Angram Hand Pump Problem


Beer Engine angramHello,
I’ve got a problem that I would love some advice on. We just installed two twin-pull Angram hand-pumps at our bar in Toronto. They connect to the casks via a trunk line, using Caskwidges.

The problem is, they suck beer back into the cylinder from the glass as you push the handle back. It doesn’t seem to affect the beer at all, but using 1/4 pint cylinders, it takes 10-14 pulls to fill a pint. Not four. This, of course, is annoying. The pumps are refurbished ones from Angram, who I will be calling in the morning, but for now I thought I would ask here. If it were one of the four, I would assume it was a bad seal in the cylinder, but it’s happening identically on all four, and the pumps just arrived from Angram. Am I missing a trick or something? Is there some adjustment or something we haven’t done? We’ve played with the spiles and valves in the Caskwidges, and it all seems to end up the same: about 3oz of beer coming out at the end of the draw.
Thanks for any help and advice,


  1. Hi Chris, Sorry you are having problems with your handpulls. Firstly let me say that in buying Angrams, even refurbished ones, you have made a good choice. Angrams are the Rolls Royce of the beer engine world. Depending on the length of run ie, from tap to cellar, and lift, hieght you are lifting the beer, you may need some pump assistance. Also the size of tubing you are using plays a key factor in how these beer engines perform.
    Make sure there is no vacuum in the cask. Any venting pegs hard or soft should be removed. Make sure the hop filter is clean and not blocked. In most installations it is best to install a back check valve if there is a pump fitted behind the beer engine, check out the site for a photograph of one of these. This valve is designed to stop fall back in the pipe during operation.
    A good method of checking your beer engine is to remove it from the bar and place it in a container of water so that the inlet is below the water. Then operate the engine and see how it performs. In most cases you will find it will operate normally, indicating that the problem lies elsewhere. It sounds to me from what you describe that there is a vacuum in the cask perhaps caused by the widget. Checking that out would be my first priority. Keep me posted .Hope this was of some use…Cheers.

  2. >Hi Chris

    When you mention trunk line I assume you mean Python well that is what we call them over here. What you fail to mention, "is the hand-pull pump assisted by a pump in the cellar"? Our so called beer engine was invented years and years ago, for a pub with the cellar immediately below the pump. All that was needed at that time was about 12ft of 7/16 internal diameter pipe connected to the hand-pull with the other end connected to the Cask Tap in the cellar.

    However if you have connected the hand-pull to the pipe that goes through the python (which is 3/8 OD)then you are in trouble. I am assuming you have quite a long run, which would make it even harder to draw beer through by hand the bore being so small. What we do these days, is cheat a little; we add usually a gas pump in the cellar to force the ale up the line to a check vv. (the check valve checks the flow to the pump stopping it pushing through the hand-pull itself).

    So really all the hand-pull does is suck ale from about 12 inches of 7/16 pipe between the Hand-pull and the check valve, the pump in the cellar does the rest. So even the slightest of barmaid is able to pull through without developing muscular arms.

    You can prove this by pulling the handle towards you sharply then letting it go, it will spring back sucking the beer out of the glass. When you pull on the handle and hold the handle, you should be able to hear the beer coming up the pipe from the vacuum you have just caused. If this takes a while it is because the bore of the pipe is too small. In the meantime you could try using two pipes "Y" together, effectively doubling the bore of the pipe this could work but the more joints you have the more chance you have of sucking air up the pipe, this will create other problems.

    Not sure if I have explained it all that well but this is what I think your problem could be. 😮

    Attached files
  3. It’s a shame when people take the time to answer a problem which isn’t just five minutes. And the originator who asked the problem doesn’t even come back and acknowledge them.

  4. Hi Try a Non return valve 12 mm i bought off eBay eBay item number: 361433983746 have allot at this idea worked fine for me

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