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Leaking Barrels Again

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Having finally got hot enough air temperatures to stop our barrels losing pressure due to the cold, we have suddenly gone full circle and are suffering from unseasonably high temperatures. These are likely to start causing problems with pressure barrels as the gas heats up and creates excess pressure, which can easily lead to loss of pressure as the valve tries to vent the excess gas, leaks from the tap, leaks from the barrel body and, oddly, cloudy beer as the sediment gets stirred up by dissolved CO2 coming out of solution. The hot temperatures are also causing beers and wines to be reluctant to clear, even with the addition of finings.

You can relieve some of the problems by venting any excess pressure (preferably using the vent on the valve/lid rather than opening the lid) and trying to cool the barrel by either putting it somewhere cool, wrapping in a wet towel and allowing it to cool as the water evaporates, placing it in a fridge, or putting a double walled cardboard box over it and cooling the air in the box by adding a couple of freezer blocks.

Anybody barrelling beers at the moment may want to reduce the priming sugar from 75g down to 65g or less (for a standard 40 pint brew) and keeping an eye out to ensure that the barrel doesn't start to distort its shape or leak in any way.

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