Beer engine

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FirebladeAdam

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Hi folks! Currently I bottle all the beers I make and am quite happy doing that. I know its slightly laborious but it works for me. Although I have been thinking about a beer engine hand pull, and a keg. But does it give a better pint? Thanks in advance for your wisdom
 

crowcrow

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I got a beer engine not long after I started brewing, and for a bit I loved it. But I generally feel it knocks too much out of the beer for me - but then I probably like beers that shouldn't be served through a handpull 🤷🏽‍♂️
It is great fun though and friends love having a go, even though I have gas taps too. For the beer engine I usually do a darker beer and pop it in 2 litre bottles - and then just serve from them - saves having to set up rebreathers etc and means it gets drunk fast. And if more is needed I can just open another. For a bit I used to 'bottle' beer in those 5 litre water bottles you get at tesco, but I found loads would go to waste in them all to often.

My pump has a half pint pull, so between that and the pipes it can be a lot to 'lose' to the set up each time you use it if drinking alone. That is another reason I used the little bottles, as I run a very short straight beer line just down to a cm or 2 above the bottle of the bottle. I can't say the beer tastes any better but it def is fun ;)
 

FirebladeAdam

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Thanks for the reply. I think I'm coming around to the idea that it's a lot of cleaning and beer sitting in pipes and as you rightly point out getting wasted (no pun intended). I'd do it if I was told it's loads better than a bottle! But I'm not convinced. But as you say it would be great fun... My long suffering wife would no doubt be delighted. I'd love to try some of my beers draught though, so I really like the idea of contriving a slightly easier way
 

crowcrow

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You see them for around £40 on ebay, and you'll likely get that for it if you sell it at some point in the future - so why not give it a shot, you might love it. I know some here have a near perm set up with polypins etc.

Clean up isn't too tough, I just run another 2 litre bottle of warm water through it, or even attach the beer line to the water tap now I'm in the shed - I'm not a great one for cleaning properly if I can help it.
 

parpot

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I use a 5lt Dark Farm kind of setup using the keg, spire & party tap. I have three of these all from eBay costing around £60.00 each, I also use soda stream for my Co2, I have 4 SS bottles which last me about two years and cost about £11.00 per refill from a guy in Wales.
And yes IMHO the beer is 100 times better than from the bottle as long as you get you Co2 right!
 

FirebladeAdam

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I use a 5lt Dark Farm kind of setup using the keg, spire & party tap. I have three of these all from eBay costing around £60.00 each, I also use soda stream for my Co2, I have 4 SS bottles which last me about two years and cost about £11.00 per refill from a guy in Wales.
And yes IMHO the beer is 100 times better than from the bottle as long as you get you Co2 right!
Could you post a pic or a eBay link? When you can! Thanks Parpot
 

crowcrow

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I think parpot, that FirebladeAdam was specifically talking about beer engines/handpulls. I also love my gas set up, revolutionary for me, less cleaning, cold beer when I want it, my only issue is that my 2 19 litre cornies mean that I don't have a lot of choice, and also have a lot to drink up currently with no guests coming to visit!

Or was your description of a handpull set up? Pics please if so! Always interested in another way of setting things up!
 

FirebladeAdam

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I'm looking for a way to make my beer more draughty... Has anyone tried the Fizzics dispenser? Looks like it could be good but I'm stingy and want a secondhand one on eBay!
 

parpot

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Could you post a pic or a eBay link? When you can! Thanks Parpot
If you just search eBay or Amazon for 5lt beer kegs you will find various sellers but often out of stock of the 5lt ones so its a case of searching, the same with the spires and party taps, lots of sellers but try and look for one with UK stock for obvious reasons.

The reason I use these is so I can have 3 kegs with different beers at the same time without getting bored drinking the same beer which is why I changed from 19lt Cornies to 5lt kegs!

You will see the set up I use on Dark Farms website!
 

crowcrow

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I'd not seen one of those before, look interesting.

While I was getting my handpull set up working (it needed a clean and new washers) I got one of these
312UjtmdDNL._AC_SY400_.jpg

And used it to serve from my bottles - did give a good head but it does that at the expense of 'knocking' the beer about so the actual beer ended up flatter as the gas was in the head. Was ditched as soon as I got the handpull working.

Screenshot_20210115_082132.jpg
 

peebee

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All this talk of mini-kegs and hand-pumps ... I can tie those together in a single (3-year old) piccie:
Beer Engine Set Up Help
And it would be remiss of me not to mention "the treatise" (from same thread as last link):
Beer Engine Set Up Help

And my answer to @FirebladeAdam's original question: Yes, hand-pumps make a huge positive difference to beer; presuming you are looking for cask-style beer and not serving fizzy keg beer (which reduces the hand-pump to being on-par with a bunch of flowers in a vase). But do have something to seal the pump's nozzle (like a check valve - a real check valve that is, not the hand-pump's "demand valve" - or I use solenoid valves as they fit in with the rest of the dispense setup), if you don't you are forever rinsing the pump and it's lines else drinking (or throwing away) stale beer left in the pump's cylinder. Rinsing the pump ensures you end up drinking sound, but watered down, beer sick... by-the-way.
 

Honk

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I have been wanting a beer engine for years and recently bought the pint365 which is a beer engine designed for home use. I love it, there is no wasted beer with this, I have been using either a polypin or small mini keg as an intermediate vessel transferring the beer to these from corny kegs which means I can vary whats on the pump.

For me the beer tastes better through the pump but I mainly brew traditional Ale styles suited to this style of serving anyway and dislike highly carbonated beers.
 

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