Beer engines; keeping it fresh

A forum to discuss the various ways of getting beer into your glass.
Kingfisher4
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Kingfisher4 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:41 pm

Many thanks Eric,
Food for thought indeed. If I pick my favourite / available hops what sort of IBU should I aim for, the lower gravity beers / milds often seem to be relatively lightly hopped too?

Also, I've never used lactose at all and not come across it being used at the stage of serving the pint; is it to enhance body, mouthfeel, sweetness or none of these?

So much to learn and experiment with in this great new hobby.

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Eric
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eric » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:03 am

The bitterness was estimated to be 35 IBU, but tasted more. It was too bitter, but have found Junga to be assertive. They were a handout from Faram's and my only other brew with them was an IPA which was also very bitter and I won't be buying any. The No 11 by Gadd's wasn't bitter but more balanced with much better hop flavours than mine.

I had fully expected the beer to be off after a week and what wasn't drank by then to be dumped. It started life not only to find how my attempt at a low alcohol beer might taste, but also because commercially it might become viable in a changing world. No duty is levied on beer of 1.2% and below and by liquoring back it would likely be possible to produce 10 barrels with a two and half barrel HLT, MT and copper with additional fermentation capacity.

Lactose has been used successfully in the past by many breweries. I just put some into the beer as it seemed a good idea at the time, but it should be added during the boil. It gives body and adds sweetness. When Wm Younger's beers were sold in this area they were sweet and would likely be from lactose additions.

For a couple of kg of malt and some unused hops I got a fortnight's beer without being under the usual influence, but I think it will take quite a few brews to get it right. What was learned was mashing at 70/71C produced a fermentable beer for this type of brew.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

Kingfisher4
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Kingfisher4 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:58 am

The commercial potential is interesting, but my motivation is that I have yet to find a palatable low ABV commercial beer and whilst loving my new hobby, with retirement quite imminent, Adrian Chiles' recent "drinkers like me" documentary focused my mind on exploring the possibility of brewing great or even acceptable English bitter style low ABV brews to intersperse with the diversity of exploration of brewing more usual beers, to help minimise any future chance of gradual or even rapid rise in overall alcohol unit consumption.

Feedback on your recipe progress (for home use only in my case) would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Trefoyl » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:31 pm

Update: The substitute connector hose did NOT work because it kinks, blocking and restricting the flow. ](*,) Original equipment hose should arrive today. Very frustrating.
I wonder if this is why Victory brewing, one of my favorite local breweries, recently stopped using beer engines in all their locations. They are hard to maintain and very expensive and generally not appreciated out here in the wilderness that is the USA :|

The most handy gadget I have for cleaning ball lock lines is this plastic disconnect:
Image

I can draw from a bucket with the beer engine, or gravity feed from a bottle for my regular lines.
Sommeliers recommend that you swirl a glass of wine and inhale its bouquet before throwing it in the face of your enemy.

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Eric
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eric » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:05 pm

This what I use to clean beer lines and engine.

Image

From memory its rate of use is something like 10ml per litre of tapwater. It is caustic so any sanitary tapwater does. 2 litres is more than enough to clean a line and engine.
All I do is take everything from where the line connects to the cask, barrel or whatever contains the beer and drop that end and connection into a bowl holding the appropriately diluted cleaner and pull it through the engine into a pint glass, stopping when the cleaner comes through. After 20 minutes, I give the pump two full strokes and wait another 20 minutes. Generally that is enough, but usually this job will be done in tandom with other tasks and it is likely it might continue untill all cleaner has passed through when the bowl will be washed out and filled with clean water. That is then puuled through and examined for any contamination and if all is well, it is connected to the next beer.
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Trefoyl
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Trefoyl » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:41 pm

My new connector hoses have not arrived yet, maybe later tonight. But I couldn't wait and the old tube cleaned up very well with PBW, scrubbing outside with a scrubby sponge and inside with a line cleaning brush. It's good to know at least some parts are reusable.
The difference is phenomenal, the pull action is now easy and smooth.

Edit: new connector hoses have arrived and promptly put in spares box.
Sommeliers recommend that you swirl a glass of wine and inhale its bouquet before throwing it in the face of your enemy.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by PeeBee » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:42 pm

I've two pumps and only flush when keg changed. Took me a while to figure out but in a nutshell:

Seal the nozzle between uses. I use solenoid valves and timers to automate. Jim said this but maybe missed ...

