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> Blichman Beer Gun
well....
well....
10 recommend [ 24 ] ** [51.06%]
9 [ 8 ] ** [17.02%]
8 [ 8 ] ** [17.02%]
7 [ 1 ] ** [2.13%]
6 [ 1 ] ** [2.13%]
5 [ 1 ] ** [2.13%]
4 [ 1 ] ** [2.13%]
3 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
2 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
1 not worth JACK!! [ 3 ] ** [6.38%]
Total Votes: 125
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huleoo
post Aug 30 2005, 07:33 PM
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The Blichmann Beer Gun is an alternative to a CPF. It features 1 hand operation and a very simple design. Breakdown takes all of a minute, as does putting it together. The only flaws involve the lack of a spare parts list to aid in replacing some of the smaller parts. This product IMO makes a CPF obsolete! Being able to set it up, fill a six pack, and break it down in 30 mins without rushing makes this worth every penny!

Also No beer spray in the face!! When you let go of the trigger, beer stops flowing. The trigger is spring loaded, so you cannot forget to turn the beer off. There are also no valves to turn, just 2 triggers to push. 1 for gas and 1 for beer. It never fails I get sprayed once every time I used my CPF. Now it is time to sell that.
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cj in j
post Aug 30 2005, 08:11 PM
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And, I might add, available right here at HBA! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif)
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huleoo
post Aug 31 2005, 05:10 AM
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Thanks for adding the links CJ! Too lazy/tired to find them when I through this together. Jason told me to get off my butt and review it, which I had been putting off. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/blush.gif)
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cj in j
post Aug 31 2005, 08:24 AM
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Mine came today -- looks very nice. I'll probably have a chance to use it over the weekend, so I'll add my comments at that time.
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borny
post Aug 31 2005, 03:03 PM
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i love mine!
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cj in j
post Sep 14 2005, 06:37 AM
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Today I used the BeerGun for the first time, but it was with uncarbonated beer (added priming sugar to a corny) -- mainly I did it to get used to the mechanics and use of the filler.

My initial impression was one of frustration. To hook up the gun, you need a number of parts that are not included, and they should be in my opinion. Among the parts you will need (either by buying the accessory pack or finding them on your own): a splitter for your CO2 line (luckily I already had one), a "1/4" flare to male pipe half union" (thanks to Ale I knew I needed one, so I had HBA throw one in the package when they sent it to me), and a hose adapter for 1/4" fittings (I found out I didn't have one of these so I had to force on a 3/8" adapter). Someone who's new to kegging and/or bottling from a corny will be very confused when they first try to use the BeerGun -- none of these essential parts are included.

Once I got everything cleaned, sanitized, and assembled, I ran into the second bit of frustration -- the gas fittings leaked. So I had to take things apart again and use teflon tape to get them to stop leaking. Not a major problem, but again something that's not mentioned anywhere.

At this point, I should say that I'm an experienced counter-pressure filler user. Even the first time I used my c-p filler (from HopTech), I didn't have this kind of frustration.

Okay, now I was ready to go. I did a couple test fills using Star San, to get a feel for the BeerGun. I started to get less frustrated -- it's a smooth-working piece of equipment. One-handed operation is sure a joy! The only slightly weird thing I noticed was that when I pull the gas trigger, CO2 came out of two places -- one at the bottom of the bottle as expected, the other at the top where the beer tube runs through the gas assemble, which is not expected. It doesn't seem like there's anything missing on my Gun, so I assume this is a design "feature," but it doesn't really make me happy to be wasting CO2 to the atmosphere. But, that's a minor complaint.

Filling non-carbonated beer was easy, and I was able to get 25 bottles done in 20 minutes or so, from the time I started filling the first bottle. I only had a few minor mishaps when I accidentally pulled the beer trigger before the filler was in the bottle, but that was operator error. Once I got used to the action, no more mistakes. All together I filled 50 bottles today, and the total time spent actually filling was relatively short, probably a bit faster than when I did the same type of filling with my c-p filler.

