Beer Engine Sanitation at Home

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CraigInTheCorn

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I have a counter-mounted Angram 1/2 pt beer engine with the cooling jacket. It was purchased second hand from a failed restaurant which had been shuttered for nearly a year. I did my best to clean it using BLC Beer Line Cleaner, then a short soak with StarSan, followed by a good rinse with clear water. My system has a demand valve and is ultimately connected to a ball lock Cornelius keg. All the hoses were replaced.

My issue is that beer is souring in the line between uses. Mostly, it is only me drinking this ale, so it is normal to go several days or even a week between uses of this beer engine. I have been disconnecting the beer line from the keg between uses to avoid spoiling the entire keg of ale. Even so, unless I completely flush the hoses, demand valve, and beer engine with water, the remaining beer in the system will spoil in a couple of days.

Is this to be expected in a beer engine which may go several days between uses? I don't encounter this with my kegerator.

Do you have any suggestions for how to prevent this issue?
 

crowcrow

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Drink faster! But seriously, this is why (good) pubs clean their lines down every night - there is just too much volume in the pipes and the pumps at too warm a temp for beer to not go bad.

For this reason I end up using my handpull as a novelty when friends are over, rather than for regular drinking .
 

johncrobinson

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I used to manage a bar in a hotel here in the bonny Scottish highlands.
I kept my beer systen as clean as the company would allow,I wanted to do more, But the company would not stand for the losses.
The first few pints pulled every day were substandard and thats after sitting LESS THAN 24hs in the line.!!

Guiness was the only product that did not seem so affected.

Drink more, :beer1: or keep your dispenser as an ornament or for special occasions.
 

peebee

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Hand-pump cylinders are not sealed. Seal them between sessions! Use check-valves (real ones, one-way no return, not hand-pump demand valves which often get incorrectly called "check valves") or I use solenoid valves because I have the 12V circuits to do it. Or you might rig screw-on caps in place of "sparklers"?

Purge any silicon hose (Angram pumps connect cylinder to nozzles with the stuff). Can be hard work, but silicon hose is no barrier to oxygen.

I never flush pumps once connected to a cask. Only for cask changes (and then clean the hoses well too because yeast can build up in them).

I will usually drink the first pull separately. Even sealed the beer in the cylinder may not be in prime condition.


When flushing pumps do not use hot liquids (hand-hot seems okay). Do not use strong smelling cleaners (like bleach).
 

The magistrate

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This is the reason the UK got Watney's Red Barrel. There was a tennis club down south which had several 'down' days therefore the beer was spoiling. Wayney's decided they would fare better with their then new keg beer which had originally been designed for export. A handpump or similar looks nice but I use King Keg pressure barrels which i keep on my stillage in the cellar. Yes, I know not everyone has a cellar these days but I am fortunate in that respect. I go down into the cellar and dispense by gravity. My previous neighbour fitted out a bar with two hamdpump beer engines but there was always someone there drinking so beer was seldom lying in the lines for long. I was a pub manager many years ago and we always used Pumpclene. I don't know if it's still available though.
 

private4587

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Hand-pump cylinders are not sealed. Seal them between sessions! Use check-valves (real ones, one-way no return, not hand-pump demand valves which often get incorrectly called "check valves") or I use solenoid valves because I have the 12V circuits to do it. Or you might rig screw-on caps in place of "sparklers"?

Purge any silicon hose (Angram pumps connect cylinder to nozzles with the stuff). Can be hard work, but silicon hose is no barrier to oxygen.

I never flush pumps once connected to a cask. Only for cask changes (and then clean the hoses well too because yeast can build up in them).

I will usually drink the first pull separately. Even sealed the beer in the cylinder may not be in prime condition.


When flushing pumps do not use hot liquids (hand-hot seems okay). Do not use strong smelling cleaners (like bleach).
I use a 3d printed cap on the nozzle when in-between use, it has O ring seal in place and a good squirt of starsan. then dispose of first pull when using
 

private4587

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This is the reason the UK got Watney's Red Barrel. There was a tennis club down south which had several 'down' days therefore the beer was spoiling. Wayney's decided they would fare better with their then new keg beer which had originally been designed for export. A handpump or similar looks nice but I use King Keg pressure barrels which i keep on my stillage in the cellar. Yes, I know not everyone has a cellar these days but I am fortunate in that respect. I go down into the cellar and dispense by gravity. My previous neighbour fitted out a bar with two hamdpump beer engines but there was always someone there drinking so beer was seldom lying in the lines for long. I was a pub manager many years ago and we always used Pumpclene. I don't know if it's still available though.
I also use King Keg barrels but they have been adapted for use with my beer engine
 

The magistrate

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I also use King Keg barrels but they have been adapted for use with my beer engine
My neighbour used collapsible polypins: the plastic 5 gal cubes once used to dispense draught wine and sherry. You used to be able to get them from off-licences for free but nowadays it's not so easy. You have to buy them! The beats feature is you connect your beer engine pipe to the tap and as the beer is drawn off the cube shrinks thus avoiding the need to pressurise it AND it keeps the air out.
 

peebee

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... The beats feature is you connect your beer engine pipe to the tap and as the beer is drawn off the cube shrinks thus avoiding the need to pressurise it AND it keeps the air out.
No problem with pressurising beer for a beer engine, you just need a regulator capable of very low pressure (about 1-2psi). But such things (to use as secondary regulators downstream from CO2 cylinder's primary regulator) are cheap at £12-15. In fact, for home-brew (one doesn't really want to see this practice in UK Pubs), there's an advantage to applying such low pressures.

Explanation in linked document below (my "signature").

But polypins are cheaper. Just watch out for the limited shelf-life. I've heard of people putting a heavy book on the bag to help maintain a scrap of CO2 condition but it doesn't help keep the beer longer.
 

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