Beer engines; keeping it fresh

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

Post by Trefoyl » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:04 pm

orlando wrote:
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.
I thought there was always beer in the cylinder of an Angram, no matter where the handle is.
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Kev888 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:48 pm

If you disconnect from the keg before pulling the last 1/4 (or 1/2) pint of the evening, the cylinders will largely empty of beer. Ditto for whatever you flush with before next use; if the last rinse was just water (i.e. safe) then you can drink the first of the beer to come through too.

TBH though its a faff. Particularly with self-sealing corny disconnects, as you need to be able to draw air or water/cleaner into the engine when they're removed from the keg. Also, as the beery corny posts and disconnects are being exposed to the air, they really need cleaning as well. Personally I did all this for about a month.. and then lost the will.

After that I just did nothing and simply drank what had remained in the engine, the following night. Though my engines had the built-in cooling jacket around their cylinder so after 24hrs it wasn't too bad. Had that not been so then I'd probably have elected to just dump the 1/4pt.
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by f00b4r » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:32 am

Trefoyl wrote:
orlando wrote:
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.
I thought there was always beer in the cylinder of an Angram, no matter where the handle is.
Pretty sure this is why I didn't buy one of those, the other reason being the fact they have a lot more parts to go wrong compared to some competitors.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by orlando » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:02 am

Trefoyl wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:04 pm
orlando wrote:
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.
I thought there was always beer in the cylinder of an Angram, no matter where the handle is.
Mine isn't an Angram.
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by greenwood » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:52 pm

I have a lot of experience with EWL 1/4 pint handpulls with cooling jackets . If connected to cooler no need to waste any beer ... even after a few days in cylinder ! I only flush on every barrel change .... years of doing it ... no problem ! ( BTW I use cornys with check valve and absolute minimum gas .. applied manually as and when )


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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Jim » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:55 am

greenwood wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:52 pm
I have a lot of experience with EWL 1/4 pint handpulls with cooling jackets . If connected to cooler no need to waste any beer ... even after a few days in cylinder ! I only flush on every barrel change .... years of doing it ... no problem ! ( BTW I use cornys with check valve and absolute minimum gas .. applied manually as and when )


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Good to know! Mine has a cooling jacket, but I've never bothered connecting it up. How do you arrange the cooling water (i.e. when you say connected to a cooler, is that one of those in-line beer coolers that normally go between keg/cask and tap)?
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by greenwood » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:22 am

Jim wrote:
greenwood wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:52 pm
I have a lot of experience with EWL 1/4 pint handpulls with cooling jackets . If connected to cooler no need to waste any beer ... even after a few days in cylinder ! I only flush on every barrel change .... years of doing it ... no problem ! ( BTW I use cornys with check valve and absolute minimum gas .. applied manually as and when )


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Good to know! Mine has a cooling jacket, but I've never bothered connecting it up. How do you arrange the cooling water (i.e. when you say connected to a cooler, is that one of those in-line beer coolers that normally go between keg/cask and tap)?
Yes . They have to have a ricirculating pump (most do) designed for that purpose. Usually a few on eBay .


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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Trefoyl » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:40 pm

Finally got my 1/2 pint Angram back together yesterday. Sanding and refinishing the wood is what held up my project for so long. I learned a couple valuable things:
1. The cylinder end seals are not reusable. They form to the glass to create a perfect seal, so be sure to have spares before cracking open the cylinder. They take awhile to indent permanently so if you put the top on backwards you can disassemble without worrying. Ask me how I know :roll:
2. Try to find an original equipment connector hose. I used a reinforced vinyl hose of the same diameter and length and it wasn’t as flexible and got in the way of the mechanism. I had to cut it much shorter to fit it out of the way but it still rubs a little, but otherwise works well. I ordered new hoses but will keep them as spares when they arrive. I tried a silicon hose but it didn’t seal as well.

It was really gross inside and I’m wondering what the timeline for cleaning should be.
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eric » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:34 am

Trefoyl wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:40 pm
Finally got my 1/2 pint Angram back together yesterday. Sanding and refinishing the wood is what held up my project for so long. I learned a couple valuable things:
1. The cylinder end seals are not reusable. They form to the glass to create a perfect seal, so be sure to have spares before cracking open the cylinder. They take awhile to indent permanently so if you put the top on backwards you can disassemble without worrying. Ask me how I know :roll:
2. Try to find an original equipment connector hose. I used a reinforced vinyl hose of the same diameter and length and it wasn’t as flexible and got in the way of the mechanism. I had to cut it much shorter to fit it out of the way but it still rubs a little, but otherwise works well. I ordered new hoses but will keep them as spares when they arrive. I tried a silicon hose but it didn’t seal as well.

