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Hand Pull Beer Engine

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DavidHatton

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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.
Thats what I have come to believe after reading alittle, it only demands gas when a demand is placed on the hand pull, worked great for the first corny keg.
 

peebee

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… but I thought ‘aspirator’ was just another term for a cask breather …
So did I! But it was a statement like yours that got me a stern "correction", but the person dishing out the correction never did tell me the difference.

Sounds like I was being led astray. So unless someone can come by with the difference:

An ‘aspirator’ is just another term for a cask breather!

👍
 
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Coffin Dodger

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So did I! But it was a statement like yours that got me a stern "correction", but the person dishing out the correction never did tell me the difference.

Sounds like I was being led astray. So unless some can come by with the difference:

An ‘aspirator’ is just another term for a cask breather!

👍
That's why I started my statement with 'I may be wrong' !
 

Coffin Dodger

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Looking up 'Aspirator' on Google shows it to be nothing of the sort, but a vacuum device used to suck out bodily fluids, so I suggest we ignore any reference to them.
 

DixeySJ

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Hi - I think I have more or less achieve something like the above. I have a nice hand pump and have sourced a full size CO2 cylinder instead of the Sodastream. I got one of the low pressure regulators as recommended by @peebee (thank you!) - a bit of trouble sourcing push fit adaptors for it (why have 1/4 inch one side and 3/8 the other ??) - but all good now. My largest keg / barrel is an old King Keg with a top tap / float dispense. The cap has the usual S30 valve. I've managed to replace the supplied tap with one that will take a beer line, but I am slightly unsure about how to connect the low pressure CO2. Clearly, 150mb will not open the input part of the S30 valve. My thoughts are either to try and fit a standard gas in post instead of the S30 (can this be done?) or to remove the input valve sleeve of the S30 (leaving it open) and put a check valve into the CO2 line in.

Has anyone tried this or any other ideas?
 

Buffers brewery

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That's a lot of plumbing!!
Yes, sorry about that. I was just responding to the question about fitting a gas post instead of an S30 valve.
My plumbing extravaganza is related to my particular application where I store my King Kegs in my Barrelator (where headroom is limited - hence the use of elbows) and pour my beer from a beer tap (hence the inclusion of a beer post).
 

peebee

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... Clearly, 150mb will not open the input part of the S30 valve. ...
Ah, you are missing out thinking about a very important component ... the "hand-pump"!

You might only have 150mbar (2PSI) in the barrel, but pull that pump's handle and the pressure will rise considerably! (Or more accurately the "relative pressure"). If you haven't attached the gas the hand-pump is quite capable of collapsing a plastic pressure barrel. If using a Corny keg it can pull the lid off its seal (or a poppet in any unconnected disconnect post).

But to be honest I've never given much thought to how a hand-pump and S30 valve would interact? The "cracking pressure" for the S30 valve will be important (e.g. if the cracking pressure is 1PSI the hand-pump will need to reduce the barrel pressure to ... 🤔 ... I think I know why I haven't given it much thought now).

o_O
 
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Coffin Dodger

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IMGA0870.JPG


Of course if you attach a foil balloon to the S30 valve, all your worries are gone!
 

DixeySJ

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View attachment 37681

Of course if you attach a foil balloon to the S30 valve, all your worries are gone!
Apart from the new worry about sourcing and filling the foil balloon ... can't quite see how that patent attachment works (you may have posted it elsewhere)? I like the idea, I guess it is closer to the 'real ideal'.
 

peebee

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... I like the idea, I guess it is closer to the 'real ideal'.
I resent that! It is not "closer" to the real deal than what I champion; it is an alternative. @Coffin Dodger's system has the (not small) advantage of not requiring a CO2 cylinder*, but has the disadvantage of not reaching out to as large an audience of "cask ale" drinkers. Personally the balloon system wouldn't keep some homebrew beers as I prefer for more than a week (same as with "breathers").

