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Kegging

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So I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some old kegging equipment a relative doesn't use anymore. I get the whole having to clean it out and sanitize it and what not.

Here's where I get a little lost. I rack to the keg, secure the lid, add a little CO2 to secure it. Chill the keg for a few days then carbonate it?? Where does the conditioning come in for something that may take a few months?

Just tryint to get all my ducks in a row! Thanks in advance!

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Dont quuote me but I beleive you would either transfer the beer to a secondary (but sure how long it can stay there) or it would need to sit in the keg with CO2 out of the fridge.

i'm hoping to get a keg set up too and have wondered what others do but havent ventured into looking into it as a buddy keeps telling me he will get me all the equipment but its been a month or so and no response.....he distributes for AB with access to all the eqiuipment

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There are a few ways you can do this.
Natural carbing...
Rack to the sanitized keg. Add your priming sugar. Purge the 02 out of the keg, let it sit at room temp for a month. your first few pints will be pretty much trubified.

Quick Carbing. Rack to keg, purge all 02, pressurize to 20 psi, rocking the keg until you don't hear more co2 entering, let keg sit for 3 days, chill keg, vent keg, add c02 pressure, and adjust from there for proper dispencing.

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To avoid the first few trub glasses it is recommended that you cut 1/2" - 1" off the bottom of the pick-up tube.

Many here have done this on the 2.5 gallon kegs and say all that is left is about 1/2 glass trub and beer when keg can not dispense any more beer

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maingoer72, what size kegs did you get? Nice score!
For most people I've read about, once they get to 5 gallon corny's, it's just not worth it to prime carbonate. They say it basically defeats the purpose. Some even suggest it's a waste to do so in 2.5 sizes too but that's their opinion.
Some use the corny kegs somewhat like a secondary and let it sit for a week or so with just a little pressure then they increase it to normal. Most seem to just ferment as normal (3 weeks) and then direct to the corny keg. I've seen the following mentioned a number of times (I don't have 5 gallon kegs so this is not from personal experience).......

So here are my 8 simple steps to carbonate your Cornelius keg:

After the fermentation process is complete, clean and sanitize you corny keg. I use One Step to sanitize with. It is easy to use and there is no rinsing.

Siphon the fermented wort into your Cornelius keg and install the cap. Try to keep any contaminates out of the finished wort. Some beers may need to be lagered before the charging of the corny keg takes place. Check your recipe for this step.

Take a screw driver and set the low pressure gage to about 30 psi. Turn the gas out valve on the regulator to the off position. Connect the pin lock or ball lock fitting to the proper valve on the Cornelius keg.

Turn the valve quickly to the on position. This will help seal the cap to the corny keg. Check the valve stems and cap for any possible leaks with a soapy water solution or glass cleaner. Look for bubbles to appear around these places especially around the cap.

If you see any bubbles remove the gas line to the Cornelius keg and drain the pressure in the keg by pushing down on the center of the gas (IN) stem with a small screw driver or a pocket knife to relieve the pressure. Adjust the cap by breaking it loose with the palm of your hand or a rubber mallet. Re-center the cap. At the same time pull up on the cap while locking it in place with the safety locking bar. Repeat step 4 after you reseal the cap on the Cornelius keg.

After the cap is sealed leave the pressure on @ 30 psi. Sit down in a chair, lay the keg across your knees and rock it back and forth for about 5 - 7 minutes. This will help the Co2 to absorb into the beer at fast rate by creating more surface area for the Co2 to come in contact with.

Now its time to put it in the refrigerator and let the Co2 super saturate the beer. You might think that’s it, but there is still a little more to it. After about a week, hook the gas back up to the corny keg for about 3 - 4 days @ 10 psi. This will complete the saturation of the beer.

While in storage leave the Co2 attached to the Cornelius keg. This will insure your beer will always be ready to drink. Before serving remove the Co2 hose from the keg. Bleed off the pressure as in step 5. Reset the pressure on the regulator to between 3 & 5 psi. This will allow you to have nicely carbonated beer without a lot of foam.

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Lots of info to process!! I will be using 5 gallon Cornelius type kegs. I will also be making sure to cut the bottom of the tubing off to avoid trub.

I do plan on using the keg as a secondary after the primary fermentation is complete. So I'm assuming I let it sit until I'm ready to force carbonate?

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Trollby wrote:

To avoid the first few trub glasses it is recommended that you cut 1/2" - 1" off the bottom of the pick-up tube.

Thats only an issue if your naturally carb, right?

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mnstarzz13 wrote:

Trollby wrote:

To avoid the first few trub glasses it is recommended that you cut 1/2" - 1" off the bottom of the pick-up tube.

Thats only an issue if your naturally carb, right?

100% correct

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Trollby wrote:

mnstarzz13 wrote:

Trollby wrote:

To avoid the first few trub glasses it is recommended that you cut 1/2" - 1" off the bottom of the pick-up tube.

Thats only an issue if your naturally carb, right?

100% correct

And no conditioning time required when force carbing.

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I think most of this has been covered, but I'll chime in anyway. There are a couple of options. You can naturally carbonate by adding sugar and letting UT sit for a few weeks atty room temp or you can force carbonate.

The process beer lord described is a bit faster than the one I use. I purge the oxygen the same way he does, then I set the gauge to about 15 psi for a few days, then back down to 10. I give it a total of about a week to carbonate.

One thing that can't be stressed enough is to make fire there are no leaks. I "set" the lid by turning the gauge to 20 before purging. I keep a spray bottle handy and spray all spots that might have a leak. I learned this the hard way after setting a couple of tanks drain overnight (they now last several months).

