Monday, July 14, 2008

One Fourth Tap

Here is the first of four beer taps to exit my fridge. I spent some time measuring and spacing out for 4 taps. They will be on 4" centers. So there is an even spread on the door and they won't be too close together. I initially wanted to drill a 7/8 dia hole, but all I could find for under $10 was a 1" hole saw. I could have bought a 7/8 but it would have cost $25 by buying the parts separately, same manufacturer too. Anyways, 1" worked just fine. I sanitized all the parts while I punched the hole. I went with 5' x 3/16" ID tubing. The first pour was a bit foamy. The second was beautiful. So, now I need 3 more shanks, 2 more faucets, and all the other little hardware pieces. I'm stoked on this latest feature to the brew fridge. Now I want a nice bar to stick it in. I guess I will have to move... As far as tap handles, I'm undecided if I'll buy the 6" std round pub handles, or if I'll buy the brass inserts and make my own. The later sounds like a lot of work. I think I'll start with the $3 el cheapo black stubby handles. The first beer to get hooked up is the Belgian Dubble, and thus I will need to brew another belgian beer because that keg will be gone very soon now... I need to brew very soon

Brew Pot

I recently acquired a half barrel and thus had to buy another power tool; a 4.5" dia wheel grinder to cut the top off. It worked awesome! I threw a 5 gal bucket on the top as my circle template, put the stainless wheel on, and started grinding. Not only was it fun to build homebrew equipment, it also had an added bonus of irritating my neighbors.

I intend on installing a thermometer and a shutoff valve at the bottom, one step closer to all grain brewing.

Cascade Hops

Here is my first and only hop plant that survived this year. 3 other rhizomes didn't make it unfortunately. Looking closer at the image you will see that there is one main bine and a bunch of branches. The main bine is about shoulder height right now. It's been chilling at this height for about 2 weeks now with slower vertical growth, but a lot of horizontal growth. I think the roots may have hit the clay bowl that I had dug out. As long as it gets growth it's all good. The second bine started taking off as well and a third just started coming up too. No flowers buds yet. I'm hoping I'll be able to harvest for one batch this year. If not, it was fun raising this year

Update 8/3/08

I lengthend the pole by about 1.5' and ran a line over to the garage this weekend. The tallest vine is now I'm guessing about 10' and there are 3 or 4 about 3' shorter.

It also has some flowering on the upper half of the plant.