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1vertical
05/01/10 01:24 AM  
So nervous about nail in cask
Well, I am. I have not done this before. 1st off,

let me say I have not been able to secure a ss nail

except for a small home made one that is about a 4d

size. I did not wanna use that for fear the beer would not flow out of the cask properly and only dribble to leave me sampling the beer off the wood. So, I got a ss taper dowell pin that goes from 3/8" on the large end down to 1/4" on the small end, pin is 3 inches long total. I wanted to try to drill a hole into the cask (containing beer) with a one size over drill bit(1/4" plus 1 drill size) and obtain my sample then, drive my dowell pin gently into the opening hopefully sealing the cask back up....does this sound like it will work?? I have 2 mt kegs available in the happenstance of a failure in my planning, and that should contain the beer in the event of a catastropic event. I can also secure the bung in the bunghole and would be able to upend the cask and store it in the vertical position should I need to. Speak oh ye experienced cask nailers....

MashGordon
05/01/10 01:19 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
That sounds way too big to me. This is Vinnie Cirurzo's recommendation from this year's CBC:

7/64" drill bit

2D Stainless common nail (1 1/2" to 2 " length)

1vertical
05/01/10 10:56 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Nail Specifications (Units in inches) Length Diam.

2d 1 0.067

And by Spec, that seems like a little hole that would

not stream but only dribble...just sayin....

Wetherel
05/01/10 11:46 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Practice on a something similar first.
DanM
05/03/10 11:44 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
I had a similar question because from Vinnie's CBC presentation, the McMaster part numbers he lists point to 6d nails, not 2d which is what he describes. I sent am email to RR a week or so ago, but have not heard back.
tankdeer
05/03/10 11:44 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Maybe just me, but I have a feeling you are overthinking it. Lots of brewers do this to hundreds of barrels without issue. I think you'll be fine. Why don't you email vinnie for confirmation? He's extremely helpful and responsive to emails.

If you can't find them locally, McMaster has 18-8 and 316 stainless nails in several sizes.

B-Dub
05/03/10 12:49 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
This is what Vinnie Cilurzo sent me in regards to the nail question.

Here is the info on the stainless steel nail in the barrel head acting as a poor mans Mac Gyver sample port:

We drill a hole using a 7/64 drill bit on the barrel head of each barrel.

The hole can be drilled while the barrel is empty or even with beer in it.

You just have to be ready with the nail if you are doing it with the barrel full. The hole is so small that there is no problem with losing too much beer at this point.

I have two sizes of stainless steel nails that I purchase from McMaster Carr.

1 4d smooth common nail 316 stainless steel McMaster Carr # 97990A102

2 6d smooth common nail - 316 stainless steel McMaster Carr # 97990A104

I use the smaller nail, but, I keep the larger ones around just in case a hole gets boarded out to large, it hasnt happened yet, but, Im just playing it safe.

I do use barrel wax sometimes (www.barrelbuilders.com) around the nail after I have pulled a sample. We have never had a nail blow out due to pressure; they are pretty snug in there. Barrel Builders only sells large buckets of wax so if you want some just send me your address and Ill drop some in the mail to you as I have enough for 10 brewery lifetimes.

You can pull a sample and actually have the flow stop coming out of the small hole in the head of the barrel because the barrel is not vented, but, there is no issue. It is such a small hole that you cant harm the barrel. If anything, it makes it easier because you can control the flow by removing the bung and putting it back into place. I usually drill the hole about half way up on the barrel head.

Recently we've started to drill the barrel out after the barrel has beer in it as opposed to before. Sometimes you don't get the small hole drilled out all the way. You won't know that this is the case until there is beer in the barrel and you see that you don't even have a small stream of beer coming out of the hole.

I've also taken to the practice of having a backup nail in my pocket when I'm pulling samples just in case you drop the nail on the floor on accident.

The hole at the bottom of the head of the barrel (six oclock if you are looking at the head of the barrel straight on) for removing beer with fruit in it is a 15/16 hole, the tubing that you use to remove the liquid and fruit is also from McMaster Carr. A Belgian beer bottle cork like we cork with fits in the 15/16 hole. Here is the part number from McMaster for the tubing:

15/16 OD tubing, McMaster Carr # 5231K944

It takes a little practice but you can removing the cork quickly and push the 15/16 tubing in the cork hole. The tubing is than run down to some sort of strainer that you would need to fashion and from the strainer it is pumped to a tank.

tankdeer
05/03/10 01:11 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Wow. Great info from Vinnie once again
B-Dub
05/03/10 03:50 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
From above:

Barrel Builders only sells large buckets of wax so if you want some just send me your address and Ill drop some in the mail to you as I have enough for 10 brewery lifetimes.

