This equipment review for the Bouncer Pro is a little different than my other reviews. The Bouncer Pro is the newest toy from the guys at Bouncer. I was lucky enough to have an avenue to test it out and see how it works. The Bouncer Pro is a much larger Bouncer product that is made for professional breweries, rather than the homebrewer. So I brought it to Rising Storm Brewing Company in Livonia NY to test it out.
Rising Storm Brewing Company is a relatively new brewery in the expanding Rochester NY(and surrounding areas) craft beer. They are located on a nice piece of property that houses their 30 barrel brewhouse and gives some great opportunities for outdoor events. Billn Blake and Jeff Reidl are the owners and brewmasters. They graciously allowed me in to have some fun with the new Bouncer Pro.
What’s In The Box?
Opening the box of the Bouncer Pro made me feel like a kid in a candy shop. Not only was I checking out a new piece of brewery level equipment, but I was doing it in the main brewing area of a full blown brewery.
Included is the main Bouncer Pro, with the tri clamp fittings already screwed in. Three levels of filtration is available with the red, blue and white screens included. Also included is a roll of teflon tape for the screw connections. A nice added bonus, that is not needed for the use is a Bouncer pint glass koozie.
Immediately, I had to try out the sizing of the Bouncer Pro to the Bouncer MD that I brought along for comparison. The complete Bouncer MD dropped right into the filter canister of the Bouncer Pro without a problem.
After doing a full inspection, I handed the unit over to Brewmaster Jeff. I asked him a few questions about the Bouncer Pro for his first impressions. I had chatted with him before about the Bouncer product line, but this was the first time he had seen one in person.
A Few Weeks Later – Time To Try The Bouncer Pro
For this equipment review of the Bouncer Pro, we’re going to use the red screen for the first test. We started out by sanitizing it. All the pieces came apart very easily to make sanitizing a snap.
The beer that is going to be filtered is a raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry American wheat ale named Triple Berrie Merrie from Rising Storm (https://www.risingstormbrewing.com/). It is described as the perfect summer wheat beer. With the fruit infusions, we decided try and filter out any fruit matter that would be coming from the brite tank into the kegs. The keg filling process is gravity-fed and forced by CO2. The kegs are already pressurized with CO2.
For this test, we’re going to fill two kegs at a time. Usually Rising Storm will fill four kegs at a time, but for this test will start small so we have an idea of how much the filter fills up. Honestly, I can’t wait for that money shot at the end. This is the first time I am working with a filter at this volume. We’re going to attach two shut offs to the bouncer Pro, one on each end, before it heads out to the connections to fill the keg.
The purging the air out of the Bouncer Pro before we hook up anything to the kegs is important. We ran some CO2 through the unit, as at this point in the brewing cycle, the introduction of oxygen is not a great thing. After the purge, we hooked up the line to the kegs that we are going to fill.
We did experience a little bit of dripping on the intake end of the Bouncer Pro. It may have been due to not tightening it as much as we should have, or possibly due to not using the included Teflon tape . The dripping slowed or stopped about a minute in. It took about 5 minutes for us to fill the two half barrels.
So after filling the kegs, it was time to go through and detach the Bouncer Pro and see what’s in the filter screen. We brought it outside and cracked it open. This is the point where I normally dump the canister from my Bouncer MD, but Jeff figured it was a good time for a taste test of the beer. Waste not want not….right?
The filter remained attached to the top of the Bouncer Pro as we opened it up. This is different then what I normally experience at home with the MD. There was a good layer of fruit matter that attached itself to the screen. There was little matter that was in the leftover beer, that was in the canister, but that was a negligible amount.
I think we would have seen a much greater amount of fruit matter if we had filtered and filled more than 2 half barrels. I think as we got further though the brite tank, more would have been filtered out. We were just playing it safe on the maiden run of the Bouncer Pro
Brewmaster Jeff noted after doing some cleaning that although the some of the fruit filtered out, you could definitely see it used much more with a hoppy IPA. This would be so you could make sure that the hops don’t get in the finished beer, as that would stop the bite from leftover floating hops.
We both had a question on durability of the unit across time with the tri clamp fittings screwing metal to plastic. There was no gasket on the inside of the side intake and outflow.. Be careful over threading or twisting too hard to reattach the tri clamp fittings only longtime use will truly show the durability of the plastic threads.
Pie in the sky future upgrades in the models… what would happen if the head of the unit was stainless steel and the main cup attached with a tri clamp might make for easier operation in a brewery. This would definitely help avoid the possibility of over threading the connectors. Another thought would be to make the flow arrow indicator a different color for a really quick identifying of the proper flow direction. This could be quickly accomplished at a brewery with a sharpie, but would probably have to be repeated after a few uses.
- Good weight – This doesn’t feel like it will break very easily. In a pro brewery, you want durable equipment.
- Several screen filtration options – Just like with the Bouncer and Bouncer MD, there are multiple filtration options based on your desired level.
- Tri clamp connections – This makes for a quick add-on to the chain of equipment.
- Filtered a solid amount of matter out, even with the lowest filtration level – Would I expect anything less?
- Worry of filter clogging with too much material – If you were filtering out a boatload of hops, would you have to stop? That would necessitate a purge of O2 a second time.
- Having to purge the oxygen out each use – Oxygen at later times is not desirable…but this is necessary to do no matter what equipment is attached.
- Worry of clogging the smallest mesh screen with too much matter.
- Filter stays attached to the head of the unit instead of the canister. This is more of a personal preference of wanting to just unscrew the canister and go and empty it. This did not happen during the followup use, so it may not be as much of a concern.
Final Thoughts For The Bouncer Pro Equipment Review
Would I get one of these if I had my own brewery? Simply put, yes. I have been super happy with homebrew versions, the Bouncer and Bouncer MD. I see this as a great product to have in your arsenal at the brewery. It can be used to put stuff in, and take stuff out. I can’t wait for a chance to be there at Rising Storm when they try it with an IPA, or use it to help infuse things in. I think Tim and Doug at Bouncer did the industry a great service by scaling up their product! You can get one here at Amazon, or at the following brew supply shops:
– Atlantic Brew Supply (Raleigh, NC)
– Farmboy Brewshop (Houston, TX)
– Maryland Home-brew (Columbia, MD)
– The Homebrewer SD (San Diego, CA)
– NB Craft Brewers’ Market (New Brunswick, Canada)
– Brewshop.no (Norway)
– MaltMagnus AB (Sweden)
Brewmaster Jeff headed out to another brewery to make a collaboration. He and Brewmaster Jake of Knucklehead Craft Brewing made a triple IPA together. Rising Knuckles Triple IPA clocks in at at a whopping 10.2% abv. The Bouncer Pro was used at the time of kegging, with a goal of removing some hops material to hold some of the bitterness out. Well, it was such a smooth triple IPA, it drank like it was int he 5-6% range. I spoke with Jeff and Jake while sampling on the release night. Jake was thrilled about how well the unit worked. He did send a few pics. Most of the trub and hop matter dropped out to the bottom of the conversation. In our conversation, he stated that he was ready to grab a Bouncer Pro and was excited to be able to work with it in the future! Two breweries, and both were very happy with how well it works!