It was really gross inside and I’m wondering what the timeline for cleaning should be.
Very valuable information, many thanks.

Recently I brewed a low alcohol beer which on its 6th day was directly casked into a plastic pin. Eight days later it was tapped and the first pint drawn. Each night after the last was poured a hard spile was hammered home. Seven days later the beer was better so on the tenth was offered to both Jim and Normski. They may wish to comment, but before they do I would wish to advise that brew was far from the best brew I ever made, which I think they fully realised. I drank the last of the contents two weeks after it was first tapped and in my opinion, that was no worse than the first pint and was not contaminated by age or infection in any way.

Tonight I spoke about that experience to the manager of a pub you have visited and he was surprised a beer of such low strength lasted so long and so well. Some beer he sells sell out within a session, others don't and after 5 days will usually be taken off unless of high ABV. It is normal practise to clean lines in pubs once per week. I would suggest if your sanitation is good and cross contamination minimised, a full clean through of lines and hand pump at each change of cask will result in maximum beer life.
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Trefoyl » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:39 pm

I think the real problem was that I left Starsan in it but didn’t refresh it for some months. No amount of flushing would shift the black mold that grew.
I ordered 10 new sets of seals. That might be overkill :lol:

That said, I’ve never had a beer go bad using the beer engine. I use a propane regulator as a cask breather and it lasts a long time.

I used the exploded diagrams on this page to take it apart. I couldn’t have done it without them, a tremendous help.
http://www.ukbrewing.com/category_s/61.htm

Diagrams for other models
http://www.ukbrewing.com/Angram_beer_en ... s_s/51.htm
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:45 pm

Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:34 am
.........Recently I brewed a low alcohol beer which on its 6th day was directly casked into a plastic pin. Eight days later it was tapped and the first pint drawn. Each night after the last was poured a hard spile was hammered home. Seven days later the beer was better so on the tenth was offered to both Jim and Normski. They may wish to comment, but before they do I would wish to advise that brew was far from the best brew I ever made, which I think they fully realised. I drank the last of the contents two weeks after it was first tapped and in my opinion, that was no worse than the first pint and was not contaminated by age or infection in any way. ..........
Absolutely no trace of staleness in it whatsoever Eric. And I quite liked it (for driving beer, anyway :wink: ).
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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Kingfisher4 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:14 pm

Jim wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:45 pm
Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:34 am
.........Recently I brewed a low alcohol beer which on its 6th day was directly casked into a plastic pin. Eight days later it was tapped and the first pint drawn. Each night after the last was poured a hard spile was hammered home. Seven days later the beer was better so on the tenth was offered to both Jim and Normski. They may wish to comment, but before they do I would wish to advise that brew was far from the best brew I ever made, which I think they fully realised. I drank the last of the contents two weeks after it was first tapped and in my opinion, that was no worse than the first pint and was not contaminated by age or infection in any way. ..........
Absolutely no trace of staleness in it whatsoever Eric. And I quite liked it (for driving beer, anyway :wink: ).
Would you mind sharing the recipe Eric, if you think it is worth brewing as a mid week or driving beer?
I have been searching for sub 3% ABV recipes recently and the only one so far brewed is GW Hopback mild. A little too roasted malty for my taste so far, but still young. Many thanks.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eric » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:30 pm

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:14 pm
Jim wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:45 pm
Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:34 am
.........Recently I brewed a low alcohol beer which on its 6th day was directly casked into a plastic pin. Eight days later it was tapped and the first pint drawn. Each night after the last was poured a hard spile was hammered home. Seven days later the beer was better so on the tenth was offered to both Jim and Normski. They may wish to comment, but before they do I would wish to advise that brew was far from the best brew I ever made, which I think they fully realised. I drank the last of the contents two weeks after it was first tapped and in my opinion, that was no worse than the first pint and was not contaminated by age or infection in any way. ..........
Absolutely no trace of staleness in it whatsoever Eric. And I quite liked it (for driving beer, anyway :wink: ).
Would you mind sharing the recipe Eric, if you think it is worth brewing as a mid week or driving beer?
I have been searching for sub 3% ABV recipes recently and the only one so far brewed is GW Hopback mild. A little too roasted malty for my taste so far, but still young. Many thanks.
You are welcome to it, just understand this was an experiment which can't be replicated, but most certainly be vastly improved as you will observe.

