Monday, July 27, 2009

FYI: How To Tap A Keg

Episode 087: Downtown!

Above: HMK Mystery Stream: Irregular Frequency Cover Art.

If you're looking for some quality beer drinkin' music - Click Hear:

This How-To was originally submitted by and Condé Nast Traveler contributor Brook Wilkinson.

Step 1: Ice down your brew

One of the most common causes of exuberant foamage is warm beer. The exact ideal temperature depends on the style of beer, but your standard American macrobrew will be "tastiest" around 35 degrees. This means you'll want the beer chilling at least two hours ahead of time, and ideally four to five.

The genius who designed your typical keg bucket made it only about half as tall as a standard keg. To ensure that the entire surface area of the keg is cooled -- not just the bottom half -- place a plastic garbage bag in the bucket, then put down a thin layer of ice before dropping in the keg itself. Continue to pack ice inside the garbage bag, all the way to the top of the keg. Check periodically and add ice as needed.

Step 2: Prep your gear
It's just as important to cool down the tap as it is to cool down the keg itself. The amount of carbonation the beer can hold goes down as temperature increases, so letting cold beer hit a warm tube guarantees an avalanche of foam. Fortunately, the solution is pretty easy: just leave the tap on top of the ice around the keg at least an hour or so before you decide to tap.
Before you put tap to keg, make sure that the party tap (the spigot where the beer comes out) is in the closed position. Most taps have a handle that pushes down to lock the tap onto the keg. Others have two flanges that you twist about a quarter-turn. In either case, make sure that the handle or flanges are not in the engaged position. If they are, beer will spray out as soon as you place the tap on the keg.

Step 3: Tap that sucker
Seat the party pump on top of the keg, making sure not to push down on the spring-loaded ball valve (another way to spray beer in your face). Lock the pump onto the keg by rotating it clockwise, then engage the tap by pulling the handle out, then pushing it down, or twisting the flanges. If you see bubbles or foam forming around the tap, something's not seated correctly, so disengage the pump, take it off, and try again.

Step 4: Prep your cup
Scratches inside a glass will serve as nucleation sites where beer turns to foam. If your glass is visibly scratched, use an old bartender's trick and rinse it with water, which will coat the craggy spots. If you're using plastic cups, scratches aren't much of an issue.

Step 5: Patience
No matter how carefully you've followed these steps, the first pint out of a keg will always be foamy. Pour it into a spare glass until the beer starts flowing (foam begets foam, so you'll waste more than you'll drink if you try to pour beer into a foamy glass). You don't have to pump before the first pour, since the keg is already under a great deal of pressure.

Step 6: Master the perfect pour
Too fast or slow a pour will create foam. You can regulate the speed by how much you pump. But always push down the party tap all the way; partially opening it won't slow down the pour, it'll just create foam. It should take 10 to 15 seconds to pour a pint with a good finger or two of foam.

For the first few pints (when the keg is still under pressure), hold the tap and glass at arm's length above your head so that the beer comes out at the proper speed. After that, you can adjust by pumping (to increase the speed of beer flow) or holding the glass and tap over your head (to decrease it). Some taps also have a small pressure release valve, which you can open by pulling on the metal ring attached to it.

Since there's no rule of thumb for the proper number of pumps per pint, it's easiest to do this with a friend rather than going it alone: One person holds the glass at a 45-degree angle and points the spigot toward the side of the glass, gradually turning the glass to vertical to avoid spilling. The other gives the keg a few pumps anytime the glass starts to get too foamy. Just don't overdo it: Too many pumps will -- yep, you guessed it -- create foam as well.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dreamsville, Ohio

I've never been to Ohio...

Enjoy this trippy little 1942 short featuring dream-boat Marilyn Maxwell, Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Biff Morgan & his Cats.



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Episode 114: Splashdown!

Episode 114 HMK Mystery Stream Podcast

Click Hear: and check out the latest Irregular Frequency HMK Mystery Stream Podcast iF: Episode 114 Splashdown!

Subscribe to the HMK Mystery Stream in iTunes: HMK Mystery Streams

Make It Louder,


Friday, July 24, 2009

Grand Duchy

Charles Michael Kittredge Thompson IV, aka Black Francis, aka Frank Black, has a reputation as one tough band leader, whether in the TNT-volatile Pixies of the late ’80s and early ’90s or the hardworking roots rockers known as the Catholics. We’ve seen him seriously tear into a hapless drummer on one occasion, and berate a would-be stage diver on another. We’ve heard the firing-by-fax story. He scares us a little.

Still, his latest musical collaborator, Victoria Clarke, cannot be pushed around so easily — she is also his love, his wife, and the mother of his five children. And, indeed, she seems to bring out the best in him, eliciting a playful, relaxed side, not to mention a surprisingly pop-oriented musical style. Together they wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, and recorded all the tracks for Petits Fours, the debut album credited to their joint Grand Duchy project.

I'm digging it! Decide for yourself - crank up the first single from Grand Duchy's Petits Fours lp: Love Sick. and read the whole interview over at Flavorwire: Grand Duchy

Make it louder!


Thanks to Flavorwire

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Heinz Edelmann

Sad news about Heinz Edelmann, he passed away yesterday, July 21st 2009. Edelmann was 75. The photo above is from 1968.

With Heinz Edelmann, the graphic design community looses one of its most innovative practitioners. During his long and prolific career he has created groundbreaking work in the fields of Animation, Advertising and Publishing.

Among the best known of his creations are the illlustrations he did for twen Magazine and Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazine, his book designs for the publishing house Klett Cotta and his posters for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (West German Broadcasting).

Then there is of course the one chapter in his oeuvre that has made him known worldwide: his stunningly inventive work on the Beatles movie Yellow Submarine.

Edelmann also designed many book covers, including the first German edition of Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings,' and won a contest to design the mascot of the Expo '92 world fair in Spain.

More here: AGI. RIP Heinz.

That's Right,


Monday, July 20, 2009

Beastie Boys Yauch Announcement

Rock on Adam! All the best man - you can beat this!



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hammond Eggs Morning Menu 061

Tune in bright and early this morning from 7-9 and start your morning off with some hip and chill jazz courtesy of me and my bud and host of the Casbah, Brian Parrish.

Broadcasting live from the campus of San Antonio College every other Saturday Morning from 7-9am on KSYM 90.1 FM in San Antonio, Texas.

Grab yourself a big fresh cup of java, check out Episode 061 of The Hammond Eggs Show.

That's one small step for man... One giant leap for mankind!

And just in case you missed it you can always grab archived podcast versions of Hammond Eggs over here - Click Hear: Archived Hammond Eggs Shows!



Saturday, July 11, 2009


Grab it and dig it: Charles Magnante's Accordiana!

Make it louder!


Friday, July 03, 2009

Hammond Eggs Morning Menu 060

Tune in bright and early tomorrow morning from 7-9 and start your Happy 4th of July with some totally bitchin' soulful & bluesy jazz courtesy of me and my bud, the host of the Casbah, Brian Parrish.

Broadcasting live from the campus of San Antonio College every other Saturday Morning from 7-9am on KSYM 90.1 FM in San Antonio, Texas.

Grab yourself a big fresh cup of java, check out Episode 060 of The Hammond Eggs Show.

Dig the Red White & Blues!

And just in case you missed it you can always grab archived podcast versions of Hammond Eggs over here - Click Hear: Archived Hammond Eggs Shows!