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Homebrewing wants/needs

I haven’t brewed a batch of beer in almost three months now and it is driving me crazy. There were two contributing factors for the lack of brewing over the past few months. The first was that I had no room to put finished beer. My kegorator is currently home to two kegs, both of which contained beer (a wonderful porter and a pale ale that needs some work). I wanted to finish off both beers before I brewed again.

I am a big fan of reusing yeast, so it makes sense to brew a batch and brew another when the first one is finished. Because of this I need two free kegs. The second reason for the lack of brewing was that I moved this last week and I didn’t want to have to move a full keg or a fermenting batch of beer.

I am now mostly settled into my new house and I love it, but I would love it more if my kegs were full of beer. There are a lot of things that I want to do with my homebrew setup and this lead me to make a list of wants and needs.

Needs

  • More kegs (at least two) to put beer. Even if they are not on tap, it will give me a place to put finished beer and to have something ready to go when a keg kicks.
  • Gas burner. My old apartment did not allow for a gas burner because of some apartment law, but at my new house I can burn outside. The stove is also electric but the amount of time needed to get a boil is unnecessary.
  • A larger pot. I currently have one five gallon pot and one 3.5 gallon pot. I generally do a split boil in order to get five gallons of beer. This gets annoying really fast and also causes problems since I only have one wort chiller.

Wants

  • My kegorator is able to hold three kegs so I want to get everything necessary to do that. I want another faucet, shank, and all of the tubing necessary.
  • Going along with the additional tap, I want a second regulator so that I have have different pressures in my kegs. I currently have a two output manifold, which works great, but only one pressure can be set. An Irish Stout and an APA should be sitting at different PSIs.
  • The final thing that I want to get is an extra manifold. Most of my beers can sit at the same pressure, so I would like to have an extra two output manifold to go along with the additional regulator.

So what can I do on a budget? My wants are all on the more expensive side of things. Regulators run around $50-$100 and another manifold will cost about $35. The shanks, faucets and additional hose/connections will be around $50. Now those prices are not outrageous, but they are a bit pricy for me right now.

In the needs arena the kegs can be a bit pricy at $35-$50 a keg. Gas burners can run around the same price and large pots ~7.5 gallons can also be pricy. My solution, Amazon and my credit card rewards. I just purchased a turkey fryer kit that includes a burner and a 7.5 gallon pot for $65, but it only cost me $15. The reason for this is that my credit card does rewards points and one of the prizes is a $50 Amazon gift card. I’m thrilled to have two of the three needs crossed off of the list.  Once I finish my needs list I am hoping that Santa can help with the wants. I should be brewing next week and I can’t wait. I’ll get my recipe posted as soon as I finalize it.

 

 

Photography and beer

I am kind of a weirdo, just ask my wife. I am really into a lot of different things. One of the things I like best about my beer hobby (and it is a hobby) is that I can join some of my interest together. For instance, I really like the whole website thing. I am not good at it, but I like it. Another thing I am becoming more and more passionate about is photography.

You will notice that I put up a lot of pictures when I review a beer. A lot more images than most beer blogs use. Generally the types and positions of the photos are the same, but I still like to put a bunch up there. I really like photographing beer. It allows me to share it with you and it is also an interesting subject to photograph. It is always changing and has a wonderful movement to it.

I also really like photographing things up close. The macro setting and I are best friends. I am a bit limited to not doing some things because of the equipment, but in general my simple camera is up to most of the tasks I ask it for. You will notice that I tend to grab a lot of up-close photos of the beer bottle. I love beer labels and I don’t see enough high quality images of them on the internet.

I think the images presented on this site are improving, and I hope they keep getting better. A digital SLR is on my wish-list, but so is a house, and a kegorator. I think the other two items will beat out the SLR for right now. Anyone else have other interest that get married in the context of beer?

14 mph cooler

09-04-07-01Yes you read that title correctly, it is a cooler that goes 14 mph. It runs on an electric motor and you can travel 15 miles on a single charge. The cooler can hold a case of beer with ice. Sounds like a sweet deal. Of course, you do have one obvious problem, operating any vehicle when drinking isn’t looked upon fondly. The other question you might be asking yourself is why? Yeah it is pretty neat, but I could think of something better to dump $500 on. I’m thinking a nice kegorator and keg conversion kit for homebrewing.

I’ve seen other versions that have an attachable trailer, so this might not be your best option. A quick search of Google will give you tons of sites to get this puppy from.

Tap-Board

One day when I get my kegorator, I would really like to have some nice tap handles. Afterall how can you showcase your beer without all aspects of the presentation being awesome. I’ve been looking around at tap handles (since they are in my price range) and those things are pretty darn expensive. For a good looking blank one it is around $30. No way! I thought about making some since I do have access to the machines, but I found this product, and I thought it was pretty cool.

09-03-24-01

It is called Tap-Board and basically it is a tap handle with a 3.25 inch chalkboard on it. You can just write what is on tap and erase when done, pretty nifty. Even if I don’t get this product, it gave me an idea for something I could do when I want to make my own. Link to the site.