Category Archives: Roundup

It’s a… Rhizome Roundup!

9_1452884221MoreBeer has a Rhizome PreSale Going on – Check it out

A few retailers have hop rhizome pre-sales going on now.  Here’s a roundup of some of them including some of the varieties you can expect to find.  Now is the time to “hop” (did you see what I did there) on it and reserve the rhizomes you want.

Learn about growing rhizomes – The Homebrewer’s Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs

  • MoreBeer: Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Crystal, Mt Hood, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Golding, Sterling, Tettnanger and Willamette – Also: Free Guide on growing hops
  • Adventures in Homebrewing: Brewers Gold, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Crystal, Fuggle, Galena, Glacier, Magnum, Mt. Hood, Newport, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Sorachi Ace, Sterling, Tettnanger, US Golding, Willamette and Zeus.  Also: Free PDF Guide on Hop Growing and Hop Twine
  • Beer & Wine Hobby: Mt Hood, Crystal, Willamette, Chinook, Magnum, Columbus, Centennial, Galena, Nugget
  • Great Fermentations: Centennial, Columbus, Sterling, Chinook, Willamette, Tettnang, Nugget, Golding, Cascade, Northern Brewer, Mt Hood, Liberty
  • Label Peelers: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Crystal, Galena, Golding, Magnum, Mt Hood, Nugget, Sterling, Willamette

Also5 Recent Hop Finds

Recent Great Deals [more]:

roundup:rhizomes

Roundup… Pumpkin Beer Kits & Related

NightShadeRecipePictured: AIH’s Night Shade Pumpkin Stout

It’s Pumpkin time guys.  Here’s a roundup of some of the recipe kits that are out there and some related resources.

Recent Great Deals [more]:

Ball Lock Keg Roundup – New and Used, 5 and 2.5 Gallon

Ball lock kegs are becoming more and more difficult to find. Here’s a roundup of some of the best available sources for these kegs. Got a great keg find?  Submit a Tip

Adventures in Homebrewing: Used 5 Gallon, Rubber Handles5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) UsedAdventures in Homebrewing is one of the most reliable sources for used 5 gallon kegs. Their price of $59.99 is also one of the best out there.

O-rings and poppets are check and replaced, if needed. These are pressure tested and guaranteed to hold pressure.

5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) Used – $59.99

More Beer: Refurbished 5 Gallon, Rubber Handles

Cornelius Keg - Pressure Tested w/o Gaskets Replaced (Ball Lock)

Reconditioned 5 gallon ball lock kegs with rubber tops and buttons.  Washed and rinsed inside and out.  No soda syrup or residue is left behind.  These are also pressure tested and guaranteed to hold pressure.  These are marked down $11 per keg and ship for free.
Washed inside and out and all gaskets are replaced. Pressure tested and guaranteed to hold pressure.

Cornelius Keg – Pressure Tested w/o Gaskets Replaced (Ball Lock) KEG423 – $68.99 + Free Shipping

Adventures in Homebrewing: Low Profile, Ball Lock, No PRV

5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) Used no PRV

Low Profile Ball Lock Kegs.  These are converted Pin Locks.  The lids on these kegs are pin lock style, meaning they do not have a manual pressure relief valve. The do have a safety pressure relief vale. These are the same type of lids that pin lock keg users use every day. If you need to relieve gas pressure, just depress the gas post.

5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) Used no PRV – $49.99

Adventures in Homebrewing: Low Profile Ball Lock, with PRV

5 Gallon Low Profile Keg Used

Converted Pin Lock Kegs similar to the previous offering, with the exception that the lid has a manual PRV (ball lock style).  That means everything about these kegs is ball lock except the height and diameter (22-23″ tall and 9.5″ diameter)

5 Gallon Low Profile Keg Used – $59.99

Adventures in Homebrewing: Loose Handle and/or Base Ball Locks

Loose Handle or Base Ball Lockes

Available on these is sporadic.  When they show up, they generally sell out in short order.  As the name suggests they have loose handle and/or bases.  They are pressure tested and guaranteed to hold pressure.  Comes with a PRV (pressure relief valve) lid.  O-rings and poppets are replaced, as needed, to get these kegs to hold pressure.  At $39.99 this is generally the cheapest price you’ll find on a ball lock keg.

