Frankly, we can't wait until Propane is discovered...


Site Map



How To Use This Site

Equipment You Will Need

DIY Corner

Materials You Will Need

Water Treatment

A Walk Through A Brew

  The Mash

Wort Collecting and Sparging

Boiling and Topping Up

Cooling and Pitching

Initial and Secondary Fermentation



A Few Recipes

Creating Your Own Recipes

Danger - Quicksand!

Frequently Asked Questions

Links and Further Reading

What Is Sensible Mole?

Contact The Head Brewer


Whereas bottling beer could easily be used as a method of torture, a Cornelius Keg (Cornie) is a wonderful piece of kit that any homebrewer will love and cherish until the end of his days. Why? Because it makes dispensing beer so easy and carefree compared to bottling.

You will need to sterilise a siphon tube, a fermentation bin, a jug and of course your Cornie Keg, including the detachable part of the top, including the rubber ’O’ ring and not forgetting the sparkler attachment that screws on to the end of the tap.

A Cornie is a man's best friend

How to sterilise a Cornie Keg? Fill the keg with sterilising solution and ‘gas up’ the keg. Open the tap for a few seconds so sterilising solution runs through the pipes and is sitting in the dispensing tube. When the solution has soaked for the recommended time (instructions on packet) drop the detachable part of the top, including the ’O’ ring, into the fermentation bin you are sterilising when it’s full of steriliser and allow to soak. Do the same with the sprinkler attachment on the tap. To rinse, simply pour away the steriliser solution, fill with cold water, rinse the detachable part of the top in cold water and re-attach, ‘gas up’ the keg and blow cold water through the system.

Just as you would when bottling, you will find there is a thin layer of ‘sludge’ (technical brewing term) at the bottom of the bin at the end of secondary fermentation and you don’t want that stuff in your keg. To avoid this, always siphon off the beer into a sterilised bin, just as we did at the end of primary fermentation.

Take your sterilised jug and simply jug the beer from the new clean bin into the Cornie Keg. Slap the top on and ‘gas up’ the keg. To try to make the seal as airtight as possible, some brewers put a thin coating of Vaseline on the rubber 'O' ring. This can be tricky because if the Vaseline comes into contact with your beer it will kill any chance of you getting a head on your pint. Vaseline or not, gas will leak out very slowly so it will need a touch of gassing up every few days. I just leave the gas connected and give it a quick turn every so often when I happen to be passing.

Whereas you have to wait for 3 weeks for the bottled beer to be drinkable, beer in a Cornie is ready for supping immediately - another added bonus.

A Cornie keg is quite portable too - a welcome addition to any barbecue, or living room when the match is on!



This point marks the end of our 'Walk Through A Brew'. To recap, we've looked at a recipe and gone through the mash, collecting the wort and sparging, then boiling the wort, cooling it and pitching the yeast, fermentation and finally presentation - bottling or kegging. But we don't stop there; the next few pages give you details of some of my very own tried and tested recipes for beers of various styles. After that we'll see how you can dive in and start devising your very own unique recipes...

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