Is this a daft idea?

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gillonstewart

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Hi guys. One of the main reasons I stopped making beer was the closure of my local homebrew shop quite some years ago. I mainly made kit beers and brewed straight into the pressure barrel. I never bottled for two reasons, I'm not a fan of cloudy beer and I could never get enough bottles to bottle a single barrel!

Brewing straight in the barrel let me drink 40-50% of the barrel before I needed to start using CO2 and I used the bigger bottles that were about 10" long or so.

Is there any way of getting these filled in my local area? (Perthshire).

Alternatively I have two ideas which may or may not be daft.

Firstly, I have a lathe and could probably make an adaptor to use a pub bottle of CO2 which I have in the shed.

Idea 2... Which I quite like..... I could fit my pressure barrels with a Schrader valve and gas them up with air using a hand pump. This would save me having to buy gas ever again.

I'm hoping to brew in a bucket, and rack the clear beer into the pressure barrel so that I can move it around. The big disadvantage of brewing straight in the barrel was disturbing the lees if I ever moved the barrel.

What's the collective wisdom? Bad idea or good?
 

gillonstewart

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Ahhh. Of course I forgot about the oxidation... Duh. I don't drink the beer fast enough to drink it before it went sour.

Idea one then and turn an adaptor on the lathe. I have got a regulator so no worries there assuming the CO2 bottle has the same outlet as my argon bottle (for welding). I'd thought of using the argon but it's a bit expensive for that!

I want to avoid doing a secondary fermentation as that would throw a sediment which is what I want to avoid.
 

Buffers brewery

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Or….a combination of 1 and 2? Fit a Schrader connector to your regulated gas supply (Halfords replacement foot pump hose?) and a Schrader valve to your pb cap :confused.:

(I’d recommend fitting a relieving secondary regulator to the main cylinder regulator)
 
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When I used plastic kegs I fitted a stainless steel Scrader valve to the top of each keg.

I then invested in a pressure regulator for a Sodastream CO2 bottle + a bottle.

I then modified a bike pump and fitted it to the end of a plastic tube that would fit the CO2 regulator.

Bingo! I was in business and used the system for about 5 years.

Enjoy!
:hat:
 
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I use Schrader valves on my pressure barrels and I use a Schrader Chuck via a barb fitting to gas line that’s then connected to a CO2 regulator fitted with a 3/8 John Guest push-fit connector.
096037DA-6AA7-4842-8FF9-3BC2415FBBFA.jpeg


Do be careful to turn off the gas to the Schrader Chuck when you’re not using it because they leak like a colander! Give it a press on the nipple to vent the air from the pipe too before each use. Here you can see some of my kegs with Schrader valves fitted and at the left of the picture my Schrader chucks (red=high pressure for bottles, blue=low pressure for kegs).
44D4D0DD-72FC-491B-8B55-3B9DDD61298D.jpeg
 

Agentgonzo

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When I used plastic kegs I fitted a stainless steel Scrader valve to the top of each keg.

I then invested in a pressure regulator for a Sodastream CO2 bottle + a bottle.

I then modified a bike pump and fitted it to the end of a plastic tube that would fit the CO2 regulator.

Bingo! I was in business and used the system for about 5 years.

Enjoy!
:hat:
Can you elaborate on this? I get the CO2 cylinder is connected to the barrel to dispense under pressure, but what's the bicycle pump for?
 
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It was a clip-on pump so I cut off the end that fitted the Schrader valve and filled the pump chamber with Milliput around the side of the tube.

I only sold it a month ago so I don’t have any pictures. Sorry!

The modification meant that I could clip the pump on to the valve and leave it overnight to pressurise the brew in a complete 25 litre (or 10 litre) keg. It made for very few depressurisations and saved CO2.
 

Agentgonzo

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It was a clip-on pump so I cut off the end that fitted the Schrader valve and filled the pump chamber with Milliput around the side of the tube.

I only sold it a month ago so I don’t have any pictures. Sorry!

The modification meant that I could clip the pump on to the valve and leave it overnight to pressurise the brew in a complete 25 litre (or 10 litre) keg. It made for very few depressurisations and saved CO2.
So you used the pump just as an adapter from the co2 bottle to the Schrader valve, not as an actual pump?
 

gillonstewart

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Wow, thanks for all the ideas guys. I hadn't thought of combining the two ideas. I'm very jealous of that set up @Hazelwood Brewery !

The bottle of gas I've got is food grade because it came from the student union at work (I work at a university) so no worries there. No idea how much is in it, it's been at the back of the shed for about 15 years! I'll dig it out and see if it fits my argon regulator. Plenty at work if it doesn't though.

The cider is bubbling away quite the thing just now but I made a massive miscalculation and it's looking like it will be around 10%abv..... Oops! For an engineer I'm terrible at maths haha.
 
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Wow, thanks for all the ideas guys. I hadn't thought of combining the two ideas. I'm very jealous of that set up @Hazelwood Brewery !

The bottle of gas I've got is food grade because it came from the student union at work (I work at a university) so no worries there. No idea how much is in it, it's been at the back of the shed for about 15 years! I'll dig it out and see if it fits my argon regulator. Plenty at work if it doesn't though.

The cider is bubbling away quite the thing just now but I made a massive miscalculation and it's looking like it will be around 10%abv..... Oops! For an engineer I'm terrible at maths haha.
I don't think it will fit the argon regulator I'm afraid.
If you want to know how much is in it, weigh it - should have the empty weight stamped on it somewhere athumb..

 

Agentgonzo

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I've been wondering about pressurising kegs (or minikegs) without buying co2 cylinders/expensive equipment (more as something to occupy my mind than a realistic addition to my brewery) and also for bottle purging.

Collecting co2 from the fermenter is pretty easy in 20l collapsible camping water containers, but getting the co2 into the keg under pressure has me stumped. Most small pumps like a bike pump suck in air from the body of the pump, rather than a specific inlet tube.
 
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I've been wondering about pressurising kegs (or minikegs) without buying co2 cylinders/expensive equipment (more as something to occupy my mind than a realistic addition to my brewery) and also for bottle purging.

Collecting co2 from the fermenter is pretty easy in 20l collapsible camping water containers, but getting the co2 into the keg under pressure has me stumped. Most small pumps like a bike pump suck in air from the body of the pump, rather than a specific inlet tube.
If it's for a mini-keg you could just let it suck the CO2 in as you use the beer... or if you want only a little bit of pressure maybe you could put a weight on top of your collapsable container?
 
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So you used the pump just as an adapter from the co2 bottle to the Schrader valve, not as an actual pump?
Yes. The “clip-on” bit was useful because it prevented CO2 from leaking when it was locked on overnight at 5psi; just like it did on the bike, where the tyres were pumped up to 75psi.

Enjoy.
:hat:
 

Agentgonzo

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If it's for a mini-keg you could just let it suck the CO2 in as you use the beer... or if you want only a little bit of pressure maybe you could put a weight on top of your collapsable container?
👍I thought that too.... But it would take up most of the fridge 😂. Ideally there would be a way to force a volume of co2 (~15 psi?) into the keg then disconnect and leave a pressurised keg. 🤷‍♂️
 

Buffers brewery

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One of my crazy ideas :laugh8:

 
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