Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

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1300s
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Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by 1300s » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:40 am

Hi all,

I bought a (refurbished) Angram beer engine from Colin Farrar just before Christmas and I'm thinking of giving it its first proper outing with some stout when the family come over on St Patrick's Day. I ran some tap water through it to test that it worked when I received it, but nothing else since. As this will be the first time it's had beer through it, can I just run some ordinary, home-brewing steriliser through it first, or would it be sensible to use beer line cleaner instead/as well?

Thanks,

Michael

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Re: Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by orlando » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:06 pm

1300s wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:40 am
Hi all,

I bought a (refurbished) Angram beer engine from Colin Farrar just before Christmas and I'm thinking of giving it its first proper outing with some stout when the family come over on St Patrick's Day. I ran some tap water through it to test that it worked when I received it, but nothing else since. As this will be the first time it's had beer through it, can I just run some ordinary, home-brewing steriliser through it first, or would it be sensible to use beer line cleaner instead/as well?

Thanks,

Michael

Both won't hurt. After all, if you don't already have beer line cleaner you will need it in the future.
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Jim
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Re: Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by Jim » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:40 pm

I agree with Orlando - you'll definitely need beer line cleaner at some point, so you might as well get some now.

If you rinse the cleaner out with water that is sterile (i.e. tap water from the same vessel you had the cleaner in) you won't need to sterilise afterwards as the cleaner will have killed all the nasties. Obviously that only applies if you connect it all up soon after cleaning.
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Re: Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by PeeBee » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:05 pm

You do have to be a little careful what you use, as I found: I used sodium metabisulphite once and despite several flushes with clean water the sulphurous taint was perceptible after several pints.

The other "challenge" I've had cleaning them is mine have the commonly used demand-valve on the input (often referred to as a "check-valve"). If these are not temporarily removed after flushing, water collects in them (often the lowest point in the pump) which dilutes your first pint or two. I now have bleed valves at the lowest point to avoid this.



I too have a "stout" on pump at the moment. It was conditioned to 7-8PSI and not "vented" before pushing through the pump. Produced a wonderful head for the first few days, after which the head quickly pancakes (I do use a variable LPG regulator set at 2PSI instead of a "breather" so as to hold on to a minimal CO2 condition) but when there is excess CO2 (more than 2 PSI) there's a undesirable, detectable, "prickle". I'm currently force-carbing up a small sample to 8-10PSI and reducing the hand-pumped keg to 0.75PSI (lowest setting on regulator) to set up an emulation of the "high cask, low cask" dispensing method (used by Guinness early in the 20th century). The plan is to 2/3rd fill a glass from the hand-pump (low cask) and then top up from the highly carbed sample (high cask) to create a fine head on a very low carbed stout. I wait in anticipation to try it out.

These sort of things keep me amused.

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Re: Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by 1300s » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:08 am

Thanks everyone :)

Michael

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Re: Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by greenwood » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:18 pm

1300s wrote:Thanks everyone :)

Michael
Never use chlorine it will permanently taint the rubber in the pump . Never use hot water. I have run my home brew through my pumps for decades and find they need very little cleaning if they kept in use and flushed with water .


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Re: Beer Engine - Preparation For First Use...

Post by 1300s » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:45 pm

Thanks again for the advice everyone - I bought some purple beer line cleaner and ran that through on Friday night. It stayed purple throughout so I guess it was pretty clean in there after all, but no harm for peace of mind and good practice for the future. The beer engine performed sterling service throughout St Patrick's Day and everyone was suitably impressed :D I've brewed this stout a couple of times before ("Guinea's" from Love Brewing) and really enjoyed it, but the beer engine really gave it an extra something, I'm looking forward to trying future brews from it.

Michael

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