Category Archives: Top Post Updates

Homebrew Clone Recipes! – Commercial Beer Replication Resources

homebrew clone recipes

A roundup of some of the available resources, books, recipes and kits to help you clone your favorite commercial craft beer.

Updated: 4/23/2024

Books

These can include both direct from the brewery recipes and tips and formulating your own recipes.

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Find the Best Deal on Sacks of Malt – STACKING DEALS… Want to pay $133.94 OR $71.53 for a sack of grain???

homebrew sack malt deals

Updated: 4/23/2024

Grains by the lb can generally be had for a reasonable price. They also generally qualify for free and flat rate shipping when a retailer offers that. The same is true for sacks of grain.  The real issue comes when you add on shipping.  50 or 55 lbs of grain is… heavy.  Shipping charges can add up.


STACKING Deals on BULK Malt at MoreBeer!

When you purchase 6+ 5lb bags of the same grain MoreBeer will apply a volume discount. You can see this discount on each product page. Here is an example:

Malt Deal at MoreBeer! – choose 6 more 5lb bags of grain to see volume discounts

Get Free Shipping: Shipping is free with a qualifying $59 order to many US addresses

+ 15% Off Ingredients at MoreBeer

For a limited time MoreBeer is discounting all brewing ingredients by 15% when you use coupon code BIGBREW2024

To view selection of brewing ingredients, click here

= Bulk Grain Deal!

Buy 10 x 5 lb of the same malt and you use coupon code BIGBREW24 for stacking savings on malt.  You’ll also qualify for free shipping to many US addresses which is a huge savings.

$133.94 OR $71.53???

Another retailer has 55 lb sacks of two row on sale right now. Those are $74.99. Shipping (for me, probably varies) is $58.95. That’s $133.94 total.  11 x 5 lb bags of Briess 2 Row is $84.15 with the 6+ bag discount. Use coupon ode BIGBREW24 and they drop to… $71.53.  That includes shipping to many US addresses!


An Illustration of the Problem:

An unnamed online homebrew shop ran a grain sale. Discounting sacks of grain.

  • A bag of a certain brand of two row malt was marked down to $48.44… Great, that’s a good price!
  • To slowest/cheapest available shipping option was…. $71.22 to my address and… I’m in the same region as this shop.
  • That’s a total of $119.66. That’s not good, in fact it’s bad.

Another Illustration of the Problem (4/2024):

An unnamed online homebrew shop ran a grain sale. Discounting sacks of grain.

  • A bag of a certain brand of two row malt was marked down to $74.99 for a 55 lb bag. That’s an okay price is shipping is good.
  • To slowest/cheapest available shipping option was…. $58.95
  • That’s a total of $133.94. That’s not good, in fact it’s bad.

We can do a lot better! This article offerings tips, tricks and sources to help you source bulk malt at the best price.

Bulk Malt Deal Tips and Tricks

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Damp Kegerator? Fix Kegerator Condensation!

kegeratorcondensation

I use a converted chest freezer as my kegerator/keezer.  With the aid of some modifications like a collar and an overriding thermostat, it works really well.  The big downside I’ve experienced 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, the season and current weather, but the fact is, a chest freezer just isn’t designed to deal with condensation like a refrigerator is.


Get Current Price & Shop Around, How-To Continues Below:

These are affiliate links. Note that multiple variations of these products may be available, as such a different version may appear at these links


eva dry 500 review kegerator condensation

Enter the Eva-Dry E-500.  The Eva Dry contains a desiccant material that absorbs moisture.  The beads inside this unit absorb moisture.  As they do that they change color.  When they have gone from blue to pink, you know it’s time to “renew” the unit.  This is done by removing it from the kegerator and plugging it into an outlet.  The integrated heating element drives off any built up moisture.  When the beads turn blue (overnight), you’re ready to go.  I don’t have to do this often, usually every couple months.

eva dry 500 review kegerator condensationFront of the Eva-Dry E-500

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Another one bites the dust!…. Are Used Kegs Running Out?? (see 4/9 update)

The containers we call Ball Lock and Pin Lock Kegs come from the soda industry.  Also called Cornelius Kegs, Corny Kegs and Corney Kegs, they were originally intended to store and distribute soda pre-mix.  The big soda companies decided on different style containers for their pre-mix.  Pepsi landed on the Ball Lock style while Coke uses the Pin Lock style.

