Category Archives: Top Posts

Make Your Own Canned Cocktails – Get a Home Canner!

Updated: 5/3/2024

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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What’s the difference between Primary and Secondary CO2 Regulators?

VEVOR CO2 Regulator Gauge with 0-60PSI, Heavy Duty CO2 Gauge Gas System, Draft Beer Regulator with Check Valve, Adjustable Pressure Regulator for Draft Beer Homebrew (Triple Gauge Regulator)Pictured: VEVOR CO2 Regulator Gauge with 0-60PSI, Heavy Duty CO2 Gauge Gas System, Draft Beer Regulator with Check Valve, Adjustable Pressure Regulator for Draft Beer Homebrew (Triple Gauge Regulator) – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

July 4, 2024

In the context of homebrewing or serving beer, a CO2 regulator hooks up to a compatible CO2 tank and steps down the pressure to carbonate and serve the beer properly. See: Balancing Your Kegerator Draft System  and Diagnosing and Fixing Kegerator Foam Problems

Single Body vs Multi Body Regulators

A typical CO2 regulator provides a single output pressure. It usually has two gauges, one for the high pressure side and one for the low pressure side, although it can have a single gauge. A multi-body regulator, provides multiple output pressures and typically has one high side gauge and one gauge for each serving pressure.


Get a Regulator!

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Building a Dry Hopper for Corny Kegs – Dry Hop Under Pressure!

Thanks to /u/NachoTacocat on r/homebrew for this photo and build info!

Benefits of Fermenting Under Pressure + The Challenges of Dry Hopping Under Pressure

Fermenting under pressure has some great benefits. One of the challenges that using this method presents is… dry hopping. When fermenting under pressure the beer is carbonated. Adding dry hops to a fermented and carbonated beer, especially one at relatively warm fermentation temps equates to a Mentos+Diet Coke sort of situation. The hops provide lots and lots of nucleation points that can cause the beer to erupt expelling foam all over the place in the process denaturing head retaining proteins.

FermZilla fermenters from Kegland have a ready made solution called the Hop Bong. It allows you easily dry hop under pressure. Since the beer and dry hops are under pressure you don’t have foaming problems when dry hopping.

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Use a Wallpaper Prep Tray for Cleaning, Sanitizing and Storage of Longer Brewing Items

Pictured: Zinsser 98030 30-Inch Wallpaper Prep Tray – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Updated: 5/22/2024

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 use a wallpaper try to clean and sanitize longer items like racking canes, auto-siphons, spoons, tubing and beverage out dip tubes.  It works great.

These also work well for storing longer items.  If you’re going to store things in these, I would recommend stacking a couple together to give them some extra strength.

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

Another similar option are planter boxes.  They are generally sturdier than wallpaper prep trays and they’re about the same length.  Since you can get away with one your total cost may end up being less.

Zinsser 98030 30-Inch Wallpaper Prep Tray – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Also:

Related Resources and Categories


Do Not Soak In Star San

Five Star recommends limited contact time with ALL plastics.  See: Star San Tips – Materials Compatibility + Do Not Soak.

Star San Tips and Tricks

More Homebrew Finds!

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 12.20.10 toppost:wptray rp:tips#32 tag:tpr

Make an E-Paper Tap Handle!

Pictured: Resin Tap Handle Build using waveshare e-paper display, more info below

July 10, 2024

Update: Finding the waveshare NFC display

Since this write up was pushed the waveshare NFC display that all builds are baseed on has disappeared.

This appears to be a very similar display…

2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered e-Paper Module, 264 × 176 Pixels Black and White Display Color, No Battery Needed, No Messy Wiring Wire-less Powering & Data Transfer Android APP Provided

If you that that board, I’d love to hear how it works. Especially if you used the previous model


Original Display Board

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

Note that this is out of stock as of this update. Check the product page to see if it’s available again.

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


Share your build!

