Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeHomebrewArms on Assessment: Nukatap Counter Strain Bottle Filler!

Arms on Assessment: Nukatap Counter Strain Bottle Filler!

Thanks to HBF Contributor Aaron Nord for this fingers on evaluate!  Aaron is a sophisticated award profitable brewer, a very long time reader and a serial tipster!

Nukatap Bottle Filler

As with many homebrewers, my expertise with the pastime started with making a boxed package on my stovetop with about 50 bottles of drinkable beer when all was mentioned and carried out. It was sufficient to maintain me coming again, advancing in talent and buying tools as time went on. I spotted shortly that bottling was my least favourite half and was wanting ahead to ditching the bottles and moving into kegging. This alteration was one which made a huge impact so far as rising enjoyment of the pastime for me – that and getting out of stovetop brewing and into an electrical brewing setup.

Inevitably, I discovered myself within the scenario the place I nonetheless wanted to fill just a few bottles every so often, primarily for competitions. Now that I used to be kegging all my beer, I needed an choice that wouldn’t interrupt that observe an excessive amount of. On the time, essentially the most prevalent choices for homebrewers had been sophisticated counterpressure techniques or the Blichmann Beer Gun. I opted for the latter and used that for a number of years to efficiently bottle my competitors beers. It has its professionals and cons (mentioned extra later), and I all the time stored my ear to the bottom on different choices.

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When a pair homebrewing mates of mine informed me about their new gadgets that carried out the identical operate because the extra sophisticated counterpressure rigs however in an easier style, I used to be intrigued. Then, not an excessive amount of later, I used to be introduced with the chance to check out Kegland’s creation on this area. I’m admittedly a little bit of a Kegland fanboy as I respect their endeavor to supply prime quality, usually inexpensive, and well-engineered merchandise for homebrewers. I suspected that their Nukatap Bottle Filler wouldn’t disappoint.

Breakdown of Parts

When bought from MoreBeer, the bottle filler comes with the next:

  • All chrome steel counter strain filler
  • Push-in spout suitable with forward-sealing taps
  • (2) 8 mm Duotight adapters for filler and NukaTap spout
  • (2) Ball Lock Submit Adapters (Pink / Yellow)
  • 19.5″ size of 8 mm OD x 5 mm ID EVABarrier tubing

The counter strain filler itself was notable instantly due to its heft. The primary physique is milled chrome steel with exactly tapped screw-in ports. Port (1) is for the strain aid valve, port (2) is for the liquid in provide, and port (3) is for the fuel in provide. Subsequent to the liquid in provide there’s a purge valve (4) and on the underside of the strain filler physique is a telescopic liquid out line (5) fitted with a silicone bung.

Assembled and Prolonged Numbered Diagram

The strain aid valve consists of an inside and an outer physique with the inside physique screwing out and in of the primary bottle filler’s physique which is used to regulate the filler strain. The outer physique is a knurled pin that acts as a handbook strain aid valve, to be pulled when the strain within the bottle must be purged to stabilize it with the ambient strain. There’s a spring and gasket that sit between the inside and outer physique to permit for the inside physique to take a seat tightly inside the outer physique.

The liquid provide in is threaded to just accept ¼” BSP fittings permitting for a number of alternatives for connections. The package from MoreBeer included two Duotight connectors, one with an 8 mm Duotight hook-up and one with a 6.35 mm Duotight hook-up. These fittings enable for connecting the favored EVABarrier tubing in each sizes. The 6.35 mm hook-up additionally accepts the barb on the underside of the Ball Lock Submit Adapter (aka Carbonation Cap). The opposite included connector is a 10mm publish with two gaskets which inserts instantly into the next taps: Kegland Nukatap, 600-series Perlick, Intertap, Ventmatic.

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Faucet Adapter

The purge valve is small and compact with a brief motion, requiring an honest quantity of drive to function, with a agency return motion.

