Hand Pull Beer Engine

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Dads_Ale

Crafty Brewer
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2013
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
976
Location
Berkshire
Great setup athumb..
Can't see on the photo but do you have a check valve from keg to handpull?
 

DavidHatton

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
884
Reaction score
599
Location
East London
Great setup athumb..
Can't see on the photo but do you have a check valve from keg to handpull?
Thanks, yes it's hidden in the top right corner.
few kinks to smooth out on the gas side, but manage to pull a pint without too much trouble.
 

Dads_Ale

Crafty Brewer
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2013
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
976
Location
Berkshire
Thanks, yes it's hidden in the top right corner.
few kinks to smooth out on the gas side, but manage to pull a pint without too much trouble.
I have found getting the carbonation level just right is the difference between a pint of foam and flat beer and the perfect pint.
When you get it right you pull more beer than you can brew :beer1:
 

DavidHatton

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
884
Reaction score
599
Location
East London
I have found getting the carbonation level just right is the difference between a pint of foam and flat beer and the perfect pint.
When you get it right you pull more beer than you can brew :beer1:
Thank you for the advice, hadn't planned to serve this pale ale this way, and was keg primed at 2.0 volume.
what do you use on the gas side, any extra valves and regulator pressure, assuming you use cornies also.
will try bag in a box at somepoint. athumb..
 

Dads_Ale

Crafty Brewer
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2013
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
976
Location
Berkshire
Found the Post on jimsbeerkit.
I have a few threads on the subject that I had completely forgot about LoL

The Bag in a Box didn't work because the ones I got were twin layer and the inner was gas permiable, so during secondary ferment the gas got between the layers and I couldn't vent it.
The cornies work much better as long as you get the carbonation level right. I started with a check valve and got a lot of foaming, which I now think was due to over carbing. My cask breather set up, with by pass, works a treat but you do need to keep releasing pressure to serve and then add a few psi for storage. Next I will try the check valve again but with my current carbonation levels.
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
1,086
Location
North Wales
Thank you for the advice, hadn't planned to serve this pale ale this way, and was keg primed at 2.0 volume.
what do you use on the gas side, any extra valves and regulator pressure, assuming you use cornies also.
will try bag in a box at somepoint. athumb..
From the photo it looks like you have just the one "single stage" regulator attached to your Sodastream cylinder? It is impossible to make such a setup hold to a satisfactory pressure for a handpump. You might get low PSIs set for a session, but the pressure will drift way off for the next session. You also have an Angram pump which tend to groan and creak when subjected to even 5PSI (I think it is the pump-cylinder's "flapper" valves vibrating).

A "dual stage" regulator might help but they are very expensive (£70 or so).

I use secondary regulators, setting the single-stage regulator (now the "primary" regulator) to 3-5BAR (40-75PSI) and one of these (click the image for a purchase link):
BP1813.jpg
You'll need adapters to connect the 1/4" BSP and 3/8" BSP ports to your gas line (easy).

If you don't think 150mbar (2PSI) is enough (it is more than enough!) you can get these >20-300mbar version< which will go up to 4PSI.
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
1,086
Location
North Wales
Just a word of caution about that 20-300mbar variant: It was great finding that they now sell them without adapters connected (and thread-locked!), including the useless "POL" adapter. But the description now says they can be used as single and second stage regulators which contradicts what I wrote above: They are normally used with Propane which has a fairly low cylinder pressure, whereas a CO2 cylinder will have a pressure of around 57BAR. They cannot be used as single stage regulators, i.e. connected directly to a CO2 cylinder.
 

DavidHatton

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
884
Reaction score
599
Location
East London
From the photo it looks like you have just the one "single stage" regulator attached to your Sodastream cylinder? It is impossible to make such a setup hold to a satisfactory pressure for a handpump. You might get low PSIs set for a session, but the pressure will drift way off for the next session. You also have an Angram pump which tend to groan and creak when subjected to even 5PSI (I think it is the pump-cylinder's "flapper" valves vibrating).

A "dual stage" regulator might help but they are very expensive (£70 or so).

