Spray Bottles

As brewers, we need spray bottles for various things. Most notably for water and StarSan.

Some quick tips regarding bottles. First for the water bottles, you can just use inexpensive bottles. To make these very easy to identify when working, wrap the bottle with 2″ wide blue painters tape. This will make it very easy to identify when you are working quickly. You’ll need the water bottle to spray the boil during hot break.

For the StarSan, you’ll want a good quality spray bottle that is intended for chemical use. The sprayer is designed to withstand the corrosive nature of the sanitizer.

Disconnecting Gas

I’ll be posting little “quick tips” here and there. Just a quick little blurb with one small tip.

This one is about disconnecting your gas line. When you shut off the gas to your kegs, always disconnect from the keg first. It is just a good habit to get into. This is especially important when you are removing the keg from your conditioning fridge while you have been force carbonating it. Depending on how full you have the keg, if you shut the gas off without removing the quick disconnect from the keg, the pressure will force beer back up into your gas line. You really don’t want this. It could even push back into your manifold. You will have a big mess then. That leads to a good bit of cleaning.

Burley Oak

Yesterday we made a stop at Burley Oak in Berlin, Maryland.

Burley Oak Sign
Michele in front of the tap room.

Nice small tap room with some really good beers. These were our flights.

Michele's Flight
Citralaxy, 100 Mosaic, Sequoia Sap, Coffee & Cream, Rude Boy, Bunker

George's Flight
Homegrown, Pyramid, High Whhheat, Lost, Gangster, Conquito J.R.E.A.M.

And here is the full tap list at the time of our visit:

Full tap list
Full tap list at the time of our visit.

The tap room is pretty small, although they have opened up “The Cellar” – it’s for the barrel aged beers. We didn’t make it back there.

My favorite that I had there was the Grape Squish:

Grape Squish


I’m about to make my Saison again. This will be a variation on the much loved Pat’s Choice. I’m naming it Change because a good bit of the base grain is changing and some of the hops. Also, a lot of change is happening in my life right now.

Keg Washing

Do you keg yet? I hope so. I started kegging very early into my brewing adventure. The ease of kegging drew me to it – actually, the hassle of bottling drew me to it more. I find it very satisfying to be able to walk downstairs and pull myself a nice, fresh pint whenever I want.

At my place, we have 8 taps available. It is really nice to have that available here. Of course, with so many kegs, there is much cleaning to be done! I did manual cleaning, and still do in certain circumstances; however, for the bulk of the keg cleaning I use the Mark II Keg & Carboy Washer:

Not only does is make the job much easier since you do not have to disassemble the kegs, you will also use significantly less cleaning chemicals. The instructions for PBW, my preferred cleaning agent, says to use 3/4 oz of product per gallon of warm to hot water. In a standard 5 gallon keg, that would be 3.75 oz of product. The Mark II Keg & Carboy Washer only requires 1 gallon of water, so instead of using the 3.75 oz necessary to clean one keg, you are using .75 oz for one keg. Additionally, you can clean multiple kegs in one session, so the product goes even further.