*CO2 cylinders and "top pressure" may be frowned on by CAMRA, but if you are slaved to their preaching you'd be drinking some of Brewdog's fizzy "Real Ale" offerings that do comply to CAMRA's rules! I like Brewdog for the way they make monkeys out of CAMRA hardliners (note I say "hardliners", not CAMRA generally).
 
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DixeySJ

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I wasn't intending to stir things up! I don't think I have strong feelings either way - and I absolutely follow what you put in your 'treatise' - I think it is probably easier for most people to sort out some sort of low pressure CO2 feed from a cylinder than capture it in a balloon and re-feed, which I assume is the aim - that would be beyond me, certainly. As has been pointed out elsewhere, pub type draught ale can't be replicated in the home as it relies on turnover in days rather than weeks. I just want something that approximates, and avoids fizzy drink manufacturing!

Further to the 'handpump via S30', I will update once I have tried out a couple of arrangements. I am just awaiting delivery of some bits and pieces to put it together.

As an aside, I am writing this while enjoying a Brewdog from their beer advent calendar. Enjoying being a relative term, since it is sour IPA.
 

LeeH

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This is a great thread, I have just ordered the check valve and regulator. Thanks @peebee

Just need to get the beer engine down from the loft.
 

peebee

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I wasn't intending to stir things up! ...
I assumed as much from your other posts here. But it was worth the gripe for the sake of other readers who might be getting the wrong impression from your post. My solution is neither superior or inferior to @Coffin Dodger's, but knowing the differences should help anyone else thinking of deploying one solution or the other.

... Just need to get the beer engine down from the loft.
Which reminds me ... I need to get the Christmas tree stand down from the loft.
 

LeeH

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No point now, save it until next year.

Any other gadgets I need for a beer engine/corni set up?
 

Buffers brewery

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Personally the balloon system wouldn't keep some homebrew beers as I prefer for more than a week (same as with "breathers").
pub type draught ale can't be replicated in the home as it relies on turnover in days rather than weeks.
Just out of interest, why? Both methods (low pressure CO2 and balloon) will maintain a CO2 atmosphere over the beer (I only use balloons for cold crashing).
 

Coffin Dodger

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Apart from the new worry about sourcing and filling the foil balloon ... can't quite see how that patent attachment works (you may have posted it elsewhere)? I like the idea, I guess it is closer to the 'real ideal'.
See the thread I started in March 2019 titled 'Draught Beer'. I regret I have no more of the connecting kits left, and the pal who machined the brass part for me sadly died in his sleep several years ago.
 

Coffin Dodger

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I resent that! It is not "closer" to the real deal than what I champion; it is an alternative. @Coffin Dodger's system has the (not small) advantage of not requiring a CO2 cylinder*, but has the disadvantage of not reaching out to as large an audience of "cask ale" drinkers. Personally the balloon system wouldn't keep some homebrew beers as I prefer for more than a week (same as with "breathers").

*CO2 cylinders and "top pressure" may be frowned on by CAMRA, but if you are slaved to their preaching you'd be drinking some of Brewdog's fizzy "Real Ale" offerings that do comply to CAMRA's rules! I like Brewdog for the way they make monkeys out of CAMRA hardliners (note I say "hardliners", not CAMRA generally).
As I have mentioned elsewhere, at the start of lockdown, and with uncertainty over future supplies of malt and living yeast from a local brewery, I bought a Firkin of Jail Ale from a pub that now had no customers for it, and drank the lot myself using my Noddy balloon method of keeping air away the beer until the moment it landed in my glass. At about 2 pints a night, that took about a month, and it was no fluke as I have repeated the exercice with a Firkin of Devon Dew, and one filled with my own beer.

In fact I can see no logical reason why a part used cask containing ONLY beer and carbon dioxide, shouldn’t keep for as long as all other un-tapped casks from the same gyle (brew).
 
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