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Old 08-27-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Can I fill a keg half way?

Hey all,
I am very new to kegging. I have a friend who I did a co-brew with and who wants to split the beer into two kegs (one for her and one for me). Can I purge the O2 on a half-keg, let it age, and then force carb it like it was a full keg? Does this even work? Any help ya'll can provide would be most appreciated.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
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You'll just have more CO2 in the keg when it's half full. Make sure you still purge it properly once you fill them.

I use 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs for my beer (more 3 gallon kegs, since I get 6 gallons out). If you're going to be splitting 5 gallon batches often, into kegs, you might want to get the smaller kegs too.

I wouldn't transfer to keg until the batch is otherwise ready to drink. More time in primary means more yeast will settle out before you transfer. The makes for far less sediment in the keg. I typically go 3-4 weeks for moderate (or my 'low') OG batches which are around 1.060. Bigger brews get longer, depending on what they are and such. Once they go to keg, though, they're ready to be carbonated (I use the two week, set and forget, method) and then go to glass. Since I do fill two kegs from each batch, and only put one into the brew fridge from each at a time (has four spots), I have half of the batch (or more if I make a bigger batch) that gets to age in keg. Good way, IMO, to experiment there.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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Fill her keg with the full 5 gallons of beer, then use CO2 to push 2.5 gallons to your keg while you hold the air pressure release up. stop transferring when both kegs weigh the same. TADA!

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
You'll just have more CO2 in the keg when it's half full. Make sure you still purge it properly once you fill them.

I use 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs for my beer (more 3 gallon kegs, since I get 6 gallons out). If you're going to be splitting 5 gallon batches often, into kegs, you might want to get the smaller kegs too.

I wouldn't transfer to keg until the batch is otherwise ready to drink. More time in primary means more yeast will settle out before you transfer. The makes for far less sediment in the keg. I typically go 3-4 weeks for moderate (or my 'low') OG batches which are around 1.060. Bigger brews get longer, depending on what they are and such. Once they go to keg, though, they're ready to be carbonated (I use the two week, set and forget, method) and then go to glass. Since I do fill two kegs from each batch, and only put one into the brew fridge from each at a time (has four spots), I have half of the batch (or more if I make a bigger batch) that gets to age in keg. Good way, IMO, to experiment there.
Hmm, okay. What do you think about purging the c02 and NOT carbing it for a month? Say I just let it sit in my basement? The beer is relatively low OG (1.058), sat in primary for 2 weeks and then secondary for almost 3 weeks... I'm pretty sure that the sediment formation will be minimal. Would it be okay to just let it chill for a while in my basement? My kegerator is not quite ready yet...
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MZRIS View Post
Fill her keg with the full 5 gallons of beer, then use CO2 to push 2.5 gallons to your keg while you hold the air pressure release up. stop transferring when both kegs weigh the same. TADA!
How do you plan on telling when only 2.5 gallons has been transferred?? With no way to see the level in either keg.

As for letting a keg of beer stay in the basement for x weeks... I don't see any issue there. Just be sure to seal the keg, then purge the air/atmosphere from it (fill the keg with CO2 after filling, then purge several times, filling with CO2 between). I usually use 5-10psi to purge, after sealing (some kegs seal at ~10psi, others closer to 15psi). If the yeast you used is a good flocculator, then you've left most behind now.

BTW, with my sanke fermenters, I also use a CO2 push to transfer into serving kegs. This means I don't need to move the fermenters at all before transferring. Not something you can do when just using a siphon (you need gravity to help). So I stir up no yeast/sediment when it's time to transfer.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
How do you plan on telling when only 2.5 gallons has been transferred?? With no way to see the level in either keg.

"stop transferring when both kegs weigh the same. TADA!" - that was in my post.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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"stop transferring when both kegs weigh the same. TADA!" - that was in my post.
You're actually making it far more complicated than it needs to be. Plus, how many people actually have two scales that can do this?? IMO, far easier to simply transfer into each keg the correct amount.

BTW, when I'm filling my serving kegs, I have the lid off of the serving keg, but cover the opening with a sanitized (StarSan saturation) cloth/paper towel to keep things from getting into it. I'm able to see the level that the beer is at easily. This way I don't need to worry about overfilling the keg, or releasing the CO2 that comes over with the beer.
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Fermenting
K1:
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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work smarter not harder - 2 scales are not required. suite yourself sir!!

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #9
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case in point: 5 gallons of water weighs 41.7 pounds - so as you transfer, when the keg reaches20lb er so - you know your half way transferred... and you only used one bathroom scale.

Also - this closed transfer system doesn't require any extra sanitation steps or worry if your kegs and lines are already clean ....

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
Just be sure to seal the keg, then purge the air/atmosphere from it (fill the keg with CO2 after filling, then purge several times, filling with CO2 between). I usually use 5-10psi to purge, after sealing (some kegs seal at ~10psi, others closer to 15psi).
Okay, thanks! This will be the first time I keg anything, so how do I know what PSI level my keg seals at? And when you say that you usually use 5-10 psi to purge, do you mean that you first seal the keg, then add 5-10psi into it, purge the 5-10 psi, then repeat a few times?
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