Wednesday, 29 August 2012

KeyKeg dispense

Some stuff on dispensing KeyKegs via either regular keg fonts, handpull, but most importantly, how to reduce excess condition in a KeyKeg.


KeyKeg Dispense from Hardknott Brewery on Vimeo.

Not the best video I've done from a production point of view, but I have spent ages on it, have a heart.........

27 comments:

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

The stuff out of the handpull looks just like faux cask tugged out of a Sankey at the Horse Brass Pub in Portland. Had one yesterday, except that they don't immerse the neck in the beer.

Dave Bailey said...

Ah, The Horse Brass, must revisit that place sometime......

Using short necks and allowing the beer to fall through the air is the sort of dirty thing people in the south of this country do.

Tandleman said...

Seems a fair bit of fecking around. So you vented all the CO2 in the space between the bag and the container? Then vented the bag itself? I need to watch it again.

Brilliant quote above!

Tandleman said...

PS - I've been to the Horse Brass.

Yvan Seth said...

"Everybody loves cold beer, don't they"

Haha... oh, that'll go down well. That level of "overconditioning" will certainly raise questions at a festival down this way. Not to mention make life behind the bar a little more difficult. Might be worth using pressure instead... of course anything like that is going to raise eyebrows and possibly voices.

Are you suggesting in the video at 04:40 that gravity dispense from keykeg could work?!

Yvan Seth said...

Dave,

Is there any way that the chiller can be avoided for hand-pump in your opinion? What is the serve temperature in your setup? Can we achieve the "preferred" ~12C temperature by chilling the keykeg & not use a line chiller?

Dave Bailey said...

Yvan,

That KeyKeg IS still too over-conditioned for hand pull. I am hoping at Leeds International Beer Festival to arrange at least on KeyKeg with a low enough level of condition to demonstrate acceptable handpull dispense. No promise though.

The problem with beer is that the warmer it is the less CO2 will stay in solution. That KeyKeg I tried to dispense completely at open atmospheric pressure without cooling. Way too much condition for that.

Some form of cooling that is appropriate for the level of carbonation is required. I do have a cooler that can be regulated to a set temperature. In fact, it's really easy to modify nearly any flash cooler with bits that can be bought readily.

Biut yes, to finally answer your question, if the KeyKeg condition is low enough, and it's in a seller at cask temperature it should be possible to serve through a handpull.

Yvan Seth said...

Yes, I know how it all works at the scientific level :)

A more accurate question would have been: is is reasonably/practically possible to vent the keykeg enough such that 12C serve temp through beer-engine is possible without more fuss than with a typical cask.

I gather from the above that the answer is: yes...

We have up to 2.5 days between set-up and first service for a festival. So that seems to me to be likely to be enough time - with regular attention - to sort it out. Hope to get the chance to find out :)

StringersBeer said...

If the carbonation is low enough, doesn't this just degenerate to bag-in-box? In which case why not use Bag-in-Box? They cost about 3 quid for a 20 litre job.

Dave Bailey said...

Stringer, because bag in box provide absolutely no ability to allow carbonation. Flat beer only. Any carbonation risks a bag burst.

StringersBeer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StringersBeer said...

No, but seriously, what is the point? If we want to hand pump the stuff what's wrong with cask? Are we so worried about oxygen ingress? (really?) Is it the problem (cost) of recovering empties? (that's why we have local breweries)

KeyCask seems like a solution looking for a problem. Unless we're talking about providing a long shelf-life product for a low turnover outlet that can't use cask breathers. Is there a lot of volume in that?

Dave Bailey said...

Firstly, I agree, KeyCask is silly. But then I think that exposing beer to air deliberately is silly. Cask has the advantage of being simple, I'd never disagree with that, but it's disadvantage is that it causes air to some into contact with the beer. Air in contact with beer is rarely good.

For us KeyKeg avoids the need for return of containers. Ideal for export and I'd like to send more out to a wider audience within the UK. Also, KeyKeg will stay fresh for longer. Theoretically longer than regular keg as even bottled CO2 contains contaminants.

