I've got a pressure barrel, wtf is a pressure barrel?

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Bosh

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For Christmas my father sent me some of his old homebrew equipment. I'd ask him how to use it but the recipe book he sent me included a recipe for stout that called for three pounds of sugar and two pounds of black patent malt :confused:

The main thing is labelled "pressure barrel." Its a pretty good-sized black bucket (maybe three gallons? hard to tell) and has a spigot on the bottom. The screw on top has a little screw that can you can unscrew a bit if you want to let gas out but if you leave it alone there doesn't seem to be any place for the gas to get out. The side says that that the max "working pressure" is 150 psi.

What I'm guessing this thing is used for:

1. You do everything in your carboy as normal and then when the beer is done you pour it in this thingie instead of a keg or bottles with some priming sugar/malt.
2. The yeast goes to work on the priming sugar and gives you carbonation.
3. After leaving the beer in this thing for a while it'll be carbed up and the beer that comes out of the spigot will be appropriately carbed.

So basically I THINK its a poor man's keg. Am I right?

If so, how do I keep the pressure from getting too high and blowing the top of? Priming exactly like I do with bottled beer? How much head room should I leave?
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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I would think so. A quick search on ebay and I found a few for sale. Sounds like a sweet new toy.
 

david_42

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You've got the basics. Kegs like this are much more common in Europe. Prime as usual, leave an inch or two in the top, bottle the rest. 150 psi is ten volumes of CO2, so you really do not need to worry.
 
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Bosh

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Cool, thanks!
I guess I can use it as a secondary. The plastic is really thick and since there's no blow off thingie I can submerge it in water to help keep the oxygen out and to keep the temp steady. Nice :)


Hmmmmm, but how would I use it for fermenting if there's no blow off thingie, wouldn't the top blow off?
 

david_42

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You'd leave the little screw thingie unscrewed and pray it doesn't clog. Or leave the top off and cover the opening with foil.
 
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Bosh

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Hmmm, actually looking closer it appears that I can't take the pressure release thingie off, I can just open it a bit and then the spring closes it again so I'll probably get the top blown off if I leave the top on during primary fermentation.

So just cover the top with plastic foil? How does the CO2 get through? Would covering it with a towel held in place with an elastic band work?
 

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