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My Brewing Kit (Read 2236 times)
Reply #15 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 8:26pm

DeejayDebi   Offline
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Connecticut

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Those are different from what I am used to seeing but they make alot of sense. NICE!

 

Debi (aka Mom)
Smokers:
ECB -The Brinkman All-In-One Bullet type Water smoker
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch propane smoker(aka -Black Beauty)                      
SunJoy horizontal with side firebox and installed propane grills for grilling or smoking
River Grille - Black Ceramic Egg                  
Smoke preference: Charcoal , Hickory, Apple, Cherry and pecan mix.

...
Reply #16 - Jun 25th, 2012 at 4:08pm

Jonty   Offline
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Yorkshire, Great Britain

Gender: male
Posts: 521
****
 
Mom,

I barelled some beer this week for a friends christening in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd share a little more about the complications of what we call real ale or cask conditioned ale, or just beer!!

For day to day beer, like many US brewers I use corney kegs as they are just so convenient, but if I have a party coming up, or am feeling a bit more traditional, I like to use a proper cask.  Real ale or cask conditioned ale is how most of the beer is produced, stored and dispensed in any good English pub.  For beer to be classed as real ale, it must not have any bottled CO2 used in it's storage or dispensing.

The technique is centuries old, the only real change is in the materials used for the casks, they used to be wood, but now are either metal or plastic.

The beer is racked into the casks with maybe a point or two to go on it's FG, it's the final fermentation in the sealed cask which gives the beer it's condition or body.

Here's one of my casks, it's a 4.5 gallon 'pin' (a 9 gallon cask is called a 'firkin').  I think that 4.5 UK gallons is approx 6 US gallons

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You can see it has two holes which have bungs in them, the big hole on the top has a bung in it which is called a shive, the picture below shows a manufactured weak spot on the shive called a tut - it's the small circular indent in the middle

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This is where technology hasn't moved on in centuries, in order to get the best out of the beer, it has to have some of the C02 vented out before serving, so we drive a small wooden peg through the tut to let C02 escape from the cask and air in as the beer is drawn off.  For real cutting edge technology, we have soft wood spiles to let the beer breathe and hard wood spiles to put in at the end of the night

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So that's breathing taken care of, how do we get the beer out?  We use a tap!
The hose barb connects to your dispensing line, the other end gets driven into the cask

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The smaller bung on the cask is called a keystone, as with the other one, it also has a weak spot.

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To fit the tap, which you do just before serving, you literally hold it up to the keystone bung and drive it in with a mallet

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The first time you do it is a bit nerve racking, but you soon get used to it.

I'll see if I can get some pictures when I vent and tap this one, I'll have to explain to my friend why but I'm sure he'll understand.

I brew as a hobby but the cask manufacturers offer a free etching service to put the brewery name on them - heres' mine - named after my constantly dripping faithful 'mans best friend, Dusty the spaniel

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Reply #17 - Jun 25th, 2012 at 9:46pm

DeejayDebi   Offline
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I have never seen a plastic keg. I wonder why they don't sell them here? They would seem to be much lighter and cheaper to make. Although most of us use old soda pop kegs 3 or 5 gallon some "acquire" larger commercial kegs.

The wood spline look almost spongy. What kind of wood is that? The tap looks like a lawn sprinkler or some sort. Metal taps are so pricey here. Very interesting!
 

Debi (aka Mom)
Smokers:
ECB -The Brinkman All-In-One Bullet type Water smoker
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch propane smoker(aka -Black Beauty)                      
SunJoy horizontal with side firebox and installed propane grills for grilling or smoking
River Grille - Black Ceramic Egg                  
Smoke preference: Charcoal , Hickory, Apple, Cherry and pecan mix.

...
Reply #18 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 3:08am

Jonty   Offline
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Yorkshire, Great Britain

Gender: male
Posts: 521
****
 
we differentiate between casks and kegs by casks (as above) not being pressurised apart from some natural CO2 and kegs needing a CO2 bottle for dispensing.  Are the soda kegs also called 'Cornelious kegs' - 5 gallon stainless cylinders with an oval lid? I use them for day to day beeers for ease of use.  The commercial kegs tend not to get used here because of being a pain in the bum to take the valve out for filling and cleaning.  They do get converted into boilers, mash tuns and HLT's though.

I would have thought you could get them somewhere is the US, but here's a link to a UK supplier - just for interest.

http://breweryplastics.biz/index.php/products

That is where I bought my casks from, I did call them and ask about if they could manufacture a pressure keg with a bigger filling hole but they said it would cost way too much in R&D for a smallish home brew market.

