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Old 01-22-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
libeerty
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Default Kegging Pipeline Strategy

This doesn't really pertain to those of you who keg with tons of taps, or who exclusively bottle, but for those of you (like me) who keg with ~2 taps, do you utilize a pipeline strategy?

I've recently decided that my thought process for beer goes like this: "Do I want a hoppy pale ale or do I want something else?" That something else is usually a stout or porter, but can be almost anything but sour or super sweet beers.

Based on this realization, I've come up with this strategy:

TAP 1 is a pale ale (usually IPA) of some variety. Usually playing around with different base malts, trying with and without crystal, playing with hops, etc.

TAP 2 is the Something Else.

My kegerator can fit three kegs, but I only have two taps, so I have an ON DECK spot for a keg to carb and condition without being on tap. If I think the IPA is going to kick first, On Deck is the next IPA. If I think the Something Else is going to kick first, On Deck is the next Something Else.

The IPA and Something Else have different pipelines. Generally speaking, unless I'm doing a hefe or other drink-when-young beer, the Something Else pipeline can be as long as I have primaries for. I let them sit until it is time for one to get promoted to ON DECK, then it gets kegged.

The IPA pipeline is more tricky. I like my IPAs FRESH. Generally 2 weeks in primary, 5-7 days dryhop in primary, then in the keg for another week. Approximately 1 month. And it probably drains in 3-4 weeks.

I've been trying to come up with a way to time it so I never have to drink an IPA older than my ideal. Since my IPA brewing time of ~4 weeks is close to my keg drinking of ~3-4 weeks, I try to brew when I think my IPA keg is almost kicked. That way, I always have 2-3 IPAs in rotation. I have 2 until the one on tap is nearing its end, then I brew up a 3rd.

Kind of fun to write this out, because it made me think through what I was doing...

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Thats what i do ! Although i have a 2.5 keg i use for Cider. I always have both 5 gal kegs full "or in use. With something fermenting.

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:13 PM   #3
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You didn't mention how many kegs you have or how long tap #2 usually lasts, that would help with figuring out your pipeline.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BxBrewer View Post
Thats what i do ! Although i have a 2.5 keg i use for Cider. I always have both 5 gal kegs full "or in use. With something fermenting.
Nice. Yeah, I have Apfelwein that has been in the primary for quite awhile now, waiting to tap it in the Spring!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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You didn't mention how many kegs you have or how long tap #2 usually lasts, that would help with figuring out your pipeline.
True. I have 4 kegs. Tap #2 varies quite a bit... but it almost doesn't matter because the beers in that pipeline do not usually get worse with age.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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I have a keezer that fits four kegs and only has two taps. I use a cobra tap for a third keg sometimes. Something like a RIS or Barleywine that I'm only going to drink occasionally and ages well.

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