Author Topic: English Beer Engine question  (Read 782 times)

Offline wtucker4

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English Beer Engine question
« on: November 15, 2013, 05:20:33 PM »
I have two English beer engines/beer pumps (one is Hi-Gene and the other is Worthside).  After a lot of disassembly and repair they both work well, but if I attach them to a keg with more than 3-4 psi, the faucets drip.  Is this normal?  I realize that bitters are low-carbonation beers, and perhaps that is a designed way to tell you if you have too high a psi.  Or maybe I put them back together improperly, or there is some part not functioning properly?  Anyone have experience with beer engines who can help answer my questions?
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Offline james

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Re: English Beer Engine question
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 06:24:08 PM »
I have two English beer engines/beer pumps (one is Hi-Gene and the other is Worthside).  After a lot of disassembly and repair they both work well, but if I attach them to a keg with more than 3-4 psi, the faucets drip.  Is this normal?  I realize that bitters are low-carbonation beers, and perhaps that is a designed way to tell you if you have too high a psi.  Or maybe I put them back together improperly, or there is some part not functioning properly?  Anyone have experience with beer engines who can help answer my questions?

I got to play with one for a few weeks before it was given away as a gift from our homebrew club.  I recall the same thing happening.  I couldn't dial down any of my regulators low enough so it didn't drip and would keep gas on the keg.  If I had one for permanent use I'd get (or rig up) a cask breather for it

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: English Beer Engine question
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 08:23:30 PM »
With 3 PSI you are able to push the beer up about 83 inches over the level in the keg. That is enough to push it through the handpump and out (unless the keg is in the basement and the handpump upstairs).

I have a low pressure LP gas regulator on the keg gas in, as a poor man's breather.  It pushes the beer up about 10 inches, so with the pump on the bar, it is OK. They talk of this set up in the new BYO. You have to remember that a cask if vented to atmospheric pressure with the soft spile.

If you want to maintain pressure after serving, disconnect the low pressure, and put the CO2 on at the pressure you desire for the beer.
 
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Offline wtucker4

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Re: English Beer Engine question
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 08:05:10 AM »
Thanks to both responders.  So apparently nothing is broken.  The pumps are working like they are supposed to, and I have to design or obtain some sort of breather mechanism to insure the pressure doesn't exceed 2-3 psi. 
I wonder how you keep a layer of CO2 on the beer to prevent oxidation if you use a wooden spile.
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Offline james

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Re: English Beer Engine question
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 09:35:43 AM »

I wonder how you keep a layer of CO2 on the beer to prevent oxidation if you use a wooden spile.

You drink the cask within a day or two!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: English Beer Engine question
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 10:09:46 AM »

I wonder how you keep a layer of CO2 on the beer to prevent oxidation if you use a wooden spile.

You drink the cask within a day or two!

yup and in fact the CamRA people will hunt you down if they find out your are using a breather. 'no extraneous co2'
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: English Beer Engine question
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 10:47:06 AM »
Thanks to both responders.  So apparently nothing is broken.  The pumps are working like they are supposed to, and I have to design or obtain some sort of breather mechanism to insure the pressure doesn't exceed 2-3 psi. 
I wonder how you keep a layer of CO2 on the beer to prevent oxidation if you use a wooden spile.

The normal breath supplies CO2 at atmospheric pressure (never used one, someone who has can correct me). The poor man'sbreather made out of a low pressure propane regulator gives about 10 inches of water, which is about .36 PSI. One PSI will lift the beer 27+ inches. 2 to 3 psi will push the beer through the pump.

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