Wort Aeration & Oxygenation

In beermaking it is critical that you limit the beer’s exposure to oxygen. Oxygen can react with compounds in the beer to degrade the overall quality of the brew but perhaps most noticeably it can create undesirable flavors. However, exposing wort to oxygen is a whole different story. In fact, prior to pitching the yeast, you’ll actually want to make sure that there’s a certain amount of oxygen in the wort. Having oxygen in the wort will make for healthier yeast, better attenuation and an overall more complete fermentation.

It is important to note that you’ll only want to introduce oxygen to wort that has been properly cooled. Bringing oxygen into the mix with wort that is hot or warm will inhibit bacterial growth ultimately increasing the likelihood of infecting your beer. You should always make sure that you are cooling the wort to pitching temperature immediately after the boil is complete and before aeration.

There are a number of ways to introduce oxygen to wort but they all fall under two main approaches: aeration and oxygenation. Aeration is the process of adding air to the mix while oxygenation is the process of infusing pure oxygen.

The difference here is that air is only about 20% oxygen. Because of the difference in composition, using pure oxygen will be the quicker approach though aeration can get the job done just as effectively.
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What You Need to Bottle Your Own Beer

The brew day seems like forever ago and fermentation is finally complete. After all the waiting, your thirst has hit an all-time high. Unfortunately, you’ve got to properly package your product first. When bottling, there are a number of options to consider, you just have to think about what’s right for you and your beer.

Bottles

There are two main sizes of bottles to choose from when storing your homebrew. You know both of them well, the 12 oz. longneck and 22 oz. bomber. Both are equally great options and it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Homebrew Bottles

While 12 oz. bottles are great for personal servings, bombers are really handy when sharing with friends. You can even go with a combination of both to bottle your batch. You’ll also want to pay attention to the bottle’s collar which is just below the lip. American breweries typically use a bottle that has a flat collar that works well with cappers but watch out for imported bottles which may have a recessed or rounded collar which can cause the capper to slip.

Twist-off Style Bottles:
Whatever you do, do not use twist-off style bottles. These are the bottles commonly used by the massive breweries that we all know, and feature a threaded lip to allow the bottle cap to screw on. While it may be easy to find these in large quantities in your neighbor’s recycling bin these are not designed for reuse.
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Comparing Different Types of Water for Homebrewing

Water: Essential Not Only to Life, But Also to Great Beer

Water is perhaps the most overlooked ingredient when homebrewers start out and certainly should not be. After all, more than 95% of beer’s composition is, you guessed it, water. It must be viewed in the same way as any other core ingredients in beer — those being malt, hops, yeast, and of course, water.

Water for Homebrewing

In fact, water is the first ingredient that you should consider when making beer, whether you’re brewing with a prepared ingredient kit or designing your own recipe.

When a brewer chooses the malt for a particular recipe it seems like something one could spend days or even weeks contemplating. With that in mind, it’s important to understand that water merits just as much thought. It serves as the base for your brew, and will have a big impact on how the final product turns out, regardless of whether you did everything else right and used other choice ingredients.

So, what are the main types of water readily available to you for brewing? Chances are you can get your hands on distilled, purified drinking, tap and maybe even rainwater if you have a barrel for a home garden or other purposes. Let’s go through the different types and how they relate to brewing.
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How to Use an Immersion Wort Chiller

Brewing your own beer can be a fun and delicious hobby. If you’ve already made a few batches of homebrew, you might be wondering how you can step up your game and create even more distinctive brews. If this is the phase you find yourself in, I would suggest looking into using an immersion wort chiller. This powerful tool will help you effectively manage one of the most critical steps in the brewing process – the cool down. When you learn how to properly use an immersion wort chiller, you will be well on your way to making beer that is consistently crystal clear and flavorful.

Immersion Wort Chiller

Here’s my tips on how you can use an immersion wort chiller during the homebrewing process.

Why Is Wort Chilling Important?

Before getting into the immersion chiller itself, it’s important to understand why it is needed. The beer making process begins by mashing malted grain and then boiling hops within that mixture to create a flavorful extract. This is known as wort.

Once the wort has been prepared, it needs to be brought quickly from boiling temperature (212°F) down to approximately 60–75°F. The danger zone is between these two temperature points.

While the wort is still hot or warm, it can harbor dangerous bacteria and yeasts that may infect the beer or give it an unpleasant aroma and/or flavor. A chilling device helps quickly reduce the temperature of the wort to create the appropriate environment for fermentation to take place.
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The Homebrewer’s Guide to Secondary Fermentation

If you are new to brewing your own beer, it is important that you learn how the process of fermentation works and the steps you should take to make the perfect homebrew. For some beers, you may want to follow a secondary fermentation process. This conditioning process is a little more complicated, but if you understand the phases, you will be a pro-brewer in no time.

