Changing lids on a plastic pressure barrel

DanMoskDanMosk Member Posts: 3
Hi all,

A bit of background to my question first: I have recently started home brewing, and kegged my first kit (a St. Peter's Golden Ale) two weeks ago. I used a plastic pressure barrel (the kind you get with the starter kits) but have noticed that there is not much carbonation on my ale. Furthermore, I have found pouring pints a challenge, as the barrel is equipped with a standard lid with a rubber pressure valve. In light of this, I purchased a replacement lid with a pin valve and some CO2 canisters.

My question is this: is it an absolute no-no to change the lid on my pressure barrel at this stage? I would like to be able to pour pints easier, and for the beer to be a little more carbonated. However, I don't want to ruin the batch as it turned out pretty nicely. I know that I face the risk of contamination, and will also let a lot of Oxygen in (which will undoubtedly reduce the shelf-life of this batch), but could I in theory upgrade lids without ruining the beer? If not, I will wait until the next batch to upgrade the barrel.

Thanks in advance!

Dan M


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Hi Dan and welcome, we hope your hops turn out well with a good harvest which you are growing! In an ideal situation the barrel needs to stay sealed, however for one reason or another people do sometimes have to open them up, so if you need to change the lid you can do so. Try to ensure everything is cleaned and sterilised including the new lid, and make the change as quickly as possible. Once the new lid is fitted we recommend to inject a CO2 bulb straight in, if the level of beer is quite high in the barrel then it may vent quite a bit of the CO2 back out, but it will help to remove any air that got inside. This will then allow you to dispense your brew more easily.

    If the brew was only primed with a little sugar then it may not be enough to produce a lot of carbonation/pressure, or it may just need longer in the barrel for the pressure to build up
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