Beer Engine dispensed ale

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Earlier this year I got an Angram CO beer engine and posted a bunch of questions regarding the connections to a corny keg setup. Yesterday we had a bunch of people over and the hand-pulled English Best Bitter was a hit. Too much of a hit in fact and we kicked the keg!

If anyone hasnt experienced hand pulled ales for the cask experience, I urge you to try them. They make for a very smooth drinking experience without the carbonic bite, and I’m glad I stuck with it and got the pump set up the correct way and delivering beer people like!
DB7445CE-FFB3-46A3-A559-D78477159005.jpeg
 
Earlier this year I got an Angram CO beer engine and posted a bunch of questions regarding the connections to a corny keg setup. Yesterday we had a bunch of people over and the hand-pulled English Best Bitter was a hit. Too much of a hit in fact and we kicked the keg!

If anyone hasnt experienced hand pulled ales for the cask experience, I urge you to try them. They make for a very smooth drinking experience without the carbonic bite, and I’m glad I stuck with it and got the pump set up the correct way and delivering beer people like!
View attachment 808839

Any chance you could link to the thread or describe your set-up?

I'd love to set up a beer engine and have done some research but got so confused I gave up 😄
 
Any chance you could link to the thread or describe your set-up?

I'd love to set up a beer engine and have done some research but got so confused I gave up 😄
these two threads will give you some links I pointed to and found.
https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/...-and-connecting-it-to-kegs.94239/post-1176643
https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/beer-engine-worth-a-punt.99178/post-1146035
https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/angram-beer-pull-advice.94921/#post-1049084
 
Last edited:
Any chance you could link to the thread or describe your set-up?

I'd love to set up a beer engine and have done some research but got so confused I gave up 😄
Sure. there are several variants of beer engine. I stuck with Angram as they are still in business and most bars you go into in the UK you will see the Angram logo on the front of the plinth. Parts and documentation are readily available. Beer Engines are available in 1/4 pint per pull and 1/2 pint. I strongly recommend for Homebrew, you use the 1/4pint which wastes less beer. The first ’pull’ will dispense beer that has been sitting in the beer engine’s cylinder. You throw that away if it’s been sitting there for more that an hour or so - 1/4 pint is a lot easier to throw away than 1/2 pint!

The other decision is where you want the beer engine’s cylinder to be cooled or not. For Homebrew use most will forgo this luxury. If you are pulling a pint, then thats four pulls (with a 1/4 pint model). The first pull will be warmer - close to room temp - and the other three will be at kegerator temperature - 39F. This results in a beer that is much closer to the recommended temperature for cask ales 50-55F.

This is my setup:

79F1A7BB-88AD-4E46-A1F8-41A150C38ACC.jpeg


There are two problems that have to be overcome when hooking up a beer engine (hand-pull) to a corny keg. The first one is that when beer is pulled out of the corny keg, CO2 at a low pressure needs to be admitted. This is what the demand valve is used for. The demand valve allows CO2 at around 2psi to flow into the keg but only when there is a lower pressure in the keg. This is not the same as just dialing the regulator down to 2psi. If you do this, then the beer will have 2psi on it all the time and eventually become carbonated.

the best illustration of how the demand valve works is when I first hooked it up to the CO2 regulator and had no hose on the ‘out’ side. I put my finger over it and sniffed it expecting there to be CO2 coming out and it wasn’t. I then sucked on the outlet tube and immediately got a mouthful of CO2! It needs that negative pressure for the demand valve to turn on.

This is the demand valve:

662FA8A2-77EA-4D47-B42C-F129889EB858.jpeg


The next problem is that you have to prevent beer from the beer engine from draining back into the keg and any pressure in the keg forcing beer out the beer engine. This is what the check valve does. They are available with or without an over-ride lever that is used to disable the one way function for beer line cleaning. This should be mounted right behind the hand-pull.

