Calling Beer Engine experts

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Jim
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Calling Beer Engine experts

Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:48 pm

OK, my beer engine of ebay arrived on Friday, just before I went off for the weekend :roll: .

I expected to be able to stick the end of the beer line into water and pump it through as a test, but it doesn't seem to work. :cry: In fact, there seems to be no one-way valve operating inside the thing, as I can blow air through it either way. Do some of these pumps need an external valve?

Or am I just being a pratt and doing something wrong?
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

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Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:27 pm

I guess my flap valve must be stuck open!

Even so, the arrangement in that diagram won't work without another valve to stop the liquid in the bottom half of the cyclinder just falling back into the cask on the 'downstroke', surely. :?

I could easily dismantle the cycliner and have a look, but I'm reluctant to do that until I know I need to, in case any of the seals crack when I open it.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

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SteveD

Post by SteveD » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:58 pm

DaaB wrote:They may be little poppet valves, I cant remember where I saw the pics now i'm afraid.
Naaa it'll be a old perished flap of leather ;)

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Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:27 pm

This is a bit comical, really. Someone's been in before and replaced the o-rings on the bottom valve (as I've named it :P ) and the piston valve (again my nomenclature). Have a look.

Image

Image

Do you reckon he couldn't get the right size? :lol:
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Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:09 pm

So the next question is: do you need special food grade o-rings, or are bog-standard ones fine?
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Scooby

Post by Scooby » Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:11 pm

Definitely food grade and you may find one here Jim;

http://www.altecweb.com/home.asp?cat=category8200

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Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:15 pm

OK, thanks. I picked up a couple of o-rings (just ordinary ones) in the local model shop for 15p each, just to try out.

The diameter's OK (compare the new one on the left with the old on the right) but the new one is thicker and doesn't seat perfectly.

Image

Image
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Post by flytact » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:15 pm

When I first tried to pull water through mine I had the same pushed air experience. Get out your tools and replace those o-rings! I simply went to the sink repair section of the local hardware store and matched up as best I could. Some plumbers silicon on everything as well did the trick.

Just saw your message. The older o-rings will be different shape than the new ones due to use. You're looking for a tight fit.

deadlydes

Post by deadlydes » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:49 pm

give CFBS a ring http://www.cfbs-beer-pumps.co.uk/accessories.html
and get a service kit for the pump. just give him the make model and he will know the one. if you havent got that info just describe it and he will know. worst case is you send a pic.
depending on model they are £10-20. its well worth replacing everything though or else you could risk knackering a beer.

depending on use you should get at least a year before you have to change the seals again, obviously it depends how much you use it :-)

get a creamer tip while your getting an order also

Frothy

Post by Frothy » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:53 pm

Yeah Hi-gene have recommended this to me @ ~ £30 for a new piston rod & seals etc.

Are you using it with a pressure barrel Jim?

Frothy

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Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:20 pm

Des, I'll try them and see how much. With the new o-rings the thing works perfectly (obviously I'm not using for beer with non-food grade seals, though).

Four pulls to fill a pint glass - so it's obviously a 1/4 pt cylinder, as you would expect. The pumps a 'Worthside' by the way.
Frothy wrote:Yeah Hi-gene have recommended this to me @ ~ £30 for a new piston rod & seals etc.

Are you using it with a pressure barrel Jim?

Frothy
That sounds a lot to me, Frothy - I only paid £25 for the pump and that included p&p! I'll initially be using with a pressure barrel with the lid slightly unscrewed to let the air in. The idea is to put a weeks-worth of beer in a spare barrel and use it till it goes off (or runs out, whichever is the sooner).

Ultimately I'm looking to use polypins (though it looks as though the only way to get one is to buy one full of beer - what a shame that would be! :P :wink: )
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Post by Andy » Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:22 pm

Jim wrote:Ultimately I'm looking to use polypins (though it looks as though the only way to get one is to buy one full of beer - what a shame that would be! :P :wink: )
Ohhh the hardship! :lol:

I've got a load of (empty :( ) minipins and one polypin upstairs - must get a beer engine* 8)


* enquiries are underway.....
Dan!

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:44 pm

Scooby wrote:Definitely food grade and you may find one here Jim;

http://www.altecweb.com/home.asp?cat=category8200
Only problem with that is they only come in packs of 50. :shock:
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Zebra

Post by Zebra » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:36 pm

I've been using a corny keg, beer engine and cask aspirator for about a month or two now. I'm nearly 100% pleased with it. The only thing I need to sort out are the various conections from the keg to the beer engine. It's all a bit random with lashing of PTFE tape and jubilee clips and it leaks a bit. I haven't noticed any of the beer going off yet although the first pint tastes a bit stale if you haven't had a beer for a couple of days. The cask aspirator I use is on this site http://www.scot-bev.com/

SteveD

Post by SteveD » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:06 pm

The other day someone (Frothy?) posted that he'd found CO2 cask breathers that allow blanket CO2 into the keg enabling the use of a beer engine, but without admitting air, or pressure.

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