Monday, February 5, 2007

Finishing last week's jobs

Ace Hardware said the tubing I ordered last week was probably on this morning's truck, but it hadn't been unloaded yet. I picked up some hose clamps anyway so I could at least get some more of the keg jumpers replaced, a job that I started last week.

The jumpers are the lines running from the kegs to the wall. The lines above those run to the bar.

I got exactly one of them done before I realized that the hose clamps I bought were one size too small. So this bagful will go back to Ace when I go pick up the tubing later.

I finally cleaned the draft lines this morning. I normally do it every two weeks, but I was hoping to coordinate the cleaning with the installation of the new jumpers this time. You've read how well that's been going.

The first step was to disassemble and clean all of the faucets. Lots of guck, mainly yeast and mold, can build up inside these things and get flushed out into the beer.

Faucet parts

Once the faucets are cleaned, reassembled, and put back in place, the lines can be cleaned. This involves filling them with a cleaning solution (usually caustic), letting them soak for fifteen or twenty minutes, rinsing them with water, then running beer through them. This pot handles the cleaning and rinsing. It's not the most effective line-cleaning method, but I don't have the budget for a proper pump right now.

Line-cleaning "pot" attached to two draft lines

Remarkably itchy caustic burns

I wheeled a five-gallon keg of Orange Cream Soda over to Crackers to Caviar, the only place in town that sells our products.

This afternoon, I'll finish replacing the tri-clamp gaskets in the brewhouse; there were four I couldn't get at last week, but I've got better tools now. Then I'll rearrange the pallets in the malt room to make space for the 6000 pounds I'm expecting from Briess any day now.

The malt room

So it's time to make a plan for the rest of this week:

  • This afternoon: go back to Ace and get the rest of the jumper parts.

  • Tuesday: Replace the filter main pump seals. If that goes well, then filter the new batch of All-American Gold. Scrub the beerstone out of the kettle.

  • Wednesday: Run a caustic/acid/sanitizer cycle through the kettle and heat exchanger, and acid through the mash tun. Clean kegs. Fill keg orders. Run seven barrels of Root Beer from upstairs into the empty tank in the cellar.

  • Thursday: Finish replacing the keg jumpers. Keg off all of the Toil & Trubbel Dubbel and clean that tank.

  • Friday: Do all the stuff that will undoubtedly get postponed from earlier in the week.

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