The last straw bottle filler

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Firewalker11

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Any bottle filler when used correctly completely purges the bottle, so there is no longer shelf life to be had. You should be capping on foam.
Capping on foam but when the filler is removed, air follows into the bottle. Does your filler have a post-purge option?
 

PeteNMA

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The foam is what purges any air which enters in the few seconds between taking out the filler and capping the bottle. If you're really concerned you can overflow the bottles with beer as you take the wand out. Either way there is essentially no exposure to air
 

PeteNMA

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Purging with foam is also how automated bottling and canning lines operate too. It's tried and tested and it works. To dismiss it as a poor mans option is simply untrue
 

Firewalker11

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The foam is what purges any air which enters in the few seconds between taking out the filler and capping the bottle. If you're really concerned you can overflow the bottles with beer as you take the wand out. Either way there is essentially no exposure to air
Yes, as you say in your last post, the rising foam purges the bottle but it HAS to rise past the neck and be coming out of the bottle to be purged.

foam purge.JPG
 

Yesfan

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Yes, as you say in your last post, the rising foam purges the bottle but it HAS to rise past the neck and be coming out of the bottle to be purged.

Does it really matter? Whether the foam comes out of the neck or drops slightly after the wand has been removed, there's still going to be that foam barrier between the air and the beer. The last imperial stout I bottled, I removed the wand as the foam was coming out of the neck. I'm sure there was a slight bit of air that was still at the top of the bottle when I removed the wand. 18 months later, the last two bottles of that stout had plenty of carbonation and they tasted better than what it was like 12 months earlier.
 

pshankstar

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The first use of the Last Straw had what I thought had a lot of foam. My father in-law and I would fill the bottle till foam was coming out of the bottle and the beer was close to the top then pull out the Last Straw. The beer would drop down some and there would be space with some foam. We shall see how it turns out down the road...
 

Firewalker11

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Does it really matter? Whether the foam comes out of the neck or drops slightly after the wand has been removed, there's still going to be that foam barrier between the air and the beer. The last imperial stout I bottled, I removed the wand as the foam was coming out of the neck. I'm sure there was a slight bit of air that was still at the top of the bottle when I removed the wand. 18 months later, the last two bottles of that stout had plenty of carbonation and they tasted better than what it was like 12 months earlier.
No idea at all, it's done this way commercially, we do it at the brewery, I do it at home and it works. This is really about the last straw filler though, I was not impressed, lots of work, gear, expense that doesn't change the fill at all.

Heck, I can let you all slap each other on the back trumpeting on about a bunch of stainless steel and buttons while I fill bottles faster and with less work but hey, why not poke y'all with a stick? :ban:
 

Yesfan

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No idea at all, it's done this way commercially, we do it at the brewery, I do it at home and it works. This is really about the last straw filler though, I was not impressed, lots of work, gear, expense that doesn't change the fill at all.

Heck, I can let you all slap each other on the back trumpeting on about a bunch of stainless steel and buttons while I fill bottles faster and with less work but hey, why not poke y'all with a stick? :ban:

Haha! Congrats....you just made my list of people I want to meet before I kick the bucket.


Seriously? I agree. This is about the Last Straw Filler. My apologies for derailing this thread.
 

Firewalker11

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Haha! Congrats....you just made my list of people I want to meet before I kick the bucket.


Seriously? I agree. This is about the Last Straw Filler. My apologies for derailing this thread.
Careful what you ask for! I am an unusual person (ya think?) and am glad you didn't say you wanted to kick MY bucket! :ban:

{:}POKE{:}
 

mxstar21

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The first use of the Last Straw had what I thought had a lot of foam. My father in-law and I would fill the bottle till foam was coming out of the bottle and the beer was close to the top then pull out the Last Straw. The beer would drop down some and there would be space with some foam. We shall see how it turns out down the road...
I had the same problems and tried everything. I could not get it to work right. I watched the video 5 times, chilled the bottles and tried all kinds of different psi and still had foam pouring out. I switched to the Blichmann beer gun I was hoping to replace, dropped psi to about 4-6 psi and no problems with foaming use room temperature bottles. I really hope I can figure out what the issue is, I like all of the features the Last Straw has (except excessive foaming)and I hate the rubber tip on on the Blichmann beer gun. Not ready to ditch the Blichmann yet though.
 

pshankstar

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I had the same problems and tried everything. I could not get it to work right. I watched the video 5 times, chilled the bottles and tried all kinds of different psi and still had foam pouring out. I switched to the Blichmann beer gun I was hoping to replace, dropped psi to about 4-6 psi and no problems with foaming use room temperature bottles. I really hope I can figure out what the issue is, I like all of the features the Last Straw has (except excessive foaming)and I hate the rubber tip on on the Blichmann beer gun. Not ready to ditch the Blichmann yet though.
I'm trying to remember what we did, but we bottled another batch with the Last Straw and it was so much nicer. Almost identical to the videos they have to show you how to use it. ARGH I hate when this happens. Well, I will try to make note of it when I use it again to report back. But I will have to say after my first experience the second time went a lot better.

