Archive for 17th January 2011

Rebuilt Keg, Force Carbonation Test

When I purchased my beer kegging supplies the keg came used, complete with some flavor of Canada Dry residual liquid sloshing around inside. It’s common to buy used kegs for home brewing, and I knew that before I used it I’d have to rebuild it and replace all the o-rings to ensure no off flavors contaminate the beer.

This evening I pulled the keg apart, scrubbed all parts with a sodium percarbonate solution, then reassembled it with food-safe grease and new seals. After assembly and pressure testing I filled it with filtered tap water and set it up as seen above. This 15psi supply of CO2 should force carbonate the water to 2.5 volumes (or so) of CO2, depending on how cold the water actually ends up. After proving out that this method works I’ll then try it on one of the future batches of beer, carbonating it either in the garage or a kegerator, if I assemble one.

For more information on force carbonating, take a look at this article.

XC Skiing on MLK Day

Being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I headed out to Stony Creek to do some XC skiing. While the trails weren’t groomed, there was enough of a track worn in that skiing was still fun. (Photo) I ended up skiing lots of two track, likely totaling somewhere around 8 miles.

Before leaving the house I fitted this year’s joint Metroparks / Oakland County Parks. Despite costing $48, this pass is an excellent buy for anyone who regularly goes to both organization’s parks, particularly someone like me who doesn’t live in Oakland County. While the normal price for an annual Metroparks pass is only $25, the non-resident Oakland County Parks pass is a whopping $45. Thus, by purchasing the joint pass (also known Parks Perks Pass) it’s $22 cheaper for me to get access to all the parks than it would be if I’d bought the passes separately.

Lazy Stout!

One week after brewing the Area 51 IPA kit I decided to use up some other beer ingredients from around the house and threw together this quick stout. I’d had a four pound can of Mountmellick “Famous Irish Style Stout” Hopped Malt Extract, so on the recommendation of the local brewing supply store I added a 3.3 pound can of Thomas Coopers’ dark liquid malt extract and set it to ferment with a leftover packet of Safale US-05 (PDF) yeast. I’d considered adding more hops, but I was told that hopped extracts are usually aggressively flavored and thus it’s probably not necessary.

With 6.5 gallons of water + extract in the pot I set to boiling it. Danielle and I took turns near the kettle so I could run in the house and fetch supplies. After an hour of boiling I was able to cool the wort and set exactly five gallons to ferment, and here it is. While this isn’t a complicated recipe, I hope it’ll result in something quick and easy that Danielle and I both enjoy the taste of. There isn’t much krausen on the beer now but it does seem to be producing enough CO2 to be coming along well.

This should come out to about 5.25%, but we’ll see once the numbers are done in a week or so:

OG: 1.053
FG: 1.021
ABV: 4.2%

I think that next I’ll try and make some manner of Ginger Beer. I’m not sure if it’ll simply be a carbonated soda or something fermented, but ginger does sound tasty.