Beer Gun

Why buy your homebrewing equipment if you can make it? Share completed DIY projects and future plans and ideas alike!
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Josh
Posts: 26
Joined: 7 years ago

Beer Gun

Post by Josh » 7 years ago

So I looked at the Blichmann Beer Gun and thought, I can make something like that for cheaper than 80 bucks ... so I did lol. I looked around the internet first to see if anyone had built something like this, and while many people have DIY fillers or counter pressure fillers I didn't see any DIY beer guns.

Parts:
1/4" OD Beer Wand / bottle filler - LHBS - $5
Air Gun for compressed air - home depot - $10
1/4" quick connect T - home depot - $5
Brass Barb adaptors Barb x MIP (5/16" x 1/8" and 1/4" x 1/4") $6 total
SS Gear clamps - $.50 ea
picnic tap - ontario beer kegs - $3
1/4" vinyl tubing (can also use polyethylene) - home depot - $7 (for 20 ft although you only need about 1 foot of the stuff)
gas line - ontario beer kegs - $1.00/ft
beer line - ontario beer kegs - $.50/ft

I'm not going to include all the CO2 stuff because if you didn't already have CO2 you wouldn't even be considering doing this, and I'm gonna assume no one is about to buy a CO2 setup just to use a beer gun lol.

Total: $40ish

but I'm betting alot of people will likely have some of this stuff anyways so it will probably only cost you $20-$25

By looking online I found out that beer wands fit perfectly inside picnic taps. Then I tried to figure out how to set up the CO2 to purge the bottle before filling, that's the one of the advantages of a beer gun. I was thinking of putting the beer wand inside another tube somewhat similar to a counter flow chiller setup but I decided that it would take up too much space in the bottle and I would just end up with too much head space.

After looking at a counter pressure filler at my LHBS that was setup with a T on top I decided to make something similar. So off to home depot. I discover that the beer wand also fits perfectly in a 1/4" quick connect T. which means that the 1/4" vinyl tubing also fits inside a picnic tap.

All I had left to do was set up the CO2. I could have just put a ball valve in, but thats not very cool or gun like. So ... I got myself an air gun!!! The type you would use with compressed air. I fit a MIP x barb adapter on each end so I could connect one to my CO2 manifold and the other into my T. (Note I removed the safety nozzle to install the 1/8" x 5/16" barb. I am not advocating that anyone else do this I am simply stating how I built my beer gun ... disclaimer done)

I haven't used it yet for bottling, but I will be hopefully bottling at some point next week. In order to use a beer gun you need to make sure your keg system is balanced so that you don't get very much foam. You do want a bit of foam at the end to cap on. This reduces the amount of oxygen in your bottle. If you don't have enough tubing to balance your system, just turn down your regulator and vent your kegs to the appropriate psi. the CO2 won't come out of the beer in the short amount of time it takes to fill bottles. I can comfortably hold both taps in one hand, it works best with the picnic tap on the inside of your palm. I may use an elastic or something during bottling to ensure they stay together.

I'll let you all know how it works once I've tested it out. Let me know what you think!
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User avatar
B&SCUSTOMEQUIPMENT
Moderator
Posts: 539
Joined: 7 years ago
Favourite Beer: Mine
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Beer Gun

Post by B&SCUSTOMEQUIPMENT » 7 years ago

Cool device! How do you go about cleaning and sanitizing? I think this would be awesome for bottling huge batches as it would make for a great assembly line setup! Perhaps some sort of stand to hold the apparatus such that you could fill the bottles one right after another. Having a bottling assistant to cap the bottles would make the procedure quick light work.

I used to fill grolsch bottles for BYOB parties etc, I dislike the time it takes to do bottle cleaning and sanitizing.
I like cleaning and sanitizing 2 bottles(corny's) rather than 100 plus bottles for the 45L batches I brew.
I now fill growlers from time to time by purging keg pressure and using a short piece of silicone tubing as a fill tube. There is a little foam dripping, not alot to be concerned about, I put a pail under the tap to catch anything. I was at a microbrewery in the Detroit area, I bought a growler of beer to discover they fill the same way.

I look forward to hearing how it works for you!

Cheers

Scott

a1dookie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 1 year ago
Favourite Beer: Golden pheasant

Re: Beer Gun

Post by a1dookie » 1 year ago

Josh wrote:So I looked at the Blichmann Beer Gun and thought, I can make something like that for cheaper than 80 bucks ... so I did lol. I looked around the internet first to see if anyone had built something like this, and while many people have DIY fillers or counter pressure fillers I didn't see any DIY beer guns.

Parts:
1/4" OD Beer Wand / bottle filler - LHBS - $5
Air Gun for compressed air - home depot - $10
1/4" quick connect T - home depot - $5
Brass Barb adaptors Barb x MIP (5/16" x 1/8" and 1/4" x 1/4") $6 total
SS Gear clamps - $.50 ea
picnic tap - ontario beer kegs - $3
1/4" vinyl tubing (can also use polyethylene) - home depot - $7 (for 20 ft although you only need about 1 foot of the stuff)
gas line - ontario beer kegs - $1.00/ft
beer line - ontario beer kegs - $.50/ft

I'm not going to include all the CO2 stuff because if you didn't already have CO2 you wouldn't even be considering doing this, and I'm gonna assume no one is about to buy a CO2 setup just to use a beer gun lol.

Total: $40ish

but I'm betting alot of people will likely have some of this stuff anyways so it will probably only cost you $20-$25

By looking online I found out that beer wands fit perfectly inside picnic taps. Then I tried to figure out how to set up the CO2 to purge the bottle before filling, that's the one of the advantages of a beer gun. I was thinking of putting the beer wand inside another tube somewhat similar to a counter flow chiller setup but I decided that it would take up too much space in the bottle and I would just end up with too much head space.

After looking at a counter pressure filler at my LHBS that was setup with a T on top I decided to make something similar. So off to home depot. I discover that the beer wand also fits perfectly in a 1/4" quick connect T. which means that the 1/4" vinyl tubing also fits inside a picnic tap.

All I had left to do was set up the CO2. I could have just put a ball valve in, but thats not very cool or gun like. So ... I got myself an air gun!!! The type you would use with compressed air. I fit a MIP x barb adapter on each end so I could connect one to my CO2 manifold and the other into my T. (Note I removed the safety nozzle to install the 1/8" x 5/16" barb. I am not advocating that anyone else do this I am simply stating how I built my beer gun ... disclaimer done)

I haven't used it yet for bottling, but I will be hopefully bottling at some point next week. In order to use a beer gun you need to make sure your keg system is balanced so that you don't get very much foam. You do want a bit of foam at the end to cap on. This reduces the amount of oxygen in your bottle. If you don't have enough tubing to balance your system, just turn down your regulator and vent your kegs to the appropriate psi. the CO2 won't come out of the beer in the short amount of time it takes to fill bottles. I can comfortably hold both taps in one hand, it works best with the picnic tap on the inside of your palm. I may use an elastic or something during bottling to ensure they stay together.

I'll let you all know how it works once I've tested it out. Let me know what you think!

DSC00549.jpg

DSC00542.jpg
So, how does it work?

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