Assembling and disassembling the BeerGun is a bit more involved than others have made it out to be, but it's still not difficult -- I estimate that it took me 5 minutes after I was done to disassemble everything, including the gas line assembly, and get everything soaking in cleaner. But, that also included other hoses and disconnects that I used to transfer the beer from corny to corny to corny.

Tomorrow, if everything goes according to plan, I will give the Gun a try on carbonated beer. I have two beer carbed up and ready to go -- and if everything goes smoothly, I'll be filling around 80 bottles tomorrow. At the moment, my rating is 7 -- that could go up tomorrow if the filling goes smoothly. I haven't voted yet, I'll wait until after I'm all cleaned up tomorrow.
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danmcc
post Sep 15 2005, 05:07 PM
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I have used the Beer Gun once and things went great. No problems.

I agree with CJ on the parts and pieces. I had a single keg set up so I had to get parts for the 2nd port for gas to the Beer Gun. Fortunately I was planning on upgrading to a 4 keg setup, so it wasn't a waste of money for me. I believe all the parts an pieces should be in the kits and price it accordingly. There is something to be said for a no hassles when the toy arrives. It's like Christmas morning and there are only 3 batteries for a 4 battery toy.

But just to be clear, the product works wonderfully. 10

Dan
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cj in j
post Sep 15 2005, 08:01 PM
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Well yesterday I bottled two batches of fairly highly carbonated fruit ale, and things went relatively smoothly -- smoother as I went along. In total, I filled about 105 bottles and had very little foaming problem. I haven't tried any of the bottles yet, but am planning on having a test bottle of each tonight -- I don't anticipate any problems with carbonation.

I did have a bit of trouble achieving a consistent fill level. The first 10 bottles or so all have different amounts of head space -- I filled until the foam just started coming out and then quickly removed the filler and capped. Some bottles had 2+ inches of head space, some had a more appropriate one inch. Once I got used to how the BeerGun works, though, I got better at getting a nice level. What I did was to lift the Gun off the bottom of the bottle as soon as the foam reached the next (continuing to fill). Once the foam reached the top of the bottle, the nozzle of the Gun was nearly out of the bottle. I just lifted that last couple inches, capped, and had nearly perfect fill levels.

I tried filling room-temp bottles, bottles chilled to the same temp as the beer, and frozen bottles. The frozen bottles worked best, controlled foaming. Chilled bottles were adequate, a bit more foaming but controllable. For the room-temp bottles I had to turn the regulator down and fill much more slowly, but I was still able to get adequate fills.

The second batch I filled I timed -- it took exactly 45 minutes to fill 53 bottles, and that was with two very short breaks. I probably could have shaved 5-10 minutes off that if I was a bit more efficient in using my time, but it wasn't necessary.

All in all, my 2nd-day's experience was better -- much better -- than the frustration of setup on the first day.

My rating is 8. Pros: easy to clean and sanitize (and to keep clean and sanitized), a big advantage over most counter-pressure fillers; relatively easy to setup once you get all the necessary fittings; easy to use. Cons: not all necessary parts are included, either with the Gun or with the accessory pack; several small parts are potentially easy to lose and hard to replace without going to the manufacturer. Other: not significantly faster or easier to use as a well-designed c-p filler.
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pods8
post Sep 15 2005, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE(cj in j @ Sep 14 2005, 06:38 AM)
Okay, now I was ready to go. I did a couple test fills using Star San, to get a feel for the BeerGun. I started to get less frustrated -- it's a smooth-working piece of equipment. One-handed operation is sure a joy! The only slightly weird thing I noticed was that when I pull the gas trigger, CO2 came out of two places -- one at the bottom of the bottle as expected, the other at the top where the beer tube runs through the gas assemble, which is not expected. It doesn't seem like there's anything missing on my Gun, so I assume this is a design "feature," but it doesn't really make me happy to be wasting CO2 to the atmosphere. But, that's a minor complaint.
*


Just an FYI, they mention this in the manual, they only machine the elbow so tight otherwise it'll bind up.

