Ghetto beer engine for under 10 bucks.

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takai

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So this is what i picked up from Aldi the other day:
20150610-195326-iPhone.JPG


Works pretty well although i need a new sparkler/aerator. The plastic insert thing i was using popped out halfway through the pour. But it will work well for smaller amounts, given the 2.2L volume.
 

Diggs

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Best B15 (that's 15 beer dollars) I've spent.
 

wide eyed and legless

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Alex.Tas said:
Firstly I should preface this thread with a comment that this will certainly not give you the same pleasure of pulling a beer of a proper beer engine, but you may get slightly similar results for a fraction of the price. I certainly enjoyed making it and you may too.

I've always loved a beer poured off a hand pump, I tossed up the idea of getting a kegging setup with CO2, beer gas for stouts and a beer engine for bitters so that I could have lots of different beers on demand. However I don't really have the space required for another dedicated beer fridge in my house (other one is for temp controlled ferments), sure I have space in my garage, but I can't be bothered walking outside in the depths of winter to go and pour myself a beer when the want arises. Its easier for me to have bottled beer, and i can have more varieties on hand.

I've been following the thread on how to make a DIY beer engine with a rocker pump from a campervan and have been toying with the idea of building one. They seem to work really well for the folks who have made them, and I probably will make one at some stage, however I wanted a small scale pump, able to give me a longneck or stubbies worth of beer - served like a hand pumped beer.
Obviously it isn't possible to do this exactly without a proper setup, but I wanted a close approximation - for under 10 bucks.

I figure, if you can force a lowly carbed beer (in the below case, a stout) through a sparkler type nozzle (effectively just a cap that forces the beer through tiny holes) it will foam up, forming a nice neat tightly packed head, that laces down the glass after the beer has disappeared.

So headed off to my local Bunnings and picked up a small hand held pressure sprayer. It cost about $6.50. Its made of HDPE so it should be food grade. It works by pumping the knob on top up and down, increasing the pressure inside the canister so that it is forced up a pickup tube that sits inside, just like a beer keg or stove top espresso I suppose.
med_gallery_29030_1216_58190.jpeg


You can upsize this build if you wanted to, there are various sized canisters available, from 500ml bottles right up to back pack sized ones. So I guess can choose the size of canister that suits your needs best. For me, its the 1L.

Now, where the liquid would come out the sprayer nozzle, there is a cap on there which has a thread on it, you can unscrew it and there is a little rubber stopper inside. Pull that stopper out and put it aside, you will need it shortly.
med_gallery_29030_1216_46660.jpeg


Its just a little rubber plug with a couple of hole in the end. This will be your sparkler.
med_gallery_29030_1216_81766.jpeg


Now while I was at the hardware store, one isle away there was some coils of tubing. I needed a 7mm outside diameter tube to fit into the nozzle where the rubber plug was sitting.
gallery_29030_1216_56957.jpeg


I had a play around in the store until I found the right size. It needs to be a snug fit so that it won't fall out. You should be able to lift the spray bottle up by the hose and it wont fall out. The coil of tube cost about 7 bucks, but as i only used maybe a fiftieth of it, I guess it only really cost me 50 cents maximum.

Cut about 15cm worth of tube. Mine was bent into a coil as it was packaged this way, so I boiled up some water and submersed the tube in it. I pulled it out, bent it into the shape i wanted (sort of a right angle) and then dunked it into some cold water and held it there for a few seconds to cool. This seems to have reset the shape.....
gallery_29030_1216_45248.jpeg


Then push the sparker plug into the end. The 7mm hose was flexible enough so that I could put the sparkler into the tube without the need for boiling water, but you may require it depending on the parts you are using.
med_gallery_29030_1216_27698.jpeg


Jam the other end into your sprayer nozzle and its good to go.
med_gallery_29030_1216_124394.jpeg


The stout I had on hand to test this was carbed up as per a normal stout would be that has been bottle conditioned. If you try and pour beer that has this much carbonation in it you are just gonna get a glass full of foam. I shook my beer up a bit so that it fizzed up then poured it into a glass pyrex jug and gave it a bit of a thrashing with a fork to try and beat out some CO2. Then I poured it into my handheld beer sprayer gun thingy.
If you individually prime your bottles you could use maybe half the normal priming sugar you would normally use and mark the bottle caps so that you know some are under primed for conventional consumption, and bottle half of your brew as normal. That way you don't have to mess around with trying to decarbonate your beer.

