Bottling is the worse part of brewing for me, sanitising and draining are fine. The annoying part is opening and closing the syphon to fill the bottles and having them overflow. It means I’m bending over and covering the floor and myself in beer for 20-30min.
I’ve gone through a good few bottling sticks, but they always seem to malfunction (either too slow to fill or huge leaking out of the bottle). If I had a premium one made, I’d consider it, but these cheap plastic jobs don’t seem to like me, as I still have to hold it in place constantly.
I’ve thought about a beer gun before, but with the CO2 cyclinder, etc, it seems like too much work. I currently use a large autosyphon, with a small tap at the end. It is very finicky to open and close, due to it’s tiny valve, but it’s better than the bottling sticks. It actually disturbs the beer much less than the bottling sticks. The sticks can flow at high speed when working properly and seem to cause alot of bubbles at the start of a bottle fill, this is reduced with the tap.
So I came across this Semi Professional Automatic 3 Head Bottle Filler for €50.
Initially I was struggling to see how it could work? It looks potentially great. I can’t see any video etc of it working. If this fills the bottles to the correct level and saves me bending over the whole time I’d be up for it.
I didn’t know how it knew when a bottle is full? I guess all the bottles would have to be the same size too.
I did expect the bottle to hold in place but they just don’t, (with 1 weird shaped bottle, I did get it to hang actually) and there is no way to adjust them. I would say it does fill them faster but I think you would want to be filling more than one 20L batch for it to be of net benefit.
My socks now act as a mop on brew days.
Pros: Once set up goes through bottles pretty quick
Cons: Slightly expensive, takes up storage space, leaks easily, still drips, can’t use 3 arms at the same time
I have subsquently sold it to another NHC member, who is going to adapt/modify it to see if it can be improved. I’ve gone back to a bottle bucket and wand.