Category Archives: Top Posts

Homebrew Gear that’s Made in the USA!

Here are some homebrew and craft related gear options that are Made in the USA.  This is our understanding as of the time this post was published.  Note some items may be made or assembled in the USA from internationally source components.  Please check with manufacturers for detailed information and to confirm origin and assembly location information.

What else?  Submit a tip and let us know

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Oversize Keg Lid O-Ring – for leaky lids

Oversize Keg Lid O-Ring from William’s Brewing.

About, from William’s: “Unlike standard lid O rings which have a .280″ cross section, our exclusive Oversize O Ring has a slightly larger (.310″) diameter, and is molded from softer rubber, for a more positive seal at low dispensing pressures. An ideal fix for an older keg with a leaky lid, or for any keg that needs to be pressurized before filling to achieve an airtight seal. Fits all brands of kegs, pin-lock or ball-lock, with a 3 by 3.5” clamp down oval lid. ”

As of this posting, this is selling for $3.99.  Check William’s Brewing for up to the minute price and availability.

From HBF Reader David Says: “I have some of these for some Pin lock kegs that I used ball lock lids on that wouldn’t seal up. They are now some of my tightest lids and are great.”

Facebook Friend [Connect with HBF on Facebook] Gus Says: “These things are awesome. Fixed a keg that was headed for the scrap pile. All my kegs rock these.”

OVERSIZE KEG LID SEALING ‘O’ RING

AlsoKegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | 5 Recent Keg Finds

Visit William’s Brewing – Web Only Clearance Sale

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Repairing Loose Cornelius Keg Handles and Bases

Pictured: Loose Handle/Bottom Ball Lock Keg via Adventures in Homebrewing

This technique comes via Facebook friend Jason Connect with HBF on Facebook].  Thank you Jason!

Jason’s technique for repairing loose handles on Cornelius kegs:

  • Use automotive brake cleaner to clean the metal and rubber.
  • Scuff both the metal and rubber with an emery cloth.
  • Get an appropriate adhesive that works with rubber and metal.  Consider: 3M 08008 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive via Amazon.   HBF Reader Scott says Gorilla Glue also works great for this: “Gorilla Glue works great for reattaching rubber keg parts. It’s an expanding polyurethane so it really gets in there and grabs.” Thanks Scott!
  • Reattach the handle using the adhesive.  Follow the product specific instructions for application and curing.

Another option (again from Jason) is to do the prep work on the keg and ask your local windshield repair shop to apply their adhesive.  They use a very strong urethane adhesive that should work great.

Note: Always read and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

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Tips and Gear for Growler Filling

Pictured: Stanley Vacuum Insulated Growler via Amazon – Review

Filling a growler or small draft dispenser from your draft setup is an easy and straightforward process.  Here are some tips and tools for making this as easy and efficient as possible.

  1. Start with a clean growler.  Use some growler cleaning tabs, PBW or your favorite homebrewing cleanser.  Refrain from using dish soaps and the like.  Thoroughly rinse your growler after cleaning.  If you’re not going to use it right away, let it air dry.  I always store my growlers with the cap off.  Starting with a clean growler is important for general cleanliness and food safety, but it also makes filling your growler easier.  Spots and such can serve as nucleation points causing unnecessary foam during the fill.
  2. A warm growler can lead to excessive foaming.  Start with a cold growler.  I suggest putting your growler directly in your kegerator so it’s the same temperature as your beer.  This will help to reduce foaming.
  3. Having a wet growler also helps reduce foam.  Put properly mixed Star San solution in your growler prior to chilling, swirl it around to coat all surfaces and discard just prior to filling.  If you’ll be drinking the growler right away, you can skip the Star San and just use fresh, cold tap water.
  4. Turn down the pressure.  Serving pressure is generally around 10 PSI, depending on how your system is tuned.  That makes for too quick of a fill and too much foam.  Turn down the pressure on your CO2 regulator to 3 or 4 psi to fill your growler slowly.  Remember to purge keg headspace after decreasing your regulator’s PSI setting.
  5. Affix a growler filler or length of tubing to your faucet.  If you’re using picnic taps a 3/8″ ID section of tubing should fit nicely on the end of your taps.  If you’re using a Perlick style faucet, a section of 1/2″ ID tubing should fit on your faucet.  Make sure the tubing is long enough to hit the bottom of the growler.  Filling from the bottom up should reduce oxygen pickup and foaming.
  6. As your beer gets close to the top lower the growler to withdraw the tubing and top up.
  7. A slight overfill can be a good thing.  When you close or cap on foam the head space is purged with CO2.  Have a clean towel or rag available to clean up the excess and any spills.

