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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators and Keezers > Putting real ale on tap
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:48 PM   #1
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Default Putting real ale on tap

My wife's boss wants me to brew him some real ale. In exchange, he's having a hand pump flown in from England for me. How can I argue with that?

The only thing I've got to work out is where the beer will come from. The plan is no makeup CO2, not even a keg breather. That means 5 gallons at a time is out of the question.

I was looking at 2.5 gallon HDPE containers or Winpaks as a good alternative, but I was curious about natural carbonation. From my understanding, real ales will still pick up natural carbonation while sitting untapped in the cask. Will this be able to occur in a soft-sided container without it asploding?

I was also looking at the 5L mini-kegs, which seem like they'd be ideal, since I don't need a gas-in port. I just haven't found a place that has tapping hardware for them, just a rubber hammer-in bung. Anyone have a source?

Thanks!

-Joe

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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Did you tell your wife's boss that homebrew IS techinically real ale? I mean...it's nice to have the fancy pump, but I don't see why you couldn't store a corny upside down and let it naturally carb itself. Then let gravity tap it for you.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
Did you tell your wife's boss that homebrew IS techinically real ale? I mean...it's nice to have the fancy pump, but I don't see why you couldn't store a corny upside down and let it naturally carb itself. Then let gravity tap it for you.
Never thought of that, good idea.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
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Have you seen this yet? Might help.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/fell...-engine-10529/

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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Yes, in fact I just told my wife the same thing - that every beer I make is real ale up until I force carbonate it. The question is serving it.

I gave consideration to an upside-down corny, but as I said, I'm looking at smaller quantities of beer so would like a smaller vessel to start with.

Yes, I've met that beer engine Chucke did pretty much exactly what I was thinking about. Mostly what I'm curious about is the natural carbonation bit. I wouldn't want to blow up a Winpack in the fridge. I'm not going to add any priming sugar, so I'm guessing it won't be an issue, but I was just wondering if there was some experience on the matter here already.

-Joe

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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I've carbed in one of my 6 gallon winpaks.... This was with 1/3 my normal priming sugar amount and 4 gallons of beer.

It bulged out but didn't explode... I could still push the sides in without too much effort. They're meant for shipping while sealed so from a design standpoint they would need to handle the pressure change from being filled with below freezing air at sea level and being moved to somewhere that has 100F heat at 12000ft. I didn't work out the pv=nrt on that, but I figured what the hell...

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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I'll be kegging a Stout soon to try with my new beer engine in a 5 gallon corny. eventually I want to find an actual firkin to use, but that will be 40L so it will only come out for special events.

The beer engine will create quite a suction, and if you keep the piston at the bottom of the cycle (Handel pulled forward) it can maintain the column for a long time. So as I see it you don't need to gravity feed the beer in. In theory any fermentation vessel should be able to work, you would just need an aspirator to let gas into the vessel to replace the beer that was pulled out.

For practical daily use I don't think the corny will work too well. I'm going to to be looking in to using mini kegs in the near future, but for now I plan on pulling out of a corny. I'll keep you posted.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostalgia View Post
I'm not going to add any priming sugar
You're going to need to add something...
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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I'll be kegging a Stout soon to try with my new beer engine in a 5 gallon corny. eventually I want to find an actual firkin to use, but that will be 40L so it will only come out for special events.
get a pin instead
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:01 PM   #10
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http://www.beertech.net/e107_plugins/wrap/wrap.php?2

I think the 5L are the best solution.
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