The growler has often been deemed one of the most esteemed vessels in brewery. It’s a complicated, fragile, hard to carry object that has a function which can be replaced by a lot of other modern techniques but the love and praise for the growler doesn’t seem to die down.
In fact, the growler is essentially an impractical device, since it releases the beers carbonation, and although it does perform the function of carrying and transporting brewery-only packages that would’ve otherwise not been transported, with its fragility in mind, it fails to do the job right.
And yet, people are devoted to the growler like nothing else.
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People loved the growler so much that they ‘turned’ it into a useful product. The Growlerwerks uKeg found its beginnings on Kickstarter, which has funded many other highly popular products.
The uKeg, unlike the regular growler which is made out of glass, is made out of stainless steel with double wall construction and has a sight tube which can show you how much beer the growler needs before it overflows.
The double wall construction is supposed to keep the uKeg insulated, using the same method thermoses have been using for years. All of these features and more are discussed in this article which aims to throw light on how well the uKeg growler works and what all of its shortcomings are.
How Does Growlerwerks uKeg Work?
The Growlerwerks uKeg growler works with carbon dioxide cartridges which help the beer stay carbonated and not get flat. The sight glass displays about three 16-ounce pints worth and there's a line embossed on the interior of the growler to keep you from overfilling it.
The uKeg also contains a pressurized vacuum-insulated cap, which is where you are to insert the 8 gram carbon dioxide cartridge so as to slowly build pressure inside of the growler. The pressure, displayed in terms of PSI on the built-in pressure gauge, is controllable and Growlerwerks also has a list of different PSI ranges for different types of beers.
For instance, a cream ale requires a lot less pressure than a lager.
Although there is a 128-ounce version of the Growlerwerks uKeg growler, most people seem to prefer the 64-ounce version since it is compact, fits inside of most coolers, is lightweight, costs less, and still contains enough beer for 4-5 glasses.
If one does choose to buy the 128-ounce version but is skeptical since that much beer might not be finished quick enough, the uKeg can keep your beer bubbly and carbonated for up to 2 weeks. Its stainless-steel walls also help in maintaining the coolness of the beer as opposed to regular glass growlers.
Growlerwerks CO2 Cartridge
As mentioned before, the uKeg does stay pressurized with the cap alone, but with the help of its CO2 cartridges. These cartridges are placed on a special little twist on the cap that are sealed tight and filter into the container to build up the pressure. The cap has a built-in 16-gram cartridge already but the amount of CO2 entering the growler can be adjusted as to your preference, of course.
Coming in at $$$, the uKeg is definitely not cheap. This is only for the uKeg growler itself and the first cartridge that comes with it, however. If you need more cartridges, that will cost you extra, of course. Though the price of a cartridge is far more reasonable, coming in at $0.50 each for 8-grams of CO2 on some Amazon listings, and $1 each on the official website. The cartridges cannot be used for more than one keg of beer which means that if you plan on using your uKeg often, you had better stack up on cartridges beforehand.
There may even be some more discounts available if you keep an eye out on Amazon site.
uKeg Cleaning – What You Should Know?
If you’re worried about maintenance of the uKeg, don’t worry. It is essentially cleaned in the same way as a regular growler.
First, we begin with hot water, mixed with a little bit of baking soda, being poured into the growler and all its nooks and crannies. Use whatever is left in your CO2 cartridge and allow it to enter the filled growler.
Give it a good rinse and leave it upside down on a towel to dry. It is really that simple. Though, to some people, this may be an additional effort they are not keen to go through.
Especially since beer is very sensitive to bacteria, which means you should make sure there is no moisture within the container before using.
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All in all, the uKeg is a great tool for both beer lovers and enthusiasts along with sporadic beer drinkers. The Growlerwerks uKeg is a beautiful stainless-steel vessel which will last you a long time if used properly.
It keeps your beer cold and bubbly and it is portable enough to be carried around places without much hassle. If one buys the 64-ounce growler, it fits in most coolers and freezers as well. The downsides come when travelling, especially if there is no refrigerator and the uKeg is exposed to high temperatures.
This could leave the beer extra foamy and warm. A small, but possibly significant downside could be with the cleaning, which can be a troubling process for some and mildly annoying for others. The price is also steep, with the cartridges being an additional charge.
But overall, it is definitely worth the time and money since it keeps your beer fresh, and smooth for weeks.