Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kegerator & Cellarmaker

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Over the last few days, I’ve been going over some different options for utilizing kegs & bringing them into our homebrewing system. Bottles are cool & all… but they’re fairly bulky… bottle conditioning takes about two weeks… and for parties & gatherings, it’s just pretty cool to come walking in with a big keg of homebrew, set up the tap & let everybody try it at their leisure… and you don’t have to chase down bottles… or explain to them every time what they’re drinking. “This isn’t Bud Light?” You’re welcome. We’re in no rush obviously… but in about five months, we are planning on going to my mom’s big family reunion & we figure that’d be a great place to really let a bunch of avid beer enthusiasts try out some of our brews… and a keg may just be easier for transportation & just the driving around with a bunch of empty bottles on the way back. Some of the options are:
·     Keg with a tap – Simple enough, you have a keg or two filled with good stuff, a “cobra” faucet, tap it, CO2 tank hooked up pushes out the liquid gold
·     Picnic Cooler Kegerator – Essentially same setup but you run the liquid gold through a modified picnic cooler with coiled stainless steel tubing under ice to cool it down before drinking. Not a huge fan of this method as I’d just keep the keg in the cooler or something but… it’s an option.
·     True Kegerator – Basically you modify a fridge (or cooler that I’m trying to figure out) that will store the keg in inside, keep it cool, and then you have a tap hooked up on the door or top of the unit to easily dispense your chilled beverage of choice.
There are obviously pros & cons with each device ranging from cost of the setup… to whether you need to constantly ice or plug into an outlet to keep it cool… to ease of transportation… to overall esthetic… but like I said, we’re not in a major rush so we may just start with the kegs & a “cobra” faucet for now… and then advance our setup down the road… but yeah, if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears & quite adventurous with building my own units. I’ve looked at a bunch of websites & forums and have some ideas… but also have three roommates and a Jeep, not my own place with a Ford 350 out front to move it around. We’ll definitely keep you posted though.
Thursday night, I met up with Jackie D to get some drinks at Cellarmaker Brewing and try out their unique selections. They have a lot of the great west coast staples like various IPAs, session pale ales, etc… but one of their more unique offerings was their Coffee & Cigarettes Porter which… well, is exactly what it sounds like. Thanks to the combination of various roasted malts & brewing methods… it basically tastes like you spilled your cold coffee into an ashtray & then drank it. Now, it’s not quite as harsh & disagreeable as that would sound… like, there’s no filters stuck in your teeth or anything… but yeah, taste achieved. They had other porters to try as well that I preferred& frankly the even C&C wasn’t that bad, just not my particular taste when it comes to beer. I’d recommend their IPA & their regular porter. Great atmosphere, we watched a little basketball (Stanford lost) & then we headed over to Extreme Pizza to complete our “beer sandwich” in our stomachs of a good solid beer base, pizza & then beer on top (pitcher of Fat Tire).

Also, our hop rhizomes came in the mail...
So we're going to start growing some hops...
but it takes a few years... coming soon...

Well, Jackie D is officially here as a San Francisco resident… and my family is coming to visit on Friday for the weekend, so it’ll be a bundle of fun. We have plans to check out the Zoo & the Exploratorium… but you never know how things will turn out with weather, kids being kids & just deciding to do something else on a whim. We tend to do that from time to time too… but I’ll certainly keep you posted. Until then, have a great weekend everybody!!!

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