Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bronco Pump Modified

Some of my best brewing equipment I've found either at garage sales or the flea market. Two of my keggles I saw while wandering the isles of the flea market here in Santa Cruz and another at the scrap metal yard on Whidbey Island in Washington. I also found a cool thermometer at a boat salvage place and the item I'm about to talk about here, I got at a neighborhood rummage sale.

Mixed in with a collection of household items I came across an old Bronco Pump. These are the pumps that you see at every kegger party you've ever attended. Off to one side, a keg rests in a garbage can of ice where invariably you'll see someone holding a cobra tap over their red plastic beer cup while their friend frantically pumps down on the Bronco to get the beer flowing. Practically speaking the Bronco pump is used to force air down onto the head space above the beer in the keg creating the pressure that forces the beer out to the tap. The upside is that this is an easy tool for the typical person to use, the downside is that exposing the beer to air causes it to spoil and so must be consumed by the end of the party (maybe that's an upside too). In any case, I decided to take my new found treasure and make a minor modification in order to use it with a co2 system.

The first step was removing the plastic housing, items 1 through 5 (the part that the user would press down on) which proved to be the hardest part of this project. I had to literally break the thing apart to remove it. Once that was off I could get to the one-way valve and o-ring which sets below the housing and held in place under a metal plate. Looking at the attached images you can see four Phillip screws that originally held the plate in place. I removed and discarded both the plate and the valve and o-ring (refer to items 17 & 18 on the parts list). The hole in the body of the pump that held the now missing valve was slightly smaller than 1/4" and allowed me to use a 1/4" tap to create threads. I could now screw in a 1/4" barbed fitting to accept the co2 line. The other barbed fitting coming out the side of the body would still be used as designed, with a beverage line out attached and a cobra tap at the end of that just like is shown on the picture above. As an added bonus the Bronco pump that I found is of a slightly different design than the one shown in the diagram here because it has a co2 release valve on the opposite side of the body as the beverage out line.

This is a convenient tool to have considering I've got a 15.5 gallon Sanke keg along with a couple 5 gallon Corny kegs that have been adapted as Sanke's.

I hope to put this equipment into use soon by kegging my next batch of beer into the modified Corney/Sanke kegs. I'll keep you posted on how well that works.

Do you have any equipment or tool modifications you'd like to share. Leave a comment. Cheers!


Unknown said...

This is why you are the man.

Beer Diary... said...

I'm just a humble servant of the yeast.

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