Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For want of a washer the pint was lost

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

During last night's inspection tour (ahem) of the brewery I was surprised to find the bottom of the kegerator awash in Por Favor. I estimate about half the batch volume was there, with a steady running drip coming from the beer line connector. Not from the keg post itself, from the connector housing. Naturally this is my fault, for doing something carelessly but with good intentions.

I have gotten into the practice of disassembling the beer lines every time I change a keg, so as to keep them clean and sanitary. The cobra taps and quick disconnects can be disassembled so that their internals can be cleaned and to provide easy access to the line itself. When doing this disassembly it pays to take note of all the parts which are disassembled, lest one turn up missing later on.

Unbenownst to me, but knownst to the manufacturer and probably every other homebrewer, the parts list for a quick disconnect includes a flat rubber washer. It's black, as is the body of the liquid QD, and it's not obvious upon disassembly as it tends to remain in the QD body when the stopper and spring are removed. However, it evidently can and will come loose, and it did so in two of my beer lines. Since I didn't know it was even there, I didn't notice it was missing when I went to reassemble the line for the Por Favor tapping.

What's odd is that I didn't notice the leaking connector at all on Sunday, so my initial reassembly must have been just tight enough to resist the keg pressure for a while. However, sometime between Sunday evening and yesterday the resistance gave way to a small but persistent leak, which eventually cost me a lot of sweet beer. I managed to cannibalize a washer from an unused CO2 line QD (where it was obvious, against the gray body of that connector) but I will need to replace the set eventually. This HBT post has a suitable replacement part number for a washer available at a hardware store. Guess where I'm going today.

In the meantime I have ordered grain for a 10 gallon batch of Por Favor, which I will make and have ready some time after Thanksgiving. I don't think I can stretch this batch that long though.

Planned: F&H Shaun of the Dead

I asked Tim to place his holiday order and he requested a Rogue Dead Guy Ale. I found a promising recipe by HBT's Yooperbrew that I'm going to adapt for local conditions and brand as "Shaun of the Dead" (a movie which featured numerous rogue dead guys). I'll be brewing it this weekend after a trip to Alabrew for the GRAAAAAIINNNS.

No comments:

Post a Comment