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CCHBS News for February 2005

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  1. February Recipe Specials
  2. We've Got Corny Kegs!
  3. Don't Forget About Bulk Cards
  4. Spotlight on Kegging - Carbonation

February Recipe Specials

In April, the Pacific Gravity meeting will feature lagers of all types. But don't worry if you can't manage lager temperatures because we've got solution for you, too. Sepulveda Steamer is our version of the classic San Francisco Steam Beer. It's a great beer and uses a lager yeast that's been adapted for fermenation at the lower end of the ale temperature range. Try it for $22 in February. We're also featuring Addams Family Lager, which can be brewed with the same yeast and is on sale for $22 also. Venice Cream Ale is another old favorite and at this time of year can be brewed with either lager or ale yeast. For $22 you can hardly go wrong.

We've Got Corny Kegs!

If you're considering getting into kegging, or just need some more kegs, you're in luck. We just got a shipment of reconditioned kegs in and they're really nice. The labels have been removed, the o-rings replaced and they all look almost new. Kegs are getting harder to find because of the high demand for stainless steel in China, so kegs like these will become rare items in the near future.

Don't Forget About Bulk Cards

A new shipment of grain is due to arrive any day now, so wouldn't this be the perfect time to buy a new bulk card? It's just like buying a full sack of grain, at bulk prices, but we store it for you.

Spotlight on Kegging - Carbonation

Most brewers are familiar with using priming sugar to carbonate beer in the bottle, but carbonating a keg is a mystery for many people. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that kegs give brewers far more options.

The simplest way to carbonate a keg is to use priming sugar - just like you were bottling. You even use a little less priming sugar - about 5/6 of the amount you'd use to bottle. But the real key to success is in making sure that your keg is sealed by giving it a little blast of pressure from your CO2 tank after you add the priming sugar.

The next easiest approach is to connect your CO2 tank to your keg and leave it at pressure for a week or so. The correct pressure varies according to the temperature of the beer, but you can find temperature/pressure charts at a number of places on the web, including Carl Townsend's Picobrewery website.

The last approach is a lot more labor-intensive, but it's the quickest. First, you'll need to have your keg chilled to refrigerator temperature (40F). Next, set your CO2 tank on a table and make sure you have a blanket handy because you're going to set the keg across your knees and 40F is cold! Set your regulator to 30 lb/sq. in., sit down and lay the blanket across your knees. Then lay the keg across your knees on the blanket, with the gas connection on the low side. Set a timer to 4 minutes, connect the CO2 line and start the timer. You'll be able to hear the gas gurgling through the beer and you should rock the keg gently during the four minutes while the timer is counting down. Once you're done, return the keg to the fridge and don't forget to bleed the excess pressure off after an hour or so. If you know you won't be able to bleed off the pressure, set the timer for 2 minutes i nstead of 4. Your beer will be ready to drink the next day.

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