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[REVIEW] Brewferm Mini Keg Starter Kit

Started by molc, June 12, 2014, 10:19:10 AM

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Eoink

Does anybody know if you can get a small beer engine for these?

Ozbrewer

@molc - was wondering how you got on with this - keg vs bottle conditioned?

molc

I've tried two of the bottles so far and I found them a little sweet still with poor head retention. I'm waiting until it comes up to standard before popping the keg in the fridge. Should only 've about another week or two I'd say. Dec. Great to have the bottles for comparing and constrasting though
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

molc

So, finally gave this a go with the tap. First co2 canister was a write off as it leaked out the joint, as I hadn't screwed it tightly enough. To solve this, I popped it up slightly and then twisted the head until it rotated in the rubber.

Once I got the drink flowing, with the valve open the whole way, I got a headfull of foam.


After 30 minutes this had only resided to:


For a second try, I set the dispenser to half way open and got this:


The bubbles were a bit big, so I need to play with the level a little more to figure it out.

As for taste, I found they had a slightly more metallic tang in aftertaste, but I could be wrong. The first heady drink was actually lovely and had a soft carbonation, whereas the second had more in solution giving it a harsher edge.

I'll update as I experiment, but it works.

As a sidenote, I've been struggling with head retention in my bottle conditioned beer.  One thing this had shown me is that the beer is Def. Capable of sustaining it, so does that mean there's something wrong with my carbonation?
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

Qs

You aren't force carbing with a mini-keg so I'd have thought the carbonation was just fine. Maybe your bottles are the problem?

Chris

What are you using to clean the bottles? Detergent residue can effect head retention. Also if using a dishwasher don't use rinse aid.
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

molc

Yeah Chris, I've also been considering that. I was washing out the bottles with a shot of washing up liquid that I thought was well rinced out, followed by a blast of chemipro on bottling day to sanatise. Maybe it's just really hard to rince the washing up liquid out of the bottles...

For my next batch, I've soaked all the bottles with OxiClean and I'm going to give them a quick startsan soak on bottling day to see if that helps things.
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

molc

So, tonight I decided to do a taste test with the keg vs bottle conditioned. A pic of the two brews. On the left the mini keg, on the right the bottle conditioned beer with a single coopers tab.



The only difference is the carbonation level. The mini keg has less but a better head, which I got by half depressing the pour near the end. It's a smoother beer with a less harsh carbonation feel when you drink it, otherwise they are the same.

After using the kegs for a bit, I'm a convert. It's got a better mouth feel and its easier on bottling day, while the mini kegs are small enough to chill in the fridge or bring to friends.

That said, it's made me take the plunge to Corni kegging, as I can see the advantages and I like the smoother carb levels I get with the keg.
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

BigDanny84

Thanks for the review Molc.

I wonder did you reuse these mini kegs and how did you get on with them? Did they start to rust or anything?

I will have a few empty mini kegs after Christmas and I would be interested in buying the extra bits to make them reusable.

Thanks

molc

Yup I've reused them and there is no rust issue. That said I get through them very slowly now that I have a proper keg setup, so it's more for beers I'd like to bring to parties or just small leftovers from batches. I have a Russian imperial stout in one that I'm ageing for as long as possible before popping open.
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

BigDanny84

Cheers Molc. The size kind of suits me currently as I have been doing just one gallon brews.Thanks

HomeBrewWest

Quote from: BigDanny84 on December 22, 2014, 02:09:42 PM
Thanks for the review Molc.

I wonder did you reuse these mini kegs and how did you get on with them? Did they start to rust or anything?

I will have a few empty mini kegs after Christmas and I would be interested in buying the extra bits to make them reusable.

Thanks
The Brewferm mini kegs are lacquered on the inside, and if this coating is damaged then the beer will come into contact with the metal keg which is not good at all. That's why its so important to be very very careful while cleaning them. Prob best to use Chemipro Oxi as recommended by Brewferm.
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer." Abraham Lincoln. www.homebrewwest.ie

BigDanny84

Quote from: HomeBrewWest on December 22, 2014, 07:38:17 PM
Quote from: BigDanny84 on December 22, 2014, 02:09:42 PM
Thanks for the review Molc.

I wonder did you reuse these mini kegs and how did you get on with them? Did they start to rust or anything?

I will have a few empty mini kegs after Christmas and I would be interested in buying the extra bits to make them reusable.

Thanks
The Brewferm mini kegs are lacquered on the inside, and if this coating is damaged then the beer will come into contact with the metal keg which is not good at all. That's why its so important to be very very careful while cleaning them. Prob best to use Chemipro Oxi as recommended by Brewferm.

Thanks for that HBW