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DIY: Beer Engine

Want to have your own cask ale on tap? Jester Goldman shows you have to build a fairly simple version of a beer engine and then explains how you can pretty it up.

Jester Goldman Aug 11, 2017 - 8 min read

DIY: Beer Engine Primary Image

In Great Britain, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) revived the demand for cask-conditioned beer, and today, it’s not uncommon for craft breweries to offer a cask ale in their tasting room. You can pull this off at home using a corny keg for conditioning, but how should you serve it? Like the pros, you can either elevate the keg and use gravity, or you can use a beer engine to pump the beer.

Beer engines typically cost well over $500, but you can save most of that money by building your own based around a hand pump designed for a sink in an RV or camper. While these devices are intended for potable water, I’ve been unable to nail down whether their plastic parts are FDA-certified as food safe. Personally, I’m not concerned, but if you are, this may not be a good project for you.

Let’s first take a look at a fairly simple version that will give you the beer engine experience and then talk about how to improve the aesthetics.

Keeping it Simple

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