I finally got my “Corny Keg” system working. And in spite of the rather large amount of pipework, it does give a lovely result.
The picture shows the keg itself on the left and the CO2 cylinder on the right. There’s enough pipe to be able to put the gas cylinder in a cupboard, and just have the keg out on the floor. Right now I’ve got a simple dispense tap attached directly to the keg, but it’s also possible to have a beer line to a dispense point, rather like a pub counter mounting.
The problem that I had was that the Gas Out line from the regulator needed a pipe with an internal diameter of 8mm but the Gas In adapter on the keg need a pipe with an internal diameter of 6mm. The pipe that came with the regulator was supposed to be a compromise for both ends. It was imperial rather than metric (17/64″ internal) which equated to 6.7mm. That made it a very loose fit at the keg end, and completely impossible at the regulator end. When I heated it up, it melted before it expanded enough to go onto the barbed fitting. How frustrating!
The good folks at Pegasus Industrial Services came to the rescue, via their eBay shop where they’re happy to sell small quantities of pneumatic pipe.
After some experimentation, the simplest way to do it was with a short length of nylon pipe with a 10mm outside diameter and 8mm inside, stepped down via a single pneumatic connector to a flexible polyurethane pipe with an 8mm outside diameter and 5.5mm inside. Both needed heating, but only in boiling water, to gave a good tight shrink fit. As a precaution, I put a jubilee clip on the regulator end as well.
The remainder of my first Grainfather brew went nicely into one keg. I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for the way that batch has been handled, what with leaky fermenter problems necessitating a complete decant and now being poured from barrel to keg. I’ve kept everything sterilised, of course, but it’s all far from best practice.
Still highly drinkable, though:
Yes, you’re right. That is a bit frothy. I misread the gauge, and instead of setting the dispense pressure at around 2psi, I set it at first to 2 bar (nearly 30psi). It’s settling down nicely, though.