Brew2bottle stocks two types of pressure barrel for the secondary fermentation, storage and dispensing of home brewed beer and cider, and both have their own particular advantages.
THE 2” NECK PRESSURE BARREL
This is generally known as the economy barrel (also known as 'WH' or 'PD') and it is the lowest cost way to start using a barrel for dispensing your beer and cider. As the name suggests, this barrel has a 2inch (50mm) diameter neck and although this does result in a slight difficulty cleaning the barrel, the use of a 15” demijohn brush will negate this.
THE 4” NECK PRESSURE BARREL
There are several different types of barrel which use the 4” neck including the Kingkeg. The 4” neck does result in a premium priced barrel, but the cleaning and maintenance of float systems is much improved. The 4” cap is the same as used on the 25l wine fermenter. Barrels with a top tap use a float system to ensure the beer or cider is taken from near the top surface and so prevent sediment being drawn up during pouring.
S30 TYPE GAS SYSTEM
We generally supply the S30 type of refillable CO2 cylinder with 4” barrels, although we stock parts for converting 4” barrels to the 'Sparklets' type. In use, the cylinder is screwed onto the valve until a slight resistance is felt. At this point a small further twist allows the gas into the barrel, but turn back quickly so that no more than a 1 second burst is put in. If you allow the gas to flow for any longer you could find the valve freezing in the open position and discharging all the gas. Not only is this wasteful, it could burst the barrel. The increase in pressure forces the gas to dissolve into the beer and so improving the head and providing a blanket of gas to protect the beer or cider from airbourne contaminants which may spoil the home brew. The gas pressure also ensures a faster flow from the tap, making pouring easier.
SPARKLETS TYPE GAS SYSTEM
We generally supply the 'Sparklets type of disposable CO2 cylinder with 2” barrels, although we stock parts for converting 2” barrels to the 'S30' type. The 'Sparklets' system uses small (8gms) steel single use bulbs of CO2 which are fitted into an adaptor and screwed onto the barrel valve. The valve has a small spring steel roll pin, which punctures the bulb releasing the gas into the barrel. The increase in pressure forces the gas to dissolve into the beer and so improving the head and providing a blanket of gas to protect the beer from airbourne contaminants which may spoil the home brew. The gas pressure also ensures a faster flow from the tap making pouring easier.