Category Archives: Tips

(10) 10 CC Syringes – $5.50 + Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

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Why would these have anything to do with homebrewing, you ask?  Great question.  These are an easy way to measure 6 mL of Star San.  Put 6 mL of Star San in 1 gallon of distilled water and you’ve got sanitizing solution.  Fill up a spray bottle and you’re ready to sanitize for pennies a batch.  See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

Quantity 10 of 10 CC Syringes.  These do not have needles.  They do have Luer Lock Tips.  The syringes that I use for measuring Star San also have Luer Lock Tips.  There is no need to put anything on this connection.  You can draw Star San with the Luer Lock end.

8/28/16 5:30 PM Central: These are selling for just $5.50.  Shipping is also free with Prime Membership or a qualifying order. Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.  See Recent Amazon Finds and our Amazon Fillers Resource Page to help you put together an order that qualifies for free shipping.

Science Purchase- 10 cc/ml 10 pcs Syringe w/o Needles New Sterile Disposable Luer Lock Tip

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

Review Marks Keg and Carboy WasherHands on Review: Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer

 

Tip: Checking for Draft System CO2 Leaks – the Pressure Gauge Method

cln_img_0274Pictured: Spunding Valve – See: Build a Spunding Valve

The standard method of checking for kegerator CO2 leaks seems to be… spray everything with Star San solution (diluted of course) and look for bubbles.  That’s a great technique.

There is one place that this method does really work on…. the keg’s gas post.  That spot is only in play when your gas QD is engaged.  The kicker is… when the gas QD is on, you can’t see underneath it to check for bubbles.

The “pressure gauge method” can check the entire including gas QD connection and any connected tubing without soaking everything and the resulting clean up.

My process for that…

  • Charge your keg with CO2 as usual.  Use your usual serving pressure.  Overpressurizing can mask leaks that may otherwise show appear.
  • Remove the CO2 line and replace with a pressure gauge or Spunding Valve.
  • I mark the current pressure with a wax pencil, or you can just remember what it reads
  • Wait for a couple hours to overnight to see if the gauge drops.
  • If it drops quickly, there is a leak someplace in the system.  Note: If your keg has beer in it that is uncarbonated the pressure will drop some overnight (it is equalizing and carbonating the beer).  What you don’t want is a quick drop in pressure.
  • This tests technique tests the entire keg including the gas post, o-ring, QD and any tubing that’s connected.
  • In my experience, over long periods of time there will be some slow gauge movement.  I don’t know if these are micro leaks or temperature realted, but I’m not really concerned with that, I am looking for a relatively quick drop in pressure.  Something that shows up within a couple hours.

This technique also has the advantage of saving Star San and saving some clean up that’s required when you soak gear in Star San.

If the CO2 gauge method indicates a leak, you can start spraying Star San at that point.  If you cannot find the leak, I would suggest changing your gas post o-ring to see if that’s the culprit.

This is one of the uses of a Spunding Valve – See: Build a Spunding Valve.  You can also buy a gauge [Ball Lock QD Adjustable Pressure Valve W/Gauge] or make a gauge assembly for this purpose.

Related Gear and Resources…

Recent Great Deals [more]:

toppost:co2leaks

Full Size Sheet Pan – Catch Drips & Easy Clean Up on Bottling Day

Excellante 18 Inch X 26 Inch Full Size Alum Sheet Pan

Excellante Full Size Alum Sheet Pan. 18″ x 26″ full size sheet pan.  Rolled edge for extended use.  Dishwasher safe.

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I use this same tray to catch drips when bottling [See: Tip: Full Size Sheet Pan to Catch Drips on Bottling Day] and for BBQ-ing.  This tray makes a great workspace for dry rubbing and transporting racks of ribs when I BBQ on my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker < which I love dearly.

Update: Since this post was published the price, availability or promotion has changed.  Check the product page for up to the minute description, price and availability.  Also: Today’s Deals on Amazon

Excellante 18 Inch X 26 Inch Full Size Alum Sheet Pan

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

(10) 10 CC Syringes

61ILjqEt7FL._SL1500_

Why would these have anything to do with homebrewing, you ask?  Great question.  These are an easy way to measure 6 mL of Star San.  Put 6 mL of Star San in 1 gallon of distilled water and you’ve got sanitizing solution.  Fill up a spray bottle and you’re ready to sanitize for pennies a batch.  See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

Quantity 10 of 10 CC Syringes.  These do not have needles.  They do have Luer Lock Tips.  The syringes that I use for measuring Star San also have Luer Lock Tips.  There is no need to put anything on this connection.  You can draw Star San with the Luer Lock end.

