Monday, January 24, 2011

Brown Ale is On Tap!!!

Literally!  On tap.  My house.  And I built it.  Finally got everything squared away and ready for a test keg when Stuart from Breckenridge Brewery unexpectedly called to tell me that he talked the brewers into filling a keg of their Ballpark Brown Ale for me and it was sitting in their cooler with my name on it.  I say unexpectedly, as I talked to him about a week ago, and he told me that he had no idea when he would have some Brown available.  I asked Stuart to give me a call when it came in.  I really had no faith in him.  I figured him very differently.  I was dead wrong.  He was nice enough to talk someone into filling a keg and getting back to me.  That is a lot of service for one 5 gallon keg!  So, I got my keg of brown on Saturday, and bought some longer hose to better balance the system.  Happy belated birthday to ME!
A balanced system is where the pressure applied equals the volumes of co2 in the beer at the set temperature, and the beer pours nicely (no foaming).  The trick is to have the hose (3/16" choker at approx. 3 pounds of pressure per foot of length) length equalize the pressure so the beer comes out as beer, not foam.  It isn't an exact science (although it should be) as corrections have to happen for altitude (in my case +/-5000 feet), height of faucet above keg, pressure variations, temperature variations, etc.  My theoretical hose length should be about 5 foot long, and I am using 8 feet.  Go figure.
I only have one complaint.  To get a beautiful pour, you have to pour the cold beer from the keg, so I have to run a little of the first beer out (as waste, which breaks my heart) or have foamy beer.   Anyway, I have a guest beer on tap, and my own beer will be available in about a week.

I had the thought of putting a Breckenridge sticker over the Lite Beer tap handle, but I couldn't find one....I had a Colorado Brewers Guild one that will have to do for now as inspiration.

Total Costs: Freezer $80 on Craigslist
Wood: $0, Redwood bedframe found in alley
20 lb Co2 tank, regulator, Coupler, beer faucet and Lite Beer tap handle $50 after buying a Kegerator for $100 and selling the fridge for $50.  New hoses, fittings, Co2 splitter, cleaners, and ball lock keg, $100, additional hardware for kegerator $30, 5 gallons of Ballpark Brown Ale from Breckenridge, $36 (with American Homebrewer's Association discount). Temp Controller: $80  Total: about $380.

No comments:

Post a Comment