Soon after most brewers begin kegging, they find the need to fill a few bottles for competition or to give away. If all they are filling is a couple of bottles, then there is no better way than the Poor Man's Counter Pressure Bottle Filler (many thanks to Ken Schwartz for providing the diagram). It can be fabricated for less than $10, and works like a champ once you get the hang of it.
If you are filling a six pack or more, then you start to yearn for a better solution to bottle filling from a keg. I looked at the currently available models on the market, and most were either too costly, or forced me to move a keg in order to use the filler. I found this unacceptable, so I decided to build my own. What sets my design apart from the rest is that I can hook it up to any keg without moving the keg in just a couple of seconds, and I can fill any size bottle from a small squatty 7 oz, to a Champagne bottle. Also I can switch the stopper and fill growlers, or other bottles.
Here is a picture of my filler.
The orginal plan was to sell the filler to homebrew shops and let them sell them to the public. With the homebrew shop markup being as much as 100%, most people would look for a cheaper filler.
Then I tried making custom built fillers to match each individual system for those interested, but most people still opted for a less expensive filler.
If you would
like to make a filler of your own, perhaps my notes can help.
If you would like to make a filler of your own, perhaps my notes can help.
Counter Pressure Bottle Filler Assembly Instructions
The filler is not that difficult to assemble but some pieces need to be devised prior to assembly.
1 - Cut and smooth the ends of the 1/4 OD SS tubing to a height that would allow filling of any bottle size you may have. Make the length long enough to include the tee and fittings on top of the bottle being filled. (18-20 of tubing should work for 22 ounce and 750 ml)
2- Cut and smooth the ends of the 3/8 OD SS tubing to a length that would just protrude from a stopper when inserted into the black plastic connector.
3 Remove the O-ring from a 1/4 black plastic connector and drill out the inside a 1/4 drill bit to accommodate the 1/4 OD tubing, then reinsert the O-ring Filler
1 Attach a 1/4 black plastic connector to the 3-way valve using teflon tape and an appropriately sized wrench
2 Insert the tubing into the black plastic connector and tighten (it should be apparent how the connector works with the O-ring and outside nut)
3 On the drilled connector, tighten the body of the connector to the plastic tee using teflon tape
4 Slide the nut up the SS followed by the O-ring and finally the tee. Tighten the assembly together.
5 Insert the short piece of 3/8 OD SS SS into the 3/8 black plastic connector and slide onto the 1/4 OD tubing. Tighten into the plastic tee. (if this connector does not have good clearance between the inside and the 1/4 tubing it may need to be drilled out with a larger bit, but at all times smaller than 3/8)
6 Slide the stopper onto the short tubing
7 Insert the pressure relief valve into the Tee using teflon tape
8 Insert male half unions into each side of 3-way valve
1 To the Gas disconnect attach one end of the swivel female flare using a nylon washer
2 On the tee attach a male half union using teflon tape and then attach the free end of the swivel using a nylon washer
3 To the top of the tee attach the ball lock adapter using teflon tape (1/4 MPT x 9/16 18 male)
4 Place the O-ring on the ball lock adapter and then tighten on the Gas Tank Plug
5 On the final branch of the tee insert the pipe to flare backflow preventer
6 - Cut appropriate length pieces of 1/4 tubing and 5/16 tubing and insert swivels of appropriate sizes and clamp with quickclamps
7 To clear liquid hose attach a liquid disconnect to one end and the other to one side of the 3-way valve
8 To the red gas hose attached one end to the other side of the 3 way valve and using a nylon washer the free end to the backflow preventer on the brass tee