Since this has probably been sitting for a while, I'd fill the keg with warm water and add a scoop of oxiclean, then let it sit for an hour, pour a glass to get some through all the lines and fittings, then let it soak for a couple of hours, drain some through the lines and pour it out. Rinse with some plain water and you're ready to go. You'll probably need to hook up the CO2 to push the oxiclean and water through.

You may also want to replace the O rings.

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And no conditioning time required when force carbing.


This is the part I don't quite get. I've always followed a strict 4 weeks in the bottle. I know a couple of weeks is to carb but there's also critical conditioning in that time to meld the flavor. Why would conditioning not be neccessay when kegging? Wouldn't it still taste young if you drink right after fermenting?

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gman585 wrote:

And no conditioning time required when force carbing.


This is the part I don't quite get. I've always followed a strict 4 weeks in the bottle. I know a couple of weeks is to carb but there's also critical conditioning in that time to meld the flavor. Why would conditioning not be neccessay when kegging? Wouldn't it still taste young if you drink right after fermenting?
I would have thought so too, but from everything I've heard lately, it's not the case. There are some very good brewers in our club who go from fermenter to glass in less than a week. Could be that the flavors from the fermentation in the bottle that produces your carbonation is what needs to condition out.

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oly wrote:

gman585 wrote:

And no conditioning time required when force carbing.


This is the part I don't quite get. I've always followed a strict 4 weeks in the bottle. I know a couple of weeks is to carb but there's also critical conditioning in that time to meld the flavor. Why would conditioning not be neccessay when kegging? Wouldn't it still taste young if you drink right after fermenting?
I would have thought so too, but from everything I've heard lately, it's not the case. There are some very good brewers in our club who go from fermenter to glass in less than a week. Could be that the flavors from the fermentation in the bottle that produces your carbonation is what needs to condition out.

From a friend of mine that kegs:

1. Primary ferment (1-2 weeks) - Plastic bucket

2. rack to secondary for 30 days or more - Glass carboy

3. Place in keg and purge - 5 gallon Cornie

4. Chill and carb about 1 week

5. Drink

So he secondary conditions, which you "Could" do in the keg.

But he also only does beers that are around 5% or so or less. None of his beers are High ABV

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Interesting....30 days in a ssecondary! I've read so much where they suggest putting it into kegs after 3-4 weeks and then carbing for a few days to a week and it's ready to drink. Green beer is still green beer I guess.
However, if you don't sugar carb beer, and you use Co2, would that mean that it conditions faster? I have no idea?

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If you think about it he has from brew to drink 44 - 51 days so 2-2-2 is 42 days he is doing longer many times

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in answer to a privious question...fill the keg with c02, and then pull the release valve a few times... the co2 will force out the oxygen.

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I read somewhere in my research that a few brewers choose not to rack to a secondary to let condition. I guess as long as the keg is sealed and kept under moderate pressure it will condition on its own in due time.

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I've taken to letting my kegs sit for 2 weeks at room temp after kegging and setting the lid. The first pale ale that I kegged I went from 2 weeks fermenting to the CO2 and chilling right away and my first few pints were green. I took it out and let it sit for two weeks at room temp and then re-chilled and it was perfect.

So, I treat the keg like a big secondary and let it sit for 2 weeks at room temp before chilling it and putting it on CO2.

I read 100's of pages on other boards about how to carb and there seem to be 3 main camps:
1) Prime like you normally would with sugar, then set on CO2 to dispense after 2 weeks
2) Quick carb (rocking the keg as described above)
3) Set it and forget it. Set your keg to the desired CO2 level based on your temperature and leave it for 7-10 days

After reading how many people had trouble with #2, I chose to go with #2 and will stick to that route because it worked for me. Be ready to play around with your temp, PSI and beer line length and diameter to get the right pour.

This chart is handy as is the file I've attached.

[file name=Beer_Line_Length_and_Pressure_Calculator.xls size=235520]http://community.mrbeer.com/media/kunena/attachments/legacy/files/Beer_Line_Length_and_Pressure_Calculator.xls[/file]

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I'm an option #1 person myself, just treat the kegs like giant sized bottles and naturally carbonate them. I've kegged everything from India Pale Ales to dark Barley Stouts this way, I'm too lazy to fuss around with force carbing and too cheap to use my Co2 gas for anything but dispensing.


I get my final gravity reading, sanitize the keg with StarSan, drain and add my priming sugar. Next I push a few seconds of Co2 into the keg, rack the beer from the fermentor to a bottling bucket after adding the priming sugar and then fill the keg. Once the keg's full I put on the lid and set it using 20-30 psi of Co2, give the bleed off valve a pull to release a short blast of Co2 and let the keg sit at 68-72F for two weeks.

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If brewing has taught me anything, patience is the real key. I don't really feel like making a 5 gallon brew to waste it completely because I screwed up kegging on my first batch.

I will batch prime for the first time just to see what happens. After that I will make another batch and just hook it up to the CO2 for two weeks at low pressure to see what happens.

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I guess I'm just going to have to make more home brew for trial and error purposes...what a shame.

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mainegoer72 wrote:

I guess I'm just going to have to make more home brew for trial and error purposes...what a shame.


If you need any help getting rid of any, I can help you out. :)

I spoke with someone last night who is willing to help me build a kegerator if I can ever find the space and the money. I can't imagine what it would be like to have 2-3 choices of beer to tap whenever I wanted to.
Maybe when I grow up. Until then, my 2 mini kegs will have to do.
I am enjoying learning about kegging from the experiences of other borg members.

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When I was bored and had nothing to do between fermenting times, I did a little research on it. The kegerators I looked at come with a single tap, which doesn't seem to really be of any fun. Then I looked at two and three taps. (Two is the max mine can hold.) I saw that they make an adapter to the tower for $30 to make it a dual tap. This beats having to go out and spend all that money on another one.

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