From the HBD Archive
From: Jeff Miller <jmiller@unix.eta.com>
Subject: yeast and and kegging
Date: 1988-12-09 14:48:51 GMT

First an enthusiastic request for Dave Baer to post his information on
using and culturing liquid yeast. I have been really hot on trying this
myself but I'm not quite sure how to procede. Charlies book talks about
beer bottles and other books talk about agar and slants. I'm all ears
for anyone with experience.

Now for Bo's queuestions about kegging. I got tired of bottling last
year and got set up with a kegging system and these are my thoughts on
the subject:

My setup included a 5 gallon cornelius keg, 5lb CO2, preasure regulator
with only a supply guage, a fridge mount tapper, and all the fittings and
hoses. I got my setup through a local restuarant supplier and I turned
him onto homebrew in the process. I think the system cost just over $200
so $170 sounds like a good price.

I got everything done locally because I wanted to have immediate access
for questions and also wanted to get the setup as soon as possible. As
it turned out, since this guy was used to pop in cornelius kegs and beer
in other kegs we both had to go through a learning curve and it took
numerous attempts to get everything to work. If I were to do this again
I would go with a supplier that has done this thing before.

Cornelius kegs have advantages in that parts are easily available, they
are a good size, and they are easy to clean. Some bad things that I have
against them is that the quick connects (at least mine) are really hard
to work and I hate strugleing with them. They are especially a problem
when my keg comes out of the fridge and I end up unscrewing the disconnects
and using hot water to expand them enough to come apart. Another problem
is that they are very tall and will eat your entire fridge. I didn't think
this would bother me but I really do like to have an extra fridge for those
beers that happen to be in bottles. The most annoying problem is that
the keg itself costs alot! In order to really get away from bottling
you should have a number of kegs so that you can at least have a brew
conditioning while you are drinking the previous. Well when I priced this
out I worked it out to be between $70 and $100 per extra container depending
if you add in extra taps or not. The story of reconditioned kegs seems
to be a false lark around here. The reason is that the pop suppliers now
own the kegs and they don't give them up vary often. When purchasing a
reconditioned keg instead of a new one from the supplier the cost reduction
still put the keg up over $50.

I am currently in the process of scoping out a switch to a more traditional
keg. I have been looking for some 4.5 gallon kegs but not too many people
have them and I currently have an 7.5 but I have to get a bung. Advantages
of the keg seem to be that they cost a lot less ($10 deposit), they come
in 4.5, 7.5, and 15.5 gallon sizes, and the taps are also usable on
production beers. Disadvantages seem to be cleaning and often they are
aluminum instead of stainless. (If I die of Alzheimers you know what happened).
The kegs are also more difficult to carry then the cornelius.

To end this disertation I have a few opinions about the gas bottle. I was
never so sad as the day I turned in my bright brand new bottle for an abused
but full bottle. Don't spend the bucks on a new container when you can get
a used one because you will just turn it in when you get it refilled. Also,
if at all possible in the budget, get a 10lb instead of the 5lb. The 5lb
is just to small and if you end up kegging a lot you end up going to the
refill place far too often. I have been trying to motivate toward a 10lb
main system with the 5lb around in case I run out in the middle of a keg.
Placement of the supply is something you may want to think about. I put
mine inside the fridge because the compressor buldged up the floor and
made a perfect place for the canister. On later thought this wasn't a
good place becaus you have to open the door to monitor the guages and
turn it on and off. I plan on moving it outside of the fridge at some
point.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Jeff Miller (jmiller@eta.com)

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