See our Tips Page (#19) for a step by step on repairing loose handles and bases.

Loose Handle/Bottom Ball Lock keg w/PRV Lid – $39.99

eBay – Various Offerings
eBay can be a good source for used kegs.  Standard eBay caveats apply.  Look at seller’s feedback and total cost delivered.  Also look for listings that offer eBay’s money back guarantee.  Search eBay for Ball Lock Kegs.  Our eBay tag may also have some recent offerings.

Your Local Homebrew Shop
I’ve heard ups on downs on this.  Some local shops are expensive and some have great availability and great prices.

New Kegs.  This post was originally published in 2012.  Since then availability of used kegs has dwindled and new keg offerings have come down in price.  Sometimes a brand new keg may be your best bet.

Adventures in Homebrewing: Brand New, NSF Certified Ball Lock Kegs

AIH New 5 Gallon Corny Keg Ball Lock

Brand New 5 Gallon Gallon Ball Lock Kegs.  These are… New, ISO 9001 Certified, NSF Certified, Ball Lock 5 Gallon Capacity and Have double rubber handles.  Typically double rubber handle kegs cost more compared to single strap handle kegs.  Dimensions – 25″ tall and 8.5″ diameter.

I own this keg and it’s great.  Check out my Hands on Review.  At the current sale price of $75, these are one of the best value in ball lock kegs on the market.

AIH New 5 Gallon Corny Keg Ball Lock – $75

A 2.5 Gallon Version is also available…
AIH New Double Rubber Handle 2.5 Gal Keg – $75

MoreBeer: New, Italian Made 5 Gallon Ball Lock Keg

Cornelius Keg - Brand New (5 Gallon)

from the Description: “We import these from Italy from long time manufacturer AEB. Attention to detail is perfect. Laser welds are perfect so it will always be easy to sanitize.” (keep reading)

Italian made kegs are generally thought to be the highest quality new kegs available.  MoreBeer’s offering is the best every day value in new Italian made ball lock kegs that I’m aware of.  They also ship for free.

Cornelius Keg – Brand New (5 Gallon) KEG418 – $119.99 + Free Shipping  Note: These were selling for $139 back when this post was first published in October of 2012

Adventures in Homebrewing: Single Handle New, Italian Made Ball Lock Kegs

NEW 5 Gallon Cornelius Keg Single metal handle (Ball Lock) (Rubber Bottom)

This offering is really just a point of reference for the previous keg.  This has a single handle.  I prefer double handles because they are easier to carry and you can invert this to drain and dry.  Along those lines double handle are usually more expensive.  This is on sale for $139.99.

Brand NEW 5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) AEB Keg – $139.99

2.5 and 3 Gallon Kegs and smaller.  These are nice for serving your homebrew on the go.  Splitting 5 gallon batches for different treatments (yeast, wood and flavoring additions), for small batch kegging and for small space kegging.

Other options also pop up.  Check out our 5 Most Recent Keg Finds for recent finds.  Got a great keg find?  Submit a Tip

Although this is a Ball Lock Roundup.  I’ll also mention two pin lock options…

Related:

Recent Great Deals [more]:

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Update: PBW Price Comparisons and Buying Guidance

PBW – Powder Brewery Wash is my go-to brewery cleaner. It is a non-hazardous buffered alkaline brewery cleaner and it.. works great.

Using the Spray Bottle Method for Star San means that I use so little Star San that it’s really not even worth price comparing.  I have used the same bottle of Star San, literally, for years.

Not so with PBW.  This is something that I go through relatively quickly.  Under the premise of “buy things in bulk, that you use in bulk” I thought I’d do some price comparisons.

First observation… Buy the bigger sizes (4 lb+).  Never buy the 2 ounce size of PBW.  It’s not even close to enough for one batch of beer.  I’m not including it in the results here, but, you can pay $20 per lb for this size.  I’m not even sure why they make it.  I guess as a sample.  Similarly, the 1 lb size doesn’t make a lot of sense at up to $10 per lb and is not included in this post.

