Thursday 13 May 2021

KegLand Bottle Filler Beer Gun - Review

After making the change from bottling all of my homebrewed beer to kegging - I wanted a way to still be able to bottle my beer occasionally so I could easily share it with friends and family - or take a couple of bottles to parties etc. Counter pressure bottle fillers looked good but cost more than I was willing to pay - so I thought I'd give the KegLand Bottle Filler Beer Gun a try. Here are my findings after using it a couple of times.

The gun itself feels good - made mostly of metal/steel it feels sturdy and weighty in the hands. Also easier to keep clean and sanitise when all the parts that touch your beer are made of stainless steel.

It can be messy to setup though - I felt like I had beer and gas lines going everywhere when putting it together. I wanted to be able to use the feature of purging the bottles with CO2 gas from the gun prior to filling so needed to hook my gas bottle up to the gun. But I also needed the same gas bottle to be connected to the keg to maintain the pressure needed during dispensing via the gun. A push in T-piece fitting (KegLand Duotight) worked very well for this and made it quick and easy, but it can be a little overwhelming figuring out what goes where the first time.

To their credit though, KegLand do include two decent length hoses with the beer gun (but not the T-piece I previously mentioned) and some stepless clamps to secure them in place on the gun which is good. It would be great though to have standard gas and liquid disconnects included on the gun. This may or may not even be possible/feasible, but would make connecting/disconnect the gun a breeze as getting the included hoses slipped over the barbs of the gun was a bit tricky and took some time/effort.

Another point worth mentioning is the inclusion of a detailed instruction manual with the beer gun - I found this especially helpful in understanding exactly how the gun works and how best to use it. It's also available online so I found myself reading/studying it before purchasing - to see how it works and how it compares to other offerings available on the market.

The KegLand Bottle Filler Beer Gun in action

Due to some poor planning, my first attempt at filling bottles wasn't a huge success. The very first bottle I filled had a good inch or so of foam in it and I attribute this to two main reasons;

  1. My keg was still set at my original serving pressure of 11 psi (instructions recommend using 2-4psi)
  2. The bottles were at room temperature - ie. not chilled
Realising what happened with the serving pressure, I made some adjustments for the second bottle and got improved results, but still had 1-2cm of foam forming - so a little bit of overflow and wasted beer ensued by filling the bottle completely and letting the excess foam spill over (sitting the bottles on an old rag/blanket turned out to be a good idea!).

My second attempt at filling bottles went much better. I was using 750ml plastic PET bottles (same as the first attempt) but remembered to place them in the fridge 24 hours before filling them to ensure they were at the same temperature as the beer when being filled. And I suspect this made all the difference - there was little to no foaming after filling 4 bottles which made for a much nicer (and cleaner!) experience. The instructions do mention the bottles should be chilled prior to using, and it appears it does indeed make a big difference.

The cost of this bit of kit is very reasonable too - at under AU$40.

My second attempt at filling - using chilled bottles. Little to no foaming

I'd highly recommend others to give the KegLand Bottle Filler Beer Gun a try if they're after an affordable and easy to use method of bottling their homebrewed beer from a keg.

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