You need to give it a bit of a pump with the plunger to build up the pressure, then you can squeeze the trigger on the handle. The model of sprayer i used had a small button you could engage so that the sprayer stays locked on, so you don't need to hold it down all the time. If the flow starts to slow down just give it a few pumps with the plunger to get it moving along nicely again.
med_gallery_29030_1216_141359.jpeg


Keep an eye on it when the level gets down low, otherwise you will pump straight compressed air into your nicely pumped beer and it will be like beer-da-geddon in your glass. I actually did this just then - as I was trying to take photos during the pour and so the finished product is a photo i took on the weekend, rather than the beer I poured tonight.
gallery_29030_1216_97333.jpeg


Hope this helps anyone who has wanted to have a crack at hand pumped beers on a small scale. Its handy because you don't need to have a bulky setup, and I only drink beers like this occasionally so I couldn't justify a larger scale setup - yet.
All up it cost about $7, less than the price of a pint at the local.

clink clink!
I am going to make this but maybe tweak it up to respectable, be good to put a picnic tap on the end of the tube with some insulation around the reservoir, sick of running the gauntlet to the top of my garden to get a beer.
 

chubbytaxman

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Alex.Tas said:
Firstly I should preface this thread with a comment that this will certainly not give you the same pleasure of pulling a beer of a proper beer engine, but you may get slightly similar results for a fraction of the price. I certainly enjoyed making it and you may too.

I've always loved a beer poured off a hand pump, I tossed up the idea of getting a kegging setup with CO2, beer gas for stouts and a beer engine for bitters so that I could have lots of different beers on demand. However I don't really have the space required for another dedicated beer fridge in my house (other one is for temp controlled ferments), sure I have space in my garage, but I can't be bothered walking outside in the depths of winter to go and pour myself a beer when the want arises. Its easier for me to have bottled beer, and i can have more varieties on hand.

I've been following the thread on how to make a DIY beer engine with a rocker pump from a campervan and have been toying with the idea of building one. They seem to work really well for the folks who have made them, and I probably will make one at some stage, however I wanted a small scale pump, able to give me a longneck or stubbies worth of beer - served like a hand pumped beer.
Obviously it isn't possible to do this exactly without a proper setup, but I wanted a close approximation - for under 10 bucks.

I figure, if you can force a lowly carbed beer (in the below case, a stout) through a sparkler type nozzle (effectively just a cap that forces the beer through tiny holes) it will foam up, forming a nice neat tightly packed head, that laces down the glass after the beer has disappeared.

So headed off to my local Bunnings and picked up a small hand held pressure sprayer. It cost about $6.50. Its made of HDPE so it should be food grade. It works by pumping the knob on top up and down, increasing the pressure inside the canister so that it is forced up a pickup tube that sits inside, just like a beer keg or stove top espresso I suppose.
med_gallery_29030_1216_58190.jpeg


You can upsize this build if you wanted to, there are various sized canisters available, from 500ml bottles right up to back pack sized ones. So I guess can choose the size of canister that suits your needs best. For me, its the 1L.

Now, where the liquid would come out the sprayer nozzle, there is a cap on there which has a thread on it, you can unscrew it and there is a little rubber stopper inside. Pull that stopper out and put it aside, you will need it shortly.
med_gallery_29030_1216_46660.jpeg


Its just a little rubber plug with a couple of hole in the end. This will be your sparkler.
med_gallery_29030_1216_81766.jpeg


Now while I was at the hardware store, one isle away there was some coils of tubing. I needed a 7mm outside diameter tube to fit into the nozzle where the rubber plug was sitting.
gallery_29030_1216_56957.jpeg


I had a play around in the store until I found the right size. It needs to be a snug fit so that it won't fall out. You should be able to lift the spray bottle up by the hose and it wont fall out. The coil of tube cost about 7 bucks, but as i only used maybe a fiftieth of it, I guess it only really cost me 50 cents maximum.

