The BrewBottler was provided by WilliamsWarn in exchange for an honest product review.
The popularity of kegging homebrew has created the need for bottling and canning fully carbonated beer. Whether it’s for sharing, transporting, or entering homebrew competitions, we need a simple and effective method for bottling beer while also preserving the product in its original form.
If you’ve ever tried to bottle beer directly from a tap faucet, you’ll understand how much of a disaster this can be without proper equipment. Enter the New Zealand-born Gen 2 WilliamsWarn® BrewBottler ($159.99 USD or $220 NZD). This counter-pressure bottle filler allows you to bottle your beer directly from a Cornelius keg (or WilliamsWarn BrewKeg) without losing any carbonation or introducing oxygen. WilliamsWarn generously sent me their new BrewBottler to try out for myself.
Out of the box, the BrewBottler comes with everything you needed to start filling bottles and growlers. The product comes fully assembled with the exception of the bottom base/mount that serves as a stand for placing the unit on a table. The BrewBottler can optionally be mounted to a wall for easier handling and operation. Any hardware needed for wall-mounting is included in the packaging. Both the head and bottom of the BrewBottler are adjustable to accommodate many different size bottles and growlers. Pictured are 12-ounce bottles.
The BrewBottler design is equipped with Duotight/John Guest style push fittings. For those of you who arent familiar, push fittings are growing in popularity thanks to their easy plug-and-play connections that are simple and liquid-tight without the need for clamps. I recently changed all of my existing gas and beverage lines in exchange for Doutight and EVABarrier fittings (I cannot recommend this approach enough).
Things to Consider
Just to note, you’ll likely need to retrofit your existing kegging setup to accommodate the BrewBottler. You will also need a CO2 tank to both to maintain keg pressure AND hook up to the BrewBottler. The BrewBottler uses 6.5mm OD tubing for both liquid and gas connections. while the supplied liquid line comes ready to hook up to a corny keg (liquid QD supplied), you may need this reducer to connect to your existing 8mm OD EVABarrier tubing.
Operating the BrewBottler
I find myself bottling and canning a lot of my homebrew these days. I brew more beer than I can drink with the intention of sharing with friends and family. I’ve played with a handful of devices and methods when it comes to bottling finished homebrew, so I’m no stranger to the process or equipment involved.
WilliamsWarn has 3 videos (assembly, height adjustment, and operating) that give a great overview of setting up and operating the BrewBottler. You can probably figure it out on your own by playing with the 3 knobs on the head (PRV, CO2 flow, liquid flow), but I still recommend watching the videos. Operating the BrewBottler is really straightforward. The design allows you to easily purge oxygen and fill bottles from the bottom, reducing CO2 loss and foaming.
The bottom right PRV knob controls the beer flow rate by regulating the amount of pressure in the bottle. The top right C02 knob turns CO2 flow on or off. The left liquid knob starts and stops the flow of beer. Once you get a feel for dialing in flow control, the unit basically runs itself.
As you can see in the video below, venting the pressure in the bottle will change the beer flow rate. Slower flow equates to less foaming and CO2 loss. It’s a little difficult to see the lack of foam because this was a very hazy IPA. I purged the bottle, vented, filled, and released additional pressure as the bottle slowly filled. My only critique is the knobs can be a little difficult to grip since they’re fairly snug. I think they would turn more easily if they were rubber-coated.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
I really like the BrewBottler because it’s really simple to use. The big advantage here is the hands-free design that allows you securely lock the bottle into place so your hands are free to control the filler. The filler in general makes clean work of filling several bottles. You don’t have to worry about capping on foam or purging headspace prior to capping bottles. In contrast to canning, it’s certainly a simpler operation.
My only “complaint” about these types of units is the cleaning. Because it involves lengths of tubing and a closed design, you’ll need to run a cleaning solution through the BrewBottler and likely clean in place. This is obviously more of a nuisance if you’re only bottling a few beers or filling a single growler. If you’re bottling several bottles, a device like this makes even more sense.
In general, I would absolutely recommend the WilliamsWarn BrewBottler for any homebrewer with a need to bottle beers. Priced at $150, it’s a little more expensive than handheld fillers, but I think the stand and mount make it worth it. I prefer the BrewBottler over any non-mounted or handheld filler because it feels easier to use and feels less clumsy to handle. I was skeptical the unit wouldn’t be able to stand on its own without tipping over but it’s surprisingly stable. I may potentially mount the unit on a wall over my sink if I can find some extra room. This would be great for collecting any spillage.
I’m not sure there is anything quite like this on the market, making it a product you should absolutely check out! The BrewBottler is available to purchase for $159.99 at MoreBeer.