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Category: Kegs

New Stainless Steel Manifold for my More Beer Ultimate Sparge Arm and Stainless Steel Braid for My Home Brewing Tubes

Stainless Steel Ultimate Sparge Arm

I purchased my MoreBeer.com  Ultimate Stainless Steel Sparge Arm about 4 years ago. I still consider it to be one of my very best home brewing purchases. It has been durable, functional, reliable and most importantly clog free for me over the years.

One home brewing modification that I recently did, made something great even better!  In my home brewery, I use a electric heating bar that allows me to lock in the temperature of my mash with no fuss.  I just recirculate my mash, set the desired temperature and I am done.  The mash recirculates back into the mash tun via my stainless steel sparge arm. Previously, I would then disconnect the sparge arm from the mash tun and connect it to my hot liquor tank when it was time to mash out.  Now with the new stainless steel manifold that I made for the sparge arm, it is much safer and as easy as turning a nob.

More Beer Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

More Beer Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

The above photo illustrates how it works. I swapped out the existing ball valve and added in 3 mini stainless steel ball valves as well as a stainless steel 1/2″ tee fitting and 2 90 degree stainless steel elbows. The whole process only took about 30 minutes to complete. I then covered the high temp silicone tubing with stainless steel braiding to make them easier to handle, reduce kinking and make it look a little sharper. Here is a list of all of the parts that I purchase for the project:

 

Stainless Steel Sparge Arm for Home Beer Brewing

Stainless Steel Sparge Arm for Home Beer Brewing

1  – MoreBeer Ultimate Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

Home Brewing Stainless Steel Mini Ball Valves

Home Brewing Stainless Steel Mini Ball Valves

3  – Stainless Steel Mini Ball Valves for Home Brewing

 

Half Inch Stainless Steel Elbows for Home Brewing

Half Inch Stainless Steel Elbows for Home Brewing

2 – Stainless Steel .5″ Elbows for Homebrew

 

Stainless Steel Quick Connects for Home Brewing

Stainless Steel Quick Connects for Home Brewing

1 – 4 Pack of .5″ Stainless Steel Quick Connects and Stainless Steel Quick Disconnects for Homebrewing

 

Stainless Steel Half Inch Braid for Home Brewing Tube

Stainless Steel Half Inch Braid for Home Brewing Tube

1 –  Home Brewing Stainless Steel Half Inch Braid for Homebrew Tube

Everything worked out great on the project.  I tested for leaks and cleaned all of the parts well with a hot mixture of PBW home brewing cleaner and water. Just a couple of tips. I ran three loops of teflon tape for all of the connections.  I tightened all of the fittings as tightly as I could. For the stainless steel 1/2″ braiding for the home brewing hoses, I ran a small .5″ pipe through it first to stretch it out, then inserted the silicone tubing and that made getting on the tube much easier. I can’t wait to put it all to good use on my next batch of homebrew, which will either be a Coconut Porter or a Hazy IPA.  If you have any questions on anything, just hit me up with a comment or on Facebook.

Stainless Steel Mini Keg Dispenser & Portable Kegerator Kit

Mini Keg Stainless Steel Homebrew Dispenser

It has been a little while since I got any cool new home brewing gear, so I was pretty excited when the Amazon guy dropped this package off! One of my good friends is going to be getting married later this month. I figured that I would bring some home brewed beer to help celebrate. I have a Milkshake Hazy IPA in the fermentation chamber that should finish up just in time. The wedding is about 8 hours away and I am unfortunately limited on how much I can bring. Unfortunately a full sized keg is out of the question. So I began my search and finally ended up selecting this 128 oz stainless steel mini keg draft beer dispenser.

After cleaning all of the items well and assembling the parts (took about 5 minutes), I put some beer in the mini keg to try it out and it worked perfectly.  It has a mini regulator that features a gauge so that you can carefully control the PSI of your CO2.  I set the PSI to 5 and it poured beer perfectly with out excess foam or spitting beer halfway across the room. They say that the CO2 cartridge should last for at least one mini kegs worth of beer but I have yet to deplete one. The mini keg beer dispenser holds right about 8 pints of beer and you can purchase additional 128 oz mini kegs separately for about $35 each. I have a 64 oz stainless steel mini keg that I am also planning on bringing with my latest Viking Double IPA so that I have a little variety. They also offer a insulator sleeve, but I am going to try an keep it in a bucket filled with ice, so hopefully that will do the trick.

