Saxbys Bar has just had a bit of an upgrade. I bought this on trademe the other day. Wine pump? It’s a beer engine! Still, the seller was great to deal with, I just felt a little bad for him as I’m sure he’d have got triple the price had he listed it as a beer engine, and not had the auction close at 7am!
Anyway, I got the beastie home and hooked it up, anxious to pull some water through it to test the hydraulics. I began pulling, and could hear it priming. Then I could hear water running. But not into the jug I was carefully holding under the spout. In fact, I couldn’t see where it was going at all. Then I noticed. It was squirting out a tube at the rear of the cylinder, into the back of my bar, all over my clean glassware. Damn!
I disconnected it, and took it to bits. I found some interesting things. Firstly, the spout is only hollow to the base, where it connects with the pump cylinder. At that point it’s a solid piece of machined steel! Welded to the spout just above this join is another piece of steel tubing. This IS hollow. At the rear of the cylinder, as explained earlier, is a third metal tube. This is where the fluid exits! Someone has well and truly hacked this beer engine. Why? I guess I’ll never know. Anyway, after cleaning and reassembly, I simply connected a piece of tubing from the rear tube to the spout-welded tube, which then allows fluid to flow correctly out the spout when pumped.
After all that, despite being a “mini-engine” designed for small bars where space is at a premium, it works beautifully. It’s a quarter pint pull, and seems to have no leaks. I just need to bust out the brasso now – all three could use some love.
Here are my three babies in their natural habitat.
I just wish I had the brewing capacity/budget, and army of thirsty friends required to keep all three pumps operating full time. Still, it will be great for the twice-yearly beer festivals!