A note about shipping fees.  If free shipping at a certain threshold is available, shipping costs are considered $0.  It’s more difficult to consider calculated and flat rate shipping.  $7.95 flat rate shipping could ship a bunch of stuff, so it doesn’t seem fair to include that entire cost in this comparison.  I’ve divided those figures in half.  50% of flat rate shipping fees are used when flat rate is available.  Calculated shipping is even trickier.  It doesn’t seem right to attribute the entire cost to a single PBW purchase.  Shippers have minimum shipping costs.  You may pay close to the same amount for two of something as for one.  To try and account for that, calculated shipping (in all but one case – as noted) is based on the average of shipping two items.  Cost = shipping for two containers of PBW divided by two.  Note that if shipping fees are calculated, they should be considered an estimate.  I can’t figure these for your location.  Check the retailer for actual shipping cost to you.

Results – 18 Offerings:

Quick Picks:

  • If you’ve got the budget or can go in on a group buy, one of the 50 lb offerings makes the most sense.
  • If you’re not ready to spend $200 on PBW, MoreBeer’s 8 lb PBW (with the prospect of free shipping) is a great choice.

Some Take-Aways:

  1. Retailers that charge calculated shipping have minimum shipping/processing thresholds.  Consider placing a larger order to offset that minimum.  Other items may ship for free or not much more.  Along the same lines, take advantage of sellers free or flat rate shipping offers.  Just get ingredients for your next batch or two.
  2. Never buy the 2 oz size of PBW.  If homebrew dentists existed… this size would be a free giveaway after you went to the homebrewing dental hygienist for your regular whatever-those-people-would-do.  Along those lines, the 1 lb size should also be skipped.
  3. Buy the largest size of PBW your budget allows for.
  4. Don’t disregard sellers that charge calculated shipping prices, with regards to cost… It’s the total to your door that matters.
  5. Shop around.  Prices change, sometimes quickly.  With calculated shipping cost sellers, your cost will vary based on your location in relationship to the retailer.

Update: Rhizome Roundup

9_1452884221MoreBeer has a Rhizome PreSale Going on – Check it out

A few retailers have hop rhizome pre-sales going on now.  Here’s a roundup of some of them including some of the varieties you can expect to find.  Now is the time to “hop” (did you see what I did there) on it and reserve the rhizomes you want.

Learn about growing rhizomes – The Homebrewer’s Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs

  • MoreBeer: Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Crystal, Mt Hood, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Golding, Sterling, Tettnanger and Willamette – Also: Free Guide on growing hops
  • Adventures in Homebrewing: Brewers Gold, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Crystal, Fuggle, Galena, Glacier, Magnum, Mt. Hood, Newport, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Sorachi Ace, Sterling, Tettnanger, US Golding, Willamette and Zeus.  Also: Free PDF Guide on Hop Growing and Hop Twine
  • Beer & Wine Hobby: Mt Hood, Crystal, Willamette, Chinook, Magnum, Columbus, Centennial, Galena, Nugget
  • Great Fermentations: Centennial, Columbus, Sterling, Chinook, Willamette, Tettnang, Nugget, Golding, Cascade, Northern Brewer, Mt Hood, Liberty
  • Label Peelers: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Crystal, Galena, Golding, Magnum, Mt Hood, Nugget, Sterling, Willamette

Also5 Recent Hop Finds

Recent Great Deals [more]:

roundup:rhizomes

It’s a… Rhizome Roundup!

9_1452884221MoreBeer has a Rhizome PreSale Going on – Check it out

A few retailers have hop rhizome pre-sales going on now.  Here’s a roundup of some of them including some of the varieties you can expect to find.  Now is the time to “hop” (did you see what I did there) on it and reserve the rhizomes you want.

