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Hey,

 

I am new to brewing and the forum my wife bought a MB LBK for my birthday.  I have brewed one batch which turned out ok, not as carbonated as I had hoped, but not bad.  My big question is, a friend of mine has offered to give me a 2.5 gallon keg for free.  Can I use this with a 2 gal. batch and still have adequate carbonation?

 

Rodeohard 

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If you're asking whether you can put 2.13 gallons of Mr. Beer fermented wort (i.e. after 3 weeks) into a 2.5 gallon metal keg and carbonate it, the answer is yes - of course you need CO2, the proper hoses, connectors, taps...  Keg doesn't care if it's full or not.

 

By the way - if your batch didn't turn out as carbonated as you hoped, that has NOTHING to do with kegging.  If you ferment for 3 weeks, use the proper amount of sugar in your bottles and carbonate/condition for 4 weeks (or more) at 70 or higher, your beer should be properly carbonated - in fact, many say that Mr. Beer's carbonation levels are too high, and cut back to 65 - 75% of those levels.

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Have fun spending all that money just to store, carbonate, and pour yourself a beer. I just let time, a little sugar, and myself do all that for me. I'd rather spend the hundreds of dollars on beer & making beer than a "kegerator".

 

But that's just me...

 

  :D

For me the act of bottling my beer brings that much more of the "hand crafted" feel to it.  Much more personal.

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I keg all my beer. If I need to bottle some, then I simply fill some bottles with a counter-pressure bottle filler. Very rarely though, I will bottle-condition certain beers that need to be aged (barleywines, Biere de Garde, some sours, etc). And yes, you can carbonate 2 gallons in 2.5 gallon kegs. I use our 5 gallon kegs here at work for our 2 gallon test batches if I'm low on 2 gallon kegs. The best thing about kegging your beer is that you can get the exact carbonation you want (I suppose you can with sugar, too, but it's not nearly as accurate). Also, you can have drinkable beer within a couple of days if you force carbonate.

I have a hefeweizen recipe that only has 3 ingredients and will ferment to completion in 7 days. After kegging, it's a total of 9 days from start to finish and it's drinkable right away. It's the fastest beer I've ever made. It's really good, too.

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I have a hefeweizen recipe that only has 3 ingredients and will ferment to completion in 7 days. After kegging, it's a total of 9 days from start to finish and it's drinkable right away. It's the fastest beer I've ever made. It's really good, too.

 

Ok, Josh. You can't say that and not share the recipe!!!

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Josh's Quick Hefe:

 

For 5 gallons:

6 lb. Dry Wheat extract (or 6.6 lb Liquid Wheat extract, I recommend Coopers - 2 cans... ;). https://us.diybeer.com/brew-cans/malt-extract/wheat-malt-extract

1 oz Hallertau (split in half)

Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan

 

No need for a starter because this isn't a very big beer. But it's simple and tasty. 

  1. Activate the yeast pack according to the directions on the back of the package.
  2. Add wheat malt to 2 gallons of water and, while stirring, bring to a boil.
  3. Make note of the time the boil starts and add 1/2 oz of Hallertau hops. Do not boil too hard, make sure it is a calm boil.
  4. After 45 mins of boil add the 2nd 1/2 oz of Hallertau hops.
  5. Boil a final 15 mins then turn off heat and gently stir for a few minutes. Cool the wort and add to fermenter on top of 2 gallons of very cold water. HINT: 8 lbs of filtered ice = 1 gallon of water.
  6. Top off to 5 gallons. After the wort cools to 80° or below open the yeast package and pour the contents on top of the wort.
  7. Ferment for 7-10 days at 68°-72° F.
  8. The final specific gravity should be 1.010-1.012.
  9. Bottle or Keg

At that temp, the yeast will finish fermentation within 7 days - 10 days at most (if cooler). That yeast imparts little to no acetaldehyde, and it gives off amazing banana/clove notes at the recommended temps. There is no need for extra time to clarify or for the yeast to "clean" the beer. The byproducts in that beer are what make the flavor profile. And since it's a hefeweizen, it's not going to clarify anyway, nor should you want it to. Anyway, it's a very quick and simple recipe that can easily be expanded on. Try steeping some carapils for extra body. Or add a cup of honey for some dryness. It's a pretty versatile recipe and a great introduction for people moving away from HME and into doing their own hop schedules.  

 

You can probably do this with the Bavarian Weissbier and some Golden LME, too, but I haven't tried this yet. I think I'll give it a go sometime this month and get back to you. The yeast is the key.

 

You can cut this in half for a 2 gallon batch, but it will be slightly stronger in flavor and ABV (not a bad thing).

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Ok, so I comingled two questions.  To answer your questions, I did not ferment for 3 weeks only 2 weeks as per the instructions, I also did not move the fermented beer to a bottling bucket I went straight to bottles.  I was not looking to use kegging to insure proper carbonation, I was simply asking if 2 gallons of beer in a 2.5 gallon keg would work.

 

So to correct my errors, I'm fermenting for 3 weeks and I purchased a bottling bucket, hose, and bottling wand to put transfer the beer into the bottles.  My understanding is by using the bucket it will limit the amount of yeast in the transfer.  I have also better managed my temps during the fermentation process and will condition my bottles for 4 or more weeks depending on the beer.

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Josh,

What do you think of WB-06 for this?

 

Nope. It won't be the same thing at all. Like I said, the yeast is KEY. Without the Weihenstephan, it's not the same. I mean it will work, but you won't ferment it as fast with as much awesome flavors. I've tried. It just doesn't cut it.

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