Associated: DuoTight Assessment

Lastly, the telescopic filler wand consists of three interlocking items, permitting for lengths between 3.75 inches and 10.25 inches for the filling of as much as 500 ml bottles. It’s manufactured from chrome steel and is straightforward to function, with a satisfying opening and shutting motion. On the high of the filling wand, instantly beneath the primary physique of the bottle filler, is a silicone bung. The included bung is well-suited for the “Grolsch” fashion, however there are different choices accessible. The William’s Brewing web page for the Nukatap Bottle Filler has an add-on choice for a #3 Silicone Stopper to suit 12-ounce bottles and so they word particularly that the silicone stopper that comes with it suits all 16-ounce and 32-ounce “Grolsch” fashion bottles.

Assembled and ProlongedSilicone Bung

Arms on Assessment

With a homebrew competitors developing, I got down to fill bottles for 3 entries, plus just a few extra to get some extra expertise with the filler. Having cleaned and reassembled the bottle filler, I let the components soak in StarSan together with my bottles simply previous to filling. I linked a ball lock disconnect coming from my CO2 tank to the carbonation cap on the fuel in aspect of the bottle filler. For the primary bottle fills I used the ten mm publish for the liquid provide aspect and inserted it into my 630 sequence Perlick faucet. It match snugly. I pulled a bottle from the StarSan bucket, emptied its contents, then inserted the absolutely prolonged telescopic wand into the bottle. I then proceeded to make use of the purge motion on high of the filler physique to fill the bottle with CO2, holding it for about 8-10 seconds to make sure the remnant fuel within the bottle was principally CO2. I then proceeded to push the bottle up towards the silicone bung as tightly as attainable, which collapsed the wand to simply the size of the bottle. Urgent the bottle up required quantity of upward drive to create a seal. After that seal was made, I opened the tap, inflicting principally foam to fill my bottle.

For these first fills, I struggled to get sufficient liquid within the beers and expel the froth. Ideally there could be 90% liquid with slightly foam cap on high of the liquid to have the ability to cap onto to cut back the probabilities of oxygen staying within the bottles, however most of mine had been 50/50 liquid to foam, requiring me to attend for the froth to subside so as to high off the liquid.
I adopted this identical course of for my subsequent bottles which had been on an Intertap faucet with movement management in-built. This additional movement management choice aided in decreasing the froth a bit, as I might gradual the movement right down to a trickle. That is what the strain valve on the aspect of the filler is meant to do when the equipment is used correctly. Since I didn’t have the bottles pressurized, that choice appeared to do nothing.

Filling From Faucet Aspect View Midway Crammed

Lastly, I made a decision to check the performance of the filler’s tap-free methodology of bottle filling. I hooked my EVABarrier tubing from the keg on to the bottle filler and crammed a number of bottles with this methodology. It was tough to handle all of it – the movement of the beer, the now downward strain I needed to apply from the filler down onto the bottle, and the strain aid valve. When the bottles had been nearing full, I additionally needed to handle the keg strain, turning off the CO2 and purging the keg to cease the movement of beer via the EVABarrier tubing. Had I been pondering, I might have positioned a DuoTight movement management valve inline to have the ability to flip off the movement. It additionally would have helped if I had correctly pressurized the bottle beforehand because the strain aid valve on the aspect of the filler would have been more practical.

Filling with EVABarrier Connection

After I consulted with a few mates who each personal the Tapcooler bottle filler, they instructed me that after I place the purged bottle onto the silicone seal tightly, I would like to make use of the purge button as soon as extra, this time to extend the strain contained in the bottle. This practically equalizes the strain inside the bottle with the strain within the keg, permitting for a counter-pressure fill of the bottle. With this atmosphere, a bottle fill must be low on foam and the fuel contained in the bottle must be very near 100% CO2.

Utilizing this methodology, I used to be way more profitable in filling bottles that had been virtually all liquid with just a bit foam. I used to be nonetheless not capable of get the quantity of froth I’m used to for capping onto however, being assured that the bottle was stuffed with CO2 previous to being stuffed with beer, I used to be happy that there was little oxygen within the headspace after capping. This new course of additionally resulted in a lot much less cursing as an additional bonus.

