Category Archives: Reader Feedback

Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan

I have what I would call a reasonably well put together and balanced kegerator.  In spite of that, for years, I have dealt with the dreaded first foamy pint of beer.  After that, the beer pours great.  That is until a significant delay between pours – overnight or a few hours..

The cause of the problem is pretty clear.  Heat rises.  That means the top of your kegerator is going to be warmer than the bottom of your kegerator.  That warmer beer foams when it comes out.  The faucet and shank are also warmer.  That warmth adds to the problem.

How much is the temperature variance?  Of course, this will vary from setup to setup and climate to climate.  I was relatively shocked by the temperature difference in my own kegerator.

img_temps

The top reading about mid keg and the bottom reading is the top the top of my beer lines.  These are about 22″ apart.  This graph shows a point in time variance between the two of 14.9 degrees F.   My beer is about the temperature I want it, but the top of my serving line is much warmer.  That difference in temperature causes the first pint to have too much foam.  Pours that happen soon after the first are fine.  The tubing, shank and beer are relatively cool.

cln_img_5476The setup.  I have two temperature probes in my kegerator.  One is zip-tied to the top of a beverage line.  The other is zip-tied to a can of beer.  That’s how I have kept the probe in my kegerator for a long time with the thinking that the mass of the can of beer will help to stabilize temperature readings and give overall stable and accurate readings.  That can is sitting on the compressor hump of my Kenmore Deep Freeze (8.8 Cu ft Model 16932, out of production).  That puts it about mid keg.

cln_img_5457I placed the fan on my CO2 tank, leaning up against a keg.  Yes, you will notice that there’s no beer in the keg.  That keg was formerly filled with 1 Hr IPA and I’m sad it’s gone.  More Beer’s M-80 IPA is in the fermenter now, with RiteBrew’s Amarillo HopBurst on deck.

61hCqLgiTAL__SL1500_I used AC Infinity’s Pre-Wired LS8038A-X 115 Volt AC Fan, because it is reasonably priced, gets great reviews and it’s already setup to use AC.  I will say… My guess is that the manufacturer would not recommend this application.  If you decide to do something similar, proceed as you see fit.  I’m only telling you what I am doing myself.

Results…

img_kegerator

This graph illustrates the effects of adding the recirculation fan inside of my kegerator.  Prior to the fan, the tubing temperature spiked to around 55.4 deg F.  After the deep freeze kicked on, the tubing dropped to around 53.15 deg F.  Not a big change.  That averages out to 54.275 deg F.

You can see the point in this graph where the fan is turned on.  The temperature drops sharply.  The new is high 47.3 deg F and the new low is 42.13 deg F for an average of 44.715 deg F.

Before – Avg Tubing Temp = 54.275, Avg Mid Keg Temp = 38.83, Dif = 15.445 deg F

After – Avg Tubing Temp = 44.715, Avg Mid Keg Temp = 38.89, Dif = 5.825 deg F

The recirculation fan dropped my tubing temperature by 9.62 deg F (62%).  Practically speaking, that difference is enough to make every pint pour right.  My first pint pours correctly… I like that!

AC Infinity LS8038A-X Standard Cooling Fan, 115V AC 80mm by 80mm by 38mm Low Speed – $14.99 + Free Shipping with $35 order

Some more photos…

cln_img_5467A look down.  You can see my Eva Dry E-500 (Hands on Review) standing by taking care of condensation.  I’ve heard from others that a recirculation fan makes the Eva Dry work even better.  My kegerator has remained dry (with the help of the Eva Dry) since installing the fan.

cln_img_5480A look down my collar.  As you can see, I’m no wood worker.  Having said that, I spent a lot of time working on the fit and finish of this collar.  The end result was good.  If you let the deep freeze door fall shut the resulting noise, sounds like a factory seal sort of thump.  I did put weather stripping on the bottom to seal between the collar and the deep freeze.  Adding insulation to the collar would, presumably, also help maintain temperatures and reduce foaming.

Reader Feedback:  Google+ Friend Justin Says: “I use the same fan in my keezer and it works great.”

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99

Recent Great Deals:

Ends Soon: 8 Gal Kettle, Thermometer, Ball Valve.. $109.99 + $30 False Bottom & Reader Feedback

kettle_8gal_hd_welded_valve_gauge_front_view

These Heavy Duty 8 Gallon kettle with tri-clad bottom, lid, thermometer are marked down $60 to $109.99.  Home Brew Stuff has an additional promo going on right now where you can get a false bottom for $30.  That’s an additional savings of $39.95.  No coupon or promo code is necessary.  If you want the false bottom, remember to choose the $30 false bottom option on the product page.

These kettles have welded ports.  That’s a bonus, it means you won’t be messing with weldless kits.  These are on clearance because the welds have minor cosmetic flaws.  The cosmetic flaws do not affect functionality.  They are guaranteed leak free.  See the product description for more details and photos.  These qualify for $7.95 Flat Rate Shipping.

HBF Reader Feedback:  from Dave… I just got mine last night, and as far as I can tell it looks just about perfect. There are a few minor scuff marks on the lid and sides of the kettle, but aside from that it looks fantastic.