I use secondary regulators, setting the single-stage regulator (now the "primary" regulator) to 3-5BAR (40-75PSI) and one of these (click the image for a purchase link):
View attachment 34829
You'll need adapters to connect the 1/4" BSP and 3/8" BSP ports to your gas line (easy).

If you don't think 150mbar (2PSI) is enough (it is more than enough!) you can get these >20-300mbar version< which will go up to 4PSI.
Cheers, Think this regulator and the correct priming in the keg will sort it for future kegs.
I want to get as close to 2psi or the right serving pressure as I can with the equipment I have plus above regulator.
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
1,086
Location
North Wales
For handpump I prime at about 1/2g - 1g of sugar per litre (15g per 19L Corny keg +/-3g). This is a little too much so allows for a bit of "venting". I aim for about 1.3 volumes of CO2 (serve at 1.1 volumes, or 2psi-ish). If for some reason the priming fails, the regulator maintains up to 150bar (2psi) so the beer gets carbonated anyway (CAMRA geeks will hate me saying that!). But the primings never fail.

I "vent" using aquarium "bubble counters". They allow you to start venting (about 6-10 bubbles per second) and leave it for about 12 hours before closing again. I fit bubble counters in the gas-line so can perform adhoc venting whenever I like (this way you can't overdo it because the regulator will maintain up to 150mbar).
 

DavidHatton

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
884
Reaction score
599
Location
East London
For handpump I prime at about 1/2g - 1g of sugar per litre (15g per 19L Corny keg +/-3g). This is a little too much so allows for a bit of "venting". I aim for about 1.3 volumes of CO2 (serve at 1.1 volumes, or 2psi-ish). If for some reason the priming fails, the regulator maintains up to 150bar (2psi) so the beer gets carbonated anyway (CAMRA geeks will hate me saying that!). But the primings never fail.

I "vent" using aquarium "bubble counters". They allow you to start venting (about 6-10 bubbles per second) and leave it for about 12 hours before closing again. I fit bubble counters in the gas-line so can perform adhoc venting whenever I like (this way you can't overdo it because the regulator will maintain up to 150mbar).
Great info thank you, so the lpg regulator is superior to the aspirator, can you the lpg fittings are they easy to find.
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
1,086
Location
North Wales
Great info thank you, so the lpg regulator is superior to the aspirator, can you the lpg fittings are they easy to find.
"LPG regulator is superior to the aspirator"?

You obviously haven't read The Treatise! Are you in for a treat. (And you lot in the background can stop your groaning … I can hear you!). So, my infamous "treatise": >(It's on me Google drive)<. It has a section on hand-pumps too.

As for fittings. If you use John Guest you can easily get BSP threads to JG push-fit adapters. I can't easily show you 'cos I build my regulators into control boxes, a policy that probably requires a mentality that's … well … "three sheets to the wind":

20180819_131843_WEB.jpg

(Note bubble counter).
 

Fatty

New Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Thank you for the advice, hadn't planned to serve this pale ale this way, and was keg primed at 2.0 volume.
what do you use on the gas side, any extra valves and regulator pressure, assuming you use cornies also.
will try bag in a box at somepoint. athumb..
David Hatton if you give the bag-in-a-box a try, please keep us posted on your experience. I've done a few batches, but so far have felt my carbonation is lacking. I'm interested in what others are doing to make it work.
 

DavidHatton

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
884
Reaction score
599
Location
East London
I have found getting the carbonation level just right is the difference between a pint of foam and flat beer and the perfect pint.
When you get it right you pull more beer than you can brew :beer1:
Hi, just polished of a keg of ESB, with the addition of an aspirator valve, getting the priming just right helped, lovely smooth taste, so easy drinking even at 5.4%
now added a splitter and a cut off push fit, for giving it a few bursts after serving has done for the evening.
Thank you for the tips.... :beer1:
 

Dads_Ale

Crafty Brewer
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2013
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
976
Location
Berkshire
Hi, just polished of a keg of ESB, with the addition of an aspirator valve, getting the priming just right helped, lovely smooth taste, so easy drinking even at 5.4%
now added a splitter and a cut off push fit, for giving it a few bursts after serving has done for the evening.
Thank you for the tips.... :beer1:
Glad it is working out, nothing better than a hand pulled pint.
I have just put another keg of low ABV bitter on as the last one must have had a leak :laugh8::beer1:
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
1,086
Location
North Wales
"LPG regulator is superior to the aspirator"?

