HOMEBREW Digest #239 Sun 27 August 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  re: hops and light (Darryl Richman)
  Cornelius kegs (Darryl Richman)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 26 Aug 89 07:28:18 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: hops and light Why don't hops get skunky sitting out there in the sun? The resins we are trying to extract are contained in little sacs called lupuoles, and these grow at the base of the bracts (leaves) of the hop cone, right next to the stem. Sort of like growing in your armpit. They are buried pretty deeply, so they are protected from the sun. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 89 07:24:38 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: Cornelius kegs I use a Cornelius keg setup extensively. I'm not in the trade, so I can't clarify all questions, but I can talk about what I've got and what I've seen others do. First of all, there are two kinds of keg fittings. Pick one and go with it. Colloquially, we call one type Coke and the other Pepsi. Coca cola supplies theirs with special inlet and outlet fittings: the inlets (for CO2) have 2 small prongs that the hose fitting grabs and hangs onto. The outlet (product) fitting has three prongs. The other type of fitting, which is used by the rest of the industry, uses ball-lock type hose fittings. If you've used compressed air, you'll be familiar with this type of connection. The two systems are incompatible. I have a Coke setup, and I think I'd recommend you get a Pepsi setup because in most places, only Coca cola sells the fittings. (LA is big enough that they actually get some competition. When I brought a CK to the AHA national, I managed to forget to bring an outlet fitting--I spent a whole morning talking with the hotel people and their suppliers trying to obtain one, but only Coca Cola carries them in Cinci.) Beyond the style of keg, you should replace the big rubber O ring around the top and the smaller ones on the inlet and outlet fittings. These usually irretrievably taste of soda pop (although in a pinch I've left the originals in a caustic bath overnight; but so many people complain of root-beer-stout, save yourself some grief and get new ones). This advice, of course, applies only if you've gotten a used CK (I can get them from a surplus shop here for $10 a piece.) You'll need a CO2 line (hose) with an inlet fitting on one side; it connects to the regulator on the other. As far as I know, a regulator is a regulator--maybe someone else can distinguish. The only difference I know about is that they can be one or two guage regulators. One guage is suffcient, but you may be surprised when you run out of CO2 at your next party. The first guage measures the line pressure, the second, tank pressure. Depending on the carbonation level of the beer, the length of run of the product line and the diameter of the product hose, you'll want to serve beer with 5-15 psi. (I don't know how to figure this, but that's what the fellow I got my stuff from said and it has worked for me.) The CO2 bottle must be "hydrochecked" every 5 years and the last check is stamped on top of the bottle. My bottle is coming up on its 5th birthday. You should also consider getting a bottle that is shorter and squatter. That shape, although it takes up more room in the fridge (if you put it in there), is much more stable. Mine is more like a scuba tank, long and thin, and I'm always afraid I'll knock the damn thing over. I've recently gone over to keeping the bottle outside of my fridge and just running the CO2 line in past the door seal. The valve at the business end of the product line is called a faucet. I have two faucets mounted on my refrigerator door, and a spare line with a "picnic" faucet for toting beer to parties. When pouring beer, you want it to fall as short a distance as possible, and open the faucet full. Each time the beer passes through a necked down area, or one that provides a lot of turbulence, you increase the surface area to volume ratio, which brings a lot of CO2 out of solution and causes lots of foaming. Often kegs are overprimed at first, and I have a tendency to use my screwdriver on the inlet vale to release all of the overpressure in the keg before hooking it up to the CO2. Then, after the first couple of pitchers, the pressure can be adjusted to suit. If you prime your keg, use a lot less than you would for bottles. It's that old surface area to volume ratio again, and you'll get much fizzier beer if you don't. Until I gave up the practice, I was priming English style ales with 1/4 cup of sugar and European lagers with 1/3. I have conservative tastes, however, and you might want to go as high as 1/2 cup. I have gotten away from priming altogether. I let the beer clear in secondary a while longer than normal and thenjust siphon it into the keg. Then I set the pressure to 20 psi and shake the keg. I do this on successive days until I'm not adding any more CO2 (you can hear the CO2 rushing into the keg.) Not to worry about oxidizing the beer when shaking, because most CKs don't seal by just closing the top. You've got to "pop" them with CO2 to about 20 psi before they really seal. I let the CO2 run at 5-10 psi first to displace and oxygen and then crank it up. I do have one keg that won't seal until it gets over 35 psi. That's not very high since these kegs are designed to withstand 120 psi and normal operating pressures for soda pop are 50 psi. Well, this certainly did get long, didn't it? ;-) Good brewing to you! --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #239, 08/27/89 ************************************* -------
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