HOMEBREW Digest #23 Fri 09 December 1988

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  yeast and and kegging (Jeff Miller)
  Vierka and Kegging systems (Jay Hersh)
  re: kegging systems (Darryl Richman)
  keg (Earl Kieser)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 9 Dec 88 9:48:51 CDT From: Jeff Miller <jmiller at unix.eta.com> Subject: yeast and and kegging First an enthusiastic request for Dave Baer to post his information on using and culturing liquid yeast. I have been really hot on trying this myself but I'm not quite sure how to procede. Charlies book talks about beer bottles and other books talk about agar and slants. I'm all ears for anyone with experience. Now for Bo's queuestions about kegging. I got tired of bottling last year and got set up with a kegging system and these are my thoughts on the subject: My setup included a 5 gallon cornelius keg, 5lb CO2, preasure regulator with only a supply guage, a fridge mount tapper, and all the fittings and hoses. I got my setup through a local restuarant supplier and I turned him onto homebrew in the process. I think the system cost just over $200 so $170 sounds like a good price. I got everything done locally because I wanted to have immediate access for questions and also wanted to get the setup as soon as possible. As it turned out, since this guy was used to pop in cornelius kegs and beer in other kegs we both had to go through a learning curve and it took numerous attempts to get everything to work. If I were to do this again I would go with a supplier that has done this thing before. Cornelius kegs have advantages in that parts are easily available, they are a good size, and they are easy to clean. Some bad things that I have against them is that the quick connects (at least mine) are really hard to work and I hate strugleing with them. They are especially a problem when my keg comes out of the fridge and I end up unscrewing the disconnects and using hot water to expand them enough to come apart. Another problem is that they are very tall and will eat your entire fridge. I didn't think this would bother me but I really do like to have an extra fridge for those beers that happen to be in bottles. The most annoying problem is that the keg itself costs alot! In order to really get away from bottling you should have a number of kegs so that you can at least have a brew conditioning while you are drinking the previous. Well when I priced this out I worked it out to be between $70 and $100 per extra container depending if you add in extra taps or not. The story of reconditioned kegs seems to be a false lark around here. The reason is that the pop suppliers now own the kegs and they don't give them up vary often. When purchasing a reconditioned keg instead of a new one from the supplier the cost reduction still put the keg up over $50. I am currently in the process of scoping out a switch to a more traditional keg. I have been looking for some 4.5 gallon kegs but not too many people have them and I currently have an 7.5 but I have to get a bung. Advantages of the keg seem to be that they cost a lot less ($10 deposit), they come in 4.5, 7.5, and 15.5 gallon sizes, and the taps are also usable on production beers. Disadvantages seem to be cleaning and often they are aluminum instead of stainless. (If I die of Alzheimers you know what happened). The kegs are also more difficult to carry then the cornelius. To end this disertation I have a few opinions about the gas bottle. I was never so sad as the day I turned in my bright brand new bottle for an abused but full bottle. Don't spend the bucks on a new container when you can get a used one because you will just turn it in when you get it refilled. Also, if at all possible in the budget, get a 10lb instead of the 5lb. The 5lb is just to small and if you end up kegging a lot you end up going to the refill place far too often. I have been trying to motivate toward a 10lb main system with the 5lb around in case I run out in the middle of a keg. Placement of the supply is something you may want to think about. I put mine inside the fridge because the compressor buldged up the floor and made a perfect place for the canister. On later thought this wasn't a good place becaus you have to open the door to monitor the guages and turn it on and off. I plan on moving it outside of the fridge at some point. Anyway, I hope this helps. Jeff Miller (jmiller at eta.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 88 11:31:16 est From: jhersh at yy.cicg.rpi.edu (Jay Hersh) Subject: Vierka and Kegging systems hello, to the person having slow starts with vierka. Vierka is an excellent dry yeast but you must treat it right. 