Plastic pressure barrels?

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by Dave 666, Oct 12, 2019.

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  1. Nov 8, 2019 #41

    terrym

    terrym

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    @Dave 666
    Welcome to the world of PBs. Good when they are working. Crap when they leak, which is often. And you obviously didn't follow the first rule when using a new PB which is to test it for leaks before you put beer in it, But commendably you did check the pressure after two days which saves you time if you leave it alone for two weeks before you draw the first beer, only to discover it has a leak. And the primary seal on the lid is the rubber gasket which you must get right. Wrapping PTFE tape round the PB threads is a complete waste of time in my view, kt will not stop leaks. Finally dont overrtighten the cap or the primary gasket seal will distort. One quarter turn from just 'biting' is usually enough
     
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  2. Nov 8, 2019 #42

    Dave 666

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    Well, that's the thing is it holding the pressure?. I'm thinking, more hoping it is, and that the leaking from the valve was more down to the pressure being to high. OK the added 2 8g bulbs would never give an instant light carb. Maybe given time & now seemingly fully pressure tight I might get the lightly carbonated beer. Either way after just over 3 weeks it really doesn't taste bad at all & has a decent head retained for most of the glass. Can't wait to try as it matures.
     
  3. Nov 8, 2019 #43

    Birkin

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    I tried a Wilko branded pressure barrel and wasn't impressed. I had the adapter for sparklets.

    It was sealed with vaseline and still leaked like a champ. You could charge it with a sparklet and it would have no pressure in a few hours.

    In the end I ordered a corny, used Corny's with new seals are about £60 posted off eBay, a gas reg for soda stream bottles is about £30 and the bottles are about £30 each if you go that way. A party tap costs about £8 and the gas disconnect and Line is about the same I think.

    If you want to go ultra cheap corny, carb it with dissolved sugar in the keg and buy a party tap, the whole setup will cost you less than £70 and will be infinitely better than a plastic keg.

    Those party taps are cheap and plasticky but so are the taps on plastic kegs.

    In the end, I bought a proper reg, a small fridge, a tap and small CO2 bottle from my nearest Adams Gas distributor (1.5kg, cost £40 including the deposit). Having my own brew on tap and cold is just awesome!
     
  4. Nov 8, 2019 #44

    Dave 666

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    Well, I'm still very much learning in many respects. And yes I may be guilty of not carrying out a pre beer filling test. But I did a semi pressure test with a hot sterilisation fluid mix which would have at least steam pressure tested the barrels. Which that test alone indicated I was not tightening the lid to pressure tight. This alone has been a lesson that there is a major difference between air tight & pressure tight!.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2019 #45

    Clint

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    Yup mines fine...just drew a third pint off it...lots of pressure and retained head...and very good!
     
  6. Nov 8, 2019 #46

    kelper

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    It should seal on the "O" ring. There's no point putting thread tape on the threads. Most times it will be too much, in which case it makes it harder to tighten or it will be insufficient and tear when you tighten the lid. I recommend fitting a Schrader valve and testing with air from a tyre pump before putting beer in it. If you are determined to use thread tape, make sure you apply it clockwise with tension so it deforms into the bottom of the threads.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2019 #47

    terrym

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    And I don't recommend modifying pressure barrels. You don't know how you are affecting the integrity of the cap or its shell.
    But if you must do this and pressure test with a tyre pump or similar at least more or less fill the PB with water and only carefully pressurise the gas headspace.
    Anyone who knows about these things should confirm that the rules for pneumatic pressure testing vessels in industry are far more demanding than those applicable to hydraulic pressure testing for good reason, and pressures used are less. All based on the fact that a gas pressurised vessel is far more dangerous than a pressurised liquid filled vessel should it fail. The same logic also applies to homebrew PBs.
     
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  8. Nov 8, 2019 #48

    foxy

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    I think it is better to pressure test a barrel before bike pump or compressor and always, almost fill with water, gas/air will compress far easier than liquid. Less chance of doing yourself an injury.
    Cant you buy these in the UK, just needs a D coupler.
    upload_2019-11-9_7-14-15.jpeg Or you should be getting these in the UK before long

    [​IMG]
    Can ferment or serve from them 30 PSI pressure rated 20 litres comes with pressure kit all for under 30 GBP
     
  9. Nov 9, 2019 #49

    cushyno

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    I'm currently using two 1980’s PB's that I reconditioned. The sealing face of both necks were scored and dented, someone must have bashed them against the edge of a sink or on concrete path.

