Kegerator Video Library

For expert information and informative tutorials about choosing, using, and cleaning your kegerator, check out our video guides below!

Video Index:

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How to Brew Beer

Home brewing beer has been said to be part science and part art. There is a precise and calculated aspect to the process but at the same time the “rules” and any possible confines can be hazy, presenting grounds for personal interpretation and the creation of a truly unique beer. Sounds like it could be difficult, right? Well, it’s not.

Brewing beer really comes down to a simple process that has roots as far back as 12,000 years. You essentially heat water and grain (and/or extract from grain), boil the mixture with hops, cool the mixture, ferment the mixture using yeast and then carbonate. Easy enough, right? Well, now we’ll go into a little bit more depth within each step.

The Main Steps of Homebrewing:

  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing
  2. The Brew
  3. After the Brew
  4. Fermentation
  5. Bottling and Kegging

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Kegerator Essentials: Cleaning Kits

So, now you have a new kegerator, and you’ve thrown your first party. The post-party cleanup is certainly a breeze since you don’t have to pick up dozens of empty beer bottles and cans laying around your home. But what about your kegerator, do you need to clean that? The simple answer is yes, and it’s incredibly easy to do.

Kegerator Cleaning Kit

Why You Should Clean Your Kegerator

Every part of your kegerator, from the walls to the coupler, needs to be cleaned at a regular basis. Not only will this keep your beer tasting fresh, it will also help maintain the equipment and keep the beer flowing at an optimal rate. The first thing you must do is get a kegerator cleaning kit. These kits provide everything you need to properly clean your kegerator, including a nylon faucet brush, a check ball lifter, a special beer line cleaning compound and a kegerator faucet wrench and gasket.

How to Clean Your Kegerator

Your kegerator cleaning kit will contain in depth instructions that cover every aspect of how to clean your kegerator. Before starting, it’s always wise to thoroughly read over the instructions. It’ll explain how to turn the powdered compound into a liquid cleaning solution that is then sent through the coupler. It also details how to use the check ball lifter to raise your coupler ball without breaking the coupler or the beer line. It basically tells you everything you need to know, in order to sanitize and maintain your beer dispenser.

The cleaning kit also includes a replacement faucet wrench and gasket set, since these two parts are pretty small and easy to lose. Use the faucet wrench and gasket to remove yeast buildup from the kegerator faucet. If this buildup is left for too long, it can start to mold.

A good rule of thumb, is to clean your kegerator every time you switch out the keg. Cleaning your kegerator isn’t necessary in order for it to work, however, for the best quality beer you’re going to want to clean it on a semi-regular basis. Otherwise, your beer will begin to taste flat and kind of odd. Having a clean beer line is the best way to pump perfect, great-tasting beer.

Although cleaning a kegerator may seem a bit complicated at first, the entire process takes less than 15 minutes and is incredibly easy to do. It’s wise to buy a cleaning kit when you initially buy your unit. Without the kit, your kegerator begins to mold and lose its ability to pour the perfect beer. Use the kegerator cleaning kit to clean the coupler, beer line and faucet.

Also, cleaning the outside of your kegerator is easy. Use a damp rag to wipe any dirt or dust off the body, and maybe look into using a stainless steel cleaner to give it a nice shine. Assuming you have a stainless steel dispenser, of course.

Recommended Reading

Damage Control | Schlitz & Giggles

As many of you already know, we at Schlitz & Giggles are on the verge of announcing our new beer. It is due to be introduced in late November, and production has already begun at our plant. To ensure a quality product, part of our brewing process is taping various quality assurance videos, which remain safe within our company.

However, our QA videos were unfortunately leaked to the news media outlets, showing bits and pieces of the process we used to make our mystery beer. While we wish that this source had chosen not to leak these videos, we figured it would just be better to roll with the punches. Luckily, not enough of our secret was divulged to discontinue our late November launch, and so we decided to post those videos on our blog.

