but it works really well and once it is set-up, it works fast.

I too don't understand the Beer Gun, but then again, I have never used one.

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Old 10-24-2006, 05:19 PM   #7
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Maybe tell exactly what's going wrong and we can go step by step. There's lots of little details to be followed and if something is forgotten or done out of sequence, beer spray on the walls is the usual result.

I have a Melvico (one of the last before it went out of production) and it can be your best friend or worst enemy depending on how closely you follow procedures.

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Old 10-24-2006, 06:32 PM   #8
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Throw the bottle filler away and get a simple cobra tap and 12 inches of hose that fits over the opening of the tap.

Now bump up the co2 to the keg to 15-20 lbs and shake it for a few mins then let it sit for 30 mins.

unhook the co2 input from the keg

Now burp the keg and release 75% of the pressure. (I know it is hard to tell but you will learn to tell by the sound it makes...yuu can use your regulator to check and make sure you only have 4 or 5 lbs of pressure)

Now attach the cobra tap to the keg and then put your 12 inches of hose on the output of the tap.

Now chill your bottles

Now use the hose as a tap extension and as soon as beer starts flowing into your bottle the hose will end up under the beer and it will not foam(much).

Fill the bottle up to 1-2 inches below the top and a little foam will usually come out the top which is fine. Just make sure you keep filling until your beer line is 1-2 inches below the top of the bottle.

Now Cap the bottle when the foam is up to the top. The foam displaces all the oxygen.

If by some odd reason you have no foam at all.......fill to desired level and tap the bottle lightly with something metal and this will make it foam. Once the foam reaches the top....cap the bottle!

Perfectly filled bottles without a counterflow bottle filler!

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Old 10-24-2006, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker-san
I know three people that have used the beer gun recently, and none of them had any success.... flat beer.

I've looked at the thing, and can't understand what it could possibly be doing for you other than purging the bottle of air prior to filling it.

-walker
The purpose of a counter pressure filler is to build up pressure in the bottle to prevent foam so it doesn't lose carbonation.

The purpose of the beer gun is to provide a laminar flow so the beer goes into the bottle without splashing to prevent foam so it doesn't lose carbonation.

Both of them purge 02 with Co2 so as long as the beer is well carbonated before bottling it will stay that way after it is capped. If you bottle with the beer gun and get flat beer it's not the beer guns fault....
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Mash
The purpose of a counter pressure filler is to build up pressure in the bottle to prevent foam so it doesn't lose carbonation.

The purpose of the beer gun is to provide a laminar flow so the beer goes into the bottle without splashing to prevent foam so it doesn't lose carbonation.

Both of them purge 02 with Co2 so as long as the beer is well carbonated before bottling it will stay that way after it is capped. If you bottle with the beer gun and get flat beer it's not the beer guns fault....
It would seem that you would need your beer slightly OVER-carbonated for either of these things to work. If you have carbonated beer in a bottle and cap it, I promise you that some of the CO2 will start to escape solution and build up pressure in the headspace.

Eventually, there will be enough pressure in the headspace to prevent further CO2 from escaping solution, but the fact is that the beer will not have as much carbonation as when it went in.

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