Fermenter upgrade | Monday 10th November 2014

Hit the big 3-0 the other week so to my surprise everyone chipped in and bought me a 100L Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter and damn it's big. I have to step my game up a bit now but I am excited to be able to fill 4 or 5 kegs from one large batch rather than 1 keg at a time.

Basically the set-up is I can dump/collect the trub/yeast from the base valve and rack off the beer from the lower valve which I have running to a beer line disconnect for easy keg filling. I can gravity feed the kegs for a little then can apply a low amount of C02 pressure via the lid. During fermentation I can use the lid line as a blow off valve in a bucket of water. There is also a temperature gauge on the side which makes monitoring temps an easy task.

You can see in the image on the right how it towers over the kegerator. I've ran a complete leak test on all connections and found I had to put teflon tape on the temperature gauge thread to prevent a slow leak. The other issue I found is the clamp for the lid must be very secure to provide an air-tight seal which is only really required for pushing the remaining liquid into the last kegs. After ironing out these issues I have everything ready to go for a big brew day next weekend. I will post some pictures of it all in action soon.

22nd Annual Mooroolbark Home Brew Taste Test | Saturday 25th October 2014

Another year and another home-brew competition! A long but fun filled day thanks to everyone involved from the organisers and judges to the brewers and attendees. I only brought the one keg this year which is an American style Pale Ale with plenty of hops but not too bitter. Something new this time I dry hopped the keg with a couple handfuls of Vic Secret leaf hops in a fine mesh hop bag. I'm proud to say the keg didn't last long and managed to walk away with first place for best keg category along with 3rd best bottle too.

I am already looking forward to next year and have bigger things in mind so we will see if it all goes to plan.

Here are the three trophies I've won this year which includes runner up for best beer at the first annual SA homebrew comp.

Another year has passed | Saturday 20th September 2014

Another year has passed and plenty has changed. I now have a proper gas burner and a few other toys. Expect lots of updates soon :)

Cold beer is tasty beer | Monday 16th September 2013

The yearly Mooroolbark homebrew competition is almost upon us so it was time we started thinking about keeping our kegs cold for the long day. This year we have four kegs between the two of us and having enough taps was also an issue since the single tap Jockey box wasn't going to cut it. We both had a pluto beer gun each but a quick trip to the store and a little work we had another two ready to go.

My mate was utilizing a 20L bucket as a vessel to chill his corny keg though the only problem we discovered was that it didn't leave a whole lot of room for ice. After spending half an hour in the storage aisles of Bunnings and comparing every worthy container possible I settled on a simple outdoor plastic trash bin. Factoring in our need for four of everything the plastic bin seemed to suit best and with just an hour of dremel work I was able to make use of the lids which I was initially planning on discarding. I cut a hole for the top of the keg to poke through (also handy for quick access) and then segments cut out for the three meters of beer line to keep it looking tidy.

The final touch was a cheap bracket bolted onto the rim to provide a resting home for the pluto gun rather than the ground. I've seen plenty of drunken attempts to balance the pluto gun on the top of the keg which is not always an easy task. Now I just need to hope my I.P.A and Pale Ale both come out as nice as I intend, only time will tell. Cheers!

Brew Day | Saturday 20th July 2013

Today was a long but worthwhile day. I managed to find time to fill four fermenters consisting of a Spicy Belgium Wheat Beer, English Bitter, Irish Cream Ale and my own Climbers I.P.A. recipe. While the Climbers I.P.A. was an all-grain beer the other three were kits so they took a lot less time to brew.

When fermentation is complete I'll transfer them over to kegs and cold crash them. Once cold crashed I plan on filling a few bottles and storing away while the rest I will keep in the kegs for use with my Kegerator. When I have some time I'll be writing up some recipes and other guides soon.

Forums added | Monday 24th June 2013

We have now added a forum for all related discussion, enjoy! (forums.hopsandbeer.com)

Force carbonating your corny keg | Tuesday 14th May 2013

Have mates coming over in a couple days and you have yet to carbonate your keg? Well here is how you force carbonate in no time. (clicky for guide)

Time to upgrade the Kegerator taps | Monday 13th May 2013

One of the standard plastic taps for my Kegerator decided to fail the other day so it was time to put into motion what I had always planned. To upgrade the two taps to metal flow restrict taps. After shopping around I found a pair for quite cheap but knew it would not be a straight forward upgrade. Indeed there were a few obstacles to overcome so I decided to document my progress in this new guide. (clicky for guide)

I am currently in the process of writing up a few other guides and will be building upon it as time passes. Hopefully my documenting will be of some use if not entertaining.

Welcome to Hops & Beer | Tuesday 09th Sept 2012

This website exists because we are passionate about beer, brewing and all things related.