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

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Top 10 Reasons to Homebrew – According to ChatGPT

What is ChapGPT?  ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI, based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture. It’s designed to understand and generate human-like text based on the input it receives. ChatGPT is trained on diverse internet text and can perform various language-related tasks, such as answering questions, engaging in conversations, writing creative content, and more. It’s a part of the GPT-3.5 series, and its capabilities include natural language understanding and generation, making it versatile for a wide range of applications. – ChatGPT’s explanation of itself

I asked ChapGPT to tell my why someone should homebrew.  Here’s what it said along with some of my commentary.

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Using Temperature Activated Stickers to See Keg Levels

Thanks to u/CivilDistribution576 on r/homebrewing for this tip and picture

u/CivilDistribution576  Says…

They sell these sheets that are like 1 square foot vinyl stickers that change color at 59°F. I cut a strip out of one and placed it from top to bottom of the keg. Throw it in the kegerator and the sticker is a bold color (<59°F), take it out, and rub it to generate heat until the color turns white. Give it a couple seconds, and the color will be restored up to the level of the beer and make a clear indication of the fullness of the keg.



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Making Wine as a Homebrewer!

Thank you to HBF Contributor Aaron Nord for this hands on review!  Aaron is an advanced award winning brewer, a long time reader and a serial tipster!

Making Wine as a Homebrewer

Background

I can remember when I first considered delving into brewing all grain beer. After gaining experience from doing boxed recipe kits, to then slightly modifying a boxed kit or two followed soon by making my own recipes with partial mash batches, I figured it was time to step up to all grain. The amount of time and research I poured into the endeavor before pulling the trigger was considerable. I was concerned that I would miss a step or need to make a brew-time adjustment without being prepared and be left with gallons of potentially ruined wort. It all ended up working out. Sure, there were some missteps along the way and the inevitable audibles during brew day, but each time I was rewarded with a drinkable beverage that trended upward in the flavor and quality departments with each experience.

When I considered throwing my hat in the ring for making wine, I had the same feelings I had when I made the move to all grain brewing from kits and partial mashes. I was apprehensive. What if I forget something in the process? What if I don’t have the requisite knowledge to be able to make prime time adjustments? What if the wine just doesn’t turn out? While I was overthinking the endeavor, I had another thought that brought be back into reality.

As a kid I remember getting the occasional taste of an adult beverage when we would visit my great grandma at her farmhouse in rural southern Iowa. She was a crafty and capable maker of all the things one needs on a farm and even some that might not be considered a necessity, like wine.


Make Your Own Wine!

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Homebrew Keg Post Types and Sizes

homebrew keg post types and sizes

Before you purchase any replacement posts for your keg, you’ll need to determine the brand/maker of that keg. You can figure this out by finding the stamp or markings on the side of the keg.

  • Cornelius, Ball Lock (all types) GAS 19/32″ – 18 LIQUID 19/32″ – 18 – View +
  • Cornelius, Pin Lock (all types) GAS 19/32″ – 18 (2 Pin) LIQUID 19/32″ – 18 (3 Pin) – View +
  • Cornelius Spartan 19/32″ – 18 19/32″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • Cornelius R (Pin Lock) 19/32″ – 18 (2 Pin) 19/32″ – 18 (3 Pin) – Shop ++
  • Firestone V, VI & Super Challanger, Ball Lock* GAS 9/16″ – 18 LIQUID 9/16″ – 18 – View +
  • Firestone Challenger, ball lock (racetrack) GAS 11/16″-18 LIQUID 3/4″-18 – +
  • Firestone, Pin Lock (all types) GAS 9/16″-18 (2 Pin) LIQUID 9/16″-18 (3 Pin) – View +
  • Firestone A (Pin Lock) 9/16″ – 18 (2 Pin) 9/16″ – 18 (3 Pin) – Shop ++
  • Firestone R (Pin Lock) 9/16″ – 18 (2 Pin) 9/16″ – 18 (3 Pin) – Shop ++
  • Firestone Challenger 11/16″ – 18 3/4″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • Firestone Super Challenger 9/16″ – 18 5/8″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • Firestone V Challenger 9/16″ – 18 5/8″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • Firestone VI Challenger 9/16″ – 18 5/8″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • John Wood 85, Ball Lock (racetrack)* GAS 11/16″-18 LIQUID 3/4″-18 +
  • John Wood RA or RC, Pin Lock GAS 19/16″-18 (2 Pin) LIQUID19/16″-18 (3 Pin) – +
  • John Wood 85 11/16″ – 18 3/4″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • John Wood RA (Pin Lock) 9/16″ – 18 (2 Pin) 9/16″ – 18 (3 Pin) – Shop ++
  • John Wood RC (Pin Lock) 9/16″ – 18 (2 Pin) 9/16″ – 18 (3 Pin) – Shop ++
  • AEB, Ball Lock GAS 19/32″-18 LIQUID 19/32″-18 – View +
  • AEB Kegs 19/32″ – 18 19/32″ – 18 – Shop ++
  • Super Champion 19/32″ – 18 19/32″ – 18 – Shop ++

