Pressure Barrels and Barrel Spares
Pressure Barrels and King Kegs for beer or cider make storing and dispensing your brew a breeze instead of into lots of bottles. Simply siphon your brew into the barrel from your fermenter after your primary fermentation is complete, add priming sugar, mix well and screw the cap on and leave the keg at room temperature for a couple of weeks to allow the natural secondary fermentation and carbonation to happen. A couple of weeks more (ideally placing the keg where you plan to serve your brew from) will cask condition your beer, improving the flavour and letting the beer clear. Any yeast sediment will drop to the bottom below the tap. When you find your barrel / keg starts to lose pressure - ussually about half way through - introduce CO2 to re pressurise your barrel and help keep the beer fresher to the end.
Pressure barrels are available in 23L which is the standard size of most beer and cider kits, and also 10L which is great for smaller batches or if you want to bottle half and keg half,
King Kegs have larger 4 inch lids making cleaning and tightening the tap easier and are made from more robust plastic with carry handles at the top. The king keg also has the option of a dispensing tap at the top, meaning you can place the keg on the ground and still get a glass under the tap.
Pressure barrels and King Kegs caps can both be fitted with either an S30 valve for introducing CO2 or a Pin Valve for using the disposible CO2 or N20 8 gram sparklet bulbs. There are also pin conversion packs which can make an S30 valve compatible with the 8 gram gas bulbs.
Basic Pressure barrels and King Kegs come with vent caps to allow the release of any excess CO2 build up but most caps are fitted with S30 inlet and outlet valves which enable the introduction of CO2 to repressurise the barrel and also N20 (nitrogen) which gives Stout and Porters that creamy Guinness like texture and head. If you have a basic barrel with no valve you can buy a cap with an S30 or Pin Valve from Brewstore.
Pressure barrels and King Kegs cannot be used to force carbonate beer, they won't hold the pressure - you need a stainless steel cornelius keg to do this.