Hambleton Bard to doscontinue s30 refills

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by jjsh, Jan 2, 2019.

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  1. Jan 2, 2019 #1

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Just seen on facebook that Hambleton Bard are going to stop doing S30 refills, which as fr as I can see, will kill the system off unless someone else enters the market, which is a bit of a kick in the knickers if you happen to have a load of S30 valved King Kegs!

    So it looks like I'll have to bite the bullet and convert them to using a regulator + pub gas, which is an expense I could do without if I'm honest. To be fair, I had found the quality of so of the s30 cylinders iffy lately, with leaky valves and bent pins, and what not, so perhaps they have been running down stock. Still a bit of a shock!
     
  2. Jan 2, 2019 #2

    jjsh

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    Full text from hopandgrapes facebook page:

    Hambleton Bard have today informed all homebrew stores that due to cost of production they will no longer be able to supply gas refills.
    All homebrew stores are extremely angry and frustrated as we know how many of their own customers rely on this method of carbonation.
    I have been on the phone today constantly discussing options with suppliers, breweries, gas companies and others.
    At the moment we understand someone may come forward with a view to taking on the S30 refilling business but this could be a way off.
    For now we would recommend the following options.
    The Pin valve conversion kit can be used to adapt the S30 making it compatible with gas pellets.
    There is a soda stream adapter which allows you to use a soda stream bottle to carbonate.
    Additional sugar in the secondary carbonation would help prevent your beer loosing pressure.
    We are looking at options to refil ourselves however this does involve additional equipment and regulation.
    When I hear more information I will of course pass it onto all customers of The Jolly Brewer and Hopandgrape.co.uk.
     
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  3. Jan 3, 2019 #3

    Graz

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    If true this will at least be the final push for me to move to Cornies and big cylinder of CO2.

    Been persevering with King Kegs and S30 cylinders for years but still curse every time I start a new keg only to find that most of the pressure from secondary fermentation has been lost due to a cr*p seal on the keg. That said I wouldn't ditch the King Kegs completely but would look at methods of hooking them up to the big bottle of CO2 and getting a better seal on the lids. Useful for lightly carbonated ales and other stuff.

    Nothing on here though: http://www.hambletonbard.com/products/wine-beer-making-equipment/s30-home-brew-co2.html
     
  4. Jan 3, 2019 #4

    terrym

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    Anyone thinking of buying an S30 based set up should be contacting Hambleton Bard direct to find out if this product line is to be discontinued. The homebrew trade has a stock of these cylinders and will, no doubt be wanting to sell them to uninformed customers if they are in fact due to be stopped.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2019 #5

    simon12

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    Do other people not refill them?
     
  6. Jan 3, 2019 #6

    LeeH

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    You could refill them yourself, I refill soda steam bottles easily. I’ll be surprised if you couldn’t make up an adapter.
     
  7. Jan 4, 2019 #7

    John Holgreaves

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    Although I have a CO2 cylinder I still use s30 cylinders, as it's a way of purging equipment that is out of reach of my main CO2 cylinder. I have been thinking of a way to refill the S30 cylinders from my main CO2 cylinder not only as a cost saving exercise , but my nearest shop is 35 miles away and postage makes the cost even more. It will not solve a lot of brewers problems, but it might be possible for generous owners of big cylinders to refill S30 cylinders for local S30 owners. I will give it my attention this weekend. Please no comments from all you Health and Safety guys. ashock1
     
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  8. Jan 4, 2019 #8

    keat64

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    I called in to my LHBS last week for a new S30 gas cannister.
    He was out of stock, so I called in again today.

    He tells me that just before Christmas the machine at Hambleton Bard which refills the S30 broke down, it's beyond repair and too expensive to replace.
    He had an email directly from Hambleton Bard, so it's not like its chinese whispers.

    I guess unless someone comes up with an alternative quickly, then this could be the end of the S30.

    How many home brewers is this going to upset I wonder ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  9. Jan 4, 2019 #9

    keat64

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    Further to this, he also said that he sold a number of kegs and kits on the run up to Christmas.
    These customers will be mighty peeved when they return in a few months for a refill.

    This is not good news not only for us end users, but stockist also.
    How many stores have new bottles yet unsold, now rendered useless.
     
  10. Jan 4, 2019 #10

    VW911

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    It is indeed worrying.
    I have a dozen or so cylinders in stock - although I don't source them from Hambleton Bard (Stopped using them ages ago.)
    I, like many other retailers, have sold loads of related items (valves, seals, caps etc.) in the run up to Christmas, and am going to look pretty stupid in a few weeks when I can't supply exchange cylinders...