    Here's my advice even for new PB's which may have moulding irregularities in the sealing face:

    Take a very flat piece of wooden board or plank. Attach a sheet of Wet & Dry or Emery paper to each side of the wood, only stick the edges or staple or tape it on. Use a coarse grade on one side (80 or 120) and fine grade on the other (240+, 400 worked for me)

    Make sure you can hold the PB nice and still, fill with water if that helps.

    Use a marker pen to ink the top sealing face of the barrel.
    Use the coarse sanding side of the board. Keep the board dead level, which is harder to do than you think. Gently sand back and forth until the marker pen on all low spots is gone.

    Check face for flatness. Do not remove too much material or create an angled face because you'll never get the cap to seal ever again!

    Use marker pen again to ink the top face.

    Now with the fine sanding side go gently over the face to polish outany roughness.

    You're only looking to remove the minimum material to get the face flat and dent free.

    I haven't had any sealing issues with either of my ancient barrels. Considering the barrels have odd thread profiles that don't match the replacement caps I bought, it doesn't matter so long as the top face seals well. Mine are 2" caps but this should work with 4" caps too.

    Hope that helps someone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  10. Nov 9, 2019 #50

    terrym

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    @cushyno
    I too was given a 1980s PB which I reconditioned, since it appeared to be in good condition.
    It lasted two brews before it failed with a split.
    At least one of the new ones I bought had the same problem, but lasted a little longer. Nothing changes it seems.
    But I hope you get more life out of yours than I managed.
    And I found it's best to keep changing the line of attack rather than just stay in one position as you use the grit paper which gives a better chance of achieving a flat surface.
     
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  11. Nov 9, 2019 #51

    An Ankoù

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    I've got 5 Boots pressure barrels which I haven't used for 4 or 5 years, They hold 25 litres with a bit of headspace, I was thinking of getting a couple more Speidel 20 litres fermenters as I'm impressed with the two I bought earlier, then I thought of using the pressure barrels. Just removed the injector valve from the lid and put a drilled bung and airlock in there. That's 5X25 litre FVs I can tie up with lager all winter. Result!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  12. Nov 9, 2019 #52

    Deathstar

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    I binned my last two pressure barrels. The plastic one was around 15 years old and had gone all brittle.
    I had an ally one too, but that oxidised, plus it was a top tap rather than a bottom tap. I always felt I had to over carbonate on the top tap versions.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2019 #53

    CeeGee

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    Usually tightening less, not more is better. Too much and the seals deform.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2019 #54

    Paul Roberts

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    And s fridge
     
  15. Nov 14, 2019 at 12:09 PM #55

    Dave 666

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    Eventually but surely I feel I will upgrade to metal pressure barrels\kegs in the future, just learning for now before investing in better gear. But early results appear good for me and with all the advice in mind and noted 1 thing comes across rather clear, in that no matter what steps & advice you take on board it still comes down to and counts for little if you don't get the tightness and seal right on both the lid & tap. Seems to me, don't get that right and everything else counts for nothing.

    Which is whilst taking all pre testing steps & advice in the future, my first test after is always going to be 24 hours into holding the beer to then stick a gas bulb in to test its air tight & adjust if not.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2019 at 1:19 PM #56

    terrym

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    I suggest you leave your PB 2/3 days before you intervene. By then, if kept in a warm place, you should certainly have a noticeable pressure in the PB if it is gas tight. If your PB is OK and you add a bulb you will end up with more pressure than you want due to CO2 from the bulb plus the priming sugar and you will be initially dispensing foam rather than beer and you may also waste CO2 through the rubber band relief valve (assuming of course it works ;)). If you have no pressure after 2 /3 days you almost certainly have a leak which you will need to sort out.
     
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  17. Nov 14, 2019 at 2:38 PM #57

    Dave 666

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    Thanks, noted & will leave (like I did) at least 2 days before checking the pressure with future PB brewing. At least they are only small 8g bulbs so 45p wasn't to bad to find I did have a leak in the lid and saved the brew.
     
  18. Nov 15, 2019 at 7:10 AM #58

    Paul Roberts

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    I have my second brew fermenting currently , a black ipa. I'm thinking about using a pb to store/serve from as don't have space or money for s keg set up. Is this style of beer suitable for a PB?
     
  19. Nov 15, 2019 at 7:33 AM #59

    kelper

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  20. Nov 15, 2019 at 8:58 AM #60

    terrym

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    If you look through this thread you will see that opinions are divided on whether plastic barrels are a good investment or not. As I said earlier I have had four new ones in the last four years and three have failed, some in only a few months. So if you are on limited finances my advice is to avoid them in case you too get a bad one and stay with bottles or save up for something better like a corny system.
     
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