A Day at Firestone Walker Brewery
Firestone Walker Brewery was key in helping to design the Rackitteer. With their double barrel ale program, they needed a tough tool that could stand up to constant use in the brewery. In the Spring of 2022, we stopped by for a day to see how their Rackitteer was working for them.
On this day, they were using the Rackitteer to fill barrels with beer for aging. As such, their set up is a little different. They are gravity filling their barrels with beer. Notice that they have connected open tubing to the gas ports. They use this to indicate when the barrels are full (the tubes begin to overflow with foam).
We also noticed that they removed the pressure relief valve and plugged the hole. They are pressurizing the barrels after they are full with carbon dioxide gas. If you look close, you will see that they need to hammer the bungs down once they are full to withstand that pressure. Looks like they also upgraded their gas port valves to larger, sturdier ones. With so much use, these larger valves save wear and tear on their fingers. With their method, it took about a minute to fill a standard barrel. Firestone Walker is a good example of modifying a key tool to adapt to their needs.
Many thanks to Firestone Walker and brewer Eric Ponce for allowing us to photograph their operation.