Lock-down delights

Believe it or not, one can take some pleasure from the current COVID-19 crisis. In my case, it has given me the opportunity to set up and use a hand pump that I refurbished. A neighbour gave it to me courtesy of a pub clear-out and a skip. The hand pump cast iron base was badly rusted and the pump cylinder was full of old, caked beer. Here’s some pictures of before and after of the hand pump.




And how it looks now after being cleaned, re-varnished and repainted.

I’m going to use it to serve my English IPA that has just finished conditioning. Here is where the hand pump is going to sit in my cellar bar.

The hand pump now in place ready for connection to the cornie keg.

A ‘cornie’ is the abbreviated name for a Cornelius keg. This is a 19 litre stainless steel canister originally used as containers by the soft drink industry. They can be pressurised and used to store and dispense homemade sodas and home brewed beer. They act like a rather giant bottle and beer can stay fresh in them for up to two years. Here’s a picture of two of mine in my cellar bar.

I bought this demand valve to use with the hand pump.

The unit is used in the beer line just before the beer engine to stop the beer flowing forward through the beer engine when there is no demand (pump not being pulled).

Demand valve screwed into position under the shelf.

A view from the back of the shelf showing me at work setting up the pipework.

Connections made and showing the 3-position valve I am using.

The beer line runs through a 3-way valve then to the demand-valve. One side of the valve runs to the cornie keg, the other side to a bit of pipe that I will use to pull water through to clean the beer out from the valve and pump after a session.

And here we are – the first pint through the engine. Delicious!

A view of the pump clip label and a picture also of the rear label I used on the few bottles I packaged.

Whilst I was working in the bar, I also thought it was time to put the Baltic Porter on tap in the kegerator as well. Pictures of the beer and labels.


While I have my own beer on tap the Coronavirus lock-ins doesn’t seem too bad. In the words of my brewery motto “Vires Cervisiam” (Strength through beer).

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