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About Barrels

Using a barrel instead of bottles has many advantages. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the time saving, no more bottles to clean, sterilise, label and prime. You can still put smaller quantities in bottles when you make those special brews of course. Once a brew is in the barrel, as long as there is sufficient CO2 laying on the surface of the beer CO2 being heavier than air it will keep for a fair old time. The stronger the brew and the more hops, the longer it will keep. Up to 18 months or more is not out of the question. Don't forget that alcohol is a preservative. The most important thing of course is cleanliness and sterility. Make sure the barrel is perfectly clean and sterile. Avoid sodium metabisulphite as it can be corrosive and damage the metal used in the valves. Use a cleaner/steriliser from the selection on our site. When sterile, rinse the barrel well to avoid leaving any odours from the steriliser. If the barrel has a float, that's an added bonus as you get the clear brew quicker, just make sure that it's correctly positioned before you fill the barrel. Add the priming sugar, preferably as a syrup, syphon in the brew and screw on the cap. It's advisable to smear a little petroleum jelly on the threads and seals. (A special tool is available from us for tightening and removing the cap.) Place the barrel in a warm place-not hot!-for a few days then move to a suitable and cool position for the brew to mature and consequently poured and drunk. For parties if you have a barrel with a bottom tap and you want the beer to flow freely, loosen the cap allowing air into the barrel,this wiil not harm the beer for this short period of time. If per chance there is any beer left at the end of the evening inject some gas or add a little dissolved sugar then screw the cap back on to allow a build up of protective gas again, your remaining beer should be clear in three to four days, or may be you might just like to bottle what's left so you can get another brew into your barrel. Good luck and if you have any questions don't be afraid to give us a call.

One of the most frequent questions we get asked by novice brewers (and some experienced brewers) is, “why are pressure barrels and the ability to pressurise them with CO2 so important to the home brewer?” One common misconception is that injecting CO2 into a barrel is only to increase the beers head and sparkle. It is certainly true that a beers head and fizz is increased by pressurisation, but this not really the objective of pressurised by barrels. Their main purpose is to ensure that our beer stays fresh for as long as possible. At the start of drinking a keg of beer, the pressure within the barrel caused by the secondary fermentation, will likely be sufficient to push the beer out the tap at a fair rate. But once about half of the beer has been drunk the pressure within the barrel will have dropped considerably and the beer flowing out of the tap may slow to a trickle and if you’re not careful bubbles of air can be drawn into the barrel through the tap. At this stage there are two options: You can loosen the cap of the barrel to allow air to flow in and push the beer out of the tap. This is how ‘cask ales’ are served in pubs but this is not very convenient for the home brewer, as once air comes into contact with the beer, it is no longer a sterile environment and the beer will start to go off and leaving you with possibly twenty pints or more to drink in a few days. Not a problem if you’re having a few beer drinking friends around but otherwise this can be a challenge with undesirable consequences… The second option is to inject Carbon Dioxide into the barrel, this gives the pressure needed to give a good flow without compromising the sterility. Kept like this and providing the barrel was well sterilised to begin with, beer can last many months. For this reason it is also important to make sure that your barrel is well sealed with good o-rings and a liberal smear of petroleum jelly around the cap and seals, so that gas pressure does not escape and is wasted.

£0.00 incl tax

Balliihoo Premium Barrel & Co2 Injection Valve, Pressure Indicator, Co2 Bulbs, Bulb Holder

  • 6 Gallon, heavy gauge food grade plastic barrel with 2 sturdy lifting handles. Height including valve 540mm, diameter 380mm, diameter including tap 420mm.
  • The Balliihoo 4" Cap comes fitted with genuine S30 Injection Valve which allows use with 8 gram CO2 bulbs via a piercing pin. The pin can be removed to accept Hambleton Bards larger S30 CO2 cylinders if required. The Cap is also fitted with a Schraeder Valve & supplied with a digital push on gauge, so that you can monitor pressure within your barrel. The Pressure Gauge displays in P.S.I, Bar, K.P.A and KG/CM2 and is accurate within 0.1 P.S.I.
  • The square section rubber cap ring is far superior to the traditional "Round Section" O-Rings. This ensures a good pressure tight seal without the need for overtightening.
  • Inside your Barrel is a Latstock Float System which draws the brew from the top so that the clearest beer is always poured. This also comes with a pack of 10 x CO2 8 gram bulbs & a genuine S30 Bulb Holder (with stainless steel thread insert.)
  • The 4" opening allows easy access for cleaning & the supplied lever tap gives a more controlled dispensing than standard drum taps. There is also a temperature display strip, handy drip tray & full instructions.
  • Each of these premium barrels is fully assembled and individually tested for leaks and pressure retention prior to dispatch.

PLEASE NOTE - As this item contains pressurised containers it cannot be sent by Royal Mail & therefore must be shipped by LAND COURIER only, this may affect the availability of this product to certain areas.

£66.49 incl tax

King Keg Bottom Tap Barrel, Balliihoo Cap, Pressure Indicator, Bulbs & Holder