Bottling beer can be a tedious process. It can be a pain trying to manage foam, carbonation, temperature, and bottle levels using a traditional bottle filler. Thankfully, there are more advanced systems available for this process.
Counter pressure bottle fillers are typically used in commercial brewing. The point of this type of filler is to maintain carbonation while transferring from a pressurized vessel, such as a keg, to a bottle. They can also assist in regulating temperature and foam during transfer.
Because these systems are so helpful, there are many different models that have been designed to serve the needs of small scale brewers to some of the largest in the world. It is with these fillers that all of the bottled beer we enjoy are filled.
To use a counter pressure bottle filler, you will first need a pressurized keg filled with your favorite beer. Once you have this, attach the filler, active the release, and let it do the rest of the work.
In this review, I will be focusing on some of the smaller scale systems. They are conceptually the same but are more practical for home and small batch craft brewers.
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|Dimensions||20.5 x 6.5 x 5.9 inches||14 x 8 x 6 inches||24.6 x 14 x 13.5 inches|
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WilliamsWarn Counter Pressure Bottle Filler Review
This is one of the best counter pressure fillers for small batch brewers. It makes quick work of a 5-gallon keg and makes filling easy without any spills or loss of carbonation. WilliamsWarn also provides a helpful how to use video.
The height of this filler is adjustable to accommodate all bottle lengths. However, it does limit bottle diameter. The widest bottle it can fill is about 3.75 inches. This isn’t a big deal as most bottles aren’t that large. It just won’t be able to fill traditional growlers.
You can be confident knowing that your bottles are going to be consistent and appropriately carbonated with this filler.
- Easy to use
- CO2 regulator
- Adjustable height
- Bottle 5 gallons in 30 minutes
- Can’t fill traditional growlers
- No temperature regulator
- Unstable base
Counter Pressure Bottle Filler by Midwest Homebrewing Review
This counter pressure bottle filler is another great option for small batch brewers. Unlike traditional bottle fillers, you can save a lot of time by bottling straight from the keg and eliminate the worries of oxidation and sediment transfer.
Like most systems, CO2 is pushed into every bottle before each fill. This guarantees you won’t have any off flavors from trapped oxygen. The only problem with this filler is the bottle stopper.
The bottle stopper takes some adjusting to make sure you are getting a proper counter pressure. There are instructions that assist in set up but it does take some calibration before you start getting good fills.
- CO2 Purge
- Keeps sediment out
- In box instructions
- Doesn’t come with tubing
- Set up and Calibration required
- Bottle stopper is not universal
Stainless Steel Counter Pressure Beer Bottle Filler by HappyBrew Review
This is a very simple and straightforward filler. It provides you with the necessary tool to fill bottles from your keg. It is stainless steel and has an adjustable stopper for different bottle lengths.
Operation is easy. All you have to do is place the down stem in your bottle, adjust the gas valves, and you are ready to fill. You shouldn’t have to worry about sediment as you are filling from a keg that should not have any to begin with.
It does not come with the necessary tubing but chances are you may already have what you need lying around. If you don’t, the tubes and fittings are very inexpensive.
- Easy to operate
- Stainless steal
- Adjustable stopper
- No CO2 purge
- Tubing not included
- No stand
Traditional vs. Counter Pressure Bottle Fillers
Traditional bottle fillers are inexpensive and are usually used to transfer from primary fermentation to a bottle. If you are going to transfer from secondary, they may be difficult to regulate CO2 pressure, fill level, and may result in foaming.
On the other hand, counter pressure fillers are only meant to transfer from a keg to a bottle. They are very good at this and I wouldn’t recommend another method. Depending on the bottle type and quantity, you may find that one will work better for you than another.
My Vote for Best Counter Pressure Bottle Filler
For a home and small batch brewing, I recommend the Counter Pressure Bottle Filler by Midwest Homebrewing. The stand is very helpful as you’ll want to reduce the chances of knocking over your beer and it provides a good foundation for top end pressure.
It also CO2 purges bottles before every fill. This is very important as too much oxidation can ruin your entire batch. Personally, I don’t care that it won’t fit a traditional growler because they are easy to fill from a faucet.