pressure barrel or bottles

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stuy26

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Hello,

I am new to this whole process I have access to a fermenting bin but have been advised to get a pressure barrel, it is expensive to buy a pressure barrel and could probably buy a complete kit for approx 5-10 pound more.

So with this dilemma I set out searching the net I found a web page that seems to have some good info and they all say plastic coke bottles with priming sugar is best then transfer to glass and cap.

My Questions are:

A pressure barrel or bottles for a starter?

Do you have to use glass bottles to store beer or lager after priming or can you use plastic?

Where would the best place be to buy cheap starter kits?
 

CBBaron

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OK I'm guessing you are from the UK by the pound comment. I'm not understanding your questions. What is a pressure barrel? Can you translate in to American for us poor Yanks?

The usual method for brewing is to ferment in a plastic bucket for 3 weeks.
Transfer the beer to a bottling bucket with a spigot and add sugar.
Using a bottling wand (piece of short stiff tube with valve on the end) fill the glass bottles, then cap.
Plastic beer or soda bottles will work but most find glass to be easier.
Some people will transfer the beer out of the first bucket (primary) after about a week into a glass carboy secondary for 2 weeks. I don't think its necessary but this practice is common.

Hope that helps

Craig
 

mlanoue

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A pressure barrel is like a plastic keg, right? So, it sounds like they're telling you to ferment it and then put it in the barrel for priming and conditioning. This is what they did on a video on the Munton's website.

I guess that's your call on the barrel vs. bottles. I'm sure a barrel is a lot easier than bottling, but you'll still need a bucket to ferment in. And, it's better to let it go at least two weeks before bottling or kegging it.
 

CBBaron

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Yeah from the uk

I have been told ferment for a week the transfer into barrel I have included a picture location of a barrel to see if it helps with the translation

Cheers

http://www.home-brew-online.co.uk/home-brew-images/equipment/econ-25ltr-homebrew-barrel.jpg
Not really helping me translate :(
I havn't seen one of those before. Perhaps one of our UK blokes can answer your questions better.

I'll still stand by my recommendation of 3 weeks in the primary, then transfer to a bottling bucket with priming sugar, then fill and cap the bottles.

I can't tell if your "barrel" is for a secondary fermenter or for serving real ale style.

Good luck and don't make this too complicated until you get a few simple batches completed.

Craig
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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stuy26 - I have never used a pressure barrel before, but I can tell you this from the bottom my heart. Bottling is HELL.
ORFY - Where are you?
From my understanding a pressure barrel is a plastic keg that will hold pressure up to a certain level, and then release it through an air lock, giving you a natural carbonated beer.
My only recommendation is to let your primary ferment until is is done, IE: Active fermentation is finished, stable final gravity for a week at least to give the yeast time to condition the beer (clean up and make it taste good).

Then transfer to the pressure barrel with the recommended amount of fermentable's added. IE: Sugar.
Then give it another two to three weeks to carbonate. Pay attention to the recommended temperature for the yeast and your have some good beer.
 

Ballistic

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Stuy, I am using the pressure barrel method and it is a very easy way, though on my second batch I see the need to progress quickly to being able to inject CO2 into the barrel to keep it carbonated as it empties. Alternatively you will still need a bottling stage, at least after the barrel is half empty.

There are a few differences between the UK and US, one is the pressure barrel, another is that our beer kits clearly state it is perfectly alright to top up the wort to 40 litres with cold water but in the US it comes from all different sources and they stress boiling all the water.
 

john from dc

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the problem with a pressure barrel as i see it is that your beer will not stay carbonated if you drink half the barrel and then let it sit for awhile. you either need to drink and/or bottle from the barrel relatively quickly or you need a system to inject co2 to keep the beer carbonated.

the nice thing about having 50 bottles is that you can drink them whenever you want and you can age some to see how they taste in a month or two. you'll also get consistent carbonation from bottle 1 through bottle 50.

if you bottle in plastic PET bottles to carbonate, i'd leave the beer in there until it's ready to serve. beer can lose a lot of carbonation during transfer, even if you're careful.

pressure barrels aren't bad per se, they just force you to either bottle anyway (thus adding a step) or to drink your entire batch quickly, or a combination of both. i suppose they can reduce the risk of having bottles that overcarbonate and explode, but if you carefully measure your priming sugar and mix it well the chances of this are low to nil.

good luck!
 
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I have read that pressure barrels are very popular in the UK.

Remember, UK styles are best enjoyed at a lower carbonation level than we are used to here in the US.
 

david_42

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Pressure barrels are a good way to start. The carbonation levels will be lower and unless you have a CO2 injector, you'll have problems with losing pressure and possibly oxygenation. You would also have the option to bottle some & keep the rest in the barrel.

Of course, you can always say you're making REAL ale (see CAMRA)
 
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Pressure barrels are a good way to start. The carbonation levels will be lower and unless you have a CO2 injector, you'll have problems with losing pressure and possibly oxygenation. You would also have the option to bottle some & keep the rest in the barrel.

Of course, you can always say you're making REAL ale (see CAMRA)
By CO2 injector do you mean manual injecting through a specialised electonic system or through a manual valve such as one that uses 8grm CO2 cartridges???

Cheers
 

Ballistic

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By CO2 injector do you mean manual injecting through a specialised electonic system or through a manual valve such as one that uses 8grm CO2 cartridges???

Cheers
By CO2 injector, I mean either 8g CO2 cartridges or something like a soda stream adaptor, nothing electronic or complicated.
 
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stuy26

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A Massive thanks to all this information will help me greatly

THANKS
 

mikethedj

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Can I not just use the pressure barrel all the way and if I did what would this do?

Or even worst case open top pressure valve lid until after 10day's
Add more enhancer or sugar then completely create an air tight seal?

Thanks
 

helibrewer

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Can I not just use the pressure barrel all the way and if I did what would this do?

Or even worst case open top pressure valve lid until after 10day's
Add more enhancer or sugar then completely create an air tight seal?

Thanks
You could. The advantage to the fermentation pail first, then the pressure barrel, is that you leave most of the yeast (and trub) behind so it's not in your barrel (serving vessel).
 
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