OT- Beer

Submitted by yostlovesme on February 18th, 2014 at 6:03 PM

MGoBlog I need your help if at all possible.  I have home brewing for a couple years now, and have gotten somewhat good at it (this is prob untrue), however I have always hated bottling 2 cases of beer and waiting a week to enjoy it.  Long story short, I just recently purchased a two tap kegerator so I can do two kinds at the same time depending on my mood.  The problem arises when I was hoping to get some nice tap handles for it; I was looking for Michigan ones obviously.  I figured there would be some type of copyright or trademark problems so I went to Mden to no avail.  I just thought it would be nice to have a wooden handle with maybe a block M at the top but these do not exist as far as I know.  Does anyone out there have any ideas or know of any places I can turn to perhaps get something close to this?  I found one website where I can basically get a blue one that says Go Blue on the top which I may just settle for, but wanted to first ask the MGoBlog community which usually comes through with any question put forth.

 

P.S. Wouldn't mind sharing ideas or recipies as well.

Comments

Rhino77

February 18th, 2014 at 6:21 PM ^

My cousin got a Michigan tap for his downstairs bar. I'll ask him where he got it........for a six pack. Think about it, while I finish this whiskey.

sULLY

February 18th, 2014 at 6:23 PM ^

Switching to a keg from bottles was the best brewing decision I've ever made.  Bottling wasn't so much the issue as cleaning/sanitizing the bottles was.

 

Regarding tap handles, I have not seen any Michigan handles, but you may be able to custom order them somewhere.  

 

Where did you buy the duel tap kegerator?  I am considering whether to build a duel-tap kegerator from a mini-fridge or buy an existing kegerator and swap out the single-tap for a duel-tap tower.  

yostlovesme

February 18th, 2014 at 6:29 PM ^

By far the worst part of bottling was the sanitizing and cleaning.  Not to mention I had 200 bottles stored all over the house for whenever I needed them.  I looked on line a bunch of them and most are around 500-700.  I was in Best Buy randomly the other week and asked if they had any and they didnt in the store but they did on line. (it was 599)  They ordered me one and was delivered for free within 3 business days I think.  I went with the two so I wasn't forced to drink only one beer until it was gone.  Plus I am IPA guy and not that many of my friends are so now the other one can be something they like.

The Geek

February 19th, 2014 at 4:14 PM ^

and my last two batches haven't turned out as good as I would have liked. I have narrowed the problem to the bottles... I use StarSan to clean, but my carbonation and head have been off... So I've started thinking about kegging my homebrews.

I like to shop at Austin Home Brew and Midwest Supplies, but haven't had the guts to pull the trigger yet. I'll check out Best Buy.

I'm an IPA guy too, and am very particular... If my homebrew doesn't turn out like I desired, I am disappointed. I hope to have more control with a keg and forced carbonation.

QuemeLosBarcos

February 18th, 2014 at 8:18 PM ^

I converted a single kegerator to double for home brew purposes without issue. That said, I needed a new regulator and had to convert one beer line to a ball lock. Fairly easy conversion, but it wasn't cheap. I would do it again, though, as buying new isn't cheap either. One issue you may have is storing the CO2 tank outside; you may have to drill a 2nd hole for the extra gas line. Good luck!

ND Sux

February 19th, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

kegging about six years ago and never looked back.  I'll bottle once in a while but it's more nostalgia than anything. 

I have the converted fridge system.  Extra fridge, hole drilled through the side for CO2 line, which runs into a 4-valve system riveted to the back wall inside the fridge.  This way I can have four cornies going at the same time, and control each line independently. 

My system is probably common for homebrewers.  I could take the next step and bring taps thru the door to dispense without opening the fridge, but that seems like a LOT of work and expense for little gain.  I just open the door and grab the picnic tapper for whichever beer I want.

I also have an extra CO2 harness for taking a single cornie on the road.  I just disconnect the tank from the main system and hook it up to the travel harness...good to go. 

Forgot to mention...I started with a used fridge in good condition that I got for $200.  Works perfectly and I stock the freezer with meats I find on sale, so that's been beneficial too. 

reshp1

February 18th, 2014 at 6:35 PM ^

Congrats on making the switch to kegging. I think I made it one batch before I couldn't take it anymore.

Check ebay and amazon for this type of stuff.

rob f

February 18th, 2014 at 7:00 PM ^

Seeing that others already found the answer (or are in the process thereof) to your search, let me grab myself a beer.  I was already both thirsty and deserving:  my son and I have been chipping away at the snowpack on my roof this afternoon with a snowrake, trying to remove as much as possible before the heavy rain predicted for Thursday.

Good luck with your search, though---i have a cousin in the GR area with an outdoor bar on his patio, he has an ND tap on his kegerator.  I'll see where he got that, maybe they also sell U of M taps. 

itsbigcat

February 18th, 2014 at 7:02 PM ^

Tip: do what I'm doing.

You can find base tape handles with ferrels in them, the get whatever you want and screw it on top. Try mini helmets, or pucks, or whatever. Building your own will cost aroud 50-60 a tap. Premade specialty taps are gonna run close to 150

justinhass

February 18th, 2014 at 7:12 PM ^

I found that if I buy the 22 oz bottles (normally Dogfish Head or Westbrook)  That bottling isnt as horriable.  You can generally get your 5 gal. bottled in about 23 bottles (the math has never worked out how this is possible.)  Anybody here ever tried to brew a beer named Thomas Creek up the creek?  Its a 12.5% IPA and I was looking for a clone recipe.  Im currently living in SC and heading to Greenville SC over the weekend and hoping to tour the brewery!
 

yostlovesme

February 18th, 2014 at 7:23 PM ^

Never have tried that but it sounds amazing.  I had an IPA down in georgia...I think the brewery was "Sweet Water" and I think it was the 420 IPA.  That was one of the best IPAs I have ever have if you like more floral like IPAs.  I just had an IPA from Allentown called Hop'Solutely that was 11.5% but really strong.  Not very smooth

Hemlock Philosopher

February 19th, 2014 at 2:00 PM ^

BYO has a good article on making custom taps here: http://byo.com/recipes-tag/item/1093-make-your-own-tap-handles-projects.  The issue is making them "Michigan" tap handles without paying the PSL... Homebrewing is a craft, therefore I think you should BYO tap handles and make them Maize n Blue yourself... 

I fashioned a four-tap keggerator last summer, then my brother went off and made a five-tapper... I might as well take the next logical step and buy Ashley's.