Here’s our tips for understanding the process of secondary fermentation, how it works and when you should do it.

Understanding the Phases of Fermentation

In order to make beer, you must allow it to ferment for a short period of time. The first few phases of fermentation occur fairly quickly. In the aerobic phases, or first phase, the yeast cells become accustomed to their environment and begin to multiply. This multiplication happens very quickly, but not a lot of alcohol is produced.

Oxygen is needed during this phase by the yeast for it to work. The first phase lasts a few hours and you will not be able to see what is going on unless you have a microscope. Once this process is complete, it moves into the anaerobic phase, where the yeast will metabolize the sugars into Ethanol and CO2. This reaction causes there to be foam, or krausen, at the top of the beer that is fermenting. This active phase of fermentation will usually last anywhere from a few days to a whole week.

Towards the end of this phase, the foam will subside and the yeast cells will die or go dormant, falling to the bottom of the container. However, not all of the cells will do this. A few of them will ferment slowly for several more weeks in the conditioning phase.
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6 Common CO2 Questions Answered

CO2 Regulator Single Gauge

CO2 is an essential factor to consider when dispensing draft beer and it’s typically the component that has the most questions associated with it. It’s unclear why people are easily intimidated with CO2, but it could be because chemical compounds and subscripts remind them of their high school chemistry class.

Without getting too technical, here are the answers to the most frequently asked CO2 questions:

1. How do I know what pressure my CO2 is set at?

Your regulator, which is the component that connects the tank to the air hose, will have either one or two gauges on it. If it only has one, then that’s the one you’re looking for. If it has two, look for the gauge that shows a range of about 0-60 PSI (pounds per square inch). This will be your regulated pressure gauge. The number the arrow is pointing to on this gauge is how much pressure is being delivered to your keg.
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The Mystery Behind Pouring the Perfect Guinness: Step-by-Step Guide

For some reason Guinness seems more prone to be shrouded in a veil of mystery than any other type of beer out there. It is popular dry Stout which was originally developed in Ireland back in the late 1700s. Three centuries later, it remains one of the most popular beers across the globe. Because it is unique in many ways, it must be treated differently when pouring, kegging and distributing it.

We’ve previously discussed how to pour the perfect draft beer. However, in that article we failed to mention that pouring Guinness takes a slightly different technique. To honor our devoted Guinness drinkers, we’d like to take this opportunity to teach you how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.

Why Does Guinness Need to be Poured Differently?

The first question many people ask is why Guinness must be poured differently from other beers. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is the ratio of nitrogen to carbon dioxide. Guinness relies on a much higher nitrogen ratio than any other type of beer. For the perfect pint, the gas mixture is 75 percent nitrogen and 25 percent carbon dioxide released at a pressure of between 30 and 40 pounds per square inch. Additionally, because the beer is so thick it takes longer for the nitrogen bubbles to release which is essential to pouring it correctly.
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How to Clean a Kegerator

After actually getting your kegerator set up and dispensing, keeping it clean would be the next important step. It is recommended that you clean your kegerator beer lines after every keg. If you don’t, you could end up with bad tasting beer and what a waste that would be. To help you keep your beer tasting great, we’ve put together the following video to show you exactly how to clean your beer lines.

Don’t have kegerator cleaning materials? Well, we’ve got you covered. Check out our awesome kegerator cleaning kit for everything you need.

 

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Darin with Kegerator.com and today we’re going to show you how to clean your kegerator.

Why Cleaning Your Kegerator is Important

Now the reason you should clean after every use is to take the beer residue from the beer line and the beer faucet to make sure it doesn’t taint your other beers. So what we’re going to do today is clean the faucet area to the line that runs all the way down into your kegerator right here.

Your Kegerator Cleaning Kit

Okay, so, here are all of the accessories you will need to clean your kegerator. First of all, you’ll have the instruction booklet with you so you’ll know what to do. Then we’ll have the powdered beer line cleaning compound, which will help you clean the beer line more successfully and it’ll get rid of all of the residue. The bottle here is where we’re going to mix the solution and then pour it into the kegerator. The cleaning hose goes with the bottle and you’ll just screw it on like that and pump it into the kegerator.

The faucet brush will help you clean all those hard to reach spots on the faucet. The faucet wrench is going to help you take the faucet off of the beer line and the beer tower so you can easily clean your keg. The black rubber gasket will connect to the hose so it won’t leak out. The ball pin helps to relieve the pressure on the coupler so you can clean the line a lot easier.

Now I’m going to teach you how to take off the faucet so you can easily clean your kegerator.