Why serve through handpull rather than keg font? For me, at the moment, it's to prove it can be done. ±Longer term we have the question about why put cask beer through a handpull at all. Some places use FloJets and put through a tap. Why not?

I think it is important not to be constrained. Throw off your bowlines and use a HardKnott.

Right, I'm off to a beer festival, expect, Stringers, I'll see you there.

Tandleman said...

" Right, I'm off to a beer festival, expect, Stringers, I'll see you there."

No cask for you I hope. Far too contaminated. And don't do any of that breathing. Air is bad!

Yvan Seth said...

What's the CAMRA position on ARGON top-pressure? ;)

Tandleman said...

Argon? Argon has approximately the same solubility in water as oxygen and is 2.5 times more soluble in water than nitrogen. Apparently. It would therefore make the beer gassy would it not? It is inert though, so tasteless and it is non toxic.

Unlike air. Air is bad.

Yvan Seth said...

Hm, wouldn't have expected Argon (or Nitrogen for that matter) to dissolve much in water/beer. They're both way less soluble than CO2.

I thought Nitrogen was used in gas mixes specifically because of its insolubility?

Anyway, I've now taken an off topic comment and now gone way off topic with it. :)

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Typo. Meant to say "Had three yesterday".

Tandleman said...

" I thought Nitrogen was used in gas mixes specifically because of its insolubility?"

It is, but it is all relative.

Dave Bailey said...

I think argon would produce a different effect to CO2. Carbon dioxide is slightly acidic. Indeed, in solution it might well form a weak acid.

From Wikipeadia "Carbon dioxide is soluble in water, in which it reversibly converts to H2CO3 (carbonic acid)."

Argon will just dissolve and do nothing chemically, changing mouthfeel and changing the way volatiles are perceived by olfactory receptors, but the experience would be different to CO2.

I would like to try helium, that would be fun.........

StringersBeer said...

Ah, oxygen and beer... I think the redoubtable Eddie Gadd did a trial comparing regular cask and KeyCask. As I remember he preferred the latter and suspected that O2 pickup at caskfilling was to blame. It's well known that beer is adversely affected by O2 over some timescales. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that some beers (pale? delicate? hop-forward?) are more susceptible than others.

StringersBeer said...

P.S. Yes Mr T, air (oxygen rather) is bad, very bad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event

Yvan Seth said...

Dave, or other knowledgeable beer/brewer folk,

The flow regulator looks like something I'm going to want in order to achieve a cask-like level of venting control? Where do I get these in the UK? John Guest unit like this by the look of it. (I've tried Googling & ebay, but can only find a US source.)

Pretty fancy bit of kit to replace our usual hard & soft spiles ;)

Yvan Seth said...

KeyCask is just a silly rebranding of KeyKeg as I understand it? (At least this is what was claimed by the KeyKeg twitter account when I asked.)

Or is there some trickery with the gas permeability of the "bag" going on here?

StringersBeer said...

Well, I use KeyCask simply to mean the use of one of those containers at atmospheric pressure to hold a lightly carbonated unfiltered beer. This is an effort to avoid unleashing the magical properties of the weird sigil "keg".

There are UK suppliers of "flow control" devices for beer on ebay. This person http://stores.ebay.co.uk/barandcellarsolutions lists a couple of types. (I don't know if they're any good.) Any decent cellar stuff supplier will sort you out. Alternatively, you might be able to manage perfectly well with a little (aquarium style) valve and a soft spile jammed into bits of tube. Which would cost pennies.

Yvan Seth said...

Thanks Mr Stringers :)

Dave also pointed me to: http://www.brandels.co.uk/

Yes, I was thinking just that w.r.t spile-jammed-in-tube! Suggested as much to Dave just now. It's how we deal with casks, so why not "KeyCasks".

If you're not careful the keg will come and get you in the night... beware of the keg hiding under your bed!

david parr said...

Thinking about using these keykegs as casks with handpulls, I'd planned on teeing a vent pipe off the beer line immediately after the keg connector and using the thing upside down, giving the added benefit of being able to see how far through he keg you are. A tap on the end of the vent allows for sealing overnight and the void between bag and ball is open vented. effectively a cask but with greatly reduced air contact.