Brewing tips, Beer reviews
|Continuing our articles on achieving the perfect pour we thought we would talk about the length of your beer lines and the effect it would have on the way that your beer pours. Einstein Monkey’s Perfect Beer Pouring Equation
Temperature of the beer in your lines + Length of your beer lines + Amount of gas in your kegs = Applause or Shame
In our last newsletter we talked about the effect that a higher beer temperature has on the speed at which your beer comes out of the keg which will make it pour foamier than we might like. Given that it is all about getting the balance of beer temp, line length and CO2 regulator pressure right, altering the length (or internal diameter) of your lines will have a direct effect on your beer experience as well. It’s all about the level of resistance in the line and that means that its all about how hard we make the beer work before it lands in your glass. When we make the beer work hard we tire it out and it loses energy (gas) and the trick is to get it tired just enough so that it fills the glass and leaves you with that magical finger width convex beer head that we all know and love. Everytime a bloke manages to pull it off he gets one step closer to being called “Superman” by the woman of his dreams……..(but that’s really only because the Monkey Tree Cider got her nice and liquored up first! Shhh! Don’t tell him that, it’s our secret!)
The higher (because of gravity), the longer (because of distance) or the narrower (because of fighting with the other beer bubbles for space) we make the beer line the more gas it has to use up to leave the tap. For example if you put a black beer connector (which is at the end of your beer line) directly on to your keg with no beer line at all the beer will be impossible to pour because it will fly out way too quickly. The longer the beer line the slower the beer will exit the tap. Why? Because the beer used up more gas moving through the beer line and slowed down as a result. If you increase the height of your tap the beer will slow down as well for the same reason. Given that it isn’t normal to change the internal diameter of your beer lines nor the height of your tap we wont spend too much time worrying about that. Just keep in mind that strictly speaking it is about resistance and not 100% about the length.
Our kegerators leave the brewery with approximately 1.7m length from end to end. We think that length is neutral and gives you enough length to be able to control your pressure without too much difficulty.
The longer your lines are the more CO2 pressure you can put into your keg which keeps your beer nice and bubbly in the keg and any excess gas should get used up making its long journey to freedom. Sounds good right? Well……ahh, kind of. When you have really long beer lines almost all of the next beer is left waiting in the lines and not in the keg loaded with CO2. As a result if you don’t drink at a good speed the next beer tends to be a little flat, especially if your next beer is 1 week away! You may find that you will pour off and throw away the first beer poured everyday. Get ready to shed a tear.
Conversely the shorter the beer lines are the lower you need to maintain your CO2 beer pressure because if it has too much gas in the keg (and in the liquid), the beer will come out too fast and won’t have enough time to slow down before slamming into the back of your glass and foaming up. There are pros and cons for both, please see below:
Long lines positives: Nice bubbly, vibrant beer in the keg. Good in high volume situations like bars.
Long lines negatives: More wastage at start of day and when cleaning. A lot of your next beer is sitting in the line and not in the keg.
Short lines positives: Very little wastage. Less fridge tangles. Lower pressure used so less gas used.
Short lines negatives: More difficult to control the pour. Keeping the pressure down can make the 2nd half of the keg a little “flat”
Tip: A Cellarman in a pub will put 15psi of CO2 into a keg at the end of every night and then disconnect the gas. The next day he will let the gas out (same as a new keg) and lower the pressure for pouring so it comes out at the right speed. Try it for a week, just don’t forget to disconnect the gas. Perfect beer everytime!
Next newsletter we will take a look at our regulator gas pressure when we pour. Don’t forget to read up! News from the Brewery Floor
A lot has happened at the brewery since our last newsletter. We’ve had some exciting news regarding our licensing, we have been upgraded to an Artisan liquor (producer) licence, which means our bar is about to have some exciting upgrades.
Our new premium range lager, the ‘ Sleazy Monkey’, will soon be available for keg swaps/fills. It’s been an absolute hit at the bar so we’ve decided to let everyone in on the fun. It’s a heavy Australian lager (5.1% ABV) with a light body which leaves a clean, crisp taste. This is the best new lager we have made in a couple of years, make sure to ask one of our friendly monkeys in the brewery for more information.
For all you hop lovers, we’ve got new flavours in the works with USA hops Strata and Sequoia being trialed for a tasty new beer. Keep your eyes peeled!
Don’t forget in the colder seasons dark beers help to make those winter nights a little bit warmer. Try our Easy gold, Finest Porter or Black Coffee Stout, just remember to place your order to ensure your beers are ready to go when you come in.
Joke of the month
“Beer doesn’t make you fat, it makes you lean…..against tables, walls and chairs.” – 100% true, when will the constant beer bullying end?!?
This month’s Free Keg Winner is…[insert DRUM ROLL here] Kevin Mason
News for May 2021
My beer won’t pour right!!!
A keg full of beer, a bottle of gas and a thirsty bloke, what could go wrong?
Sometimes a keg of beer can give you lots of joy and other times it makes you want to pick it up and throw it out the window. (If you could lift it that is…..)
In our upcoming newsletters we are going to focus on carbonation levels (foamy beer vs flat beer) and what can happen. We don’t need to tell you what can go right ‘cause you already know that. When it goes right the world is such a great place, when it goes bad your mates laugh at ya, the missus reminds you that it’s just another thing you aren’t good at, and then to prove her wrong you rush to pour another one hoping for a better result……..and yep, its too foamy again!!