This is the check valve:
06CFCF4F-E55D-475B-A9E7-599169D7605D.jpeg


I paid $18 for this direct from England.

Resources:
1) Paul Pendyck who runs uk brewing.com is a mine of information with videos on his site and YouTube describing what you have to do to set up a beer engine. His sire also has all the supplies you need. My previously owned beer engine needed a new piston and seal and Paul was able to provide this quickly.
2) In the UK, RLBS is the big elephant in the cage. I have bought from them directly although I think their minimum is $60. I bought a couple of extra parts and sold them on this forum which worked well. Shipping is reasonable.

Let me know if you need help,

Paul
 
Very nice bar setup you've got there!

I'm running ice cold water through my beer engine and the beer in the cylinder keeps fresh for a good amount of time doing that, so if it's a possibility for anyone to do that I recommend it.
 
Sure. there are several variants of beer engine. I stuck with Angram as they are still in business and most bars you go into in the UK you will see the Angram logo on the front of the plinth. Parts and documentation are readily available. Beer Engines are available in 1/4 pint per pull and 1/2 pint. I strongly recommend for Homebrew, you use the 1/4pint which wastes less beer. The first ’pull’ will dispense beer that has been sitting in the beer engine’s cylinder. You throw that away if it’s been sitting there for more that an hour or so - 1/4 pint is a lot easier to throw away than 1/2 pint!

The other decision is where you want the beer engine’s cylinder to be cooled or not. For Homebrew use most will forgo this luxury. If you are pulling a pint, then thats four pulls (with a 1/4 pint model). The first pull will be warmer - close to room temp - and the other three will be at kegerator temperature - 39F. This results in a beer that is much closer to the recommended temperature for cask ales 50-55F.

This is my setup:

View attachment 809053

There are two problems that have to be overcome when hooking up a beer engine (hand-pull) to a corny keg. The first one is that when beer is pulled out of the corny keg, CO2 at a low pressure needs to be admitted. This is what the demand valve is used for. The demand valve allows CO2 at around 2psi to flow into the keg but only when there is a lower pressure in the keg. This is not the same as just dialing the regulator down to 2psi. If you do this, then the beer will have 2psi on it all the time and eventually become carbonated.

the best illustration of how the demand valve works is when I first hooked it up to the CO2 regulator and had no hose on the ‘out’ side. I put my finger over it and sniffed it expecting there to be CO2 coming out and it wasn’t. I then sucked on the outlet tube and immediately got a mouthful of CO2! It needs that negative pressure for the demand valve to turn on.

This is the demand valve:

View attachment 809048

The next problem is that you have to prevent beer from the beer engine from draining back into the keg and any pressure in the keg forcing beer out the beer engine. This is what the check valve does. They are available with or without an over-ride lever that is used to disable the one way function for beer line cleaning. This should be mounted right behind the hand-pull.

This is the check valve:
View attachment 809049

I paid $18 for this direct from England.

Resources:
1) Paul Pendyck who runs uk brewing.com is a mine of information with videos on his site and YouTube describing what you have to do to set up a beer engine. His sire also has all the supplies you need. My previously owned beer engine needed a new piston and seal and Paul was able to provide this quickly.
2) In the UK, RLBS is the big elephant in the cage. I have bought from them directly although I think their minimum is $60. I bought a couple of extra parts and sold them on this forum which worked well. Shipping is reasonable.

Let me know if you need help,

Paul

Thanks so much for all this information, very much appreciated!! ( @DuncB thank you too ☺️)
 
Very nice bar setup you've got there!

I'm running ice cold water through my beer engine and the beer in the cylinder keeps fresh for a good amount of time doing that, so if it's a possibility for anyone to do that I recommend it.
One of my engines is jacketed I'll give it a go.
 
I acquired two hi-gene 1/4pt without jackets so I built an insulated box and a small 50mm fan pushes cold air into the box and it returns to my keezer. Mind you - my keezer is only at 50F/10C as it is all cask conditioned real ale.
 

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