Replace any silicone hose, I use PVC hose. Silicone used between nozzle and cylinder on Angrams. Very important!

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by PeeBee » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:33 am

Don't like linking "cross-platform" but have limited editing in this Spanish backwater. #7 in this thread: https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/thre ... ild.78269/

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Jim
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:22 am

PeeBee wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:33 am
Don't like linking "cross-platform" but have limited editing in this Spanish backwater. #7 in this thread: https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/thre ... ild.78269/
I'm not going to censor that link, but I strongly discourage links to that place for the simple reason that if someone on there posted a link here they would be immediately banned for it.
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Trefoyl
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Trefoyl » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:37 pm

The connector hose I have is green and opaque. I assume it’s a kind of vinyl. It cleaned up beautifully. The replacement spare hoses I just ordered are navy blue and look like silicon.
Refinished and back in action :D
Image
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by johnmac » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:53 pm

I find I can drink from the beer engine after 24 hours without wasting any beer, at least in autumn, winter and spring. In summer, I'll throw away the first two pulls worth. This is in an unheated room.

I clean with warm water dosed with thin bleach and washing up liquid (I've tried professional beer line cleaner and it doesn't seem any better).

If the beer engine isn't going to have beer in it straight after cleaning, I leave clean water in the system until ready to use.

A good test is to pull clean water through the engine and check it comes out as sparkling clear as the stuff from your cold tap.

If you pull a very yeasty beer through an engine, you'll struggle to ever get it clean again - I learnt that the hard way.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by greenwood » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:35 pm

I’ve been using hand pull pumps for 25 years . Mainly England:worthside with cooling jackets . I’ve never had a problem keeping beer fresh and only clean on barrel change . I have learned never to use hot water as this can damage seals and non/ return mechanism. I have also learned to my cost that bleach/chlorine can permanently taint the pumps . At present I have 3 cornys connected to one check valve and then single hand pull . I control which ale is served by inline taps before check valve .wassail !


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PeeBee
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by PeeBee » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:15 am

greenwood wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:35 pm
... At present I have 3 cornys connected to one check valve and then single hand pull . I control which ale is served by inline taps before check valve .wassail !
How do you manage that? The pump will contain 1/4-1/2 pint of the previous beer when you change the inline taps. Or have I got the following wrong? (From my own article on the subject):


Conditioning Hand-pump.jpg
A beer hand-pump operates like an old fashioned water pump. When the handle is pulled beer is forced out of the spout from the pump cylinder, but at the same time beer is drawn from the cask to enter the cylinder, but underneath the piston (A). After a session the pump is often left in this position (B) with the cylinder full of beer hopefully sealed from the air by the one-way valves.

When the handle is returned beer moves nowhere, but a valve in the piston opens so the beer underneath the piston finds itself on top of the piston (C). The handle is now in the upright position awaiting the next stroke (D). In this position the beer in the cylinder is open to the air (via the spout) hence it isn’t recommended to leave the pump in this position for more than a few hours because of the risk of spoilage to the entire cylinder full of beer. Leaving the handle forward reduces the risk to the beer in the cylinder, but doesn’t guarantee its safe storage so try not to leave a pump with stagnating beer in it for more than a couple of days. The handy might work in a one-way valve to the spout (not a hand-pump “check valve”) or adapt a sparkler so it can be used to seal the spout at the end of a session in an attempt to stop beer de-gassing or spoiling in the cylinder. Beer will spoil in some pumps quicker than others: I have Angram CO models and the more recent CQ models and beer quickly spoils in the CQ; but these CQs also have a stubby “southern pour” spouts not the looping “northern pour” swan-neck spouts like the COs, and this may have something to do with it.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by greenwood » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:45 am

Ah ! 1/4 pint cylinder and short beer lines. I change inline tap to next beer before last 1:4 pint pull of previous pint , or to ensure no mixing I change to spare in line tap that’s not connected to anything to empty the cylinder before switching to new beer. Sounds complicated but it’s worked for me . ( obviously this is not going to be practical in a pub situation but for low use/man cave )


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Kev888
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Kev888 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:42 am

This isn't dissimilar to what I was describing WRT flushing through with water, yet minimising loss of beer. Though mine involved more manual swapping around, which is perhaps what put me off bothering with it.
Kev

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