Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

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james1988
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Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by james1988 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:52 pm

Afternoon all,

I'm not sure if what I'm asking is at all possible but... I currently serve my beers at around 10psi (at about 4c because that's as warm as the fridge gets) from my kegerator with flow control taps.

I'd love to be able to emulate something close to the cask level of carbonation from it but I've no idea if this is possible with flow control taps.

I don't have room for a hand pump or bar to mount it upon (a pub 'shed' is in the plans for next year).

I suppose I have 2 questions... First off can you get to cask level of carbonation with flow control taps?

Depending on the answer to question one, is a hand pump absolutely necessary so the beer is 'convincingly' close to cask?

Any advice is hugely appreciated.
James
Last edited by james1988 on Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by Trefoyl » Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:07 pm

There is a subtle difference between beer served by CO2 and when served by beer engine. I would love to try beer gas mix (nitrogen and CO2) but it’s not easy for me to get, but I’m lucky to have a beer engine.
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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by james1988 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:11 pm

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I don't know if it's at all possible to do. I'd be happy with a good approximation. At the moment, my beer is far too gassy for my liking.

James

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by guypettigrew » Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:52 pm

No idea how a kegerator works, but can't you just dial the pressure down to about 2 psi?

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by james1988 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:11 pm

Evening Guy,

The regulator is a bit hit and miss below about 10psi. I could probably fit a propane regulator in there somewhere but I wasn't sure what impact the flow control taps would have on the beer.

James

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by MashBag » Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:26 am

It's not about the regulator. Co2 dissolves in the beverage and makes it fizzy.
Mixed gas doesn't because most of it is nitrogen.

Change your gas and get a mixed gas reg. At 10 psi you should be fine.

I don't recommend mixing regs. Co2 needs a co2 reg, propane needs a propane reg. Unfortunately mixed gas regs do seem more expensive.

Alternatively bottle it, and using 1/4 tsp instead of 1/2 per bottle will reduce the fizz.

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by james1988 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:59 pm

Thanks for that. I'll try and find somewhere local that stocks the mixed gas.

James

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by Top Cat » Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:15 pm

james1988 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:52 pm
Afternoon all,

I'm not sure if what I'm asking is at all possible but... I currently serve my beers at around 10psi (at about 4c because that's as warm as the fridge gets) from my kegerator with flow control taps.

I'd love to be able to emulate something close to the cask level of carbonation from it but I've no idea if this is possible with flow control taps.

I don't have room for a hand pump or bar to mount it upon (a pub 'shed' is in the plans for next year).

I suppose I have 2 questions... First off can you get to cask level of carbonation with flow control taps?

Depending on the answer to question one, is a hand pump absolutely necessary so the beer is 'convincingly' close to cask?

Any advice is hugely appreciated.
James
I might be missing something here, but is your kegerator linked up to an inkbird for example?
The reason I mention this is 4c as you have pointed out is a very low temperature to serve ales and the beer will obviously absorb CO2 and be dispensed with bubbles.
I have a converted freezer (keezer) with inkbird control with one of the three faucets flow control and dispense from cornies at about 12c with 3/16 dia line at about 10psi.
The resulting beer has good head and no rising bubbles, as near to pump pulled beer imo as you can get.

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by MashBag » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:11 am

That's a good point too. Might be easier that converting to mixed gas.

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by f00b4r » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:35 am

There are also a couple of hacks that you can do:

1 - Use a “pocket beer engine” (do a search here for details), just be careful on the higher carbed beers.

2 - Pour hard into a clean large jug, let the head subside and then re-pour into a glass.

Both will get you much nearer a hand pull pint until you tweak your setup or add a beer engine.

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by james1988 » Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:58 pm

Top Cat wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:15 pm
I might be missing something here, but is your kegerator linked up to an inkbird for example?
The reason I mention this is 4c as you have pointed out is a very low temperature to serve ales and the beer will obviously absorb CO2 and be dispensed with bubbles.
I have a converted freezer (keezer) with inkbird control with one of the three faucets flow control and dispense from cornies at about 12c with 3/16 dia line at about 10psi.
The resulting beer has good head and no rising bubbles, as near to pump pulled beer imo as you can get.
I control my fermentation fridge but hadn't actually thought of doing the same for the kegerator. Do you use a greenhouse heater or anything of the sort to warm it?