The idea and inspiration came from another member here, Barneey. He kindly sent a can of No. 11 by Gadds, a beer I've not seen in these parts. It is 1.2% ABV, includes some lactose and hopped with Citra and Cascade. I'm not a fan of Citra, but many are and in this case those hops made the beer quite acceptable. So the task was to produce another 1.2% drinkable beer.

2200g MO
100g Caramalt
20g Black
20g Brown
20g Amber
No Lactose, the darker malts just to give colour.
Equipment was old redundant plastic except for sparging gear.
Mashed in 6 litres at 71C which fell to 70C after 40 minutes. After 50 minutes 1.5 litre of spage liquor was added and the wort manually recycled for 10 minutes before collection. 8.5 litres of wort were collected and added to 10 litres water boiling in the copper and a further 5 litres of liquor added.
Mash efficiency was calculated to be about 75%, last running were 1024, some then used for another project.
The hops were just those to hand needing to be used or maybe dumped.
60 minute boil, 7g of Junga pellets and a rather large handful of homegrown Bramling Cross more to filter the pellets than provide anything.
Halfway through the boil more hot sparge water was added to reduce the gravity of the wort.
Late hops were 20g of Palisade and the remnant of the Bramling Cross.
In the FV the wort was liquored back to 1019, producing 27 litres. The final FG was hoped to be 1010 to leave sufficient body for one to enjoy.
A top fermenting yeast of the kind that requires regular rousing was used in the hope of higher FG. After rousing for 2 days gravity was 1010 and rousing stopped and heating removed allowing it to slowly fall to ambient, around 14C. Gravity next day it was 1009.5 and on the next when a plastic pin was filled and 30g of invert syrup added together with a packet of Wilko's finings and kept at cellar temperature. The remainder was put into a 2.5 gallon plastic pressure barrel with 5 level teaspoons of dextrose.
After 7 days the pin was rolled around for a few minutes in hope to mix in the finings. It was then placed on a stillage and the next day tapped and its consumption began.
The beer from the pin was never as clear as that unfined in the PB although not that hazy. It was probably 1.4% ABV when the first pint was pulled and maybe 1.5% when Jim was here. 4 pints over a night appeared to have no effect.
A heaped teaspoon of lactose was added to a pint glass as it was being filled by the beer engine which comfortably dissolved. It could be tasted and maybe needed more, but I was content to drink it as was.

I'll be using better hops next time, I thought the beer would have gone off before it was finished, but as Jim confirms it did not. I was surprised by this and talked with a pub manager last night who was similarly surprised. Maybe I was lucky, but all was clean and either bleached, treated with peracetic acid and steam with the beer engine and lines with purple line cleaner.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by joe1002 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:36 pm

Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:30 pm
Mashed in 6 litres at 71C which fell to 70C after 40 minutes. After 50 minutes 1.5 litre of spage liquor was added and the wort manually recycled for 10 minutes before collection. 8.5 litres of wort were collected and added to 10 litres water boiling in the copper and a further 5 litres of liquor added.
Are your figures correct Eric? It looks as though you collected 1L more of wort than liquor mashed / sparged with. #-o

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Re: Beer engines; keeping it fresh

Post by Eric » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:14 pm

joe1002 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:36 pm
Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:30 pm
Mashed in 6 litres at 71C which fell to 70C after 40 minutes. After 50 minutes 1.5 litre of spage liquor was added and the wort manually recycled for 10 minutes before collection. 8.5 litres of wort were collected and added to 10 litres water boiling in the copper and a further 5 litres of liquor added.
Are your figures correct Eric? It looks as though you collected 1L more of wort than liquor mashed / sparged with. #-o
Yes Joe, very badly written. Sorry. I somehow missed out about sparging. It was done with my current equipment while I wrote that the old sparging equipment wasn't used. All very confusing.
A clue is in the last runnings gravity. but I thought when writing I'd included sufficient detail, so must now make ammends.

Mashed in 6 litres, about 2.5 l/kg.
Added some more liquor and recycled. and started sparging when wort ran clearish.
First runnings were 1076, a bit lower than usual but the initial added liquor had the effect of diluting the wort.
Sparged gently for 40 minutes getting 8.5 litres of wort at 1062. At this point runnings were 1024 and with perhaps 6.5 litres of liquor in the MT would suggest adding about 7.5 litres of sparge liquor.

8.5 litres at 1062 gives 527 litre degrees into the kettle. 27 litres at 1019 in the FV would be 513 litre degrees. The hops were sparged too.

Thanks Joe.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

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