Category Archives: Tips

Checking for Draft System CO2 Leaks – Using The Pressure Gauge Method

check for co2 leaks

For the most part, checking for keg liquid and CO2 leaks is pretty straightforward.  Is beer leaking?  Then you’ve got a liquid leak.  Is there six inches of beer in your kegerator?  That one’s really easy to spot.  If beer is shooting out like a geyser, you’ve got a… fast leak. 🙂

For kegerator CO2 leaks, it’s a generally a little more work, but still pretty easy… spray everything with Star San solution (diluted of course) and look for bubbles.

A problem spot.  There is one place on the CO2 side that the soak-everything-with-Star-San method doesn’t really work…. the keg’s gas post.  Testing at this point using the spray bottle method is impossible (or at the very least difficult and messy).  Unless your poppet is messed up, leaks will only surface here when a gas QD is actually engaged.  The problem is, you can’t easily see that spot when a QD on.  Stated more simply, you need a QD on to see if it’s leaking, but you can’t see it if a QD is on.

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

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Tip: Using Undiluted PBW to Help with Bottle Label Removal

beer bottle label removal

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!


  • Soaking your bottles in hot PBW is not a new technique.  It works well and I would venture a guess that a lot of homebrewers do this.
  • Here’s the tip… If you have a label or bits of adhesive that are being stubborn,   Put a little bit of PBW right on a label or adhesive that’s giving you problems and scrub.  The grittiness of the PBW combined with it’s full strength application generally dissolves the label and adhesive in short order.
  • PBW can be rough on your hands when diluted.  That’s even more true when it’s undiluted.  I recommend using protective gloves when dealing with PBW.
  • Search Amazon for “elbow length cleaning gloves”
  • Search Amazon for “PBW Cleaner”
  • Search Amazon for “scrub pads”
  • Search MoreBeer for “PBW”
  • Related Categories: BottlingCleaning

My PBW Quick Pick!

Quick Pick!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. rpu:tips#24

Vacuum Sealing Mylar Bags Using Traditional Vacuum Sealers

Vacuum sealer bags are great at sealing out oxygen, preventing freezer burn, etc.  FoodSaver bags, vacuum sealers and the like are a great way to store hops, grains, spices and more!

Why Mylar?

Mylar bags block oxygen and are a great way to store hops and other oxygen sensitive materials.  As a testament to this, many hop distributors and sellers distribute hops in Mylar type bags.  Sometimes those are vacuum sealed and sometimes they are nitrogen flushed.

Mylar bags are not generally expensive, so that’s great!  The problem is vacuum sealers that can seal Mylar bags ARE expensive.  Sometimes very expensive.  That’s not great!

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Eva Dry E-500 Dehumidifier [Fix Kegerator Condensation] – $19.97 + free prime ship

New and Improved Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier

Like many homebrewers and craft beer lovers, I use a chest freezer for chilling and serving kegs. Eva Dry Kegerator Condensation The big downside I’ve experienced is with that is… condensation.  Not just beads of water on the sides, I had pooling water in the bottom.  Not a good thing.  This varies by how often I’m in it and the weather, but the fact is, a chest freezer just isn’t designed to deal with condensation like a refrigerator is.

Enter the Eva-Dry E-500.  The Eva-Dry E-500 contains desiccant beads  that absorb moisture.  As this material absorbs moisture it also changes color.  Dark blue means it’s dry and pink means it’s becoming saturated.  The great thing about the Eva-Dry E-500 is that the desiccant material is reusable.  The unit contains a built in heater that drives off built up moisture.  When it becomes saturated, plug it in overnight and it’s ready to go again the next day.  I also use on of these in my fermentation chamber.

See: Damp Kegerator? Fix Kegerator Condensation

What are other people saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “kegerator” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

As of this posting, this is selling for $19.97.  That’s 70 cents shy of the best historical direct from Amazon price I found, notwithstanding Lightning Deals or coupons. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order.  Prices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

New and Improved Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

Our Top Draft Resources

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.  prod:B00BD0FN8A  tag:itsapageamz

Color Code Keg Posts for Quick Identification

Valuebrew has an exclusive color coded option for keg post o-rings.  Blue and Green.  These are sized for ball lock kegs (although there is a workaround for pin lock kegs, see pin lock section below).  You can use these however you’d like, but the idea is to color code you keg posts for easy identification.  They recommend Blue for Beer and Green for Gas.

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Short On Time? Time Saving Homebrew Tips!

time saving homebrew tips

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

Recondition Keg Handles & Bases with Armor All Protectant

Rubber Handles get dried out and can start to crack.  Kegs in this state also tend to leave rubber marks on everything and dirty up your hands quickly.  Armor All Protectant works great to reinvigorate rubber handles and bases.

A look at the clean and Armor All Treated Based.  Looking nice and shiny.

Search Amazon for “Armor All Cleaner” to shop around for available options

This write-up is part of my post on rebuilding kegsJump To This Section – If you look through the post you’ll see just how good the keg looks at the end.

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Removing Keg Labels… A Trick That Makes it Easy

As you can see from this photo, this keg had one sticker on it.  It mostly goes around the keg.  Trying to peel this sticker off yielded… 0 positive progress.  It was stuck on the keg, presumably for years.  The actual printing itself is completely warn away.   I was only able to get very small bits of this sticker off.

I wrapped my Fermwrap heater around the keg and let it warm up for several minutes.  The idea here is to warm up the sticker and the old adhesive to make sticker removal easier.After just a few minutes of warming the sticker came up very easily.A minute later, I had the entire sticker removed in three chunks.The only thing that remains of the sticker is residual adhesive

This write-up is part of my post on rebuilding kegsJump To This Section – If you look through the post you’ll see just how good the keg looks at the end.

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Use Goo Gone to Remove Old Adhesive From Kegs

Used Kegs often have old stickers. After removing these we’re often left with sticky, hard to remove adhesive.  Goo Gone to the rescue!

In my experience, Goo Gone is harsh on my skin so I’m using nitrile gloves.  Glove are… handy.  Did you see what I did there? 🙂  I just work my way around the keg a few times.  That gives the Goo Gone a chance to chemically break down the adhesive while I provide some periodic agitation.  In this case the adhesive dissolved pretty quickly and the small pieces of sticker that were left came right off.  TIP: I recommend using Goo Gone sparingly.  You really don’t need that much and you certainly WOULD NOT want to use enough that it gets on the handle or base of your keg.  Goo Gone acts as a solvent for many adhesives.  It could potentially loosen up rubber handles or bases.  Then you’d need to use our Fixing Loose Handles Tip.  So, just put a little on a paper towel or rag and add a little more if you need to.A look at the used paper towel with dirt, adhesive residue and small bits of stickers on it.  Whammo!

Search Amazon for “Goo Gone” to shop around for available options

This write-up is part of my post on rebuilding kegsJump To This Section – If you look through the post you’ll see just how good the keg looks at the end.

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Make Your Kegs Shine with Bar Keepers Friend

Bar Keepers Friend is my go-to for deep cleaning stainless, kegs, kettles and such.

If your kegs are dirty, scuffed or have leftover adhesive, a thorough scrub with Bar Keepers Friend may be in order. Just use a scrubby pad or scrubby sponge along with some Bar Keepers Friend and go to work. I recommend using protective gloves.

Search Amazon for “Barkeepers Friend Cleanser” to shop around for available options

This write-up is part of my post on rebuilding kegsJump To This Section – If you look through the post you’ll see just how good the keg looks at the end.

Continue reading