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April 2, 2021
Last updated

How to Build a Beer Engine | Homebrew Set Up

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
Angram Beer Engine

How to set up and use a Beer Engine.

These days draft beer is typically poured from a keg, which uses co2 or beer gas to pressurize the keg and push the beer through the tap. But it wasn't always done this way, back in the old days beer was pulled from a cask using a hand pump or a beer engine. A Beer Engine is a dispensing device that is specifically appropriate for traditional cask-conditioned ales. This device allows beer to be stored in a cask below the bar and the beer to be pulled or drawn up to the bar. 

In this video Kyle shows you step by step, everything you need to know about setting up and using a beer engine. 

Beer Engine Build Video 


Box Cutter 


Angle Grinder  


Products Needed 

Beer Engine 

Check Valve 

5/16 Co2 Gas Line 

½ Inch Tube 


First, you want to make sure you take everything out of the box!  Inside the box you will find the Angram Beer Engine, handle, drip tray holder, drip tray and sparkler. In addition to the beer engine we purchased a check valve from UK brewing supplies, along with some 5/16 gas line and 1/2 inch tubing. Once everything is laid out you can start assembling the unit. Attach the handle to the top of the beer engine by screwing it in a clockwise  motion till the handle is securely attached to the top of the unit. Attach the drip tray holder by sliding the two metal prongs into the base of the beer engine. Then place the drip tray on the metal rack directly under the nozzle. Attach sparkler and you’re ready to go ( almost) 


We are completely out of space in the office, so we decided to create space by cutting one of our brewing tables to make room for the beer engine along with a cask and co2. We used an angle grinder to cut out the middle shelf creating plenty of room to mount the beer engine on the side and still have room for the other components below.


In order to properly use a Beer Engine it is important to understand how they work! 

  1. They suck the beer out of the vessel that it's in, this creates a vacuum. So the vessel needs to have an inlet valve, If you plan on drinking it all you can just take the lid or cap off to allow air flow. However by doing so that will allow ambient oxygen which will cause the beer to go bad. The solution to this is to have a cask with a co2 tank attached. This will replace the beer that has been pulled out with Co2 keeping the beer fresher for longer.  
  2. In order to use the Beer Engine, you need a check valve that uses a 5/16 gas line to connect the keg to the regulator inlet  and ½ in tubing to connect the regulator outlet to the beer engine. This will allow the piston in the beer engine to draw the beer into the system.



If you’re looking for an awesome recipe to brew on your new beer engine, make sure to check out our Irish Red video below & if you're looking to brewing equipment check out links below. 


 Brewing Equipment 


Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

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