1) don't just toss it in and throw the whole thing into the cold or it will always take 4 days to start. In order for the yeast to reproduce it needs warmer temperatures. I have been using vierka for a while and have found the way to cut lag time down below 8 hours (consistently), and frequently as low as 2 hours is this. 1) Boil down a glass jar for a half hour 2) boil down 2 cups water and 1 cup dextrose or light dry malt 3) put the water/sugar or malt in the jar and cool to 85-95 F 4) add the vierka Do this before starting to brew. The 3 hours or more you give the yeast will allow it to rehydrate and begin reproduction. Then add it to your brew (hopefully you've chilled the wort) and leave this at room temperature overnight or so until you see fermentation has begun (you may want to have a blow off rig set up as even lager yeast will blow off when worked at room temp). Now if you follow the vierka package directions you'll leave this at room temp another 5-6 days and the move to the cold. I do it different. As soon as I see active fermentation I move it to my 45-50 F cold room. It will ferment at a fairly constant clip for days. I leave it in the primary as long as 2 weeks then rack to a secondary for another 2-3 weeks. Then into the bottles and another 3-8 weeks before it will condition properly. Every beer (~6 batches) made this way has come out soooooo smoooooth! Good Luck. For bo, One of our club members has the cornelius system. He paid slightly less than what you qouted and got it through a local restaurant supplier. The only problem he had was that after allowing the beers to carbonate properly it was necessary to get them cooled to a proper temperature so that the CO2 dispensation system wouldn't cause them to foam. He really likes his system now that he has the hang of it. If only I had the $$$. - jay h Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 88 08:41:12 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: kegging systems I outfitted myself for Cornelius kegs for about $100 from scratch. Look in your phone book under bar fixtures for a company that specializes in draft equipment. I bought a new 5.5 lb CO2 bottle, a used regulator, appropriate hoses and a tap for about $80. The bottle is good for about 4 or 5 kegs and costs $6 to refill. I bought a keg from the local homebrew shop to get started, but I found various surplus stores had mounds of them for about $10-15 a piece. Be aware that there are two different Cornelius fittings that are not interchangable. (The "Coke" style has 2 pins on the inlet and 3 on the outlet that the fittings lock on to; the other style has no pins at all and, since I don't use it, I don't know how they lock down.) I recently bought a tee fitting and some more gas line and another tap and now I can have two beers on tap. My refrigerator can still lager a 5 gallon carboy with two kegs in it. (As an aside, this began when I had a windfall of $100 that I decided was going to get me a lagering 'fridge. I found one, older than myself, for $10 that has run very strongly for the year that I've had it. What, oh what to do with that other $90 burning a hole in my pocket...) Beware of the large O-ring that seals the top. My experience is that it won't seal without some pressure behind it. After I fill the keg with the primed beer, I close it and hook up the CO2 bottle, and crank it to about 15psi. This locks the top tight. I would replace all of the rubber O-rings and seals when I got the keg because they never seem to give up the flavor of whatever soda pop was in the keg. For serving, I usually leave the regulator at about 10-15psi. This seems right for Ales served British-style. I haven't had the opportunity to try a lager out on it. Now I've found a chest freezer that is going to serve as my lagering chamber (for free, no less), and I'm considering a third tap. The two taps I currently use have Anchor Steam and Porter tap handles that I got at the brewery. I guess I'll have to go back to get a Foghorn tap or something... This brewing thing is just too complicated. ;-) --Darryl Richman (Secretary for the Maltose Falcons Home Brewing Society) (Sysop of the Falcon's Nest BBS 818 349 5891) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 88 16:38:40 PST From: Earl Kieser <ek at hpdstma> Subject: keg > Subject: Kegging systems for the home > 2. Is it likely I could find some of the major components such as the Cornelius > keg or the CO2 bottle from a local supplier or restaurant for much less? > If so, ordering just the regulator ($40) and some fittings/hoses could get > one an equivalent system for much less than $170. > > 3. Does anyone use a kegging system of their own design? How much did you > invest and do you prefer it over bottling? I have a keg system that I have used on comercial beers for years. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY on a prefab system! Your local beer distributor will be glad to sell you all of the tap hardware, your local welding supply will furnish the CO2 - tank - regulator system and that's all you need. I recomend that you use a "TRI-TAP" system. This is use on Bud and Coors and the kegs cheap and easy to clean (a snap ring removes the bung). Be sure to ask the distributer for a Tap Handle (try for an antique). The CO2 regulator that is sold says "NOT FOR USE WITH BEER". This refers to a liability problem according to the manufacturer. The regulators are designed for "beverage despensing" and will work well for beer. The last thing is that you should mount the tap in the side of the frig (if possible) to allow access to the frig for other items. Good Luck Earl earl at hpdstma Return to table of contents
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