Learn about growing rhizomes – The Homebrewer’s Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs

  • MoreBeer: Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Crystal, Mt Hood, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Golding, Sterling, Tettnanger and Willamette – Also: Free Guide on growing hops
  • Adventures in Homebrewing: Brewers Gold, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Crystal, Fuggle, Galena, Glacier, Magnum, Mt. Hood, Newport, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Sorachi Ace, Sterling, Tettnanger, US Golding, Willamette and Zeus.  Also: Free PDF Guide on Hop Growing and Hop Twine
  • Beer & Wine Hobby: Mt Hood, Crystal, Willamette, Chinook, Magnum, Columbus, Centennial, Galena, Nugget
  • Great Fermentations: Centennial, Columbus, Sterling, Chinook, Willamette, Tettnang, Nugget, Golding, Cascade, Northern Brewer, Mt Hood, Liberty
  • Label Peelers: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Crystal, Galena, Golding, Magnum, Mt Hood, Nugget, Sterling, Willamette

Also5 Recent Hop Finds

Recent Great Deals [more]:

roundup:rhizomes

Maintaining Fermentation Temps in Colder Weather

FermWrap Carboy Heater

Fermentation temperature has a lot to do with how your finished beer turns out.

For many of us, colder temperatures are on the way or already here.  You may need a boost to keep fermentation temperatures up.  Here’s a roundup of some of the available options.

FermWrap Carboy Heater

The FermWrap heater is attached to your fermenter using tape.  Directions say that it is okay to use this in conjunction with a carboy bag.  40 Watts.  Ability to raise temperature from 5 to 20 deg F from ambient.

Available from MoreBeer – Adventures in Homebrewing – Note: As of this posting only AIH has this in stock

brewbelt

Available from love2brew – Adventures in Homebrewing and Great Fermentations – Note that these may be slightly different designs with slightly different specifications.

Heat Pad for Beer and Wine Making homebrewing.lorg

You place your fermenter on top of top of this heating pad.

Description from Adventures in Homebrewing:  “This rigid plastic heat pad for your fermenters and carboys is the ideal solution for cold fermenting and brewing problems. This unit provides ideal temperature for year round brewing, fermenting, and wine making in cold conditions. Convenient and easy to use, simply place on a flat surface, put your fermenter or carboy on it and plug it in.  Supplies constant, steady convection heat (25 watts, 110v) without creating any hot spots.  Inexpensive to run.  Dimensions – 12.5″ x 12.5”

Heat Pad for Beer and Wine Making

Zoo Med ReptiTherm® Under Tank Heater

I use a reptile heating mat in my fermentation deep freeze when I need to warm the space up a bit.  Think of these as heating pads that are designed to operate constantly.

The mat I’m using is 9 Watts.  It has no trouble raising my fermentation deep freeze (located in my basement) by several degrees.  I use this throughout the year whenever I want to push fermentation temperatures higher.  I do not set my fermenter on my mat.  I use it only to warm up the ambient air inside my fermentation deep freeze.

Zoo Med manufactures three sizes of these mats.  The small is 8 watts, the medium is 16 watts and the large is 24 watts.  Here is the specifications page from the manufacturers website.

Zoo Med ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater, Small

Zoo Med ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater, Medium

Zoo Med ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater, Large

Also Consider: Ceramic Heat Emitters

Thanks to Google+ Friend Lucas for this tip!

Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat

Lucas Says: Hydrofarm heat mats for getting seedlings started are also a very affordable option. They make an inexpensive digital thermostat with a temp probe as well.  I live in Southern Colorado, one of the coldest places on the continent (-40° winters anyone?) and these have done the trick for me.

Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat

Hydrofarm MTPRTC Digital Thermostat for Heat Mats

Of course… Whatever route you decide, proceed with the caution.  Electricity and Heat in confined spaces can pose safety risks.  Always follow manufacturers instructions and safety guidelines.

Temp Controllers:

Johnson A419 Digital Temperature Controller

Digital, Wired, Single Stage.  This has the ability to control one device to maintain temperature.  By default, it’s configured to run a cooling device.  You can configure it to turn a heating device by changing the position of a jumper.

Johnson A419 Digital Temp Controller

Digital, Wired, Single Stage.  This dual stage controller can run both a heating and a cooling device.  This helps to fine tune fermentation temperature.

Ranco Wired

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller+ Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000

The STC-1000 is a very popular homebrewing temperature controller.  This is a dual stage controller.  That means it has the ability to control both a heating and cooling device.  Great for a kegerator or a fermentation chamber/deep freeze.  110 volt version, reads in deg C.

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller + Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000

Recent Great Deals [more]:

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