So the beer is too foamy……why?
There are lots of possible reasons but let’s look at the most common ones….
A good pour also known as “Balancing your keg system” is a combination of a few different factors.
Einstein Monkey’s Perfect Beer Pouring Equation
Temperature of the beer in your lines
Length of your beer lines
Amount of gas in your kegs
Applause or Shame
Temperature is crucial and beer pours best at 0, 1 or 2 degrees.
If you are having trouble pouring your beer there is a good chance it is temperature related. How long was the keg in the fridge before you first tried to pour from it? What did you do the day that you took it home? What temperature is your fridge set at? Bear in mind that the temperature inside the keg is what’s important. Sometimes the temperature inside the keg is different to the temperature inside the fridge especially if you just put it in or the fridge is cycling up and down.
Beer can be a temperamental mistress. She likes routine and the conditions have to be near perfect to make her happy. YES, one or two degrees can make a big difference!
So why is temperature important?
Gas escapes from carbonated liquids (like beer and soft drink) as they warm up. A glass of beer or coke tastes flatter the longer it sits out and the warmer it is allowed to become. Imagine a keg that sits outside of the fridge; every degree that the beer inside the keg gets warmer, more and more gas comes out of the beer and sits above the liquid inside the keg. That means there is A LOT of gas taking up space (this makes pressure) pushing down on the beer inside the keg. This forces the beer up the dip tube on the inside of your keg. Now imagine you connect it to your fridge and open the tap, there is so much pressure pushing down on the beer it comes FLYING out of the tap.
Your keg must sit in a 0, 1 or 2 degree environment for as long as possible, preferably 24 hours.
The gas that has escaped from the beer and is sitting at the top of the keg must have a chance to re-enter the liquid (and it will) but can’t do it properly without resting in a cold environment until the next day or for 5 or 6 hours at an absolute minimum and even then only in a beer emergency!
What should you do if you wait 24 hours and you still have trouble?
We recommend putting a glass of water in your fridge alongside one of your kegs for a couple of days, this will make the water the same temperature of the beer inside the keg. Test the temperature of the water with another thermometer and check it against the temperature displaying on your fridge, we want it to be 1 degree if possible. Remember that all fridges will cycle up and down by a few degrees as the compressor kicks in although the temperature inside the middle of a keg shouldn’t fluctuate by much if any. If your fridge display temp is consistently different to the actual temp then you will need to calibrate the fridge temperature because it will be having an effect on your beer.
Always remember to decompress (de-gas) your keg JUST BEFORE pouring!!
You must clear the headspace inside the keg of maintenance (high) pressure before pouring at a low pressure. Pull the ring at the top of your keg (Pressure release valve) until the noise of the gas escaping stops. Make sure you put the valve back properly and then connect your black beer connector and try to pour a beer, if nothing comes out or comes out too slowly connect your gas connector and open your tap. If you can wait a bit longer fill up a COLD glass otherwise just put your mouth right under the tap and start feeding……just make sure your new girlfriend isn’t watching first, it might be a hard sell trying to look cool after that. Monkeys love to live on the edge so we’ll let you make the call.
Monthly Free Keg Winner!
|Monkey Tree Brewing Co. March 2021 Newsletter Monkey Tree Comedy Spectacular
Saturday March 27th. Doors open 5:30pm, show starts at 6pm
Come and help us break our Covid-19 event drought with our first comedy night for the year
$60 gets you a 3 hour food and beverage package and a chimp load of laughs. Who doesn’t need to hit the reset button after the year we’ve had.
A couple of mates, a few beers (3 hours of Monkey tree’s best beers and ciders) and a burger from our premium BBQ food truck sounds pretty good eh? Come on in to Monkey Tree and get your gorilla on!
Get more info
|Winners of FREE kegs at Monkey TreeEvery month some lucky monkey wins a free keg! If you have been in the brewery in the last month and put your receipt for your keg fill into the giant green pot you are in the draw to win.
To find out who won this month’s keg, click below!! Click here to see the name of the lucky monkey!!Keep your lines clean with Monkey Wash – $6 per bottle
Have you ever noticed floaties in your beer?
Monkey Wash keeps your taps and lines clean. If you dont clean your lines monthly the flavour of your beer will change!
So why do my beer lines get dirty?
When you open your beer tap, beer moves from your keg, along your beer line and out of your tap into your glass.
When you turn off the tap your next beer (or some of it) is left waiting in your line. The longer that beer sits in the line waiting for the next pour the more proteins, sugars, yeasts, hops and other brewing ingredients start to coat the inside walls of the beer line.
What happens if my lines get dirty?
It is also normal for beer to dry and harden in the upper parts of the beer line, behind your taps. Over time if you dont clean your lines this ‘hardened beer” will come out as small translucent flakes that will float around in your beer. Sometimes you might see little black flecks as well, these are likely from buildup within the moving parts of your tap.
It’s all about the taste!
The first casualty is always the taste! It’s hard to explain dirty beer lines except to say that you can probably smell it before you taste it. The smell and flavour has a strong malty/vegemite/dark sugar (but not sweet), the beer will also taste a little ‘old” too.