Homebrewers have since re-purposed these as homebrew beer kegs.



Are Used Kegs Running Out?

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New Updates… Make an E-Paper Tap Handle! Build Parts List

waveshare 2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper Module No Battery Wireless Powering & Data Transfer Provides Android APP Black and White Display

waveshare 2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper

More Info
Highlighted Features
  • Novel Passive NFC Technology, No Battery Required, No More Battery Life Trouble
  • Passive NFC Solution, No Battery Required, No Messy Wiring
  • To Refresh The Display Content, Use A Smart Phone With NFC Function, Or An NFC Reader, Close To The E-Paper, It'll Be Done In A Few Seconds
  • Refreshed By Smartphone, Comes With Android APP
  • Suitable For Price Tags, Asset/Equipment Tags, Shelf Labels, Conference Name Tags...

 

This is a 2.7″ e-paper display that requires no power. I think this would make the basis for a great e-paper kegerator tap handle!

If you put together a build… We’d love to share the details with your fellow homebrewers.  Email us the deets.

What are Other’s Saying?   Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “tap handle” – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

waveshare 2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper Module No Battery Wireless Powering & Data Transfer Provides Android APP Black and White Display – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Related: 3D Printer Projects!

These projects 3D printer projects appear to utilize a similar e-paper display

If you put together a build... We’d love to share the details with your fellow homebrewers.  Email us the deets.

Parts List!

Credit for this photo and build to UnworkableProphet via Printables

I’ve decided to give this build a try! Here is my parts list…

Related: RaspberryPints Digital Tap List – Step by Step Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Homebrew Finds!

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. tag:lnksfxd top:epapertap #tag:tpru

Build a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump + New Safecid Beer Line Cleaner Review (toward end of review)

Clean kegerator lines are a key part of serving delicious beer. Bacteria and mineral build in lines can cause off flavors, quick loss of head, under-carbonated beer due to rapid co2 loss and lack of legs forming on the inside of your beer glass.


Limited Time Deal:

Helps you clean multiple lines at the same time…

Valuebrew is offering a pack of two jumpers and 25 replacement o-rings for $32.97. Coupon code JUMP discounts the combo by a whopping 32%.

Double Jumper Special! < note that you must use this link along with coupon code JUMP to get the deal, the standard product will not get you the discount

Valuebrew’s jumper is unique because of the custom color, food grade o-rings and because … it works with both liquid and ball lock jumpers.


The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most affordable cleaning setups that are out there include a hand pump.  Operating one of those for 15 to 30 minutes, for each faucet, doesn’t sound fun.


This article contains affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Homebrew Finds and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


To really clean your draft lines, you need to keep solution flowing for a length of time, not just fill and wait.  Initially I tried to clean my system by pushing line cleaner out of a keg.  This was a waste of CO2.  I also found it tough to keep solution running slowly enough to get the required amount of contact time.  It’s easy to quickly push a cleaning or sanitizing solution through your system under CO2 pressure, but I found it to be a pain to try to do so slowly.  This also requires quite a bit of cleaning solution versus a recirculating pump.

I decided to put together a recirculating draft line cleaning pump setup.

Building a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

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Rebuilding & Reconditioning Homebrew Kegs!

rebuild homebrew kegs

This post will walk you through rebuilding your homebrew keg, step by step.  From de-labeling to cleaning to replacing warn out parts.



What Does Reconditioned/Rebuilt Mean?

The short answer is probably… nothing.  I think reconditioned/rebuilt/refurbished are basically synonyms and there is no standard definition for any of these terms.

Here are the different definitions I’ve seen from different retailers via their offerings:

The short answer is probably… nothing.  I think reconditioned/rebuilt/refurbished are basically synonyms and there is no standard definition for any of these terms.

Here are the different definitions I’ve seen from different retailers via their offerings:

  • The keg is untouched, but is in okay shape and holds pressure.  In this case, reconditioned means… the keg works.
  • The keg has had been tested and had faulty parts replaced.  In this case, reconditioned means, we did the minimum to get the keg working.
  • All o-rings have been replaced and any faulty parts have been replaced.  In this case, reconditioned means… reconditioned.
  • All o-rings have been replaced and any faulty parts have been replaced and the keg has been cleaned.  In this case reconditioned means reconditioned and cleaned.