Filling From Faucet Aspect View Virtually Crammed

One different change I made for this second go round was ensuring the faucet was sufficiently cooled earlier than bottling. As with every pour on my system, the primary one often is foamier than the others, so prepping it by pouring a pint first ensured that the primary bottle crammed utilizing the Nukatap Bottle Filler was decrease on foam, too.
I did my finest to make sure that the seal between the bottle and the silicone grommet was as tight as attainable. Sooner or later I’ll put money into a #3 Silicone Stopper earlier than making an attempt to fill some other 12-ounce bottles.

Nukatap vs Blichmann Beer Gun

Getting used to the Blichmann Beer Gun, utilizing the Nukatap Bottle Filler was definitely a special expertise. The entire idea of counter-pressure filling was new to me and never one thing I wanted to account for when utilizing the Beer Gun. Evaluating the 2 additional, I do just like the less complicated methodology of filling bottles that the Beer Gun affords. It has the identical choice to purge bottles with CO2 previous to filling however doesn’t require pressuring the bottles. When filling bottles with the Beer Gun I’ve been capable of cap on foam virtually on a regular basis as a result of after I pull the bottling wand from the bottle it often rouses the liquid sufficient to create a pleasant foam cap. This offers me a point of confidence that I’ve restricted the oxygen within the headspace.

The place the Nukatap has an edge on the Beer Gun will not be within the filling course of, however just about every part else. The Nukatap is way simpler to assemble and clear owing to its fewer components. It’s extra compact and takes up much less house when not in use. Filling straight off the faucet is easier for my setup in comparison with opening my serving fridge and hooking up a ball lock disconnect. With out performing a Dissolved Oxygen (DO) check on bottles stuffed with each strategies I can’t say definitively, however I might think about that bottles stuffed with the counter-pressure methodology would have much less DO than these stuffed with a Beer Gun.

After talking extra to my mates with the Tapcooler and evaluating with the Nukatap bottle filler, one choice the Nukatap affords that isn’t included with the Tapcooler is the power to hook a ball lock disconnect for the fuel provide. The Tapcooler has a barb for fuel hookup making it a bit extra fastened and fewer versatile than the Nukatap. I did discover that there’s an non-obligatory adaptor for the Tapcooler enabling this function, however it doesn’t seem like normal like on the Nukatap. Additionally, the strain aid valve on the Tapcooler is easier and doesn’t embody the inside piece. It solely has the screw sort adjuster with out the fast launch valve, one other level for the Nukatap.


After my preliminary frustration owing my inexperience with a counter-pressure bottle filler, I can say that I respect the Nukatap Bottle Filler for what it affords. As with many of the tools I’ve seen from Kegland, it’s a high-quality addition to my brewing gear that can final a very long time if correctly cared for. I can see myself utilizing the bottle filler after I need to fill just a few bottles shortly. It is going to enable me to carry out the operate in a faction of the time in comparison with the Beer Gun due to its easy setup/teardown and cleansing course of. Nevertheless, for situations the place I must fill many bottles, say for a contest, I feel I’ll depend on my Beer Gun to do the job and settle for the trade-off of getting to take extra time organising and cleansing for much less complication within the bottle filling course of.

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Extra Pictures

CO2 Hooked Up Huge View.jpgCO2 Hooked Up Shut ViewFilling From Faucet Aspect View Wider AnglePrimary Physique Aspect View of Fuel OutPrimary Physique Aspect View of Fuel InPrimary Physique Aspect View Fuel In StraightPrimary Physique Prime ViewFaucet Adapter Angled Aspect ViewSilicone Bung Prime View

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Value, promotions and availability can change shortly. Examine the product web page for present value, description and availability.

Be certain the elements you employ are suitable and rated in your meant utility.  Contact producer with questions on suitability or a selected utility.  At all times learn and observe producer instructions

Thanks to MoreBeer for offering the models used for analysis on this evaluate.

Value, promotions and availability can change shortly. Examine the product web page for present value, description and availability.  evaluate:dtcpbf tag:tpr



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