Please keep in mind that, while many of the various steps were meant to be top secret, most of them can also be used to brew your own style of beer at home.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYBJsmyZVg4?rel=0]

This process is known as steeping (just like with tea). We use a muslin bag to pour our secret blend of barley and malts, and steep it in the bag of boiling hot water for about 20-30 minutes.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPA5I4yA0NE?rel=0]

Our master brewers then let the mixture of the water and spices boil over an open flame for about 30 minutes.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIAaKajG8Bs?rel=0]

The top-secret syrup is then added to the hot water, and the brewers make sure it is slowly poured in while stirring slowly to ensure it dissolves. Then the mixture boils for another 60 minutes. By the way, I recognize that dog… I may have just figured out who leaked this video!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IClDw0HH9y8?rel=0]

Then, 15 minutes before the hour of boiling is up, the master brewers add our bittering hops blend. After about 10 minutes, they then add flavoring hops to give it that extra Schlitz kick.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPDmko-9nbM?rel=0]

Following the boiling and adding of flavors, our brewers rapidly cool the mixture down to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in just 15 minutes to ensure all of the flavors are not boiled out.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcGxhthbSpA?rel=0]

Our mixture is then added to the fermenter along with water to make the complete brew. In this case, they added it to make 5 gallons of beer.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USE-YxpSY8w?rel=0]

This is the final result of the first half of brewing. The mixture stays in this fermenter for up to 2 weeks. The thing at the top is called an airlock, and it tells is if the brew is starting to ferment correctly.

These are the videos that were leaked, but luckily nothing incriminating came out of it. Now we just have to hope that no other video gets leaked… I think it’s about time we find the owner of that dog!

Related Posts: Company Homebrew Competition, Brewery Buzz | Schlitz & Giggles

Related Posts: Company Homebrew Competition

Rainbow Ale Brewing Process

Team Rainbow Ale checking in here.  Our team includes Anthony, Michael, Kara and me, Scott.  We are making honey brown ale.  Michael chose this based on the description.  “Honey Brown is a full bodied American brown ale…”.  Mike thought it was perfect, since there are two full bodied American brown people on the team (Anthony and Scott, pictured center below).

Team Picture

Before we brewed, we went to Austin Home Brew to get the supplies, and learn the process. Check out the video Mike put together of that experience:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DShA5hsFZS0?rel=0]

So, we brewed our beer last night, and that was an adventure, and I mean that in a good way.  Austin Home Brew sent us home with all of the supplies we would need to make the perfect Honey Brown.

Brewing Ingredients

As the video explains, first we get the water up to 155 degrees.  We just settled for boiling, and let it cool from there.  Then, we added the malt, which smelled of honey and chocolate.  Luckily, we had something to put it in, because I was thinking we were going to use an old stocking (yeah, pretty gross, but you do what you gotta do).  We let that soak for 25 minutes, dipping it like a tea bag every so often.  After that was done, we added what looked and tasted and smelled like molasses (not sure of the technical term, but I called it the tasty goodness).  We got that to a rolling boil, and then the fun began!  TIME TO ADD THE HOPS!!  The hops had a sweet, slightly fruity smell to them, and look like rabbit pellets.  So, we took half the hops, and added them in the beginning for bitterness.

This is when we ate dinner, thanks to Kara’s husband Justin.  He grilled hamburgers (AMAZING) and hot dogs (even fat free, for us full bodied American browns).

The Grill

After 45 minutes, we added half of what was left for flavoring.  10 minutes later, it was time to add the rest for aroma.

Now, the fun began.  The instructions were very specific about getting this brew to 80 degrees within 20 minutes.  So, we created an ice bath in the sink, and took the mixture (keep in mind, it was boiling) and put it in there.  And, we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  But, we forgot to set a timer, so it was unclear when 20 minutes were up.  I used the baseball game (Game 6 of the World Series) as a timer.  I figured 2 complete innings would be about 20 minutes.  It took almost that entire time to get it down to 80.