Examples of Keg Conditions from MoreBeer

The takeaway is that it’s important to read descriptions when it comes to reconditioned/rebuilt/refurbished kegs.  The post walks through a complete rebuild process.


Limited Time Keg Deals!

keg deals

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Diagnosing and Fixing Kegerator Foam Problems – All of Our Troubleshooting Resources in One Place

Thanks to u/Procrastinator548 on Reddit for this photo

Got Bubbles?

Bubbles in your beer line can point to a several potential problems. These problems can lead to small bubbles… foam or larger CO2 bubbles breaking out of solution. These issues can occur at different points in your kegerator. The point at which they occur and specific behaviors can help us to track down the problem.

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Using a CO2 Detector in Your Kegerator + Limited Time Deal

INKBIRD WiFi Indoor Air Quality Monitor, CO2 Detector, Accurate NDIR Sensor, Temperature and Relative Humidity, Indoor CO2 Meter with Data Logger, for Cars, Wine Cellars, Grow Tents, Homes (INK-CO2W).Pictured: INKBIRD WiFi Indoor Air Quality Monitor, CO2 Detecto

Losing a tank of CO2 because of leak is frustrating. It’s a waste of time and money. Adding a CO2 monitor can help warn you of leaks minimizing loss, wasted money, wasted time and frustration.


Limited Time Deal, Article Continues Below:

CO2 Monitor | Detector with Air Quality 4-in1 | Carbon Dioxide Detector | Humidity Meter Sensor with Indoor Thermometer | Digital Higrometer for Indoor Humidity and Temperature | Version 2024

As of this update, Amazon has this is on sale for $29.99. Shipping is also free to many US addressesPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

TACKLY – CO2 Monitor | Detector with Air Quality 4-in1 | Carbon Dioxide Detector | Humidity Meter Sensor with Indoor Thermometer | Digital Higrometer for Indoor Humidity and Temperature | Version 2024 – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

A CO2 Monitor Alarm in Your Kegerator

Placing a CO2 Monitor with alarm inside of your kegerator can serve as another line of defense to protect against co2 leaks and loss. CO2 should not be building up in your kegerator. A CO2 monitor with alarm can alert you of this condition.

Options with WiFi and a companion app are nice because you can get notifications on your compatible phone.

These are affiliate links. Note that multiple variations of these products may be available, as such a different version may appear at these links

Beyond CO2 Levels…

Some models display additional information that can be helpful information about your kegerator. These vary model to model and can sometime include temperature and humidity.

  • Temperature – monitor your kegerator temperature
  • Humidity – Help judge whether your Eva Dry (or similar) needs recharged for the purpose of handling excess kegerator and fermentation chamber wetness.  See: Damp Kegerator? Fix Kegerator Condensation

Not A Replacement for Checking for Leaks…

A do not consider a CO2 alarm as replacement for thoroughly checking for and addressing leaks. Rather this is another layer that could save you a trip to swap out a CO2 tank.

The Biggest Trouble Spot

Color coded post o-rings. From our Keg Rebuild Post – Jump To: Replace O-Rings

In my opinion the most difficult spot to check and the cause of many a lost CO2 tanks are… gas post o-rings.

Testing at this point using the “spray bottle method” (spray Star San everywhere and check for bubbles) is impossible or at the very least difficult and messy.  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 is on.

The problem 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. You can use what I call the pressure gauge method to check for overall leaks. But even using that method you know that you have a leak but it gives no indication where it’s at.

Be quick to replace gas side o-rings… I’m quick to replace gas post (and gas dip tube) o-rings. Beyond slow and no-carbing beers, a bad gas side o-ring can lead to empty tanks. That’s a waste of time and money and it’s frustrating.

These o-rings cost pennies each when you buy them in bulk. Liberally replacing these can save time, money and frustration.

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Hop Rhizomes are Shipping at Some Stores! Grow Your Own Hops – Rhizome Roundup! + FREE Hop Growing Resources

Pictured – MoreBeer’s Rhizome Pre Sale – Check it out

A few retailers have an annual rhizome pre-sales.  The earlier you “hop” (did you see what I did there) on these sales, the better.  That will give you a better chance to reserve the varieties you want to grow in your hop garden.