To purge or not to purge.  Purging your growler with CO2 can be a good way to decrease oxidation and keep your beer tasting fresh longer.  If your growler will be consumed right away (I’d say within a day or two), purging with CO2 probably won’t be worth it.  If it will be a while before the growler is consumed purging with CO2 would be a good thing.  If you’re going to do that I suggest doing it after you turn down your CO2 pressure.  I use my CO2 utility line (link below) for purging growlers.

Growler Fillers: These allow you to easily attach a length of tubing to your faucet for the purpose of filling a growler.  They can just as easily be used to fill a small kegging system or small keg.  Just use a longer piece of tubing.

Related:

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Zymurgy‘s Best Beers in America 2017!

The American Homebrewers Association (See: Why you should be a member of the AHA! | our AHA Tag – for recent deals) has announced the results of their annual poll of Zymurgy Magazine readers to determine the Best Beers in America.

Russian River’s Pliny the Elder has finally (after 8 consecutive years) has finally been unseated from the number one spot.  This great beer has plummeted one spot to number two. 🙂

Top 10 Beers (T indicates tie) [Along with some clone options]…

Check out the complete list Zymurgy’s 2017 Best Beers in America Results

AlsoCommercial Beer Replication Resources | MoreBeer Clone Recipe Kits

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Uses for Ice Packs

  • The first and most obvious use for these… use them in your cooler to keep your homebrew, favorite craft beer and more cold.  I went to ice packs instead of ice after watching a segment on packing your cooler properly on “Good Eats”.  Thanks to Alton Brown I have been ice free since and haven’t looked back.
  • Traveling someplace to brew – put your yeast and hops in a small cooler with an ice pack.
  • I like to keep an ice pack next to yeast in my fridge to help temp stabilize it.
  • If you’re using an ice bath to help keep fermentation temperatures down, use ice packs instead of ice.  This method saves you needing to drain water from the bath like you would have if you had added more ice, adding more gel packs doesn’t add any additional water to the mix.  If you’re in the practice of purchasing bags of ice for this, this method will also save you money in the long run.
  • If you have warm ground water temps, set up your system with a pre-chiller and use ice packs to help chill down your ground water.

Cooler Shock Performance Chart via their 3 x Large Offering on Amazon

Frozen water in gallon jugs and 2L bottles can also be used for some of these tasks.  Although their pound for pound performance may trail behind something like a Cooler Shock Ice Pack, they are an economical option.  I would lean more toward using 2L bottles are they are generally more rugged than gallon jugs.

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Faucet Locks for Perlick Faucets

Perlick Wrap Around Draft Beer Faucet Lock - Kegerator Bar Security - All ModelsPictured: eBay Offering – Perlick Wrap Around Draft Beer Faucet Lock – Kegerator Bar Security – All Models

A faucet lock allows you to secure your faucet to prevent unwanted use.  Kids, visitors, etc.

Perlick makes two models…

  • 308-40B works with Perlick 307, 425, 408, 410 and the 525SS faucets.
  • 308-40C works with Perlick 600 Series Faucets

Availability on these can be touch and go.  I’ve found that eBay can be a good spot for these

Search: 308-40b and 308-40c on eBay

  • Perlick 630SS @ AIH and MoreBeer – forward sealing (will not stick and more resistant to contamination) and stainless steel
  • Perlick 650SS @ AIH and MoreBeer – forward sealing, stainless steel and flow control.  Flow control allows you to vary resistance making it easier to serve higher carbonation beers with less beer line.
  • Intertap Faucets and Accessories – high quality forward sealing faucets & unique accessories
  • Growler Fillers – allow you to easily attach tubing to your growler.  Use a length of tubing to ensure that you’re filling from the bottom up – Standard Faucets | Perlick 525 | Perlick 600 Series

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