Sorry I do not have more to offer right now, but I will do my best to report back when I use it again.
 

ChapBrewer

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I had a similar experience with the Last Straw. The first batch was all messed up, inconsistent fill level and lots of foaming. But the second time it was all better. I did, however, had to lower the pressure of the keg to 5 psi, luckily I have a dual regulator but I couldn't get the filler to work at serving pressure without crazy foaming.

My advice is to try different pressures, I'm sure one will work and also make sure the beer is at equilibrium and you can pour it nicely in a glass.

When you hit that sweet spot where you can use the Last Straw without problems, it's actually a pretty nice filler
 

PeteNMA

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Try a longer beer line going to the gun. I have ten feet of 3/16 line going to my faucets, and using a bottle filler with a couple of feet of line just didn't work. Added another ten feet of line between the faucet and the filler and all is well
 

pshankstar

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Please do! I really want this thing to work, but I am slowly losing hope. :mad::
I'm not sure if this helps, but about a month ago I bottled an American Wheat beer using my Last Straw and it worked great. The keg was set to 10psi and was half full by the time I decided to bottle the rest. I'm not sure if this played a factor where the beer in the keg was well carbonated and stable for a few weeks. Maybe if the beer hasn't been kegged long enough, that may play a factor in a lot a foam??? Just a thought.

But what I will have to say is it worked great the third time I used it and I'm happy with my purchase.
 

mxstar21

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I can't say enough about Northern Brewers customer service. After hearing that I couldn't get mine to wrk and exchanging emails, they sent me a replacement. Their thinking was that something on the gas side was leaking excess CO2 causing it to foam up. Unfortunetaly, I have been able to try it out and it's been about 2 months at least. Due to work I have just been too busy.

I will say with the customer service I received, they stand behind their product and since others have gotten to work I may have just received a dud which happens. I really want to try the new one out. The features really seem so much nicer than the Blichmann. Hopefully in a week I can post a positive update!
 

Little_Lebowski

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Just got mine today. Plan on using tomorrow. From all I've read and heard, a lot of these first time use horror stories are from people not following the instructions. Cold bottles, cold bottles, low psi ( 2psi), use a pint glass for your first fill until you've got it rolling past the foam up--- remember your beer line is also WARM and this helps cool it down too, cold bottles, LOW psi, AND DONT BLEED THE CO2 OFF THE HEADSPACE OF YOUR KEG BEFORE YOU USE!

FYI: mine came with 10 feet of 3/16 liquid line. Not sure if th early sales were coming with shorter lines. So, this 10' liquid line in the box could be a response from NB to correct some problems.

I'll be sure to post tomorrow!


Ps.. Here's a link to a YouTube video. This dude posted 2 hater videos on YouTube and swore to ship it back before he finally posted this one praising its glory and owning up to causing the foam himself:

https://youtu.be/y2cj0v28O64
 

mxstar21

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Just got mine today. Plan on using tomorrow. From all I've read and heard, a lot of these first time use horror stories are from people not following the instructions. Cold bottles, cold bottles, low psi ( 2psi), use a pint glass for your first fill until you've got it rolling past the foam up--- remember your beer line is also WARM and this helps cool it down too, cold bottles, LOW psi, AND DONT BLEED THE CO2 OFF THE HEADSPACE OF YOUR KEG BEFORE YOU USE!

FYI: mine came with 10 feet of 3/16 liquid line. Not sure if th early sales were coming with shorter lines. So, this 10' liquid line in the box could be a response from NB to correct some problems.

I'll be sure to post tomorrow!


Ps.. Here's a link to a YouTube video. This dude posted 2 hater videos on YouTube and swore to ship it back before he finally posted this one praising its glory and owning up to causing the foam himself:

https://youtu.be/y2cj0v28O64
You are supposed to use serving pressure with the "Last Straw" filler which is between 8 and 12 psi. The Blichmann beer gun is supposed to be used between 2-6 psi.
 

TravelingLight

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What's the difference between this and the Blichmann? I've used a Blichmann before (borrowed) and was getting ready to buy one. But now I'm interested in this one. At first, the only advantage I saw to using this over the Blichmann is this one works at serving pressure (instead of dialing it way back like for the Blichmann). But now it seems like that's not the case?

