Posts Tagged ‘keezer’

new kegerator

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

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after over three years of dutifully servicing hundreds of homebrew pours, my keezer/kegerator gave up the ghost.

  • it wasn’t too surprising, as I had purchased the chest freezer used, and cycling the freezer repeatedly to act as a refrigerator using an inline temp controller couldn’t have been good on the compressor.  despite the significant effort I had put into my now-dead keezer, I wasn’t too sad to see it go.  the lack of air circulation and humidity control resulted in an accumulation of moisture that even a large dessicant couldn’t control, and it was always a pain swapping in full kegs since they had to be awkwardly lifted to fit over the lip of the keezer collar.
  • therefore, my replacement was a full-size refrigerator.  I scored a used model on craigslist that matched my other basement fridge – many thanks go out to MS for helping me swap fridges though my narrow basement staircase.  after getting the fridge into position, I cut one head off a full-sized barrel using a sawzall and mounted it to the fridge using some threaded bolts.  four faucet holes and a little internal hacking/improvising later resulted in a kegerator that clearly conveys my preferred aging vessels.
  • the fridge fits four corny kegs without modification (with room for bottles in two bottom drawers), and my tiny CO2 tank tucks nicely into the door.  as a bonus, the freezer seems sizable enough to start working on some more ice concentration projects.  a little thanksgiving applejack, anyone?

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spring cleaning/greek easter

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

this weekend I managed to get in a little housekeeping down at overcarbed headquarters.

  • proper cleaning/sanitation is the oft-overlooked bear of the brewing art, and extends past the brew day into both storage and presentation.
  • in my opinion, it’s pointless to spend hours carefully crafting a beer, only to have it served from a dirty, funky tap.  also, I’m not sure whether others have the same dilemma, but I have found that any wort residue on the outside surface of kegs, fermentation containers, or other equipment quickly becomes food for local airborne bugs that set up shop and necessitate a thorough cleaning.
  • therefore, saturday saw me emptying and cleaning the keezer, cleaning and sanitizing the kegs and beer lines, recharging the keezer dehumidifier, and swapping in a fresh CO2 tank.
  • I also blended the kolsches into one keg and kegged my house IPA, which currently has an unreal aroma.  the latter is hitting the keezer this weekend for some long overdue hop love.

on sunday AP, ML, HL, and I snuck kegs of my patersbier and cider blend past tight security into the greek easter picnic.

  • the patersbier was a hit, with over four gallons getting knocked out within a matter of hours.  it had a spicy, floral aroma with good body and a killer whipped head.  I can see it nudging out the kolsch as a house staple…
  • the cider maintained a low profile in its 2.5 gallon corny, but had a tart bite with a dry finish, and was actually my favorite of the two.  both were perfect on a cool, sunny socal day with some keftedes, pastitsio, and spanakopitaΧριστός ἀνέστη!

completing the keezer and going pro for a day: WIR 06/04-06/07

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

last weekend was full of brew related accomplishments and surprises.

  • on thursday night I finished up the keezer collar, and AP and I lugged the thing down to the basement, where I fitted the taps and ran the beer lines.
  • after wiring up the ranco temperature controller with some help online, I ran the temp probe and the gas lines and fired everything up.
  • the thing works like a charm, and it’s great to have so much fridge space for storing kegs and other bulky items.  I can even lager in my brew bucket if I want to, but I will probably lager in kegs the old kegerator.
  • on friday DH drove down and we skipped over to naja’s for an afternoon brew.  I got to try a taster of ‘dark side imperial stout’ or something like that from sierra nevada, but ended up with an ’08 alaskan barleywine, which was nice and malty but still relatively drinkable.  we finished up in style with a bottle of fantome saison, which had a great fruity aroma and finish.
  • I am always amazed at the number of homebrewers that roll by naja’s for a pour – they are always friendly and can talk beer all night long.  friday was no exception – we ran into bob, a member of pacific gravity with a sick all-grain gravity system and a vast brew knowledge.  hopefully we’ll meet up again bob, maybe at a pacific gravity meeting!
  • friday night the smoker was fired up, and by saturday afternoon 20 lbs of pulled pork was ready to rock, in addition to 3 beer can chickens and a couple dozen smoked brats.  that along with a the kegs of alt and kolsch kept friends and family busy for hours.
  • both kegs were a hit and got kicked before the sun went down.  they were very drinkable and great session beers, but my only complaint was the clarity (both had a little haze from only being lagered for a week or so).  unfortunately, no pictures were taken (again) due to entertaining duties.  next time, I swear…
  • just when I thought my beer weekend was coming to a close, I got a call sunday from james of san pedro brew co. he had tried my brews on saturday and wanted to know if I was interested in swinging by the brewery this week to check out a brew session.  I jumped at the chance and told him I would be by monday.
  • monday morning I met up with jason, the award-winning brewer at san pedro brew co.  he had already started mashing an experimental amber ale and patiently explained the entire process on their 5 bbl. system.  he let me help out with the mash, explained their lauter and sparge process, and let me participate with some hop additions.  I was flipping switches, pulling levers, and loving every minute of it.
  • when it came time to empty the mash tun, he must have though I was an idiot since I practically begged him to do it.  he let me stick around for the entirety of the boil all the way to racking the wort into their conical and let me help out with the crush and line sanitation for the next day’s brew.  it was an awesome experience, and I was like a kid in a candy store, ogling all the equipment and trying out jason’s killer brews.  thanks again jason, and good luck with your latest comp results!

good beers and ambitious projects (WIR 05/29-06/01)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

this memorial day weekend I managed to sample a great variety of beers and start on some lofty projects that have been in the planning stage for quite some time.

  • on saturday I was lucky enough to find a local paintball store that filled CO2 tanks.  this made for a relatively simple fill-up, as opposed to my experience in SF.
  • I also dropped by bevmo to see if they had any eric’s ale bombers in stock.  I talked to one of their buyers and it seems they aren’t ever gonna get it in, which is unfortunate, since I was all set to pick up a case of the stuff.
  • I was treated to a tour of the bevmo coolers, however, and walked out with a bottle of parabola, a sixer of lagunitas undercover shutdown ’10, and a bottle of mikkeller’s it’s alright!
  • I cracked the it’s alright!, remembering that a tasting of it a few years ago left me a little disappointed.  I definitely liked it more the second time around – it had a ton of barnyard funk and was very refreshing.  add a little tartness to the mix and it could be a great summer beer.
  • on sunday I went with AP and the rest of the posse to naja’s for a quick beer.  the place was packed, but I managed to get a pour of dogfish’s burton baton, which was killer on a hot beach day.  it made me want to place an online order for a quick dogfish fix…
  • the rest of the weekend was spent BBQing and hacking away at one of my 2 consecutive projects, a basic 4-tap keezer.  I will post a more detailed writeup when the build is finished (hopefully by the end of the week), but for now a teaser pic will have to do.
  • as for the other project, let’s just say it has to do with doubling my brewing capacity and halving my brew time, and was inspired by CB’s sick setup.  more to come on that front as pieces to the puzzle fall into place.