    I haven't heard anything official from my supplier yet, but will speak them on Monday, and post the outcome!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  11. Jan 4, 2019 #11

    Chippy_Tea

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    Thanks :thumba:

    .
     
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  12. Jan 4, 2019 #12

    keat64

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    My LHBS said he also sources via a supplier and not directly from Hambleton Bard, but he said he had an email response from HB, so I can only assume he must have contacted them directly.

    He also said he was dreading the backlash from new customers.
     
  13. Jan 4, 2019 #13

    VW911

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    HB do seem to have a total disregard for their (UK) customers.

    There was the issue a couple of years ago now, when they decided to discontinue the smaller S20 cylinder - they would issue no refund, or discount towards the larger S30. Basically, their response was: "Once a customer buys a cylinder, it becomes their property - you can provide a re-fill, but no refund if they are no longer needed." (Unlike the likes of Calor etc.)
    They would, however, kindly dispose of the now redundant empty cylinders for you!
    So, to keep my customers happy, I had to swallow the cost of upgrading to the larger cylinders. (Needless to say, I have a couple of boxes of empty S20's, that I am sure can be cannibalised to
    make an injection system of sorts...)

    Just one of the many reasons that I refuse to have any further dealings with HB...
     
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  14. Jan 5, 2019 #14

    tsetse1986

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    On Wednesday this week my son Mike visited our local homebrew emporium in Cheddar with a couple of Hambleton Bard CO2 cylinders to exchange and was told HB has stopped doing them. Apparently they are not interested in getting the empty cylinders back and there is currently a nationwide shortage of full HB cylinders.

    This is a bit of a blow for me as all my kegs are fitted out for these cylinders. The alternative is 8g soda syphon cartridges which I find are less controllable and more expensive. I have found a guy on ebay who will refill the HB cylinders for £9.90 but then you have to post him your empty. I am considering making up a refilling setup but this is a bit of an ar$e pain and would require the purchase of a large cylinder of CO2.

    Has anyone else come across this problem and have a better solution?

    Cheers!
    Tim
     
  15. Jan 5, 2019 #15

    Chippy_Tea

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    Hi Tim,

    I have moved your post into the existing thread, you unfortunately are not alone.

    .
     
  16. Jan 6, 2019 #16

    alsacebrew

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    I’ve been using pressure barrels and HB s30 cylinders for many years now and as I live in France it was getting more and more difficult for me to get hold of those canisters (I could only get them during my visits to England in my car or ask my friends to do it for me when they drove to England). One day a fellow home brewer friend gave me an adapter as a present and it ended up becoming one of the best brewing-related gadgets I have. You must have seen them on the internet or in home brew shops. One end of the adapter fits a sodastream bottle and the other end fits the s30 valve on the barrel. After a number of scary experiences, I’ve got the hang of it and am now only using sodastream bottles to push my beer out. The trick - which I learned the hard way!- is to tighten the adapter onto the s30 valve very tightly and only then screw in the sodastream bottle until you just start hearing the gas going in. Then very carefully give a few short burst of gas. If you don’t tighten the adapter on to the s30 valve very tightly, the adapter gets stuck to the valve when injecting the gas (it almost freezes) and you end up unscrewing both the adapter from the valve and the bottle from the adapter, while the gas is being injected into the barrel all the time! By the time you’ve managed to do that, you have gas pouring out of all the seals and underneath the lid and the beer gushing from the seal of the tap (on one such occasion I am sure I saw the barrel actually expanding!) I know that reading this may not encourage people to use this adapter but as long as you screw the adapter tightly onto the valve, it really is easy and a very good alternative to HB cylinders.
     
  17. Jan 6, 2019 #17

    Alan

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  18. Jan 6, 2019 #18

    tsetse1986

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    Does anyone know the thread specs for the HB valve to bottle thread? If it's M18x1.5, there's an adaptor on ebay that will convert the old HB bottle into a SodaStream (£7.33 inc postage)...

    My son's HB bottle is due to run out soon so I'll be checking ;-)
     
  19. Jan 7, 2019 #19

    VW911

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    Morning all,

    I've just spoken to my supplier, and they have confirmed what most of us already knew.
    HB apparently have no intention of continiung with the supply of the S30 cylinders.
    My supplier are having a meeting later this week, with regard to the feasibility of taking over the supply chain.

    The likes of us retailers are now severely out of pocket, as HB are not going to accept the empty cylinders, or credit any that are currently in circulation!

    I will update as and when I get any further information...
     
  20. Jan 8, 2019 #20

    keat64

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    If I can see through to the end of my current keg batch, i'll be switching to bottles for a while.
    Having 2 x S30's and 5 barrels, i'v no intention of investing in to modifications for it all to happen again.
     
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