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Summer Get-Togethers Are Coming!… Our Portable Draft Beer Serving Options Roundup

portable serving

Looking for options to serve your draft beer home brew on the go?  Here’s a roundup of some of the available options for your next tailgate, party or get together.

Included in this Post:

  • Growlers
  • Carbonation Caps – used with PET Bottles
  • Small Draft Systems
  • Tips and Tools for Filling Growlers and Small Draft Containers
  • Techniques and equipment for dispensing full corny kegs of beer
  • Finding Smaller Homebrew Kegs
  • Coolers and Ice Packs
  • Chilling and Keeping Your Keg Cold
  • Cloudiness

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Make Your Own Canned Cocktails – Get a Home Canner! + Limited Time DEAL on Cannular

If you’re looking to make your own home canned cocktails, you’re going to need a… canner. When I started a homebrewing years ago an an “affordable” system that was in the $10k, range. That was considered affordable at the time. I’m happy to say that times have changed. Home sized systems are available at a relatively reasonable cost.

Home Canning Systems:


Rare, Limited Time Deal:

Cannular Bench Top Can Seamer CAN100

  • MoreBeer has Cannular on sale for $399.99. That’s a $150 savings.
  • For some pricing clarity, I’ve seen USED units sell for more than this.
  • This is a rare deal because the regular version of the Cannular is under a MAP agreement.  That means that it, generally speaking, cannot be discounted.  I don’t know if this is a one-off thing or if the reverse roller version will be an ongoing offering.
  • Get Free Shipping: Shipping is also free to most US addresses with a qualifying $59 order.  This includes bulky cases of new cans.
  • Learn More! Hands on Review: Kegland Cannular Bench Top Can Seamer – Homebrew Canner

Cannular Bench Top Can Seamer CAN100


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Find the Best Deal on Sacks of Malt – Tips, Tricks & Sources

homebrew sack malt deals

Updated: 4/23/2024

Grains by the lb can generally be had for a reasonable price. They also generally qualify for free and flat rate shipping when a retailer offers that. The same is true for sacks of grain.  The real issue comes when you add on shipping.  50 or 55 lbs of grain is… heavy.  Shipping charges can add up.

An Illustration of the Problem:

An unnamed online homebrew shop ran a grain sale. Discounting sacks of grain.

  • A bag of a certain brand of two row malt was marked down to $48.44… Great, that’s a good price!
  • To slowest/cheapest available shipping option was…. $71.22 to my address and… I’m in the same region as this shop.
  • That’s a total of $119.66. That’s not good, in fact it’s bad.

Another Illustration of the Problem (4/2024):

An unnamed online homebrew shop ran a grain sale. Discounting sacks of grain.

  • A bag of a certain brand of two row malt was marked down to $74.99 for a 55 lb bag. That’s an okay price is shipping is good.
  • To slowest/cheapest available shipping option was…. $58.95
  • That’s a total of $133.94. That’s not good, in fact it’s bad.

We can do a lot better! This article offerings tips, tricks and sources to help you source bulk malt at the best price.

Bulk Malt Deal Tips and Tricks

Continue reading

Convert Your Mark II Keg & Carboy Washer to a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

Mark’s Keg and Carboy is Awesome

The Mark II Keg and Carboy Washer can clean a lot of your homebrewing gear.  Kegs, Carboys, Speidel Fermenters, Tubing, Small Parts & Pieces, Buckets, Keggles and lots more.

Hands On Review: Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer

Mark’s Keg & Carboy Washer can be found at…


This article contains affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Homebrew Finds and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


An Easy Upgrade Converts it to a Line Cleaner

A small hardware purchase can convert your Keg and Carboy Washer over to an efficient ball lock draft line cleaning pump.

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New Updates… 3D Printer Designs Now Available… Make an E-Paper Tap Handle!

waveshare 2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper Module No Battery Wireless Powering & Data Transfer Provides Android APP Black and White Display

waveshare 2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper

More Info
Highlighted Features
  • Novel Passive NFC Technology, No Battery Required, No More Battery Life Trouble
  • Passive NFC Solution, No Battery Required, No Messy Wiring
  • To Refresh The Display Content, Use A Smart Phone With NFC Function, Or An NFC Reader, Close To The E-Paper, It'll Be Done In A Few Seconds
  • Refreshed By Smartphone, Comes With Android APP
  • Suitable For Price Tags, Asset/Equipment Tags, Shelf Labels, Conference Name Tags...