So for someone who was thinking about getting a Blichmann, why should I get this one instead? TIA.
 

mxstar21

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What's the difference between this and the Blichmann? I've used a Blichmann before (borrowed) and was getting ready to buy one. But now I'm interested in this one. At first, the only advantage I saw to using this over the Blichmann is this one works at serving pressure (instead of dialing it way back like for the Blichmann). But now it seems like that's not the case?

So for someone who was thinking about getting a Blichmann, why should I get this one instead? TIA.
This one is designed to bottle at serving pressure instead of the 2-6 lower pressure than the Blichmann. Also instead of the rubber tip that falls off every now and then which the Last straw has a metal tip that you depress. The Last Straw also has a clip that allows it clip onto the side of a bucket. It also comes with all the hoses and ball cap or pin lock fittings you need. It is ready out of the box.
 

TravelingLight

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This one is designed to bottle at serving pressure instead of the 2-6 lower pressure than the Blichmann. Also instead of the rubber tip that falls off every now and then which the Last straw has a metal tip that you depress. The Last Straw also has a clip that allows it clip onto the side of a bucket. It also comes with all the hoses and ball cap or pin lock fittings you need. It is ready out of the box.
I think you just sold me on the rubber tip aspect! The last time I used a Blichmann (which was the first and only time) I was unaware of that finicky rubber tip. Filled the first bottle and apparently the tip came out in the bottle, pulled the wand out and was hosing down my living room with beer. I was not happy. And I had to drink that beer very carefully to not swallow that rubber tip. If I can find this Last Straw on sale for a few bucks cheaper, I'm snagging it. Thanks for the info.
 

pshankstar

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I think you just sold me on the rubber tip aspect! The last time I used a Blichmann (which was the first and only time) I was unaware of that finicky rubber tip. Filled the first bottle and apparently the tip came out in the bottle, pulled the wand out and was hosing down my living room with beer. I was not happy. And I had to drink that beer very carefully to not swallow that rubber tip. If I can find this Last Straw on sale for a few bucks cheaper, I'm snagging it. Thanks for the info.
Northern Brewer just had a 20% off one item deal earlier this week. They will occasionally do these from time to time, so keep an eye out for it or sign up for their emails.
 

Little_Lebowski

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So I used the last straw last evening for the first time since unboxing it and it works better than I could've hoped for. The key is The cold bottles I had them in the fridge at 35 for about an hour and they worked perfect. But even in the minute or so they had to warm up while filling the others it added the slightest amount of some foam. Definitely illustrates the importance of cold bottles. I am also only dialed in the PSI down to about eight but probably could've kept it higher as the design of the Gun itself and the 10 feet of liquid line gave the right amount of back pressure. forgot to mention I also put my liquid line in the fridge with the bottles to get that nice and cold too. I'm very very pleased with the last straw I can't wait to use it again
 

mxstar21

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So I used the last straw last evening for the first time since unboxing it and it works better than I could've hoped for. The key is The cold bottles I had them in the fridge at 35 for about an hour and they worked perfect. But even in the minute or so they had to warm up while filling the others it added the slightest amount of some foam. Definitely illustrates the importance of cold bottles. I am also only dialed in the PSI down to about eight but probably could've kept it higher as the design of the Gun itself and the 10 feet of liquid line gave the right amount of back pressure. forgot to mention I also put my liquid line in the fridge with the bottles to get that nice and cold too. I'm very very pleased with the last straw I can't wait to use it again
You said on the previous page that low psi (2psi) works best. Is that not the case?
 

mxstar21

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I think you just sold me on the rubber tip aspect! The last time I used a Blichmann (which was the first and only time) I was unaware of that finicky rubber tip. Filled the first bottle and apparently the tip came out in the bottle, pulled the wand out and was hosing down my living room with beer. I was not happy. And I had to drink that beer very carefully to not swallow that rubber tip. If I can find this Last Straw on sale for a few bucks cheaper, I'm snagging it. Thanks for the info.
It has a lot of neat features, the lack of a tip that can fall being high on the list. The first one I got I could never get to work right and Northern Brewer ended up sending me a replacement. I haven't gotten to use the replacement yet.
 

Little_Lebowski

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You said on the previous page that low psi (2psi) works best. Is that not the case?
Well I read or saw someone mention that somewhere prior to me ever using it personally. Last night was the first time I used mine and I had it somewhere around 8 and it worked perfect. I think that 2 psi woulda been unnecessarily too low
 

BlkWater_brewer

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Save you're money and go with a counter pressure filler - no comparison. I used to hate bottling.
 
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