Category Archives: Tips

San Jamar Versa-Mat 12″ x 12″ Interlocking Drying Mats – lots of uses

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats

12″ by 12″ interlocking bar mat by San Jamar.  These interlocking mats are versatile.  Multiple mats can be joined for larger areas and they are flexible and easy to cut to shape.  Allows for airflow under glassware.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Versatile Service – Mats can be cut to accommodate curves and other contours making it the custom choice for a variety of environments
  • Interlocking Mats – Lightweight design cuts easily to accommodate the perfect fit in any space configuration
  • Superior Airflow – Unique raised design allows for superior airflow under glassware to reduce mold build-up
  • Non-Slip Surface – Prevents mat from sliding around when in use and protects glassware rims
  • Easy Disassembly – Strips disassemble and are dishwasher safe for quick clean up

 

I purchased a number of these (mine are clear) in 2015 and have since found them very handy.  I use them for drying brew day gear and glassware and also underneath my fermenter in my fermentation deep freeze to improve airflow and keep the fermenter out of any condensation that might show up).  I also use this in bottom of my kegerator.  More info on that here – Upgrade Your Kegerator – 6 Improvements

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

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Also available in different colors and quantities – search san jamar interlocking bar mat on Amazon

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:B003V0GAIM

San Jamar Versa-Mat 12″ x 12″ Interlocking Drying Mats – lots of uses

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats

12″ by 12″ interlocking bar mat by San Jamar.  These interlocking mats are versatile.  Multiple mats can be joined for larger areas and they are flexible and easy to cut to shape.  Allows for airflow under glassware.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Versatile Service – Mats can be cut to accommodate curves and other contours making it the custom choice for a variety of environments
  • Interlocking Mats – Lightweight design cuts easily to accommodate the perfect fit in any space configuration
  • Superior Airflow – Unique raised design allows for superior airflow under glassware to reduce mold build-up
  • Non-Slip Surface – Prevents mat from sliding around when in use and protects glassware rims
  • Easy Disassembly – Strips disassemble and are dishwasher safe for quick clean up

 

I purchased a number of these (mine are clear) in 2015 and have since found them very handy.  I use them for drying brew day gear and glassware and also underneath my fermenter in my fermentation deep freeze to improve airflow and keep the fermenter out of any condensation that might show up).  I also use this in bottom of my kegerator.  More info on that here – Upgrade Your Kegerator – 6 Improvements

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

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Also available in different colors and quantities – search san jamar interlocking bar mat on Amazon

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:B003V0GAIM

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

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


What are other people saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “kegerator”

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

Our Top Draft Resources

 

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:evadry500-B00BD0FN8A

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

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


What are other people saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “kegerator”

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

Our Top Draft Resources

 

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:evadry500-B00BD0FN8A

12″ x 12″ Interlocking NSF Certified Drying Mats – lots of uses

San Jamar VM5280 Versa-Mat Interlocking Bar Mat, 12" Length x 12" Width, Clear

12″ by 12″ interlocking bar mat by San Jamar.  These interlocking mats are versatile.  Multiple mats can be joined for larger areas and they are flexible and easy to cut to shape.  Allows for airflow under glassware.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Raised design provides a sanitary surface for your glassware, and allows for better air circulation and faster drying
  • Durable, non-slip material prevents marring and breaking of glassware
  • Interlocking design allows you to connect multiple mats, and the lightweight material can be easily cut to fit into any shape or size needed for your shelves, bar or sink
  • Always lays flat for a neat, clean appearance
  • Dishwasher safe and NSF approved

 

I purchased a number of these in 2015 and have since found them very handy.  I use them for drying brew day gear and glassware and also underneath my fermenter in my fermentation deep freeze to improve airflow and keep the fermenter out of any condensation that might show up).  I also use this in bottom of my kegerator.  More info on that here – Upgrade Your Kegerator – 6 Improvements

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

San Jamar VM5280 Versa-Mat Interlocking Bar Mat, 12″ Length x 12″ Width – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Also available in different colors and quantities – search san jamar interlocking bar bat on Amazon

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:B003V0GAIM

12 x Big Bands 7″ x 1/8″ Rubber Bands – good for affixing temp probe on fermenter

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

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

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • 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.

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


More: Recent Amazon Finds

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

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


What are other people saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “kegerator”

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

Our Top Draft Resources

 

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:evadry500-B00BD0FN8A

12 x Big Bands 7″ x 1/8″ Rubber Bands – good for affixing temp probe on fermenters

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

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

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • 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.

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


More: Recent Amazon Finds

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

cln_img_0274Pictured: Spunding Valve – See: Build a Spunding Valve

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 [via Amazon] 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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My Brewing Spreadsheet – quick & easy brew day management

The spreadsheet is setup from my perspective, as a batch sparger.  Having said that, almost everything applies equally to a fly sparger with the possible exceptions of the computed mash ratio (more below), planning on a set volume of sparge water and the step by step batch sparge directions.

Brew Day Sheet (click to enlarge):
img_brewday

 This is the main sheet where you will fill in information about your beer and your mash parameters.

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