 

This is a 2.7″ e-paper display that requires no power. I think this would make the basis for a great e-paper kegerator tap handle!

If you do this… We’d love to share the details with your fellow homebrewers.  Email us the deets.

What are Other’s Saying?   Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “tap handle” – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

waveshare 2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper Module No Battery Wireless Powering & Data Transfer Provides Android APP Black and White Display – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Related: 3D Printer Projects!

These projects 3D printer projects appear to utilize a similar e-paper display

Related: RaspberryPints Digital Tap List – Step by Step Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Homebrew Finds!

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. tag:lnksfxd top:epapertap #tag:tpru

Three Top Tips for Keezer Conversions! + Limited Time Deal on Chest Freezers at Wal-Mart

keezer conversion tipsChest freezers are great. They’re generally well priced and they’re space and energy efficient and can be easily had.

The primary idea with a chest freezer is to… freeze food. Also referred to as Deep Freezes, most models do not go through a defrost cycle. That’s a bummer come manual defrost time but outstanding for energy savings and food preservation.


Limited Time Deal on Chest Freezers at Wal-Mart:

TCL CF073W, White 7.0 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer

As of this posting, Wal-Mart this chest freezer on sale for $165. Shipping is also free to many US addresses.

TCL CF073W, White 7.0 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer

You could use this to put together a freezer based kegerator/keezer (See: Tips and Gear for your Kegerator) or temperature controlled fermentation chamber.


Side note… Because of the lack of a defrost cycle, chest freezers are great for storing hops – our hop deals roundup


Many people including myself have repurposed chest freezers as kegerators or “keezers”.

What does Keezer mean?  Keezer = kegerator + freezer.

To do the conversion you basically add a compatible temp controller – Inkbird deals and reviews – that will allow you to operate a chest freezer at fridge temps.  After that add some taps, maybe a collar, some kegs and a CO2 tank and you’re off and going!

The problem: Chest freezers are generally meant to operate at freezing temperatures, not beer serving temps. This causes issues with condensation and airflow. Left unhandled these issues can cause other problems, like sanitation issues.

Through several iterations of my own keezer, I’ve experienced all of these problems. I have a library of tips and resources that specifically apply to serving draft beer, but these are the top three when it comes to keezer conversions.

Continue reading

Toasting your own Wood Chips

roasting your own wood chips for homebrew

Toasting your own Wood Chips

by Matt Del Fiacco

Like many new brewers, when I first started brewing I was eager to find interesting ingredients I could use, from Sriracha (bad idea) to vanilla beans (used 2 beans per gallon, terrible plan). Around this time, I tried my first bourbon-barrel stout, and feel in love with the wood characters of the beer. Wood-aged beer quickly became a passion, but the desire to experiment was still there. I noticed early on that at my local homebrew shop, all of my options were Oak of some kind, but what about Maple? What about Mesquite? Continue reading

Three Top Tips for Keezer Conversions

keezer conversion tipshttps://www.homebrewfinds.com/three-top-tips-for-keezer-conversions/

Chest freezers are great. They’re generally well priced and they’re space and energy efficient and can be easily had.

The primary idea with a chest freezer is to… freeze food. Also referred to as Deep Freezes, most models do not go through a defrost cycle. That’s a bummer come manual defrost time but outstanding for energy savings and food preservation.


Side note… Because of the lack of a defrost cycle, chest freezers are great for storing hops – our hop deals roundup


Many people including myself have repurposed chest freezers as kegerators or “keezers”.

What does Keezer mean?  Keezer = kegerator + freezer.

To do the conversion you basically add a compatible temp controller – Inkbird deals and reviews – that will allow you to operate a chest freezer at fridge temps.  After that add some taps, maybe a collar, some kegs and a CO2 tank and you’re off and going!

The problem: Chest freezers are generally meant to operate at freezing temperatures, not beer serving temps. This causes issues with condensation and airflow. Left unhandled these issues can cause other problems, like sanitation issues.

Through several iterations of my own keezer, I’ve experienced all of these problems. I have a library of tips and resources that specifically apply to serving draft beer, but these are the top three when it comes to keezer conversions.

Continue reading