Pressure barrels

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Dave Spens

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Hi. Can anyone help please. I have 2 pressure barrels a 25ltr and a 10ltr. When my last batch was down to half i transferred it into the smaller barrel (to make room for another batch) and added a co2 bulb to re pressurise. Most of which escaped straight away due to there being very little room in the barrel. My question is- if I added some more sugar would it re pressurise itself in time? If yes, how much sugar should I use and how long should I leave it for? Or do I have to just accept that most of the co2 bulb is going to come out straight away? Thanks for your help and advice.
 

kelper

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Yes, you can carbonate it by adding sugar, dissolved in a little hot water, 90g will do for 23 litres so use about half of that.
 
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Are PB really reliable and I'm only seeing the few who need help with them which makes them appear less than ideal?
Edit: My brew shop has a pretty extensive inventory of supplies but I don't see PB as something I could purchase.
 

tribalfather

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Yes, you can carbonate it by adding sugar, dissolved in a little hot water, 90g will do for 23 litres so use about half of that.
it may repressurise itself if poured in
Are PB really reliable and I'm only seeing the few who need help with them which makes them appear less than ideal?
Edit: My brew shop has a pretty extensive inventory of supplies but I don't see PB as something I could purchase.
I own several PB and any fault has been mine, all in a day of a learning curve. Love my barrels.
 

Clint

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I'm 50% on mine as I have 2...one isn't bad the other has been rubbish..although since last use and after cleaning I put water in it and co2 to see how it would be and it's held pressure for months!
 

jof

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I used to have a 25L one with a sparklet CO2 injector - but it was always leaking - so freecycled it.

I now have a smaller 2 gallon (10L) one without any CO2 injector.
I only make ale - so no high pressure lager stuff.
Its a much more useful size, as much easier to move about & even when pressure drops - there is not so much left in the barrel that it won't get finished in a few days.

It also means I don't have to sterilize and bottle a whole 23L batch when I use it too.
 
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Are PB really reliable and I'm only seeing the few who need help with them which makes them appear less than ideal?
Edit: My brew shop has a pretty extensive inventory of supplies but I don't see PB as something I could purchase.
I agree I am not familiar with the pressure barrels sold in the UK, I do have insulated barrels but they have a 'D' coupler as well as a tap. I think for those who do have trouble and there does seem to be a lot to get the Junior for dispensing. I am sure that an insulated jacked could be manufactured for them, serve through a tap using a floating dip tube. I imagine they would be cheaper too.
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And for a contrasting and equally valid opinion just wait for terry!
I won't disappoint.wink...

My suggestion to @DavidDetroit is to read this and the rest of the thread
And perhaps the other poll started by Kelper here
Then form your own opinion about PBs, rather than be influenced by my bitter and twisted views, and by those who go starry-eyed on hearing the words 'King Keg' (as opposed to Keg King ashock1)
 
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Buffers brewery

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those who go starry-eyed on hearing the words 'King Keg'
@terrym might be referring to me..ashock1
I must admit I have become a bit obsessed with the King Keg pressure barrel! I have three and have had a love hate relationship with all three. But I went to therapy and decided not to abandon them but to work hard to fix them. I now have three lovely King Kegs that perform to my liking. They are unique so not readily available to everyone, I accept, although there is at least one other member who has gone the same route as me. Here’s a picture of my latest refinement.....
11106937-B8BD-453F-90BF-5259551AFCEA.jpeg
 

craft_ales_project

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@terrym might be referring to me..ashock1
I must admit I have become a bit obsessed with the King Keg pressure barrel! I have three and have had a love hate relationship with all three. But I went to therapy and decided not to abandon them but to work hard to fix them. I now have three lovely King Kegs that perform to my liking. They are unique so not readily available to everyone, I accept, although there is at least one other member who has gone the same route as me. Here’s a picture of my latest refinement.....
View attachment 30630
I love what you've done here. I have a King keg with the top tap, and to be honest have had nothing but trouble at mill with it. I know they 'must' work somehow and for some folk, as perhaps they would never sell them, but alas, not for me! My issue is not with sealing (most of the issues I've seen on the web relate to this) I knew about the pet. jelly around the seals. With mine it just eats gas for little return. I even bought myself a 'Cask Widge' to see if it would provide a more reliable float mechanism, but although it appears to sit on the beer at the correct angle with the siphon/filter part just below the surface, mostly I just get foam when it's pressurized, or a grim trickle when the gas starts to get low. I looked at fitting an adapter to use 'proper' gas bottles so it would be less expensive (and frustrating having to send for a refill mid brew!). I see you have a gas disconnect which is ideal. I think you've done an amazing job, I can machine an aluminium top like yours, but to be honest I'm leaning ever more toward PET bottles, less hassle and expense in the long run and I can pop a few bot's in the fridge over night before I drink them.

Can you suggest anything before I drain it for the last time and ebay it?

Cheers
Andy
 

kelper

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If the beer is foamy that probably means CO2 is bypassing the seal where the float tube is pushed into the back of the tap. To see if I am correct, tip the barrel forward slowly until the tap is below the surface and then pour some beer.

If it's not that route it can be that the tube is too loose on the two spigots. I find the o-rings need to be renewed occasionally. I also use silicone tubing now as the PVC stuff expands and hardens with time. If it is the first cause you can fix it temporarily with some PTFE thread tape wrapped around the seal and you could try this on the spigots too. I don't think the float is at the wrong angle. But when I fit new tubing I do make it a bit longer than the original to ensure freedom of movement at all levels.
 

Buffers brewery

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What kind of float do you have? I’ve used 2 types. One, which is cylindrical in shape and I had problems with it with the intake bobbing up above the beer surface...foam! The other is a trapped ping pong ball. This works much better, but as @kelper says, the pvc tube is a bit stiff and depending how you’ve plugged it in to the tap, it can force the float against the barrel wall making it stay up rather than sink. Silicone tube is a good replacement.
 

craft_ales_project

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If the beer is foamy that probablt means CO2 is bypassing the seal where the float tube is pushed into the back of the tap. To see if I am correct, tip the barrel forward slowly until the tap is below the surface and then pour some beer.

If it's not that route it can be that the tube is too loose on the two spigots. I find the o-rings need to be renewed occasionally. I also use silicone tubing now as the PVC stuff expands and hardens with time. If it is the first cause you can fix it temporarily with some PTFE thread tape wrapped around the seal and you could try this on the spigots too. I don't think the float is at the wrong angle. But when I fit new tubing I do make it a bit longer than the original to ensure freedom of movement at all levels.
Thanks Kelper, that's an interesting one, I will try what you suggest. I've only had two brews in this barrel so far. I fixed the first issue by rotating the spigot on the tap so it pointed upward (with the supplied float) and that worked. It was annoying to have to remove the lid on a precious batch, but I had no choice, turns out it didn't do any real damage. Problem was, the second brew would not pour, just foam or nothing, and the spigot was the same orientation. I whipped the lid of (again!) and it looked like the connector on the float was doomed to fail, I could easily see where gas may just push its way out instead of pushing down on the ale forcing it out as I guess is the theory behind it. So I bought the cask widge, which as you know is a tried and tested commercial float system with a nice silicone tube. It seemed to be a fairly good fit on the tap spiggot, but now you have me thinking it must be letting gas straight out.

Many thanks for this, creds to you, I'll let you know if it sorts it, but I'm pretty hopeful. Oh well, lid off again!!!!
 
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