Beer Engine Caskegerator – Butterbur’s Bitter

I really really love English beers through a handpump, but I wasn’t about to spend $400 on a beer engine until I had at least tried this out at home. I saw a BYO article about building a beer engine out of an RV hand pump and a pretty cool build on HBT so I decided to cannablize a wine-cooler that was collecting dust and build a beer engine/caskegerator (hand pump, swan neck, sparkler tip, cooling unit, corny kegs = Beer Engine Caskegerator).

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It’s cooled by the peltier cooling unit from the wine cooler, and an additional PC fan. My basement isn’t quite cool enough yet so I am supplementing the cooling with some frozen 2 liter jugs which allows the setup to hover around 52-53F.

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I had a swan neck fabricated by Zach at stainlessbrewing.com and added a compression fitting to 3/8″ MPT, I then jammed a sparkler tip on there and turned it to basically create new threads. After flushing the system a few times all the plastic chunks were purged out.

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The pump is a Valtera Rocket Hand Pump that I got on Amazon for $28 – took off the stock spout and used a keg dip tube and o ring fastened on by the plastic nut that was holding the stock spout on.

I brewed an ordinary bitter for the Beer Engine Caskegerator’s maiden voyage:

Butterbur’s Bitter

OG 1.037

FG 1.009

Mash at 151

60 Minute Boil

90% Floor Malted Marris Otter (Warminster)

5% English Dark Crystal (Simpson’s)

5% Corn Sugar

54g Styrian Goldings 4%AA 60 minutes

17g Styrian Goldings 4%AA 20 minutes

17g Styrian Goldings 4%AA 5 minutes

WLP002, pitched at 62F, let free rise to 66F, kegged at 1.010 and let fermentation finish out while carbonating the beer. Gelatin finings.

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Tastes perfect, bitterness is definitely there, but not in your face, has some hop flavor and a tiny bit of English yeast fruitiness, but finishes clean and dry with a hint of honey and breadiness that I think comes from the floor malted MO. Aroma is pretty much all malt/bread with a hint of sweetness/earthiness from the Styrian Goldings, the recipe might benefit from a late addition, but I wanted to brew a traditional ordinary bitter and I don’t think I’ll change a thing next time.

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5 Comments

Filed under Bitter, Brewing, Cask, Homebrew

5 responses to “Beer Engine Caskegerator – Butterbur’s Bitter

  1. MZA

    I like everything about this …

    • Thanks Dawson – was thinking of using your Pale Mild recipe at some point to pour through this but with WLP002 (starter beer for a barleywine) and the Floor Malted MO. What do you look for as final gravity on that (might need to adjust mash temp since I’m switching yeast)?

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