Science Purchase- 10 cc/ml 10 pcs Syringe w/o Needles New Sterile Disposable Luer Lock Tip

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

Review Marks Keg and Carboy WasherHands on Review: Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer

 

Tip: Some Thoughts About… Homebrew Shop Sales Timing and Traffic Patterns

When is the best time (price-wise) to buy something?  I would say the answer (generally speaking)… is when you don’t want it.  Winter coats are the cheapest when winter is over because nobody wants them.  Holiday decorations are drastically marked down after the holidays.  Retailers make these decisions because demand is low.

After running Homebrew Finds for years and years, I can tell you that there are some patterns that seem to repeat themselves.  I’m not going to share everything, not that you would want to hear it, but I will share a couple snippets with you.

  1.  Traffic drops a bit toward the end of the week going into the following week…  Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Yet, many homebrew shops run sales during this exact time period.  Why?  I think it’s a mix.  Mostly retailers understand that their sales traffic and sales volume tend to drop off, so to counteract that, they run sales during this slower time.
  2. Summer months are slower than fall, winter and spring.  People aren’t homebrewing as much.  It’s hot in many places and people are taking vacations and enjoying the good weather.

Why does this matter? Some homebrew shops recognize this pattern and basically sit out the summer.  Their thinking is… why fight it?  Others continue to repeat the same things regardless of time of year.  Still others recognize this pattern and offer some of their best offers during the summer time or toward the end of the week.  It’s that reason that I’m telling you about this.  I think you should Connect With Us and read Homebrew Finds on a regular basis.  If you want to maximize savings be prepared to purchase gear and ingredients that you won’t actually use until “brewing season” kicks back up.

There are 8 Ways to Connect with HBF!

If you’re a homebrew shop proprietor reading this… I’m not saying to move all of your sales to the weekend or to the summer.  Don’t do that.  For the reasons I’ve outlined above… numerically speaking, those aren’t the best times to run sales.  Of course, that depends on your goal.  If you’re looking to stir up traffic during a slow time, then, yep, go for it.  My general guidance would be come out to play often – early week, mid week, end of the week and every month of the year.  If you aren’t playing…  someone else is.  If you’d like some specific guidance from me or you’d to just to chat about the homebrew industry… I’d love to talk!  Send me an email.

Recent Great Deals [more]:

toppost:tiptrafficpatterns

Tip: MoreBeer, MoreWine and MoreCoffee Combined Cart & Promotions

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You probably know this, but… MoreBeer sells homebrew, winemaking and coffee roasting supplies under three websites.  MoreBeer, MoreWine and MoreCoffee.  Although there is some overlap, selection and promotions do vary.  As an example, you can buy green coffee beans and roasting equipment on MoreBeer, but the selection on MoreCoffee is wider.

Here’s a tip… If you log in to each site (the same username and password work on all sites) your cart will follow you and you can make a combined order across all three.  That means you can combine multiple orders together to qualify for free shipping!  Many times, but not always, one website’s coupons work at the other website.  Since the shared cart accepts multiple coupon codes, you can get in on the MoreWine Deal of the Week AND the MoreBeer Deal of the Day!  And… bundle that with free shipping!

MoreBeer | MoreWine | MoreCoffee

MoreBeer Daily Deal | MoreBeer Sale Items | MoreWine Weekly Deal | MoreWine Sale

Also Consider… All Sale and Clearanc53_1449191776e Items

Recent MoreBeer Finds [Show All]:

Reader Tip: Amazon Tap – Alexa Enabled Portable Speaker – for Brew Day

Thanks to HBF Reader Steve for this tip!  [8 Ways to Connect with HBF]

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Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Amazon

Bluetooth speakers aren’t something you see often (maybe at all) on Homebrew Finds.  HBF Reader Steve uses Amazon’s Tap as a sort of brew day assistant…

Steve Says: “I use my Amazon Tap extensively for music, conversions, ambient temperatures, timers, etc. Invaluable now to my brew days.”

Steve also points out the Hopstand Alexa skill [What is an Alexa Skill?].  Hopstand is a voice activated brix to gravity calculator.

Alexa enabled, Wi-Fi smart plugs are also available that can be used to turn items on and office using your voice in conjunction with Alexa devices.  See: TP-LINK Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Works with Alexa, Control your Devices from Anywhere (HS100)

Features
  • Just tap and ask for music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
  • Uses the Alexa Voice Service when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to play music, read the news, provide weather reports, and even order a pizza
  • Streams all your music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet
  • Delivers crisp sound powered by Dolby, with dual stereo speakers that provide 360º omni-directional audio
  • Provides up to 9 hours of playback
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills
    Includes Charging Cradle

 

Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Also: Amazon Echo

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]: