One of the few downsides about kegging is that it’s rather difficult to take 19 litres of beer in a stainless steel tank over to a friend’s house to share with him. If you’ve got to take along the CO2 tank, well that’s just freakin’ crazy. I’ve done it a few times, but it’s not easy nor convenient.
So that’s where a counterpressure bottle filler (CPBF)Â comes in. It allows you to fill a bottle, cap it and store it. But a commercial CPBF costs upwards of $80. But you can actually make your own rather cheaply. In fact very cheaply. All you need is a single hole #2 stopper and some tubing. Insert the tubing through the stopper and leave enough at the narrow end to reach almost the bottom of the bottle. 3/8″ tubing if you use cobra taps and 1/2″ if (like me) you have a true draft tap on the front of your fridge.Â Â
Flush the bottle with CO2, then insert the stopper.Â Open theÂ tap, and an inch or 2 of beer goes into the bottle before the pressure equalizes and the flow stops. Then,Â ever so slightly crack the stopper withÂ your thumb, allowing the beer to slowly complete filling the bottle. When the bottle is full, close the tap. Some peopleÂ have saved bottles filled like this for 6 weeks, and the carbonation seemed just as good as when they filled them. Purging the bottle with CO2 is key to long term storage.