My beer gun just arrived today, likely won't get around to playing with it till this weekend. I planned ahead for the required fittings but I agree it would be nice they they had a kit or kits to cover the basis required for a basic system or various complexity. Honestly it wouldn't be that hard for a manufacturer to right up a flare style tee for use with flare fittings. Would fit the bill on alot of systems nicely.
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huleoo
post Sep 16 2005, 06:12 AM
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I have used mine several times now and the way I have gotten around the fill level things CJ mentioned was to turn the temp down on my kegerator. Of course that only works when I plan ahead to do some bottling. Last time I turned it down to 32 when I went to work and filled bottles when I got home. Got negligible foam and a very consistent fill. I also tried the frozen bottle thing, but it always make me nervous to sanitize bottel and then put them in the freezer.

For me, I had the setup to already use it since I already had a CPF, so that was never a though. I do agree that at a minimum, the product description should say EXACTLY the parts needed to make it work in a "typical" single keg setup. It is not a bunch of parts, but can be frustrating if you are missing one.
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cj in j
post Sep 16 2005, 10:10 AM
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I know that some people have questioned whether the beer bottled with the BeerGun remains carbonated. I can honestly report that it sure does! I had a couple of half-filled bottles, one each from two different batches. They've been in the fridge for two days. Tonight I popped them, and even though they were only about 2/3 filled, they were both very nicely carbonated.

If questions about carbonation are keeping you from getting a BeerGun, don't worry about it.
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huleoo
post Sep 16 2005, 11:30 AM
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CJ, I had the same experience. I had a keg die 2/3 way through the last bottle. Still nice carb on it after a week.
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cj in j
post Sep 16 2005, 03:03 PM
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I should have added that when I did the same thing with my c-p filler, the carbonation after a few days was NOT very good in the partly-filled bottle. The BeerGun did a better job in this situtation.
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pods8
post Sep 20 2005, 02:13 PM
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Well I finally used mine this weekend. I really like it. Filling bottles was really easy. I filled room temp bottles at a low psi(dunno what cause I have a 100psi guage, I just turned it to near 5psi) and lifted the gun out as I filled thus achieving the proper head space. These bottles are going to a comp so we'll see if the judges pick anything up. I gave it an 8, once you figure out how to use it in your world it is smooth.

The couple bumps I hit was just sitting down and figuring out how I wanted to connect it to my system. Also figuring out how to properly snap the clips on and off took a little playing cause at first I was worried about using too much force. Finally dealing with cleaning and drying out the beer line 10' is something I still need to play around with, ideally use pressure to force sanitizer into it and co2 to blow the moisture out of the line for storage, but without my system setup for it I had to play around, still not solid on how I want to deal with it efficently.

But compared to my poor man's CPF this was sweet. If you are in the market for a filler get this. If you already have a CPF and are happy with it don't worry about it, but if you ever get a chance to play with one of these you may get hooked. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/cool.gif)
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dobr24
post Sep 21 2005, 09:16 AM
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I used mine for the first time last night on just a trial run. I love it! I cannot believe how easy it is to fill bottles with this thing. I was only going to do about a half case because I had limited time. I ended up emptying the keg because it was so fast and easy and I wanted the extra space for another keg in the fridge.

I have the same complaint about not getting the right fittings, but this thing did just become available and it seems like they are trying to work out these kinks. I got a little foam witht the pre-chilled bottles at about 4psi and got about the same amount of foam with the unchilled bottles at 2psi. The foam is pretty negligible, just bottle over a bucket half filled with sanitizer and let the foam drip into the bucket. This also gives you a place to put the beer gun between bottles.

I am going to be bottling more with this thing. It's just that easy.
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