Author Topic: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit  (Read 15733 times)

molc

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[REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« on: June 12, 2014, 10:19:10 AM »
Hi,
I ordered one of these and thought I'd put up a review, as I couldn't see any info on the site talking directly about the system. The review will be updated as it is used, so hopefully it will be of use to anyone planning to pick up one of these kits. The main thing will be the taste comparison, both at initial opening and then after 3-4 weeks, when the keg is near empty, in comparison to the bottled version.

The system itself is pretty simple. You get three mini 5ltr kegs, with a dispenser and gas. Here's what it all looks like (the other two kegs were left in work):


 Putting the dispenser on is simple. Tighten the rod onto the dispenser, careful not to over tighten as it is a plastic thread. Thanks to Lord Eoin for the tip. I just tighten enough to feel the rubber seal compressing and then stop. The kegs are sealed with a two piece seal, which has a small plug in the bottom. Make sure to put the small insert into the plug with the wide lip at the bottom, so the pressure from the beer keeps it sealed, but at the same time allows it to be pushed into the beer when inserting the dispenser. Here's some action shots :D




Beer filling is pretty standard. Sanatise, rince, then fill beer into the keg until you reach the top of the last bulge, which leaves about 2-3cm clearance inside. Add about 10-13g sugar, then leave it condition as normal.

Here's a look of it in the fridge. They are a bit bigger than I expected, especcially the dispenser which is quite tall. There was a lot of tight maneuvering to get it in without causing any upset in the house ;) However it looks like I can pump the beer without ever even taking it out of the fridge, which is damn handy...


So far I've filled one of them and I'm waiting for it to condition to try out the beer. I've also bottled a chunk of the batch, so in three weeks I'll pop open both and do a comparison of the bottled vs the kegged beer.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 11:37:42 AM by molc »
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

AJ_Rowley

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 10:51:18 AM »
Nice write up, looking forward to seeing how it fairs against bottle conditioning.

GrahamR

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 10:55:31 AM »
Good to see a writs up of these, had been thinking of getting myself but wouldn't have the room seeing yours. Can these be force carved to allow them to drink immediately
Lifes Too Short To Not Make Beer

Fermenter 1 - Turquoise Lunar Showing

Fermenter 2 - Vitalift Cider

Garry

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 11:29:50 AM »
Nice job molc  :)

Do you know how far up the dip tube is from the bottom of the keg? I'm just wondering about it sucking up the trub from the fermented priming sugar.

molc

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 11:37:13 AM »
Force Carbing:
From what I read, they can't take a lot of pressure, so there is a danger of buckling when trying to force carb. I'd think of it more as cask conditioned beer.

Dip Tube from bottom:
I'll get out the  measuring tape and see how far it should go down. I'd say it's quite close to the bottom. I put my special ale in http://www.nationalhomebrewclub.com/forum/index.php?topic=7036.0 which was just in the primary for three weeks, so if anything is going to have trub at the bottom, it will be it. The pics will tell us the story regarding the trub :)
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

LordEoin

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 12:08:26 PM »
Very informative, thanks!
How many co2 cartridges come with these?

molc

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 12:27:10 PM »
Very informative, thanks!
How many co2 cartridges come with these?

10. It is rumoured that each can last for two kegs, though I'll believe that when I see it ;)
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

irish_goat

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 12:31:04 PM »
The BeerNut had some success with reusing the minikegs you get in Lidl as well. Sanitized, filled, primed and stuck a bung in it and it worked as a minicask. Think he said he got 2 uses out of them before they started to look a bit like they might rust.

Chris

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 02:05:51 PM »
Great write up I was interested in these for a while. I watch on with interest.
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

Dr Horrible

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 02:22:34 PM »
Very informative, thanks!
How many co2 cartridges come with these?

10. It is rumoured that each can last for two kegs, though I'll believe that when I see it ;)
Nice write-up.  I got some of these a little while back, so I'm about a batch ahead of you.  You can get more than one keg out of the CO2 canisters, but you need to make sure that when you're tightening the housing to pierce the CO2 cylinder  to do it quickly and not stop when you hear the hiss (as I did  -twice) or you'll lose most of the CO2.  Keep tightening until it's sealed and one will do you more than one keg.

Ozbrewer

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 02:23:05 PM »
Excellent write up. I will be watching with interest as well.

ferg

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 04:53:49 PM »
is it possible to get nitro/co2 mix cartridges for these?? Would love to do a nitro stout without having to sink a heap into cornies, regs, 2 types of tank etc. I know it's probably cheaper in the long run....

molc

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 06:08:35 PM »
Not a clue :) The cartridges are tiny little things :)
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

Damofto

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 08:46:47 PM »
Not a clue :) The cartridges are tiny little things :)
I was thinking the same thing, I bought a packet of these ages ago but they're smaller than the Co2 cartridges, I wonder could they be made work by wedging them in with paper or something?
https://www.thehomebrewcompany.ie/n2o-bulbs-8g-heimo-10-per-box-p-889.html

Eoink

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Re: [REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2014, 02:32:15 PM »
I have used these for a couple of years

Their biggest advantage is their size, easy to store, carry and put in the fridge. They only take low carbonation, I learned that the hard way, I now have a keg with a round bottom that wont stand up properly. I  only use 1-2 teaspoons of sugar per keg for priming but this is fine for british style ales. On average a gas canister lasts  me two kegs.

Another dissadvantage is that the plastic fittings are not that strong, especially where the tube joins the dispenser so take care when inserting and removing the tube.

The first pint can be a bit cloudy from yeast being picked up from the bottom but it usually clears after that. If I am opening a new keg for people I will only insert the tube 80% of the way and that ensures they get a clean pint.

Overall they are a good compromise between a keg and a bottle.