I'm not sure what wood the spile is made of, but we use very soft wood ones to allow the beer to breathe and the hard ones to act as a seal, beer served this way only has a life of maybe 5 days onve the cask has been vented so it's only good for pubs or parties where you get through the beer quickly.
 
Reply #19 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 6:40pm

DeejayDebi   Offline
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It's all about sharing!
Connecticut

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Yes the soda kegs are called corney kegs. Those casks are pretty neat. I wonder if you could make wine in them? I like them but haven't domne any brewing in several years. I have about 8, 5 gallon and 11, 3 gallon corneys.
 

Debi (aka Mom)
Smokers:
ECB -The Brinkman All-In-One Bullet type Water smoker
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch propane smoker(aka -Black Beauty)                      
SunJoy horizontal with side firebox and installed propane grills for grilling or smoking
River Grille - Black Ceramic Egg                  
Smoke preference: Charcoal , Hickory, Apple, Cherry and pecan mix.

...
Reply #20 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 4:38am

Jonty   Offline
Senior Member
Yorkshire, Great Britain

Gender: male
Posts: 521
****
 
I don't think the casks would be too good for wine mom, the whole principle behind them is that beer actually tastes best when it is just starting to oxisise, hence letting the air in through the spile.  However, after a few days exposure to air, it goes off so there are only a few days - 5 maybe when it is really good.  Wine, I think would suffer the same fate.

BTW, those 3 gallon carnies are like rocking horse poo in the UK.
 
Reply #21 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 5:43pm

DeejayDebi   Offline
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Connecticut

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Posts: 25275
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rocking horse poo?

I like them for soda pop and carrying milk as well as beer. I made 11 different brew to give away one Christmas and did them all in tose 3 gallon kegs. Only used 1, 5 gallon and that was my German Altbier.
 

Debi (aka Mom)
Smokers:
ECB -The Brinkman All-In-One Bullet type Water smoker
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch propane smoker(aka -Black Beauty)                      
SunJoy horizontal with side firebox and installed propane grills for grilling or smoking
River Grille - Black Ceramic Egg                  
Smoke preference: Charcoal , Hickory, Apple, Cherry and pecan mix.

...
Reply #22 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 5:55pm

Jonty   Offline
Senior Member
Yorkshire, Great Britain

Gender: male
Posts: 521
****
 
rocking horse poo?


i.e. very rare  Grin Grin

 
Reply #23 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 6:49pm

DeejayDebi   Offline
YaBB Administrator
It's all about sharing!
Connecticut

Gender: female
Posts: 25275
*****
 
Ahh okay!
 

Debi (aka Mom)
Smokers:
ECB -The Brinkman All-In-One Bullet type Water smoker
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch propane smoker(aka -Black Beauty)                      
SunJoy horizontal with side firebox and installed propane grills for grilling or smoking
River Grille - Black Ceramic Egg                  
Smoke preference: Charcoal , Hickory, Apple, Cherry and pecan mix.

...
Reply #24 - Apr 20th, 2013 at 4:05pm

Jonty   Offline
Senior Member
Yorkshire, Great Britain

Gender: male
Posts: 521
****
 
Dredging up an old thread but I finally got my brewery finished.  It's a permanant set up in my garage so I don't have to do any preparation/setting up at all.  Its a three tier gravity fed system and is plumbed into the mains water supply so I don't have to do any lifting of heavy water containers.  The main vessels are 100 litres (26 US gallons)but realistically, it'll probably comfortably produce 70 - 75 litres (18-20 US gallons) of beer

I gave it a test run the other night just with water to see how long things take to heat up etc before a preliminary brew later this week

Here's my HLT or hot liquor tank (water heater) with sight tube for water level and thermometer


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In situ, the water pipe filles the HLT from the top - befoer I had to cart buckets of water up to it

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The mash tun below with my sparging arm

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I didn't bother with the boiler but you'll get the drift Smiley
 
Reply #25 - Apr 21st, 2013 at 4:50pm

DeejayDebi   Offline
YaBB Administrator
It's all about sharing!
Connecticut

Gender: female
Posts: 25275
*****
 
Great setup! I love you gear too. I really enjoy brewing but unfortunately I don't really know many beer drinkers nor do I have a place to keep everything permentantly so it's a PITA to have to figure out where I stored something.
 

Debi (aka Mom)
Smokers:
ECB -The Brinkman All-In-One Bullet type Water smoker
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch propane smoker(aka -Black Beauty)                      
SunJoy horizontal with side firebox and installed propane grills for grilling or smoking
River Grille - Black Ceramic Egg                  
Smoke preference: Charcoal , Hickory, Apple, Cherry and pecan mix.

...
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