Finished my 6-tap keezer! Based on the Kenmore 12702 7.0 cubic foot chest freezer this has room for 5 standard 5-gallon corny kegs and one 2.5 gallon corny keg on the inside. Separate manifolds for CO2 supply and argon, with dual regulators for CO2 pressure control.
Building a fermentation chamber because one of my biggest obstacles right now is keeping consistent temperatures and keeping my carboys out of my roommate’s space!
The space is 32″D x 44″W x 24″H so it should provide plenty of space for quite a few carboys and plenty of bottles.
Using a Lasko #100 MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater from Amazon attached to a STC-1000 temperature controller. Has to cycle on and off fairly often. I have insulation on the 4 walls, but only plywood on the floor and ceiling. Might need to add a bit more insulation there. All that really matters is consistent temperature.
Why an immersion chiller? Cooling in the sink with ice water takes too long. I wanted to build a counter-flow chiller, but then I would need the added expense of a pump. With an immersion chiller I can get a nice cold-break for clearer beers, not to mention save some time. Here’s my build.
Immersion Chiller for 1-Gallon Batches
1/4” x 20’ copper tubing – $18.98
10’ vinyl hose – $3.25
3/4“ x 1/2” brass adapter – $6.06
1/2” x 3/8” quick connect adapter – $3.56
Faucet adapter – $5.95
Hose Clamps x 3 – $2.49
Total – $40.29
I used a tube-bending spring for the 90-degree bends. Construction was fairly straight forward. The biggest issue was adapting 1/4” tubing to the sink faucet. Probably could have done it a bit cheaper, but this works just fine. There are also immersion chillers out there for around this price, but those are sized more towards 5-gallon batches. Besides, I like building things!
Any drive out to the Columbia Gorge involves a stop at Pfriem in Hood River. It’s a vortex that just sucks you in. Situated on the Hood River waterfront it looks out over the Columbia River.
This part of the Gorge is popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders thanks to the near constant wind that blows through. Hood River is home to several breweries including Full Sail, Double Mountain, and of course Pfriem. (Another brand you might recognize comes from here, Hood River Distilling, or HRD.)
Pfriem is one of the newer breweries that first caught my attention a few years ago with a couple of spectacular farmhouse ales. Their focus seems to lean towards Western European-style beers like wits and saisons. The day I visited they were brewing and the whole pub was infused with the incomparable smell of malt.
The brewery and the pub are in one big open space. The picture above is the view right from my table. The white buckets seemed to be blowoff for the fermentation tanks and they were bubbling happily away. The tables and chairs are handsome pieces made of welded two inch steel and hefty bits of wood. Wood features heavily in the interior but due to the size of the space it always seems open.
I ate lunch there and it was amazing. I had a Croque Monsieur and to my delight it was served open faced, the first time I’ve seen that dish prepared that way. The soup was clam chowder; both were delicious.
For beer I had the Little Saison. 4.5% abv and 24 IBUs made this beer the perfect accompaniment for lunch. There was nothing little about it. Great flavor with a hint of sour.
Any time you’re in the Gorge Pfriem is a must visit. It’s a great way to end the day after visiting one of the many trails and sights in the Gorge.
The McCormick’s and Schmick’s happy hour has always been one of my favorites. Good food from a great restaurant. Jake’s Grill and Jake’s Famous Crawfish were my preferred happy hour joints when I lived in downtown Portland. The beer selection isn’t always that great, but there’s always one or two local rotators that are sure to please.
Regrettably, what used to be the best deal, the $1.95 cheeseburger, has fallen victim to the floundering economy. The burger is now $5. Still there are lots of great options on the food menu, which vary depending on which location you visit. Today, I’m at the Bridgeport village location, and opted for the Blackened Chicken Quesadilla.
While I was looking over the beer menu, the Beer Blends section caught my eye. Here there are selections such as the Angry Stout, a blend of Guinness and Angry Orchard Hard Cider, and my choice, the Raspberry Moon, a blend of Blue Moon Belgian White and Reál Raspberry purée.
Blue Moon is always a reliable choice at any bar. It’s flavorful, clean drinking, and you can have several without getting totally sloshed. In this case though it was refreshing to see the traditional orange slice left off. I love the flavor of the raspberries that the purée provides, but it’s a little on the sweet side for me. Now that raspberries are about to be in season I’ll just make my own purée and find a good beer to pair it with. What do you think a good pairing would be?
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but this year I decided to make one:
I’m only going to drink alcohol that I make myself.
This actually has quite a broad application because I work in the business, and can indulge in the occasional free after work drink. But mostly I’m going to stick to my homebrew and the Beer Meets World label.
Of course, if I go out with friends or on dates I’ll buy drinks, but for home consumption, only my stuff. Making booze is fun, so this should be an easy resolution to keep.