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Old 09-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default Carbonate or not when aging in a keg?

Does anyone from experience notice is it better to force carbonate your beer than age it in your keg? Or is it better to just give it a shot of C02 until you’re ready to drink it then force carbonate? My kegs do not usually last long enough for me to tell, but I am going to start trying to stock pile for winter. Thanks for any feedback… Cheers!

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
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I've read opinions that naturally carbed brew tastes better than forced. But it takes considerably longer to achieve the former than the latter, and up to a point, time usually improves a brew. Unless you can decouple the time differential, I don't think one can really judge the difference...

Cheers!

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #3
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I think he was asking what he should do with a beer in the keg that he doesn't plan to drink for awhile (let it sit in the keg until a few weeks prior to tapping and then force carb or, force carb right away and then let it sit until he is ready to tap).

I am actually interested in some opinions on this as well...

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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To me, the OP is asking whether he should seal the keg for storage with CO2, or prime the keg naturally and whether or not this imparts better or worse flavors with natural carbing in the keg.

For what it's worth YouCanBrewIt, i'd say that if you have the time to wait on the keg then naturally carb it. You already have the benefit of time on your hands so unless these beers are belgian hefes you're not really risking losing anything and stand to gain a substantially matured beer. It would seem like a win-win in your case.

Are you selling that patience in a bottle or anything? I'd love to have some if you are!

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:51 PM   #5
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Also, i forgot to add this above: when i was bottling i noticed that my head stayed perhaps just a bit longer on the glass with a natural carbonation, but i've noticed much more lacing (which i care more about) with kegging brews. Perhaps the molecules are being forceably compacted by the active carbonation and "stick" better, rather than the slow dissolution of CO2 in the bottle. I don't really know, it's just a theory.

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:02 PM   #6
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Whenever I'm aging or conditioning in a keg I like to naturally carb with a bit of corn sugar at the same time. If you do this use only half as much sugar that you would use if you were bottling. Also make sure to purge the air from the keg headspace with a couple shots of C02 after you transfer the beer to the keg.

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thank for the info guys. I do not prime kegs because I do not like the sentiment it leaves on the bottom so I always do a force carb. I was wondering if people noticed a difference between if they force carb right away then let it sit. Or just give it a quick shot of C02 to seal it and then force carb when they are ready to tap into it. (Sorry for confusion with my post) I agree with you Zixxer10R that matured beer all around is the way to go. As for patience, (I don’t have much) I think it’s more about stock piling with volume so I don’t blow through it all… lol Cheers!

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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I used to purge the keg, seal it at 30psi, then just leave it until it was ready to put in the keezer. However, since most kegs don't seal 100% unless they are under some pressure, the seal will be lost pretty quickly (as the small amount of co2 used to seal the keg gets absorbed into the beer) and potentially expose the beer to o2. For my last 3 or 4 kegs i've started force carbing right after transferring into the keg. This keeps some pressure in the keg once the gas is unhooked and keeps the seal.

As far as the actual beer flavor developing/aging carbonated vs uncarbonated- from what i've read it doesn't really matter.

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Old 09-27-2011, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zixxer10R View Post
To me, the OP is asking whether he should seal the keg for storage with CO2, or prime the keg naturally and whether or not this imparts better or worse flavors with natural carbing in the keg.

For what it's worth YouCanBrewIt, i'd say that if you have the time to wait on the keg then naturally carb it.
If I'm going to condition for more than 2 months, I prime.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:09 PM   #10
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At the beginning of August, I wanted to force carb a keg for a beerfest in advance so that I wouldn't get stuck trying to get the CO2 levels just right at the last minute, so I kegged it and immediately started force carbing it at room temperature. After about 3 days, the carbonation was great, so I left it and it just sat there for a month at room temperature. A couple days before the beer fest, I put it in my keezer to cool it down. The next day I tasted it and it may have been the best beer that I have ever made. It was so good that I had to steal 1 gallon of it for myself before giving it all away.

So, I don't necessarily know what is better, but I can tell you with certainty that it is possible to condition a carbonated beer with good results.

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