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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Serving from kegs without kegerator/keezer?
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Serving from kegs without kegerator/keezer?

Is anyone serving their HB from kegs but doesn't own a kegerator or keezer? I'm not talking about the cooler full of ice/tap heads used for portable service, I mean full time.

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Old 10-18-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Nope... You want a stable temperature for the kegs in order to maintain the same carbonation level at pressure. Otherwise you'll constantly be fiddling around with the regulator, OR have variations in the carbonation level of the keg. I'm talking about no more than a 1-2F swing in the beer temperature. IF you have a way to maintain that small a shift in the beer temperature (in keg) then you could do it. Of course, you'll need to do that year round, which typically isn't all that viable.

I have a 10 cubic foot fridge (freezer top) for my kegs, when serving them. I maintain the temperature of the kegged beer about 40F, so that I can also maintain the CO2 pressure going into them to carbonate and serve (same pressure). With the thermometers I have monitoring the temperatures, the beer doesn't shift more than 1F. Of course I use the freezer to keep all my hops, which is a big help. Especially with how much hops I currently have on hand.

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Old 10-18-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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Define keezer. I have a chest freezer in my garage that doesn't have a collar on it and has no dispensing equipment besides picnic taps inside. I use it to carb beers to go into my upstairs kegerator and for serving some beers using the picnic taps.

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Old 10-18-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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If you're keeping it at a room temp of 65 degrees, you're going to need 30+ PSI to get to your 2.75 volumes for a normally carbonated beer. At that PSI, it would come out like a fire hose of foam.

Keg line balancing is a mix of line length, line diameter, pressure, temp and vertical distance from tap to keg. It's not something that's easily done without steady temps.

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Old 10-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BrewThruYou View Post
Define keezer. I have a chest freezer in my garage that doesn't have a collar on it and has no dispensing equipment besides picnic taps inside. I use it to carb beers to go into my upstairs kegerator and for serving some beers using the picnic taps.
A keezer doesn't need a collar on it. It, in it's simplest form, is a chest freezer adapted to carbonate and serve brew. How you dispense is up to you (picnic taps qualify). If you don't connect dispensing hardware, then it's really more of a carbonation chamber.

I'm considering getting a chest freezer, to put into the basement, as a carbonation (or lagering) chamber. It's on hold right now until I start my next contract/job. Once I've got my normal income level again, I'll first hunt on CL for one. If no joy there, I'll simply pick up a new one.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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There really isn't any way, because you have to cool the brew. If you have a basement that stays below 55F, you might be alright.

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Old 10-18-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback. I like having multiple brews available at any given time and have LOTS of bottles. As long as I rinse them well immediately after pouring, they dont' require much maintenance. I also like their portability. The real issue is the up front cost of going to kegs, though. Sounds like not only will I have the expense of 3-4 kegs, taps, & hardware, but also some expense for a fridge/freezer to store them at a constant temp. I'm going to hold off a little longer. Maybe something will drop in my lap!

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Old 10-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I like having multiple brews available at any given time and have LOTS of bottles. As long as I rinse them well immediately after pouring, they dont' require much maintenance. I also like their portability. The real issue is the up front cost of going to kegs, though. Sounds like not only will I have the expense of 3-4 kegs, taps, & hardware, but also some expense for a fridge/freezer to store them at a constant temp. I'm going to hold off a little longer. Maybe something will drop in my lap!
Search on CL for people selling still usable chest freezers. You can start off with picnic taps, to get going, then upgrade to real taps/faucets later. You can also start off with a single keg. I would advise deciding, from the start, if you're going to use one pressure set for everything (all carbonated the same) or if you'll want/need two different pressure sets (or more). If you need two, get a dual body regulator from the start. Also, don't go cheap on the regulator. I wouldn't go with any of the 'economy' models sold out there. IMO/IME, Taprite is the right choice. Also order supplies from top rated vendors, or get them locally. Look at this entire thing as a long term investment. Chances are, you'll be using the same kegs for decades. Same with the faucets and shanks. Hoses are cheap, so you can replace as needed. I would also go with MFL fittings over plain barb every time. MUCH easier to change things that way.

You can even work with some of the better vendors for kegging supplies, like Keg Connection, to get the setup as you need it to be. I've had really solid results with my orders from them (more than a few). The only thing you need to watch is pricing on the kegs. They can fluctuate more than a little between vendors. If you can score some used kegs, at a decent rate, do so. Unless they have holes in them, or are beat to hell and back again, they should be just fine.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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