As I posted the other night, I'm having a devil of a problem with gas at the moment....
Before any wit suggests it, my rear is producing it's normal quantity of methane; the problem is carbon dioxide in my beer....
The bottled brew (of unknown origin) is so lively it's undrinkable, so in an attempt to rescue what should be a decent brew, I've had to bring the bottles indoors and try and gently release the excess gas.
This is a slow and frustrating process.
You have to carefully release the crown cap enough to let the gas escape and then re-cap each bottle.
Meanwhile, the gas problems continue with the Rotokeg.
Now for a bit of history.....
Years ago, I did homebrew. I didn't use bottles, I just barrelled all my beer and had lovely, drought beer whenever I wanted it.
In those days, I used two or three 'Kingkeg' (Link) which was fantastic and totally reliable.
When I started brewing again about 9 months ago, I bought a start-up kit from the lovely Jeff at North Devon Homebrew, which included a 'Budget Barrel' (Link), which in itself was fine.
First problem was that I wanted to 'gas' my barrels with the small 10g CO2 capsules. Jeff advised me against it, but being the stubborn bugger I am, I went ahead with the small capsules.
After the first brew, I started having problems holding the gas. Being an idiot, I overtightened the valve and knackered the seal on it.
Off back to Jeff, who kindly replaced it for me with no question of me paying for it, so I tried again.
Another failure, and I realised that what I'd actually done was to bend the lid of the barrel which made it impossible to seal up even with a new seal.
Only one thing for it; a new lid was needed, and while I was about it I got a decent S30 gas bottle.
Now this brings me to the latest problems.....
The budget barrel seems to be holding it's gas well at present; I've got a brew in there that's clearing nicely, and it seems well gassed. From memory (and you know how bad that is!) currently residing in that barrel is a Youngs Harvest Bitter. Another week or two and I'll be into that, so I'll report back accordingly.
Anyway, I managed to get hold of a 'Rotokeg' (which has an outstanding reputation) and actually costs more new than a Kingkeg. Mine is second hand, and seemed in good order, so I cleaned it out, sterilised it, and installed a Youngs Harvest Mild into it some five weeks ago.
Obviously, it's now more than fit to drink, and the first pint out was very nice, although much more 'nutty' than the Geordie Mild I'd previously tried.
As I say, first pint was fine.
Second pint, and yes, you've guessed it; as flat as the proverbial you know what.....
So today, I've been to North Devon Homebrew and got a replacement seal (50p).
Seal (sort of) fitted, and the problems continue.....
Now I need to take the damn thing apart again, and try and work out what is going wrong; but I've got a horrible feeling it's the same problem as before, which is a heavy handed molecatcher with a habit of over tightening things....
Anyway, one (of probably many) morals of this seemingly endless tale of woe, is to remind everyone that Vaseline is the brewers best friend when it comes to seals.