14 December 2013

Renew! Renew!

As I am chronically incapable of leaving well enough alone, I am working on replacing the compressor in my kegerator with a quieter AC unit. 

This is to be an interesting hack job as there are many factors that could make this not work.

1) Air conditioners are not generally designed to run at these temperatures and run the risk of freezing up from condensation that turns to ice.

2) Air conditioners are way more BTUs than refrigeration systems and are designed to be run continuously.  Retrofitting a temperature override can mean that the components are cycled on and off too quickly which could wear out the compressor.

3) Using an air conditioner instead of normal refrigeration cooling could means extra ducting needs to be fabricated since the cooling mechanism is on the outside of the refrigeration chamber.

Does this discourage me? Not really... Because science.

+  We're going to have to do some experimentation with this as many fills seem to be able to run these with no problems.  In fact the cooling units for walk in refrigerators are fundamentally similar so I feel this should, in principle, work.

+ I purchased a temperature controller that has an adjustable differential that can be set to avoid rapid switching of the compressor on and off.

+ This part just sounds like additional fun.

Behold, I have begun:

02 November 2013

A Pleasant Sight

A new fermenting bucket had to be purchased to contain all the beer that has been brewed at the CA branch of Catholicbeer.  In honor of the visitation by The Saint to our branch, we held a lively party.  Not satisfied with one night of sweet malty mist filling the air, we hastily pulled together ingredients for another batch the very next day.  After a fond farewell to The Saint, my coworker, Matt, decided that he would like to try his hand at the brewing art yet again.  That Wednesday, the aroma of hops and boiling wort once again saturated my back patio.  Now, three buckets of the good stuff are happily fermenting atop my fridge.  Three brews in six days- new record for me.  

29 October 2013

Synod of Brewers

Last weekend I went down to Castro Valley to visit the California branch of catholicbeer.  I forgot how fast and easy it was brewing 5 gallon batches in coolers.  The simplicity and elegance of the Zealot's setup was quite compelling.  I am quite tempted to setup a little 5 gallon setup myself... :-)
Here are some pics from the trip:

29 June 2013

Beer Labels and Bottlecaps

My friend's friend is getting married and I have been requisitioned to brew a special batch of beer for groomsman gifts.   Since these are going to be gifts, I thought I'd go beyond filling reused bottles with various labels half torn off, and spend an extra buck or two for added class.  I ordered labels (seen above) and bottlecaps (featuring the catholicbeer cross).  I figured they would be received better if they were dressed like sophisticates rather than ragamuffins.  I will certainly post some pics when they are fully clothed.  Anyone else needing home-manufactured libations for social gatherings can give me an e-ring.

09 April 2013

027* and you want one

Batch 027* was made on my all new brew tower!!  I had to do it all by myself and it was a dream.  This is a DFH 90 Min clone and the OG came much closer to target than last time (around 1.074).  I attribute this to my new set-up.

In other news, I'm still building beer caddies and this is the latest model built specially for moi.  I want to build one that will hold a growler on one side and four 20oz bottles on the other (I saw one at Drakes and it was awesome).  I freehanded the "catholicbeer" with a Dremel and cut out the cross with my jigsaw.  If YOU would like to procure one of these bad boys, I think I could make that happen for about $30 (plus s+h).  Just think how cool you'll look bringing brews to your next party in your swank new catholicbeer beer caddy.  So sustainable.

AdiĆ³s amigos.