Category Archives: Top Posts

Homebrew Hack: Mimicking Dual Stage Temp Control with a Single Stage Controller

Inkbird IPB-16 15A Digital Pre-Wired PID Temperature Controller Thermostat with PT100 Probe, One SSR Output, One Relay Alarm Output, AC100V -240V

Pictured: Inkbird IPB-16 15A Digital Pre-Wired PID Temperature Controller

Overriding temperature controllers give you more control over heating and cooling devices.  They work by power cycling the device based on temperatures read.  This is extremely valuable for homebrewers for both homebrew kegerators and for controlling fermentation temperatures.  This technology allows you to operate a chest freezer at refrigerator-type temperatures.  This is even helpful if you’re using a refrigerator, because stock refrigerator thermostats generally do not have the precise controls we’re looking for as homebrewers.

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Short On Time? Time Saving Homebrew Tips!

img_img_0908Pictured: Anvil Kettle from my Hands on Review – I use this kettle for small batches

Time can be a big factor when it comes to homebrewing.  Sure, it may be nice to spend sunrise until sunset carefully hand crafting a batch (or batches) of beer, but the practicalities of life can and do factor in when we’re deciding if we can brew a batch of beer.  For your stage of life, time may not be a factor.  If so, that’s awesome.  For others, time saving tips and techniques could help you brew more often.

With those thoughts in mind, I put the call out to the HBF community [8 Ways to Connect with HBF] to get some time saving tips and tricks.  A selection  of those along with some of my own thoughts follows.  Thanks to all who participated!  A full list of contributors is at the end of this post.

How do I save time home brewing? Continue reading

Short On Time? Time Saving Homebrew Tips!

img_img_0908Pictured: Anvil Kettle from my Hands on Review – I use this kettle for small batches

Time can be a big factor when it comes to homebrewing.  Sure, it may be nice to spend sunrise until sunset carefully hand crafting a batch (or batches) of beer, but the practicalities of life can and do factor in when we’re deciding if we can brew a batch of beer.  For your stage of life, time may not be a factor.  If so, that’s awesome.  For others, time saving tips and techniques could help you brew more often.

With those thoughts in mind, I put the call out to the HBF community [8 Ways to Connect with HBF] to get some time saving tips and tricks.  A selection  of those along with some of my own thoughts follows.  Thanks to all who participated!  A full list of contributors is at the end of this post.

How do I save time home brewing? Continue reading

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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Pinned: New Inline Regulator | Citra Sale | Giveaway | Mash & Boil | Grain Storage

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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

Pinned: New Inline Regulator | Citra Sale | Giveaway | Mash & Boil | Grain Storage

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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.

More Keg and Draft Related:

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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.

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