Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Racer5 clone batch #1 sampled and kegged

I decided to sample my first batch yesterday and guess what... it tasted like BEER! It was a little more bitter than I was hoping for but it tasted like an IPA. It was also more carbonated than I was expecting and had pretty decent clarity for coming right out of the secondary at room temp. Although I dry hopped per the recipe it lacked a good hop aroma so I transferred it to a 5 gallon "corny" (Cornelius) keg and threw in a small hop sack of Centennial, Columbus and Amarillo. At this point I'm not trying to recreate a Racer5 - I just want to produce a good IPA.

All was going well with the kegging process until I tried to pressurize the keg with c02. I had already replaced all of the o-rings with new ones that came with the keg but I found a leak coming from the relief valve. After a couple of trips to Austin Homebrew I finally came home with one that worked. That fixed the leak at the relief valve but then I had trouble getting a solid seal around the keg lid. After a quick call to T (one of my homebrew mentors) I found that I needed to get the lid o-ring wet (dipped it in a Star San bath for about a minute) and hit the keg with about 30 lbs. of gas at once to get a good seal. Apparently it takes a 5-10 seconds of precious co2 leaking out before enough pressure is built up to seal the keg. Tip: they also sell keg lube (food grade silicone) for a better seal. I'll have to pick some up next time I'm at the brew shop.

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