FYI: Vinnie only has a small amount of wax left.

BW

1vertical
05/04/10 12:52 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Thank you for posting that B-dub. I called Avery brewery

this AM and spoke with Ted from there. He was close to

the barrel room and was able to answer my questions.

Q1. What size of nail do you guys use for sample holes...

A1. 16d ss nails

Q2. Do you drill a 1 under pilot hole first?

A2. Yes

Q3. Does the nail seal on the shank or by means of the flat

head?

A4. By means of the shank, not the flat head part.

Q4. Why not use ss screws?

A4. BC they do not seal as well.

Q5. What if the hole you make and insert a nail into, still

leaks, do you have recourse like wax, rubber gasket,

what would you do...??

A5. Wax... we used to wax the shank of the nail before

penetration as a precaution and stopped doing this

because we found it was unnecissary.

Fin my questions to Avery...

Addendum, to this post...jsut sayin the 16d nail is quite

larger than Vinnie's 4d or even 6d...

I think that the smaller hole would be more prone to

dribbling and needing ventilation from the bung to flow

for samples...v.s. the larger 16d which would perhaps

self ventilate...

I do have a wine thief, but do not want to pull the bung

to expose contents to O2.

Really good info exchange here...thanks again.

tom sawyer
05/04/10 08:15 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Your worry about dribbling would seem unfounded. A small hole in conjunction with some head pressure would probably make a more vigorous stream than a larger hole, and take longer to pull a vacuum requiring the bung to be loosened.

The top ought to be growing a pellicle which should protect from oxygen exposure even during a brief bung removal.

1vertical
05/04/10 10:26 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
"tom sawyer"

"The top ought to be growing a pellicle which should protect from oxygen exposure even during a brief bung removal."

Also this is a small 13.2 gallon barrel...not a lot of

head.

Not yet, I have NOT soured this barrel. I just aged some

rochefort in oak. Getting ready to pull 5 gallons, replace

beer with tart cherries and then sour it...

tankdeer
05/04/10 11:30 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Maybe I'm misreading, but if you're pulling a full five gallons you're going to want to rack it out, not transfer using the nail in the barrel head - that is just for quick samples.
1vertical
05/05/10 10:24 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
tankdeer. When I harvest I am going to push the beer

thru a racking tube with CO2. The nail hole is for samples.

ErikH
05/05/10 11:10 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
"I just aged some rochefort in oak"

??? Do you mean commercial beer?

tankdeer
05/05/10 11:20 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
<<tankdeer. When I harvest I am going to push the beer

thru a racking tube with CO2. The nail hole is for samples.>>

Got it. That's what I was thinking, and hoping, but your last statement confused me.

I think you'll be fine. Like Tom said, continuing fermentation inside the barrel will create some pressure that won't bleed out. That small among of pressure should be fine to push the beer out of the sample hole.

When I've seen samples taken this way the bung was not removed, although it could be if you started to draw a vacuum. I wouldn't worry about the small amount of O2 that enters in that scenario.

DanM
05/06/10 01:11 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
so I have a bunch of extra nails....I drilled and "nailed" my barrels tonight and all is good...if anyone wants some nails let me know, I have a few extras :)
tom sawyer
05/06/10 07:51 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Were they full? How messy was it?
DanM
05/06/10 08:54 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Yeah full...not bad actually...had a taster glass ready when I pulled the drill out, caught a sample and just pushed the nail in...pretty painless and not leaking. I put mine in about 2/3 of the way towards the top.

Beers were delicious too...

1vertical
05/07/10 01:23 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
Dan, I would like to get a nail. What size are they?

How do we contact on this bb?

Glad your beer is tasting good. I hope to sample mine soon.

DanM
05/07/10 08:45 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
I bought both the sizes Vinnie had in his presentation...the 1.5" and 2" (mainly as insurance in case the smaller nail didn't seal, but it's TIGHT)

my email is dan.mcelroy AT gmail.com shoot me your address and I can send you a couple.

petec
05/07/10 12:39 PM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
we put our nail in when the barrel was full. probably sampled atleast 6 times with no problems.

petec

1vertical
05/08/10 01:34 AM  
Re: So nervous about nail in cask
<<Re: So nervous about nail in cask

we put our nail in when the barrel was full. probably sampled atleast 6 times with no problems.

petec

>>

Thanks good to know!

 
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