Category Archives: Homebrew Hacks

How To: Step by Step Making a Magnetic Drip Tray

Pictured: Update International DTS-419 Rectangular Stainless Steel Drip Tray, 19 by 4-Inch – via Amazon

Step by Step instructions for making a magnetic drip try for your Kegerator or Keezer

By: HBF Reader Andrew Cunje

Materials:

  • 19″ Drip Tray – via Amazon
  • 4′ of 6x.5 Poplar Wood (actual width is 5.5″)
  • 1’4″ of  6×1 Poplar Wood (actual width is 5.5″) Note: A thicker wood will suffice for this…remember the longer the wood extends down from the joint, the less likely the magnetic bond will break from the leverage applied to the edge of the drip tray.)
  • 4-5ft of Decorative Trim of your choice (Sold in lengths of 8′)
  • MUST BE 1.25-1.5 inch trim. I used 1.5 which I highly recommend.
  • 3/4″ mounting screws (for magnets) or Epoxy/Gorilla Glue
  • 1″ wood screws
  • Brad/Finishing Nails
  • 1 large old skewl hard drive magnets (Bigger with Mounting Holes than newer drives) (Alternative: rare earth neodymium magnets that are .5″ thick (Approximately 8); these can be stacked if you can only find .25″ magnets)
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Putty (Optional)
  • Wood Stain (Optional)
  • Tennis Racket Grip Tap (Or an old yellow rubber glove). Anything rubbery and tacky to increase friction against the fridge.

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Build a Spunding Valve! – How and Why

A Spunding Valve allows you to maintain a set pressure.  If pressure in the vessel exceeds the set point, it is expelled.  It generally consists of an adjustable PRV valve, a tee, a gauge and a way to connect to your keg.

Homebrewing Applications of a Spunding Valve

  1. Pressurized fermentation.  Ferment in a 5 or 10 gallon corny keg and use your Spunding Valve instead of an airlock.  This allows you to ferment at your desired pressure.
  2. Dry hop under pressure.  This allows you to dry hop earlier while reducing oxygenation.  Active yeast are more likely to metabolize oxygen that’s introduced during dry hopping during active fermentation.  Since CO2 is not exiting beer as vigorously under pressure, wanted compounds, flavors and aromas are more likely to stay in your beer under pressure.
  3. Naturally and accurately carbonate beer right in the keg.
  4. An airlock replacement.  Keep the valve wide open for non-pressurized fermentations.  Only do this if you have plenty of head space.  This wouldn’t make a great blow off tube.
  5. Keg to keg transfers.  Use the Spunding Valve to allow excess gas to exit the receiving keg as you transfer under pressure.  Helps you achieve a slow, controlled and pressurized transfer.
  6. Fix over-carbonated beers.
  7. Test for keg leaks.  Pressurize your keg to serving pressure.  Put the Spunding Valve on (with the pressure set well above your serving PSI) and note the reading.  The gauge should remain steady.  If pressure drops, you know you have a keg leak.  The digital build, see below, is especially helpful for this task,  The digital gauge reads with .1 PSI resolution making pressure changes easy to spot.  It’s worth noting that this checks the entire keg including gas body o-ring.  That spot is hard to check and other way as it’s only in function when the gas QD is on.  When the gas QD is on… it’s difficult to spray and check for bubbles underneath the gas QD.  Thanks to Scott Janish for this tip!
  8. As an airlock for long term aging of beers.  Airlocks can run dry over time.  A Spunding Valve will not.

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