In terms of probe placement, where have you placed yours? Have you strapped it to the keg or something? I strap mine to the bucket in the fermentation fridge so that the temperature doesn't vary wildly.

I'll order a controller this evening.

James

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by james1988 » Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:59 pm

f00b4r wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:35 am
There are also a couple of hacks that you can do:

1 - Use a “pocket beer engine” (do a search here for details), just be careful on the higher carbed beers.

2 - Pour hard into a clean large jug, let the head subside and then re-pour into a glass.

Both will get you much nearer a hand pull pint until you tweak your setup or add a beer engine.
Thanks. I take it the double pour is to knock some of the carbon dioxide out. I'll also have a look for a pocket beer engine, that's piqued my interest.

James

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by f00b4r » Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:21 pm

Yes to knock the CO2 out.
If you have kids then you probably have a Calpol or similar syringe you can use for a pocket beer engine. ;)

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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by Jocky » Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:09 am

I second f00bar’s suggestion of the hard pour.

I serve a mix of beers so my keezer is also on the cold side (6C) for a cask style serve. I find I can get pretty close to a beer engine type character by carbonating with 8-10 PSI and then not making any effort to restrict flow (i.e. use as little 3/8” line as you need to get from keg to tap).

The beer is blasted out into the glass, but it helps knock out quite a lot of CO2 so the beer doesn’t taste ‘fizzy’. It also needs a couple of minutes resting before I can top it up.
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Re: Cask 'style' from kegerator with flow control taps

Post by PeeBee » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:33 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:52 pm
No idea how a kegerator works, but can't you just dial the pressure down to about 2 psi?

Guy
Nothing mystical about a "kegerator". It's just a daft name for a fridge with at least one beer tap on it. Perhaps a temperature controller to keep a somewhat warmer temperature than 4C. My own "kegerator" (actually a "keezer"; same thing but reassigning a freezer to the task rather than a fridge) is another of my "work-in-progress" projects, and hasn't had the taps fitted yet so I have to open the lid and use directly attached "party taps".

But you can be excused for not knowing the ins and outs of "kegerators". But you're not excused for thinking you can "dial the pressure down to about 2 psi" on the Neanderthal regulators most brewers use. I've blagged on about it for long enough! Your average "Pub" "secondary" regulators won't handle less than 7psi. I try to get 5-6psi out of those half-decent "Shako NR200s" secondary regulators. You can set 2-3psi, but a few hours later it will be reading zero, or 10psi, or something equally as daft. To get reliability at lower pressures you need outstanding (expensive) bits of precision engineering, or a flippin' great big diaphragm (for sensitivity and allowing settings relative to atmospheric pressure) such as in an LPG regulator.


I can see where "james1988" was coming from with "flow control taps". They prevent foaming, but not as well as long lines (with more subtle restriction due to friction over the long lengths). But the beer is still gassy, the gassiness is not reduced by "flow control" and so it is nothing like "hand-pulled beer". There's been a few suggestions to degas the beer (like "pocket beer engine") but I don't think you can beat not getting the excess gas in there in the first place (i.e. use LPG regulators as secondaries). LPG regulators are usually encumbered with useless (for beer dispense) "POL" connectors hence I recommend Clesse regulators. Don't connect LPG regulators directly to CO2 cylinders.

I've tried to avoid getting involved with this thread because I'm likely to get annoyed resulting in me annoying the hell out of others too ...
Top Cat wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:15 pm
… I have a converted freezer (keezer) with inkbird control with one of the three faucets flow control and dispense from cornies at about 12c with 3/16 dia line at about 10psi.
The resulting beer has good head and no rising bubbles, as near to pump pulled beer imo as you can get.
!*$&%@!

Oops, it's started! "Top Cat" now knows exactly what I'm talking about when saying "annoyed" ...


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