Author Topic: Beer Engine Rebuild Complete  (Read 1676 times)

Offline DaveR

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Beer Engine Rebuild Complete
« on: December 02, 2012, 04:23:23 PM »
I finally finished rebuilding my beer engine. I bought the engine last year. It was in rough shape when I bought it, but the price was right. The rebuild has taken a while as I was in no particular hurry to get it done.

Here's what the engine looked like when I first acquired it:


Taking apart the engine wasn't difficult. I spend most of my time refinishing wood and polishing the brass. I soaked and cleaned every part and replaced most of the seals. Putting the engine back together was a bit more difficult. Fortunately I took ph0tographs of every step of the teardown process. It's not a complicated device, but it does need to go together in a certain order. 

What the engine looks like now (I still have the Thwait's decal but left it off here):


I'm no expert on beer engines. This was my first experience. I think my Homark is a 1/2 pint model, while many engines are 1/4 pint. This thing is a beast, weighing in at around 25 pounds. Most of the weight is the brass.

I had to replace a few parts. Finding parts was a challenge. The engine was usable last summer. I was still missing a non-return valve. The original valve in my engine was shot. I rigged up an in-line valve temporarily to get it working.  Recently a forum member sent me a PM about a parrts supplier in the UK. I finally consider the rebuild complete.

This was a fun project. I originally bought the engine for decoration. The good news now is it's super clean and it works great. I'm going to have to get serious about making real ales!

Here are some more photos:



Brass could still use more polishing


Most difficult part (for me at least) to find was the non-return valve:
Original with diaphragm that was shot.


Replacement (which works fantastic)


Here's an old thread regarding the back flow preventer. Thanks everyone for the feedback.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=10710.msg133446#msg133446

I found the part (thanks to Geep) from this source:
http://cfbsonline.co.uk/shop/

They also have a replacement seal kit which would have been handy. Since mine works well I have no desire to take it apart again :P




Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Beer Engine Rebuild Complete
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 04:58:30 PM »
That's beautiful. Someday...
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline hoser

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Re: Beer Engine Rebuild Complete
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 06:16:30 PM »
Love Collin Farrar Brewery Service! Expert help, fast customer service, and reasonable prices even considering the international shipping.

They helped me with a beer engine rebuild a few years back.

Glad it worked out for you.  Looks fantastic!

Offline DaveR

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Re: Beer Engine Rebuild Complete
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 08:26:34 AM »
Several people inquired about my keg setup. I use corny kegs, since I have plenty. I'm new to cellaring, but I'm learning. I may get a pin keg at some point. Who knows?

Cleaning the engine after each use can be an issue. It isn't difficult, but it's not like a normal tap system where you don't need to clean things until the keg kicks. I suppose the ideal scenario is to drink a cask ale fairly quickly.  Thus they make sense for parties -- i.e. around holidays. I'm sure a cask ale would be a hit at any Superbowl party :D.

I'm not sure yet how much yeast sediment there might be to deal with after conditioning every keg. I've only conditioned 2 thus far. I've had forced carbonated kegs where sediment was an issue, due to the amount of trub and yeast still in suspension after I racked from the primary. (Even after weeks some beers still seem to settle a lot more than others :( )

Below is how I deal with sediment in kegs. It's also how I plant to deal with cask ales. For 5 gallons I use the type of corny that draws from near the edge, not from the center. I have a 3 gallon ball keg that is domed on the bottom. I suppose I could just shorten a dip tube, but since I have both of these types of kegs this is what I'm using. Here are some images to show the setup.

Using a 5 gallon gallon corny with an edge type dip tube.



Using a 3 gallon corny with domed bottom.


Finally, if the only type keg available is one with the center dip tube that can be cut or bent so it draws from the side. I haven't had much luck with bending. Better to look for kegs with the side draw. Someone else might have better suggestions. This is just from my limited experience.

One of my favorite beers ever was a cask IPA from a pub. I hope someday I can make one just as good.   

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Beer Engine Rebuild Complete
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2012, 08:11:46 AM »
That looks great!  On my bucket list....

Dave
Dave Zach