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Synthetic barrels

Posted: |04 Oct 2014|, 00:20
by Mountain Man
Has anyone had experience or have any knowledge of these barrels? ... h-wspigot/

Can I transfer and carb beer in these? Will the beer pick up a flavour? Should I stay away from them?

I'd like to keg with forced CO2, but I'm not in a position to do that at the moment. These barrels also have a "classy" attitude about them, which could make for some great conversation.

Thanks guys!

Re: Synthetic barrels

Posted: |04 Oct 2014|, 14:18
by SeanGodd
Sounds pretty cool. I wouldn't mind having a cask on tap once and a while. I would say it is for cask conditioning. So very little carb. Just the CO2 left from ferment. I think it would be cool it if works well. I wonder what semi-synth is lol?!? part wood, part plastic.

Re: Synthetic barrels

Posted: |04 Oct 2014|, 23:28
by Doc_Drive
You CAN have a fairly high CO2 content in there, just add more sugar and you might have to plug the air lock...

People in my German forum do that all the time, but they rack before the fermentation is done as to naturally carbonate their beers...

Re: Synthetic barrels

Posted: |09 Nov 2014|, 18:51
by Mountain Man
I've been looking into this, and I emailed about the synthetic kegs. The short reply I received indicated that it is not recommended to carbonate in these casks. There wasn't an explanation of what "semi-synthetic" means, and I've been unable to find a specification from any suppliers.

Further investigation led to stainless steel and aluminium casks, such as these ones: The weak point is the bung seal, which is only recommended for low carbonating (in the vicinity of 2 volumes), though there are methods to produce higher carbonations as per Sean's post. I'm currently in the process of convincing my wife that these will be a sound investment! They are rather expensive: about $200 for a pin and $230 for a firken. However, a sale or bulk buying may make them more affordable. The consumable bungs and spiles are less than a dollar each.

My burning question is: how long a beer, once tapped, would last in these before souring? Much of what I've read indicated that beers may start to take off flavours from oxygen exposure in as little a four days. If this is true, I either need to find more drinking buddies, increase my own consumption, or design a gas inlet attached to a carbon dioxide/nitrogen supply.

Any advice is appreciated!

Re: Synthetic barrels

Posted: |09 Nov 2014|, 21:38
by Winger
I picked up a used 5 gal oak cask at the local u-brew for $100 and currently have a batch of red wine in it conditioning. I'm planning to leave it in there for a month, then I'll have to find another product to fill it with.

PS to mountain man, I'll make the sacrifice and help you drink the beer faster.