From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: re: kegs, canisters, and first time brewing
Date: 1989-02-14 16:02:53 GMT

From: Michael L. Farkas <Farkas@GODZILLA.SCH.Symbolics.COM>
"Well guys, I've finally decided to take the plunge.
"I'm getting ready to make my first batch of beer.
"I'm going for a lager (seems like the easiest for a
"first time brewer).

Actually, ales are a lot easier because of the warmer temperatures
involved, although right now is perfect lager season in LA. Might
hold long enough to make one (I hope, fingers crossed and beer in
the fermenter!).

" But it seems like such a pain
"putting the stuff in bottles, so I want to go with a
"tapping system. Now for the questions...
" 1) I only have the resources to make it in five
" gallon batches. am I better off doing it in
" one of those five gallon soda syrup cannisters,
" or is it okay to brew only five gallons in
" a 1/4 or 1/2 keg?

If you just put the beer in to one of these, you risk oxidizing
it in a hurry. However, if you're going to buy a CO2 bottle, you
can purge the air space with it first and then rack your beer into
it, and all should be well. I use the 5 gallon Cornelius (soda pop)
canisters myself. Be aware that there are two incompatible types.
One, commonly refered to as "Pepsi" or "7Up", has plain, cylindrical
inlet and outlet fittings. I don't know about these because I use
the other type, AKA "Coke", which have two little prongs on the
inlet fitting and three on the outlet.

" 2) If i do it in a five gallon soda cannister,
" am I brain damaged thinking that I can
" easily adapt the setup so I can use either
" the five gallon cannister or a keg, so I can
" buy commercial stuff when I don't have the
" time to make my own?

You can easily adapt by putting tees onto your CO2 line and buying
the fittings for whichever commercial style you want. But there are
many different commercial fitting systems as well, so even then you
may only be able to drink one of Heinekens or Bud or Miller. And
fittings, being a low volume item, are somewhat expensive.

" 3) If I am brain damaged, is it going to cost me
" a fortune to buy a setup with two taps so
" I can keep both on tap?

With that much beer, if you aren't BD now... But, as I said above,
you could stay broke buying different fittings.

" 4) Where in the Los Angeles area can I buy
" the tapping/cooling setup that won't cost
" me my life savings?

In Culver City, go to Robinson's Draught Specialties, and bring
John some homebrew. He's very helpful, and if you call first to
make sure he's not too busy, he'll tell you more than you need to
know. I was able to buy my tapping equipment at a great discount
because he used ends of lines for me and happened to have a used
regulator. He seems fascinated by these weird people who actually
*make* beer rather than just buying it.

" 5) Is there anything I should know about Los Angeles
" water, as far as conditioning it so my beer tastes

Water treatment is a very detailed subject. If you are actually
in the city of LA, there are four different water sources. I
live in the San Fernando Valley, and the water we get (stolen from
Mono Lake) is great for brewing just about anything but a true
Pilsener Urquell. If you happen to be getting MWD water, you may
have difficulties brewing lighter lagers of any sort. Arrowhead
Spring water is a very suitable replacement. Call up the DWP
and ask them to send you a water report. It's free.

(I hope the net will forgive me for proselytizing...) Come on down
to a Maltose Falcons meeting. First Sunday of each month at the
Home Wine and Beer Making Shop, 22846 Ventura Blvd. #2, 818 884
8586. Members get a 20% discount on meeting weekends.

--Darryl Richman
(The Falcon's Nest homebrewer's BBS sysop 818 349 5891)

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