Cool Down

Then, we transferred the brew into the fermenting bucket and added 3 gallons of water.  After thoroughly mixing it, we tested the density, made sure it was correct, and put the lid on.  Now, putting on the lid proved to be a little more difficult than we initially realized.  I literally had to kneel completely on it to close the lid.  We thought we were all done, but WAIT!  Forgot to add the yeast (you know, that makes the alcohol, pretty important).  So, it was getting the lid off, another adventure, and then pouring the yeast in.  Now, in the brewing class, we learned that we are to sprinkle it evenly across the top.  But, yeah, that didn’t happen.  We just kind of put it in there.  We’ll see how that turns out…  The lid went back on (much easier this time), put the stopper and a little contraption that could be mistaken for a crack pipe into the stopper to allow the CO2 to escape.  And, voila!  Now, we are just letting it sit and ferment.  In two weeks, we will begin the bottling process.  SUPER GEEKED!!  So, that was our brewing adventure. Remember, when you are in the mood for a full bodied American brown ale, think….

Rainbow Ale LogoRelated Posts: Company Homebrew CompetitionTeam Rainbow Ale Introduction

Brew Ha Ha’s Brewing Process

Once we learned the basics at Austin Homebrew, it was time to do it ourselves. As previously stated, we chose the Imperial stout recipe. The brewing process was fairly simple and foolproof, from start to finish. The recipe was straightforward and step-by-step, allowing for an easy night of brewing. All the equipment was labeled and documented in a little pamphlet provided by AHB. The first step was to sterilize the stock pot, thermometer, and gigantic spoon. We visually inspected the equipment before sterilizing, but found no dirt or grime to clean. Earlier in the day, I took the hops and yeast out of the refrigerator to let them warm up.

Next it was time to bring the water 155˚F and then steep the grains. We added the grains to the boiling bag and let it sit in the water, periodically moving the bag up and down to really let the grains move through the water. We did this for about 26 minutes, and halfway through the aroma really began to waft through the kitchen.

Following the steeping process, we let the boiling bag drain excess water into the pot and then tossed the grains. The formerly clear water was now a dark black, so we were headed in the right direction. We added in some more water and began to bring the pot to a boil. With such a large amount of water it took about 30 minutes to bring to a full boil. Once it was at a continuous boil we added in the malt, which brought with it an overpowering, concentrated smell. The smell permeated through the entire house and it was almost enough to make one feel a little nauseous. Opening the kitchen window brought only a little relief. We let that sit for about 45-60 minutes, occasionally stirring so the syrup didn’t burn to the pot.

Once the malt was sufficiently dissolved and cooked, it was time to add the hops editions. The recipe only called for one packet of Chinook hops, scheduled to cook for 60 minutes, however a packet of Kent Golding hops had found its way into the ingredients bag. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I called Austin Home Brew and they advised that it would be okay to just throw the unscheduled hops into the mix at about 5 minutes left in the scheduled hops cooking time. That was good enough for me and I did just that.

Next was the hardest part of the entire process – bringing the wort down to 80˚F in 20 minutes. We set up an ice bath in the sink and placed the pot inside. The ice would melt pretty quickly so we would constantly drain the water, add more ice, and repeat until the wort was cooled. Unfortunately, it took a little longer than 20 minutes so hopefully that doesn’t affect the end result too much.  While the hops were cooking we had sanitized the fermenting bucket. It was time to dump the wort and add the yeast. After adding the wort and water to bring the brew to the necessary 5 ¼ gallon level, I stirred vigorously to allow it to breath and then added the yeast. I placed the lid on the bucket to close it up and, after adding sanitizer, placed the air lock in its designated hole.

It only took about an hour for the CO2 to start making bubbles in the air lock, which was a comforting sight. Hopefully the rest of the process is as easy as the brewing portion. We will update you once we begin the secondary stage.

Check out our video of the process:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9S56OnWJhM?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

Related Posts: Company Homebrew Competition, Brew Ha Ha’s: Austin Home Brew Class #1

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.