Here are some of the features of this mini keg draft beer system:

  • Keeps beer vacuum pressured and fresh for up to 2 months
  • Perfect for any homebrew or craft beer
  • Each CO2 cartridge will pump around 128 oz of beer before depleting CO2 cartridge
  • Monitor the mini keg growler’s current PSI from the regulator gauge and fine tune pressure by rotating the adjustment knob
  • Add the optional insulator sleeve to help keep beer cold
  • The accessories and mini keg are all constructed with 304 food grade stainless steel
  • Includes a pressure release valve
  • Laser marked at the fill level
  • Includes metal screw on lid for easy portable transportation and storage
  • The perfect size to fits in your home fridge

Perhaps the best feature of this stainless steel mini keg was the price! Amazon has it on sale with free next day shipping for just $114! If you are in the market for a great little draft beer system to help you transport your homebrew for the holidays, you can use the following link.

Stainless Steel Mini Keg Draft Beer System for $114

Stainless Steel Mini Keg Kegerator

Stainless Steel Mini Keg Kegerator

Kegging Home Brewed Beer

Why Keg Your Home Brewed Beer

Kegging Beer

 

 

In my opinion, one of the worst aspects of brewing beer is having to bottle it.  First you need to either purchase or collect a large number of bottles.  Then you need to clean the bottles and potentially strip off a bunch of labels.  Next you need to rinse and sanitize your bottles.  After that you need to add sugar to the beer (hopefully getting the quantity correct for your style) and then fill your bottles. Finally you cap the bottles and then you must wait for the beer to carbonate in the bottle hoping that it fully carbonates and if so that it does not explode your bottle from over carbonation. Knowing how easy it is to keg, I doubt that I will ever go back unless it is for a specialty batch where the bottle adds aesthetics or the ability to age the beer in a way that would be difficult to achieve via kegging.

 

For the folks who are new to home brewing, here are some of the benefits of kegging your home brewed beer over bottling it. When you keg your beer, it is ready to drink faster than bottled beer.  There are a variety of techniques available for carbonating your beer with a Co2 tank and some methods can have your beer fully carbonated in a matter of minutes as opposed to days. Additionally, when you keg your beer you can carbonate to any level you desire. Perhaps most importantly is the time savings.  When you keg, you only need to clean and sanitize one vessel as opped to 20 or more.  Kegs are also easy to store and far less fragile than a glass bottle.

 

If you are looking to start kegging your beer for the first time, there are some great starter kits available that will provide you with everything that you need to get up and running.  Here is a great place to start:

 

Click Here for Beer Kegging Equipment

Keg

Kegs are cylindrical beer storage vessels that are typically constructed out of stainless steel or aluminum. They come in a variety of sizes from 2 gallons all the way up to a full size 1/2 barrel keg at 15.5 gallons.

I like to consider a keg to be a home brewer’s best friend. The primary benefit of a keg over bottles is the convenience. There is only one container to clean, sanitize, fill and carbonate; kegs are also very durable and allow you to modify your carbonation level if desired.

Most home brewers use a version of a 5 gallon keg known as a corny keg or Cornelius keg. Below is a photo of three varieties of 5 gallon kegs. On the left is a 5 gallon ball lock Cornelius keg, in the center is a 1/6th barrel keg (that you would typically receive from a large scale or craft brewery) and to the right is a pin lock conversion keg; all hold approximately 5 gallons of beer.

The ball lock kegs tend to be most common and prized by home brewers. I personally use both ball lock and pin lock kegs that have been converted to ball lock so that they are compatible with my CO2 system. I use my pin lock conversion kegs as fermentation vessels in my temperature controlled fermentation freezer. The pin lock kegs are shorter and wider which allows me to fit them in my fermentation freezer without the need of a collar extension for the freezer.

Special air locks are available for use with the keg-style fermenters; I only use them as a secondary fermenter due to the reduced head space available for the foam created during primary fermentation.

 

Below are three varieties of 5 gallon kegs.

Different Types of 5 Gallon Beer Kegs

Different types of 5 gallon beer kegs.

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