Category Archives: Tips

Vacuum Sealing Mylar Bags Using FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers – Loads of Updates!

foodsaver mylar bags

Vacuum sealing with a FoodSaver, Seal-a-Meal or similar is a great way store food, hops, grains, spices and more. Vacuum bags work to seal out oxygen, prevent freezer burn and more.

What Are the Advantages Mylar Bags?

Generally speaking Mylar bags consist of three layers. Two Mylar layers that laminate a center aluminum foil layer. This combination provides strength, flexibility and durability along with an extremely low Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR). These bags also block potentially damaging light. Combine this with vacuum sealing and you’ve got an outstanding way to store food & more.

Search Amazon for “food grade mylar bags” – to see lots of current offerings

For homebrewer’s… Vacuum sealed Mylar bags are an excellent  way to store hops and other oxygen sensitive materials.  As a testament to this, many hop distributors distribute hops in Mylar bags.  Sometimes those are vacuum sealed and sometimes they are nitrogen flushed.

Do Mylar Bags Work with FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers?

A FoodSaver (or similar) is a standard home suction type vacuum sealer that relies on special bags. We generally call them… vacuum sealer bags. These bags are embossed or textured to create channels on the inside of the bag. Those channels allow a FoodSaver to draw out air and create a vacuum all while the machine is clamped down. When this process is done a heat strip seals the bag locking in the vacuum state.

Mylar bags have smooth walls. Since they don’t have the required special channels they will not work with FoodSaver machines.

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Saving Dry Yeast With a Vacuum Sealer!

vacuum sealing yeast

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts! This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts


I periodically brew small batches that require less that a full packet of dry yeast.  See: Small Batch, All Grain Stove Top Brewing + Water Calculation Spreadsheet.  For that matter, sometimes larger beers require a full packet plus.

To save money and reduce waste, I use my vacuum sealer to store partial packets of dried yeast.

Here’s the procedure I use…

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Eva Dry E-500 Dehumidifier [Fix Kegerator Condensation]

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

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

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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.

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12 x Big Bands 7″ x 1/8″ Rubber Bands – good for affixing temp probe on fermenter – $2.18 + free prime ship

Alliance Rubber Big Rubber Bands 12 Pack 7-Inch X 1/8-Inch Red 00700

More Info
Highlighted Features
  • REUSABLE: Unlike tape or string that can only be used once, Big Bands large rubber bands are reusable many times over, helping you reduce unnecessary waste and costs. When done with them, simply remove and store them for your next project.
  • SECURE TRASH LINERS: These oversized rubber bands are ideal for securing trash can liners so that you can put more into your garbage bin without worrying the bag will slip and cause a mess. Big Bands fit can sizes from 13 qt. to 32 gal. so they're great for both home and commercial use.
  • FREEZER AND MICROWAVE SAFE: These big rubber bands are freezer and microwave safe, making them ideal for securing lids on food for storing leftovers, or for reheating them the next day. Keep chip or cracker bags tightly closed to seal in freshness.
  • ENDLESS USES: Big elastic bands are a versatile tool that you can use at home, in schools or the office for a variety of purposes to stay organized and tidy.
  • MADE IN THE USA: Big Bands heavy duty rubber bands are made in the USA so you know that you're receiving a high quality product, fresh stock and fast service.

 

I use these to secure affix my Inkbird temp probe to my fermenter.  The 7″ x 1/8″ are large enough to work with my 7.9 and 5.3 gallon sized Speidel fermenters along with my 7 gallon SS Brewtech Brew Bucket.  I like these vs using something like duct tape because i don’t like the adhesive that’s left behind with tape.  I would guess these will work with many sizes and types of fermenters, but I can’t give you a conclusive list.

1/17 10:30 PM Central: These are selling for just $2.18. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Alliance Rubber Big Rubber Bands 12 Pack 7-Inch X 1/8-Inch Red 00700 – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Fix It! Repairing Loose Cornelius Keg Handles and Bases

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

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts! This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts

A loose corny keg handle or base can be an annoyance.  If your keg is in otherwise good shape, it may make sense to repair a loose handle or base.


Finding Loose Handle Kegs, How-To Continues Below:

Why would you want to find a loose handle or base keg. The answer is… they can be a great deal!

Adventures in Homebrewing is the one shop I know of that periodically sells loose handle or base kegs.

  • Availability of these is touch and go.
  • When they’re available available, these are generally one of the best Ball Lock keg deals around.
  • If you’re interested, based on past experience, I’d suggest picking these up sooner rather than later.

Loose Handle/Bottom Ball Lock keg w/PRV Lid


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

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Resolve to Brew More in 2022!… 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

Avery 5410 – 600 x 1″ Round Printable Labels – Great size for labeling beer caps

Avery 1″ Round Multi Use Labels.  600 total labels.

More Info
Highlighted Features
  • Labels stick, stay and remove cleanly without leaving a residue
  • Ideal for drawers, containers, boxes, shelves and other smooth surfaces
  • Pack of 600 Labels

 

1″ round labels work really well for labeling beer caps.  Labeling caps works especially well if you’re planning to reuse the bottle.  There is no work involved in removing old labels before next use.

 

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

These are printable labels so you can create some nice looking labels.  Avery offers free templates for popular software including Microsoft Word as well as free online design and print tool.

Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Labels, 1-Inch Diameter, White, Pack of 600 (5410) – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Also: GrogTag Deals and Coupons – GrogTag prints your design onto professionally printed, reusable labels