* The vast majority (99%) of Firestone Ball Lock Kegs on the market use the same post except for the original Challenger, which had “racetrack” style lids. Racetrack style lids had straight sides like a race track and are rare. All other kegs had standard rounded sides.

+Thank you to Keg Connection for this information – Complete Lineup of Posts and Poppets at Keg Connection

++Thank you to Keg Outlet for this information – Complete Lineup of Posts and Poppets at Keg Connection

Related: What’s the Difference Between Pin Lock and Ball Lock Kegs?

What about Wrench Sizes?  Find Compatible Tools

ball lock post sizes


+ Keg Connection Says… ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Reviews Are In – BEST KEGS EVER

18+ Liter Ball Lock Keg | Fully Remanufactured (AEB/SAFER/Cornelius) | SEE DESCRIPTION

18+ Liter Ball Lock Keg | Fully Remanufactured (AEB/SAFER/Cornelius) | SEE DESCRIPTION

More Info

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

18+ Liter Ball Lock Keg | Fully Remanufactured (AEB/SAFER/Cornelius)
These are top-tier, refurbished Corny kegs made of stainless steel. With stainless steel costs climbing and high-quality used kegs becoming increasingly scarce, this is an offer you won’t want to overlook.

Every keg in our collection undergoes a comprehensive refurbishment process. This includes deep cleaning, machine polishing, and the replacement of o-rings on the lid, PRV, as well as liquid and gas dip tubes, in addition to two o-rings on each post. These kegs are all sourced from elite brands, including AEB, SAFER, and CORNELIUS.

Additional Information on Our Refurbished Kegs:
Though these kegs are pre-owned, they may exhibit minor cosmetic imperfections such as small dings and scratches that couldn’t be completely polished away. None of these issues impact their functionality.

After the cleaning and polishing operations, some residue might be present on either the keg’s exterior or its rubber components. While it may transfer onto your hands, this is merely a reminder that all kegs—whether new or used—need to be meticulously cleaned before usage. Proper sanitization is also crucial before filling them with any beverage.

A subset of these kegs has experienced sun damage to the rubber areas, affecting the seal. This could lead to the formation of black marks, particularly when the rubber is wet, although this is less likely when it’s dry.

Lastly, you might find some kegs with double o-rings on their posts. While this may appear out of the ordinary, rest assured they function as effectively as those with single o-rings.

Diameter: 8-7/8″ (225mm)
Height: 22-1/4″ (565mm)
Weight: 9 lbs 9oz (4.34kg)
Volume: 4.75 gallons (18 liters) but some are also slightly more in full volume
Post Thread Size: 9/16-18 UNF Thread on both the IN and Out.


 

The fact is… the era of cheap and readily available used homebrew kegs is… done. I could give you a bunch of reasoning behind that opinion including one of the best sources for used kegs… de-listing used kegs, but I’ve got a regularly updated article on the topic you can check out.

Keg Connection Says…

“People have been receiving these new PREMIUM REMANUFACTURED KEGS and already love them! That’s because there hasn’t been a used keg on the market in this good of condition, EVER. They’re ‘used’ in a literal sense but each of these kegs has undergone an extensive refurbishing process. They have been meticulously cleaned, machine-polished, and fitted with new o-rings including the lid, pressure relief valve, and both liquid and gas dip tubes. Plus, we’ve added two new o-rings on each post.”



