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yankfan9

A little keg help

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Finally going to keg! I am wondering about a few things though. After I have the keg, lines, and everything cleaned and sanitized I will transfer the beer from the fermenter to the keg. I then seal it up. When I connect the gas and turn it on, what PSI should I bring it to? I want 2.6 volumes of Co2. How long should it sit at that PSI? It is my witbier so I want it to condition for about 3 weeks before putting it in the fridge. And also, when I turn the gas on, do I just release the pressure release valve a few times to get rid of the oxygen space? I have 4 gallons that will be in the 5 gallon keg. Thanks for any replies and sorry for all the questions! :cheers:

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I let my kegs condition a week or two then in the kegerator overnight to chill. The next day I connect the gas and let it sit at 10 psi for a week.
I sometimes go 30 psi for 24 hours, 20 psi for 48 hours then 10 until it's ready and in 4 days, it's pretty much there.
After a few kegs, you get to know your system and can tweak it a bit.

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Guest System Admin

Forced carbing is a function on temperature and pressure. Check out chart at this site and you will see what I mean. http://www.iancrockett.com/brewing/info/forcecarb.shtml

Beyond that I have found that natural carbing in the keg produces tighter bubbles and thus a better head and head retention. So I'd recommend batch priming in your keg then set it aside at room temp for two weeks to carb up, then chill and serve. You can always add more co2 if necessary.

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With 4 gal in a 5 gal corny you will have quite a bit of headspace and definitely need to purge it. Just hit it with 15 lbs or so of gas, do a quick one second pull on the corny bleeder valve, and repeat 5 or 6 times. That will purge out the headspace.

You may consider picking up a smaller 3 gal corny for your smaller batches.

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Thanks guys! The reason I only have 4 gallons out of 5 is because I forgot to add some water after the mash so I ended up with less. So BeerLord you say you let them condition for a little before adding the gas? I would like to do that but I am afraid if I let the beer sit in the keg for a week or two without gas then oxidation will start from that headspace

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I do either or keg priming or let the co2 in the tank do the carbing. Don't notice any difference either way.
If I'm keg priming I use 3/4 the amount called for. Then set it in the keezer using the set it and forget it method. The set and forget will work for primed or unprimed beer.
This chart works great. Hook a keg up for your desired carb level at your serving temp and just walk away.
It will take about 10-14 days to be at your set carb level, but it will be good.
Where I'll add priming sugar is to beers that need to age alittle. If they are giong to be sitting, they may as well be carbing.

Paul does the same thing we all do after putting beer in the keg.
Hook up your gas line, turn on the valve and purge o2 out of the keg with co2.
Also spray the lid and poppet valves with Star-San to check for leaks.
Set aside until ready to go in the keezer.
Yesterday I put a keg of Stone VE 09-09-09 that had been purged and sitting for 8 weeks with 3/4 the amount of priming sugar for 2.5 volumes. Was able to pour a glass tonight.

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Yeah, no matter what method you use to carb, ALWAYS PURGE with CO2. I hit it with 20-25psi to seat the lid gasket and then pop the PRV for a few seconds. Repeat a few times over the next few hours.

I prefer to carb with CO2 over a 2 week period at serving pressure (9-10psi). I also like to cold-crash the primary fermenter 5-7 days at 35-36*F before racking to the keg. It clears the beer and helps firm up the yeast cake. I guess you can skip that on some beers that are cloudy by design.

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The only potential problem with "set and forget" is that any leaks in your system will result in empty Co2 bottler, nothing sucks worse! So be sure you test your corny keg seals and use plumber's tape on all hose fitting and regulator connections to ensure leak-free set up. I have found that I am far too paranoid to leave my gas on unattended for that long, but that's just me.

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I run a 3-tap keezer in my game room so everything is sitting at about 9psi 24/7 anyway. At some point, you're going to have to trust your setup.

+1 on using teflon tape on threaded connections. I also check all seals and keg lids by spraying with StarSan. When you hit the keg with 20-25psi during the first purge, that's going to seat the seal pretty darn well if you have the lid on correctly.

Finally, food-grade silicone keg lube is a 100% must for all o-rings and lid gaskets.

handleson_zpsd8d6d2ad.jpg

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Nice set up Floyd.

+1 to trusting your set up.
After you lose one tank (don't we all) you get pretty good about checking/finding leaks.
I run 6 kegs at 12psi 24/7. The tank I lost was at the regulator that I purchaced that was preassembled.

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I let mine kegs sit a room temp for a week or so. I quick pull on the valve will tell you if you are air tight. I store my empty kegs with pressure in them. If flat when you need you got a leak and should check all of your rings and fittings

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Those of you that only let your kegs sit at room temp for a week, wouldn't that be really short for the whole carb and conditioning time table? The reason I want to let my keg sit for 3 weeks is because I am used to letting them sit in bottles for at least three weeks for the flavors to meld well. Is there something I am missing here?

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That is a bit short. Conditioning time is conditioning time whether bottle or keg.

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"yankfan9" post=385903 said:

Those of you that only let your kegs sit at room temp for a week, wouldn't that be really short for the whole carb and conditioning time table? The reason I want to let my keg sit for 3 weeks is because I am used to letting them sit in bottles for at least three weeks for the flavors to meld well. Is there something I am missing here?

It depends on a few things.
If you are hoping to get co2 in the beer from adding priming sugar to the keg, then yes treat it like a bottle and let it sit 3 weeks.
If you are getting your co2 from the tank, then you can put it on the gas at any stage.
Larger complex beers do well by sitting for awhile 3+ weeks depending on style.(some but not all IIPAs, porters, stouts, barleywines, RIS).
Some lighter styles do well after just 1 week, (cream ales, wheats, apas and IPAs).
I do a AG Centennial Blonde that I ferment for 2 weeks, keg and straight into the keezer and on the gas. I'm drinking it at the end of week 3.

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