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Counter Pressure Filler
Effortlessly bottle from your keg.....comes with the following instructions.
HopTech Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler Instructions
Overview of Counter-Pressure Bottle Filling
Counter-pressure bottle filling is a method of filling a bottle with pre-carbonated beer with the goal of leaving the beer’s carbonation level intact and without introducing oxygen into the beer. The principle of operation is that a beer bottle is purged of air by flushing it with CO2. Once the air has been purged, the bottle is left pressurized with CO2. Beer is then forced into the bottle “counter” to the pressure that is there. This counter-pressure keeps the beer’s CO2 in solution. As the bottle fills, the pressure in the bottle increases and when the pressure in the bottle equals the pressure forcing the beer into the bottle, the flow will stop. By gently releasing the pressure as the bottle fills, a constant flow of beer is maintained and the beer retains its carbonation. When the bottle is full, the beer is shut off, the remaining pressure released and the bottle capped.
Sanitizing and Cleaning the HopTech Counter-Pressure Filler
NOTE: The filler should be thoroughly cleaned immediately after each bottling session and sanitized immediately before use.
To sanitize the filler, simply immerse the filler in a solution of iodophor. Do not use bleach. Turn the valve to left and right to make sure sanitizer gets into both paths. Also sanitize the liquid line. If you used the correct dilution of iodophor (12.5 ppm or 1 tbs in 5 gallons for most brands), then you should not have to rinse the filler or line.
To clean the filler, connect a hot water source to the beer line, put the filler in a pre-heated bottle, turn the valve towards the water source and run hot water through the filler, into the bottle and out the pressure relief valve. Flush thoroughly. Connect the hot water source to the gas line and repeat the above procedure. If done right after using the filler, this should be sufficient to remove any traces of beer, but you can use a solution of BLC (beer line cleaner), TSP or washing soda, followed by a thorough rinsing as above (in any case you should do this after every third or fourth usage). This may be easily accomplished by making up the solution in a keg and pushing the solution through the system with CO2 (works for the hot water too). HopTech’s Keg Hose Cleaner is also useful for flushing the lines with water. Important Note: After cleaning, disassemble the pressure relief valve by unscrewing the adjuster all the way and remove the spring and ball and allow them to air dry before reassembly to prevent corrosion. When reassembling make sure the ball goes in first.
Assembly and Connection of the HopTech Counter-Pressure Filler
The HopTech Counter-Pressure Filler uses ¼” flare fittings for its liquid and gas connections. The filler comes with a gas hose and a liquid hose. The gas hose is marked “CO2 GAS” and uses a different diameter tubing than the liquid line, so don’t interchange them. If the hoses are not already attached to your filler, attach the liquid hose to one side of the valve at the top, being sure to use a nylon flare washer between the male and female flare connectors. Tighten securely with a small crescent wrench. Repeat for the gas connector. Note that it really doesn’t matter which side gets the liquid or gas, hook it up the most convenient way for your system. Connect the other side of the liquid line to the liquid keg connector (black color or red with black top). No flare washer is necessary with this connection. You will need a source of CO2, split from the gas feeding the keg you are filling from. This is most easily accomplished with a T fitting. If you are using a metal T, you will need to use a flare washer here. To summarize the connections: Gas: Output of CO2 regulator T’d to the keg and the filler. Liquid: From keg to filler.
Directions for Filling
First you need to make sure the beer and bottles are as cold as possible to minimize foaming. Beer should be no more than 35 degrees F.
You’ll need to adjust the automated pressure relief valve on the filler. Begin by turning the locking nut all the way out (farthest from the filler body) and then turning the adjusting knob (at the end, round and knurled) all the way in (closest to the filler body). Make sure the filler valve is in the off (center) position. Turn on your gas and adjust the pressure to 12 lbs or so. Put the filler in an empty bottle and apply just enough force to insure a good seal between the stopper and the bottle. Now turn the valve towards the gas connection. Gas should flow and stop. Now slowly back out the pressure adjusting knob on the filler until you hear a slight hiss. Shut off the gas. The automated pressure relief valve is now adjusted.
To fill a bottle all that is necessary is to put the filler in the bottle as above, turn the valve towards the gas side and let the gas flow and purge the bottle. This will take about 10 to 15 seconds. Turn the valve to the off position and then towards the liquid side. Beer should flow into the bottle and gas should be expelled from the pressure relief valve. When the bottle is near full, turn the valve to the off (center) position and gently remove the filler from the bottle. Cap the bottle.
If the beer foams, you may need to adjust the pressure relief valve until it stops, and/or play with the CO2 pressure. Also make sure your beer and bottles are cold (it helps to put the bottles in the freezer). A useful hint is to use the tip of your finger to temper the gas flow from the relief valve. If the beer fills too slowly, you can also adjust the pressure relief valve (outwards) to increase flow until the beer foams, then adjust it back in until the foaming stops. Be sure to thoroughly clean the filler and lines after use.