Fermenter Upgrades

Posted on November 10th, 2014

fermenterHit 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

Posted on October 25th, 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.

homebrewcomp22 trophies

Keeping Kegs Cold

Posted on September 16th, 2013

keg_chillerThe 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!