Help cleaning a beer engine

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Swift Pint

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I've just recieved a beer engine from ebay, and was testing it out last night, just pumping some water through it. Bascially I got a load of crud coming through, small particles of black stuff. After a while the amount decreased, but every so often some would come out again. The beer engine itself looks to be in good condition, so I'm guessing it just hadnt been used in a while & there was some old beer left inside which had dried out.

Whats the best way to clean it? Should I just pump some oxy cleaning solution through it and leave it to soak for a while?
I'm really hoping I dont need to strip it down & take it apart..!
 

Darcey

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Oxy cleaning stuff with warm water should do most of the job. Beerline cleaner is allways my choice, a good over night soak in cool water, but i have free access, I doubt if you'll ever go thru a whole 5l if you order some. Ask you local pub if you can have some? You will need something suitable to contain it in as well. 200 part water to 1 part line cleaner is a standard dose, may vary with brands however.

If you do have to buy some id recomend prosan ultra, its purple when mixed with water and changes colour from yellow-green-blue as your cleaning, when it starts coming out purple, its killed everything off. Makes cleaning 14 lines alot more entertaining.

A homebrew alternative would be some vwp or other bleach (Chlorine) based sanitiser.

I would recomend taking it apart just the once to make sure all the o-rings are in place. I flushed mine thru afew times then took it apart to find the reminants of a spider nest stuck to the top of the chamber :shock: !

Remember you will prob need a beer check valve if your serving from cornies under even slight pressure to stop the beer flying thru the valves. If your just serving by gravity ie the beer is below the handpul most have a basic form of check valve to stop the beer falling back down the lines.

Thats my advice but plenty more people have been using handpuls for homebrew, I just use them at work and generaly have a tech team to come and sort out larger problems and generally get their hands dirty! :cool:
D
 

Swift Pint

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Cheers for the advice Darcey.

Having soaked overnight and given a good flushing out it was still giving me crap. I took the polstyrene insulation off the cyclinder and could see it was a bit manky inside, so I stipped it down last night and gave it all a good clean.

I reassembled it and have slow leak from the bottom from the so called "Bottom Gland Seal" :shock:
It's only dripping once ever 10 seconds, so its not TOO bad, however I think it also effects the pumping action as it means a bit of air gets in when it shouldnt.
I dont actually recall taking this part off of the cylinder housing, so it was probably leaking already but I hadnt realised. I might strip it down again and have a look at it. Angram sell replacements for this part, but at £11.50 I might give it a miss for now and see I i can get away with replacing an O-ring or whatever it is.....
 

Darcey

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Foodlube is always a good purchase.. (that is a statement in itself!).

I'd leave it to dry out for a bit and reassemble. I dont acutaly have an Angram, I have an EWL. They used to supply all the Bass pubs, i asked about getting a new chamber and sawn neck... £68.50 for chamber and £24 for swan neck... and thinking back I am not sure that included VAT! I have had to fix mine as I had a crack along where the swan neck joined the body. Its fixed for now but i'll have to be careful with it. The Angram design is much better.

D
 
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