CLEARANCE – Kettle with Welded Valve and Thermometer – 8 gallon - $109.99

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99

Recent Home Brew Stuff Finds:

15.5 Gallon Stainless Keggle – $147.89

155_gallon_homebrew_kettle_with_one_weld_half_barrel_front

Adventures in Homebrewing has a 13% Off “Talk Like a Pirate” Sale going on now.  Use Coupon Code Loot to get that discount.  This does not apply to Blichmann Gear, Gift Certificates, previous purchases or Items that are already on sale.

This discount brings the 15.5 gallon stainless keggle with one welded port down to $147.89.  The 1/2″ NPT port allows you to easily add a ball valve and kettle pickup tube.

From Google+ Friend Kevan: This is what I use for all my homebrewing… it’s the best.

15.5 Homebrew Kettle With One Weld Half Barrel – $147.89 with promo code Loot

Some Items this sale works with:

Note that the coupon/promotional code actually goes in the field labeled gift certificate during checkout.

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99

Recent AIH Finds:

AIH Picks:

Great Deal: Irwin 8 Piece Tool Set – $58.99 Shipped, New Record Low

61cdo+V9tML._SL1500_

I don’t often run just straight up tools on HBF, but this one seems to be a stellar deal and I have all of these tools (type, not exact brand and model) standing by in my brew area.  I suppose that makes this brewing related.

Amazon’s Gold Box deal of the day dropped the price on this Irwin 8 piece plier set by $28.34 from $87.33 to $58.99.  That’s a new record low Amazon price.  They also ship for free.

Amazon Gold Box

Irwin Vise-Grip 2078712 GrooveLock 8-Piece Plier Set – $58.99 + Free Shipping

Facebook Friend Says: I have this set and it is amazing. I highly recommend it.

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99

Recent Amazon Finds:

Great Deal: 35 lb Digital Grain Scale – $19.16

81PWAGgQ4CL._SL1500_

The last time this highly rated digital scale appeared on HBF it was selling for $21.26.  At the time, that was a new record low Amazon price.  As of this posting, it’s selling for $19.16.  That’s just 6 cents off the current record low.  That’s a great deal for a great scale.  It ships free with Prime or a qualifying $35 order.

I own this scale and I can tell you that it makes for a nice grain scale.  A 5 gallon bucket fits on the platform and you can still see the readout.

The manufacturer says that the weighing platform on this scale is 24% larger than most scales.

It has a backlit display (good), auto hold or manual hold (good – I don’t like the auto hold feature for weighing grain), tare feature (required in my book) and AC Adapter included (hey.. that’s good too!).  This scale can also be calibrated using any known weight.  That’s a pretty great feature as some calibration procedures require odd or oversized calibration weights.  For example one digital scale I have requires a…. 30 lbs calibration weight.

From HBF Reader Mike: Ordered one of these a few days ago. Just received it. Initial impression of the scale is that it is good quality with nice features. Weight measurement out of the box was spot on. I compared 1 oz of hops against another scale I own with the new scale.

Digital Postal Shipping Postage Bench Scales 35 lbs - $19.16 + Free Shipping with $35 order

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99

Recent Amazon Finds:

Two Airtight Grain Storage Containers & Scoop – $19.54

This combination of two food safe, airtight storage containers along with a scoop is selling for $22.99.  That’s a great deal and just $1.73 off the record low Amazon price of $21.26.  If you look on the product page, you’ll notice a “Clip Coupon” button.  Click that and the price drops 15% to $19.54, below the record low.  Ships free with Prime or a qualifying $35 order.  This price and coupon applies to some, but not all of the available colors.  Click on each color to see what the price is and see if the coupon applies to that offering

As to capacity…. This combo has appeared on HBF in the past. Here is some feedback we’ve received.. “Mine arrived yesterday and I managed to fit a 50lb sack of 2 row in them.”

from HBF Reader Adam: I was able to successfully fit a 50lb Briess bag of Rye into one set of these. I was not able to fit a 55lb bag of 2-row into a set. I may take a few more minutes to shake it to settle the grain and try again, but it is going to be very close. One additional note on these, when you pick these containers up to move around, the lock doubles as a handle, as such, it is very easy to unlock it and potentially spill the grain.

IRIS Airtight Pet Food Container Combo Kit, Blue Indigo/Gray - $19.54 + Free Shipping with $35 order

Related: Great Prices on Bags of Malt

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99

Recent Amazon Finds:

5 Shelf Shelving Unit, 4,000 lb capacity – $37.68 Shipped + Caveat

This Heavy Duty Steel Shelving Unit, 5 Shelves, 36″ x 72″ x 18″ by Edsal has just dropped a whopping $26.97 from $64.95 to… $37.68… Shipped.  That’s a new record low Amazon price and an outstanding deal.

Thanks to Google+ Friend Rod for this picture and his experience with these shelving units!

Rod says that these shelves were easy to put together and sturdy.

The caveat is… that quoted delivery time is 4 to 6 weeks.  You’ll probably see a much higher price displayed as the main offering.  You may need to choose this price from the bottom right hand corner of your screen under “Other Sellers on Amazon”img_edsal

Edsal UR185L-BLK Black Steel Heavy Duty 5-Shelf Shelving Unit, 4000lbs Capacity, 36″ Width x 72″ Height x 18″ Depth - $37.68 + Free Shipping

Pinned: 8 Gallon Kettle · Refractometer · Brew Like a Monk · Brew Bag Sale

30per_kegsEnds Today 9/30Brand New NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – $79.99