You obviously haven't read The Treatise! …
By-the-way:

That "treatise" I wrote, (a few years ago now) got a "peer review" from @Dads_Ale (above). I like giving credit where's it due … and share the collective exasperations of readers with them! 😁

(I bet he never thought I might do that when he agreed to review it! But the "treatise" does get a bit of collective praise to share about too? I think.). One of his input's was to provide some background support in the early days of its creation, from the slating it was receiving. Like from a certain "Graham Wheeler"! I do now often present it with warnings for CAMRA-philes.
 

DavidHatton

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
884
Reaction score
599
Location
East London
By-the-way:

That "treatise" I wrote, (a few years ago now) got a "peer review" from @Dads_Ale (above). I like giving credit where's it due … and share the collective exasperations of readers with them! 😁

(I bet he never thought I might do that when he agreed to review it! But the "treatise" does get a bit of collective praise to share about too? I think.). One of his input's was to provide some background support in the early days of its creation, from the slating it was receiving. Like from a certain "Graham Wheeler"! I do now often present it with warnings for CAMRA-philes.
Rightly so, having read your treatise it is something special and if I had a more space to have a permenant set up I would have gone all in on the lpg regulator, but as I have a mobile unit knocked up from an old book case, an aspirator valve was just right for my current needs.

av.jpg


Cheers.
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
1,086
Location
North Wales
Rightly so, having read your treatise it is something special and if I had a more space to have a permenant set up I would have gone all in on the lpg regulator, but as I have a mobile unit knocked up from an old book case, an aspirator valve was just right for my current needs. …
Thanks. You've got an "aspirator", the last thing you need is a LPG regulator and a redundant aspirator! The aspirators (and breathers) I've seen are fiendishly expensive (and yours looks like a deluxe model!): This was the motivation behind figuring out the mechanics of hand-pump ("cask") compatible carbonation levels, because the 37mbar fixed regulators I was using ("poor-mans' breather") wasn't working right for me and I wanted to know why. Just be cautious, some Corny kegs will crack the gas-tight lid-seal when the pressure drops so low (some, not all). Lubricating the lid seal helps or get the fatter ones (it was dealing with this issue that I learnt that silicone O-rings are not "softer" and more effective, just difficult to source and expensive).

I've been told an "aspirator" works differently to a "breather" but I've never been told what the difference is: Can you (or any one) enlighten me?

I guess the pictured splitter and tap in the gas line allows bumping the pressure up a few PSI after a session (as per @Dads_Ale's instructions)?
 

Coffin Dodger

Vintage Brewer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
409
Reaction score
395
Location
Dartmoor
Thanks. You've got an "aspirator", the last thing you need is a LPG regulator and a redundant aspirator! The aspirators (and breathers) I've seen are fiendishly expensive (and yours looks like a deluxe model!): This was the motivation behind figuring out the mechanics of hand-pump ("cask") compatible carbonation levels, because the 37mbar fixed regulators I was using ("poor-mans' breather") wasn't working right for me and I wanted to know why. Just be cautious, some Corny kegs will crack the gas-tight lid-seal when the pressure drops so low (some, not all). Lubricating the lid seal helps or get the fatter ones (it was dealing with this issue that I learnt that silicone O-rings are not "softer" and more effective, just difficult to source and expensive).

I've been told an "aspirator" works differently to a "breather" but I've never been told what the difference is: Can you (or any one) enlighten me?

I guess the pictured splitter and tap in the gas line allows bumping the pressure up a few PSI after a session (as per @Dads_Ale's instructions)?
I may be wrong, but I thought ‘aspirator’ was just another term for a cask breather. They work in an identical fashion to a scuba diver’s demand valve, whereby the diver’s lungs become the cask of beer. Both have to suck slightly to get any air/carbon dioxide flowing, which is why you can’t use a cask breather with just gravity dispense, it needs a hand pump to provide the suck.
 
Top