Product Review: The Boel iTap bottle filler
Is the iTap counterpressure bottle fill worth it’s value for money? Why should i do counter pressure bottle filling? This blog is all about filling your homebrewed beer the right way! As you start brewing beer most brewers are not aware of the dangers that are out there before capping your bottle. The biggest enemy of any homebrewer is oxigen. Specifically when you are up to brewing hoppy and aromatic beer styles like IPA’s, NEIPA’s and Pale Ales you don’t want them to oxidize in a few months. Therefore this is one of the main reasons why we were looking for a counter pressure bottle filler. So luckily for us that’s where the iTap counter pressure bottle filler comes in quite handy!
Unboxing the iTap counter pressure bottle filler
On arrival the package was sealed and protected very well. They did their best to prevent it from damaging during shipping. Acutally we were excited when the package arrived and couldn’t wait to unbox it! So we decided to tell you what’s in the box right away. At first the product seems to have a durable design as it comes with a 5-years warranty. Secondly, the materials seem to be strong and of great quality. At last, it would be cool to add pictures of mounting examples from other iTap users on delivery. So that other brewers can get inspired on how to mount their iTap. Although you can find some inspiration by following @itap_beer as they share creative ideas of iTap users and possible mounting solutions!
How to assemble the Boel iTap
As a matter of fact assembling and installing the iTap bottle filler is actually very easy. The product comes with a clear user manual on how to assemble the iTap. It has detailed schematics and follows a step-by-step guide on all the parts you need to use. As it only took us 5-15 minutes to assemble all the parts and make it ready to mounting device. To start using the iTap is quite easy if you have the right materials. Furthermore you will need some additional hose clamps (3x) to attach the gas line, beer line and blow-off from the iTap. Therefore we used EVA- barrier hoses and duotight fittings to connect the iTap to our keg and CO2 gas tank. The duotight fittings are really nice and easy to use for setting up a bottling station or beer tap.
The reason why we used T-splitters in the gas lines is to expand our system with additional kegs and taps. This makes it very easy to one gas tank for all purposes. At last we are able to connect our fermzilla conical unitank directly to our iTap bottle filler. Because of this we can directly fill our bottles from the fermzilla unitank using the counter pressure filler. If you want to read more about how to use a fermzilla unitanks with the iTap you can find it here.
Mounting your iTap counter pressure filler
You can use the iTap counter pressure bottle filler in different ways, so be creative! Down below we describe the best three-best-ways to mount it. You can find a few examples on the @itap_beer instagram highlights as well.
1. Mount it to you chest keezer: For example it is possible to mount the I-tap bottle filler to a chest keezer next to your ‘regular’ taps. This can be very beneficial when you have some friends around and you would like to quickly bottle some of your homebrewed beers for take away. The iTap makes it very easy to share kegged beers and fill bottles for friends to bring them home. Awesome!
2. Mount it next to your bar taps or tap tower: If you have a bar at home or running a small taproom the iTap can easily be used to sell your bottled beers on the go. If someone really wants to take home a few of their favorite beers on tap, you can fill some bottles in a few seconds and sell it to your customers!
3. Mount it on top of you bottle capper: A very smart way of using the the iTap bottle filler is mounting it on top of your bottle capper. The best way to do this is by drilling a hole on the top part of the bottle capper steel frame. You just have to be aware that you also need some room for connecting your gas and beer lines. A huge benefit of mounting the iTap this way is that it is very easy to move around ánd it will help you to not forget your bottles and caps when you are bringing this device to a party!
How to use the iTap bottle filler
After you have mounted the iTap and connected the beer and gas lines you are ready to go. At first you clamp a bottle into the iTap device by giving the clamp a twist. Secondly, before pouring your beers you have eliminate oxigen by purging the bottle with CO2 several two times. When the bottle is purged with CO2 you can start bottling your beer by opening the valve. Pour the beer slowly and will flow down the walls of the bottle without foaming. As the bottle fills up you have to keep the pressure on it. Possibly there will be some foaming in the bottle but that is where the blow-off comes in. At last, you can continue filling your bottle while the blow-off deals with the foaming. The foam in the bottle tells you that you eliminated the oxigen. Lastly you can start capping the bottles! If you want to have a looks at how it’s doen check our short video right here!
Tip: make sure that the CO2 pressure is equal, the iTap won’t work when you lack counter pressure! Also, make sure your beer and gas lines have equal length to prevent a drop in pressure when your lines get longer.
The iTap: Value for money?
We think the iTap counter pressure bottle filler is a product with a good value for money. Since the iTap makes capping bottles easy and above all it elimates all oxigen during the bottling proces. Bottling without exposure to oxigen helps to preserve your beers for a longer period of time and avoids off-flavours as oxidation can occur. The iTap is expandable with additional accessoires wich can modify this single device to be used for multiple purposes. You can switch clamps for PET-bottles, other style crowncap bottles or even make a beer tap from it for pouring your favorite homebrews straight from your chest keezer! Although, the use of CO2 during the bottling process can add up to a little extra costs compared to ‘regular’ capping techniques using priming sugar. Nevertheless the BOEL-company offers a great product for creating your own oxigen free bottlling station. These accesories are quite expensive for the average homebrewer. We haven’t got the opportunity to test the mounting products but we are willing to buy them in the future. So, feel free to share your opinions with us in the comments of this article! In short, to us the iTap counter pressure bottle filler is an awesome product, it is easy to use and will help you to improve the quality of your hop forward beers and prevent oxidation of your precious homebrews! After all, we think the iTap is better than any beergun or other counter pressure bottle filler out there!
In summary we hope this review adds value for other brewers who are thinking about buying an counter pressure bottle filler. So please share this review, leave a comment or tell us about your ideas for our upcoming blogposts and reviews! If you like our product review and would you like us to review any of your homebrew products? Let us know! If you would like to read our reviews on other product you can find them here. Send us an e-mail or fill in the contact form.
After all we are happy and thankful that the BOEL-company granted us the opportunity of testing their iTap counter pressure bottle filler. However we are very curious to review more of their homebrew products. Specifically the G-connector tap faucet, the iTap2X Crown and the Tower or mounting stands. If you would like to find more information about the BOEL-company and their products here!
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