Beer engines; keeping it fresh

A forum to discuss the various ways of getting beer into your glass.
Eclipse9101
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Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eclipse9101 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:34 pm

Hi guys.

Recently set up a couple of beer engines in the garage.

Ive installed a 3 way valve so after a couple of pints I can isolate the beer supply line before the check valve and pull some star san through the engine until the next night. Problem is I seem to be wasting quite a bit of beer each time as I need to flush out all the star san. How do you guys deal with this? Is there another method to using an engine and keeping wastage to a minimum?

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Jim
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Jim » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:19 pm

I have the same problem and I can't see any way to save the beer that's actually inside the pump from one session to the next (unless it's just a few hours).

I reckon it's worth the waste though, as I can't get the same 'beer experience' any other way (apart from going to the pub of course).
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FUBAR
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by FUBAR » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:54 pm

Yes I have to agree that the little loss of beer between sessions is a price worth paying to enjoy beer served this way .
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eclipse9101 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:53 pm

I see what you mean. It's definitely worth a little loss for that "hand pull" experience! I was wondering If maybe sealing the end of the Swan kneck between each pour would work? Even something as simple as a bit of cling film and an elastic band? A bit heath Robinson I know! But if it kept the oxygen out I wonder if it could work...

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Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by LeeH » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:29 pm

Jim wrote:I have the same problem and I can't see any way to save the beer that's actually inside the pump from one session to the next (unless it's just a few hours).

I reckon it's worth the waste though, as I can't get the same 'beer experience' any other way (apart from going to the pub of course).

This might make your head explode Jim.....but what about nitro? It’s a similar mouthfeel and I’ve kept some beers for 6 months or more.

I’d love a cask but I don’t get through enough at once.

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FUBAR
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by FUBAR » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:18 pm

Eclipse9101 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:53 pm
I see what you mean. It's definitely worth a little loss for that "hand pull" experience! I was wondering If maybe sealing the end of the Swan kneck between each pour would work? Even something as simple as a bit of cling film and an elastic band? A bit heath Robinson I know! But if it kept the oxygen out I wonder if it could work...
Doubtful that it would work,only way to find out is try,I'm sure that every publican would love to have zero wastage if it was possible.The best option if you are that concerned is to keep the length of beer line short to a minimise wastage .
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Jim
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:27 am

Yes, I always seal off the end of the swan neck, but it doesn't make a lot of difference - you still have to discard what was in the beer engine.
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Jim
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:27 am

LeeH wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:29 pm
Jim wrote:I have the same problem and I can't see any way to save the beer that's actually inside the pump from one session to the next (unless it's just a few hours).

I reckon it's worth the waste though, as I can't get the same 'beer experience' any other way (apart from going to the pub of course).

This might make your head explode Jim.....but what about nitro? It’s a similar mouthfeel and I’ve kept some beers for 6 months or more.

I’d love a cask but I don’t get through enough at once.

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It won't be the same though will it? It'll be more like creamflow keg.
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Bigbud78 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:56 am

I have a half pint angram and I've been playing with this and have found that on my pump I can disconnect from the corny take the disconnect off and the hand pump will actually get almost all the beer out the engine, I then put it in starsan and run through until clear.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by f00b4r » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:24 pm

Bigbud78 wrote:I have a half pint angram and I've been playing with this and have found that on my pump I can disconnect from the corny take the disconnect off and the hand pump will actually get almost all the beer out the engine, I then put it in starsan and run through until clear.
Or just use a carbonation cap on the end of the disco, pull the beer through and drink it, pull some starsan through then just connect it back up to the corny.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by KevH » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:45 am

I haven't quite got round to setting my beer engine and kegs up as yet. Can I just check about what is being wasted please as I thought it would just be the beer in the pump itself (1/4 pint) plus the small amount between check valve (I'm aiming for only an inch or so) and engine?
I'd always assumed that the beer left between the keg and the check valve would be fine. Am I right in my thinking?

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Trefoyl » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:44 am

f00b4r wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:24 pm
Bigbud78 wrote:I have a half pint angram and I've been playing with this and have found that on my pump I can disconnect from the corny take the disconnect off and the hand pump will actually get almost all the beer out the engine, I then put it in starsan and run through until clear.
Or just use a carbonation cap on the end of the disco, pull the beer through and drink it, pull some starsan through then just connect it back up to the corny.
Both good ideas. Since I drink a couple pints every day I never really noticed it going off in the beer engine. However they obviously need a thorough cleaning every once in awhile. Mine got very manky from not being used, the Starsan in it went bad after several months, and flushing with gallons of PBW there was still black muck coming out. They never dry out so it’s probably a good idea to remove and open the cylinder if not using for a long time.
I’m currently sanding and refinishing mine and will open the cylinder after that. I have new seals etc. if needed.

Mine is an Angram and one beer engine is enough for me, but Harry Mason’s say their cylinders are easy to swap out. That must be convenient. Any one have experience with Mason’s beer engines?
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Lanky94 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:51 am

Interesting to read other folk thoughts and ideas on this. When i come to the end of the session. I disconnect at the sankey, keep glass under the swan neck . Place sankey connector in bowl of clean water and pull through for one pump. I have a .5 pint angram so I know i get half a pint of decent non watered down beer . Waste is minimal.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Robwalkeragain » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:22 pm

Yeah draining it out then pulling water through is a good shout actually, if you can be bothered of course! Lol. Otherwise is there any reason not to use a very short line? I would think with very clean lines sterilised once a week, your beer will probably last a couple of days in the line

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by orlando » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:29 pm

Short lines and leaving the pump in the fully pulled position after dispensing is the least faff and saves the most beer. I always pull through a little next time so am usually drinking beer only from the cask.
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