Step 1: Remove Beer Faucet

So what you want to remember here is that the general rule for lefty-loosey, righty-tighty is the exact opposite on kegerators. So it’s going to be lefty-tighty, righty-loosey. What we’re going to do it take the faucet wrench, put it in the holes and take it off just like this. Once it gets loose enough, you can just take it off with your hands.

Step 2: Ready Keg Coupler

Next, you want to go down to the coupler inside the kegerator, and make sure you have the ball pin, and you’re going to put it into where the keg is tapped by the coupler. You want to make sure you pinch it so it goes in, apply the pressure and it should go in like that. Then, make sure you take out the gas line because you don’t want any water to get into it and just keep it up here.

Step 3: Prepare Beer Line Cleaner

You’ll need a tablespoon of beer line cleaner for every gallon of water to make sure you get the right amount of solution. Pour a little in here. You need to mix it with pretty hot water; I’d say almost scalding hot to make sure the solution does work. So make sure it’s super-hot, then fill up the bottle like so to the top line on the bottle. You’ll see the lines on the side. And then, you’ll want to put the hose on, and now, you’re ready to clean your kegerator.

Step 4: Flush Beer Line

One thing to remember when you clean out your kegerator is you’ll need to have a bucket handy so you can put your keg coupler into there to make sure it leaks out correctly. You don’t want it to go all over the floor and make a mess.

You’ll want to take the bottle with the solution in it, take the hose and put it on the faucet head where you took off the faucet that will connect to the beer tower. This will run directly to the line all the way to the keg coupler. When you’re ready, all you have to do is tilt it over and let it go. To make it go faster, you can also just squeeze it and make sure it comes out.

So what you’re going to see at the keg coupler is the water and probably some beer come out. It’s just going to empty into the bucket and this is going to ensure your line is becoming clean as it’s emptying.

For a deeper clean, you can flush the line twice this way or you can take the ball pin out from the coupler and just lit it sit in there for an hour or so and it should clean it.

Step 5: Rinse Beer Line

Now what you want to do after flushing the line the recommended two times is fill the bottle up with just hot water, no solution, and then flush it just like you did before. The hot water will take away all the residue of the solution and you’re line will be cleaner for that. We also recommend doing this at least two times as well.

Step 6: Clean Beer Faucet

So for cleaning the faucet, you want to make sure you have the faucet, a bowl to set all the parts in and your faucet brush. Make sure you also have the solution so you’re ready to clean with that.

What you’re going to do is you’re going to take the faucet apart. Take the faucet handle out, screw out this part here, then screw that out and make sure these two washers come out like so, because you want to clean them as thoroughly as possible. And then, for the faucet, you want to make sure you push this part out so it comes out like so.

You want to put about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of beer line cleaner in the bowl, add scalding hot water (make sure it’s a good temperature) and you want to fill the bowl with the water. Then you want to make sure the powder is all dissolved into the water, so I’m going to stir it a bit.

And then, you’re going to set the faucet in the bowl along with all the parts. Don’t forget the washers; they’re important too. You want to make sure they’re all sitting there and you probably want to keep it there for 30 minutes to an hour. Just to make sure it soaks and gets all of the beer residue out from the faucet.

About 30 minutes to an hour later, you’re going to take the faucet itself and take the brush and just clean it through like that. Get all of the residue out so do it thoroughly. Then do it down here as well to make sure you clean the whole faucet through. And just one more go around to make sure. And then, you want to empty the water from the parts. Make sure you do not flush any of the parts down the sink.

Step 7: Reassemble Your Kegerator

What you want to do is make sure this hole is lined up to go right here, so you’ll push it all the way through like so and you’ll see the hole right in there. And then, you’ll take the handle and stick that piece into the hole you put just in there. Make sure the white washer goes down like so, followed by the black washer. Then you’ll screw the handle on to the faucet itself. Make sure to not tighten it all the way because you want the handle to be a little loose when you pour the beer. Then screw the second part on and make sure also this is a little loose. Not too loose, but not too tight either. And then the tap handle, and you have your faucet.

So when you’re ready to put all of the accessories back on you want to make sure the bottle and hose are removed from the beer tower. And then also make sure that the ball pin is out of the coupler. And you’re ready to assemble it back together.

When you put the faucet back on make sure that lefty is tighty – remember that. Then take the faucet wrench and make sure you tighten it on correctly. You can do this one of two ways: you can either put the faucet at an angle so you can get an even pour or you can put it up the traditional way, just straight up. You want to make sure it’s tightened, so the beer doesn’t come out.

So after you clean your kegerator, you are now ready to enjoy a new keg of fresh draft beer.