Cut about 15cm worth of tube. Mine was bent into a coil as it was packaged this way, so I boiled up some water and submersed the tube in it. I pulled it out, bent it into the shape i wanted (sort of a right angle) and then dunked it into some cold water and held it there for a few seconds to cool. This seems to have reset the shape.....
gallery_29030_1216_45248.jpeg


Then push the sparker plug into the end. The 7mm hose was flexible enough so that I could put the sparkler into the tube without the need for boiling water, but you may require it depending on the parts you are using.
med_gallery_29030_1216_27698.jpeg


Jam the other end into your sprayer nozzle and its good to go.
med_gallery_29030_1216_124394.jpeg


The stout I had on hand to test this was carbed up as per a normal stout would be that has been bottle conditioned. If you try and pour beer that has this much carbonation in it you are just gonna get a glass full of foam. I shook my beer up a bit so that it fizzed up then poured it into a glass pyrex jug and gave it a bit of a thrashing with a fork to try and beat out some CO2. Then I poured it into my handheld beer sprayer gun thingy.
If you individually prime your bottles you could use maybe half the normal priming sugar you would normally use and mark the bottle caps so that you know some are under primed for conventional consumption, and bottle half of your brew as normal. That way you don't have to mess around with trying to decarbonate your beer.

You need to give it a bit of a pump with the plunger to build up the pressure, then you can squeeze the trigger on the handle. The model of sprayer i used had a small button you could engage so that the sprayer stays locked on, so you don't need to hold it down all the time. If the flow starts to slow down just give it a few pumps with the plunger to get it moving along nicely again.
med_gallery_29030_1216_141359.jpeg


Keep an eye on it when the level gets down low, otherwise you will pump straight compressed air into your nicely pumped beer and it will be like beer-da-geddon in your glass. I actually did this just then - as I was trying to take photos during the pour and so the finished product is a photo i took on the weekend, rather than the beer I poured tonight.
gallery_29030_1216_97333.jpeg


Hope this helps anyone who has wanted to have a crack at hand pumped beers on a small scale. Its handy because you don't need to have a bulky setup, and I only drink beers like this occasionally so I couldn't justify a larger scale setup - yet.
All up it cost about $7, less than the price of a pint at the local.

clink clink!
Hey Alex.Tas .. is there a real need to shake up the beer (already in bottles) to decarb it ??
Was just thinking if the wort was placed directly into some brown PET bottles (marked to differentiate from carbed up ones) .. would that suffice as it seems that the carbing up to go into the bottles is being displaced to go into the sprayer .. then pumped to recarb ... :blink: :blink: :unsure: :unsure:

@takai .. saw those at ALDI a while ago but thought nothing of them ... many mods needed to use this ??

Cheers all

chubby
 

Alex.Tas

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chubbytaxman said:
Hey Alex.Tas .. is there a real need to shake up the beer (already in bottles) to decarb it ??
Was just thinking if the wort was placed directly into some brown PET bottles (marked to differentiate from carbed up ones) .. would that suffice as it seems that the carbing up to go into the bottles is being displaced to go into the sprayer .. then pumped to recarb ... :blink: :blink: :unsure: :unsure:

@takai .. saw those at ALDI a while ago but thought nothing of them ... many mods needed to use this ??

Cheers all

chubby
Hey dude, sorry for the delayed response.
No need to carb them up, but carbing it gives you the option of a bottle conditioned serving.
 

Alex.Tas

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Just remembered this post, my pump is still rocking after nearly three and a half years of use and abuse! I've found the half carbonation trick works pretty well, so its one drop per longneck instead of two. Or as per my last stout, aim for around 1.2 vol CO2.
 

IsonAd

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Can you post a link to the brass spray nozzle?
 

SponsorSFC

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I am pretty sure the brass nozzle comes attached to the sprayer. I have an identical one at home that I use around the garden.
 

enikoy

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Yes the brass nozzle is just a push fit into the head of the sprayer. I pulled it out with pliers and put it in the end of the 8mm hose. To connect the hose to the sprayer head I luckily found a bit of perfect sized plastic pipe to use as a a joint.

Like others have mentioned, I'm a bit concerned about the grease lube inside the pump mechanism. So I fitted a tyre valve to the bottle, now I can pump it clean and quick with a bike pump.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/aqua-systems-2l-garden-pressure-sprayer_p3368550
 

Reg Holt

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Some innovative stuff coming through on this forum, this is something I will have to make. Brilliant guys.
 

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