Ball Lock Vs Pin Lock Kegs!


pin lock keg orings

Rebuild Your Kegs

Some everyday great deals and unique items at Keg Connection…

Parts and Diagrams:

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!

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. tag:lnksfxd tag:postsizes tag:tpr 

Make Your Own Hop Water!

Making Hop Water at Home!

By Vito Delucchi

Are you looking for a hoppy non alcoholic beverage to have on tap? Hop Water is the perfect drink to hold down a tap handle and give you an N/A alternative to beer. In the past, I’ve always enjoyed having some “carbonated water” to fill this void. But after trying Hoppy Refresher from Lagunitas Brewing, I was hooked and wanted to make one myself. Luckily I live close to the brewery and actually knew someone there. After a few text messages back and forth I was armed with everything I needed to brew my own hoppy refresher hop water at home! But being the awesome peeps they are, we took it a step further and they invited me to their innovation lab to brew our own experimental batch of hop water and sat down with me to answer any questions. Check out that full video below and keep reading for a summary of everything I learned, including a step-by-step hop water recipe

The Secret To Making Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher

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How Often Should I Clean My Kegerator Beer Lines?

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.

How Often Should I Clean My Beer Lines?

The Draught Quality Beer Manual says… every two weeks.

That recommendation is for a commercial operation.  What about homebrewers?  We serve far fewer beer on our kegerators, but on the other hand, we can have been on tap and in lines 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Considering all of this, my recommendation is to clean home kegerator beer lines every 1 to 2 months.

Line Cleaning Options

Our Line Cleaning Builds:

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Using a CO2 Detector in Your Kegerator

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.

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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The Most Difficult Spot to Check for CO2 Leaks

hard to find keg co2 leak

Updated: 6/26/2024

If you’ve found this article odds are pretty good you’re having trouble tracking down a pesky leaks.


Check for CO2 Leaks

First things first, if you haven’t already used traditional methods to try to track down your leak, check out my resources on the topic.

The Most Difficult Spot to Check for CO2 Leaks…

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Where to Find RAPT Pill Digital Hydrometer from Kegland?

rapt pillThe RAPT Pill allows accurate and precise, true real-time specific gravity and temperature logging and control via wifi/bluetooth integration with the RAPT fermentation chamber (KL15813), RAPT mobile app or RAPT IOT.

The RAPT Pill acts as both a real-time gravity testing hydrometer and thermometer allowing instant gravity and temperature measurements and also logging from inside your fermenter during fermentation.

The RAPT Pill boasts many advantages over other wireless hydrometers and thermometers including tough design, better ergonomics, sanitary design and less susceptible to error as a result of hops, krausen or CO2 bubbles generated from fermentation.

The iSpindel is a DIY Wi-Fi enabled hydrometer.  The project originated in Germany, but an English translation is available.


This integrates directly with RAPT fermentation Chamber and can also work independently via RAPT mobile app or RAPT IOT. 

Finding RAPT Pill:

Availability of RAPT Pill in the US has been scant. eBay has been the only place I’ve been able to find them.

Search eBay for RAPT Pill for additional options

Also…

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Are Used Kegs Running Out??

Updated: 5/1/2024

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.




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!


Are Used Kegs Running Out?

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Craft Cleaning Chart – Contact Times, Dosage, Temperate and More for Star San, PBW and lots more

Updated: 5/15/2024

Resource Posts on PBW and Star San

I have resource posts on Star San and PBW that have loads of information, tips & tricks.

Star San and PBW Tips and Tricks


About Star San

Star San is my homebrew sanitizer of choice.  When mixed properly, it’s food safe and no rinse.  Required contact time is five minutes.  It has worked very well for me for quite some time and I’m convinced that it’s one of the most economical solutions available if you’re using the “Spray Bottle Method” outlined here.



About PBW

Five Star Chemicals PBW – Powder Brewery Wash – is my go-to brewery cleaner. It is a non-hazardous buffered alkaline brewery cleaner and it… works great.



Five Star’s Craft Cleaning Chart PDF…

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