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Old 12-12-2007, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default Conditioning time in keg?

I'm very new to kegging and i have a question to start.

I've read/skimmed over the links in the sticky forum, but i still don't know what to do....

When bottling you move from secondary (through bottling bucket) into bottles and let those bottles condition for a few weeks.

Do you do that with a keg?

From what I gathered you go from secondary to keg, hook up the co2 get the co2 dissolved through it for a day or so and BAM you serve it!?!?

I'd like to know because i have some beers in secondary ready to transfer and two kegs just came in the mail, but the co2 kit/kegorator kit is a christmas present, so if they need conditioning, i'd like to put them in the kegs now and do the co2 on christmas day, but if that's not the case, i'm going to let them go in secondary till the 25th!



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Old 12-12-2007, 09:19 PM   #2
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Kegging doesn't absolve you of the need to properly age your beers. One week is too short for bottles as well, that barely gives them time to carbonate. Leave your bottles (or kegs) alone for at least 3 weeks before you start ripping into them.



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Old 12-12-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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+1 for Brad, aging is all important and all my ales are 1 month old or longer before tapping them. Yes you can taste them and see how it progresses once the CO2 is hooked up. It takes 7 days to carbonate a beer or ale at the serving pressure of around 10 LBS. You can go up or down depending on the serving temperature. There are charts online that will tell you the proper pressure for every temperature.

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Old 12-12-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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One upside to transferring to the keg is they are easier to transport.

I like to take my kegs outside this time of year where they can cold condition and clear.

My beer fridge is full of serving kegs so that's not an option.

Plus, you'd free up your secondary for your next batch.

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Old 12-12-2007, 11:18 PM   #5
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That is my problem too.. My kegerator is filled with my four serving tanks. How can I properly condition these kegs and still have 4 on tap. Will they condition at room temp?

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Old 12-12-2007, 11:20 PM   #6
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Just to be clear, my beers have had 2 to 3 weeks in primary, and are on their 4th and 3rd week in secondary.

I know time is important, but i wasnt sure for keg vs. bottle time since the idea of bottle time is disolving the sugar and producing co2.

So if my stout has had 2 weeks in primary and now 4 weeks in secondary, and will be in secondary 6 1/2 at christmas, i could put it in the keg christmas day, carbonate it with co2 and serve it that saturday the 29th?

or should i keg this weekend and leave it in the keg till christmas, carbonate then, and serve on the 29th?

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:13 AM   #7
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If you're doing your aging outside the keg then it doesn't matter too much, just that you ARE aging is the important part. I would give it at least a week to carbonate (to make sure you don't get any of that carbonic acid bite) so really at this point you could keg it whenever you like. Waiting until Christmas would just mean slightly less yeast still in suspension instead of falling out in the keg over the same period.

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Originally Posted by gonzoflick
That is my problem too.. My kegerator is filled with my four serving tanks. How can I properly condition these kegs and still have 4 on tap. Will they condition at room temp?
I carbonate my kegs naturally by priming at room temperature (just like bottles). If you want to force carbonate at room temperature you'll need to have your CO2 at a much higher pressure (I think at 73F if you want 2.5 volumes you need about 30PSI but don't quote me on that).
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:08 AM   #8
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I find its easier to just force carb at your serving pressure & temperature. It'll take up to 14 days to evenly carb.

it'll be drinkable, and some beers, like Kolsch, would be just about in their prime at that point.
other beers would benefit from storage, like a porter or stout, or any other 'complexly' flavored beer.

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul
...I carbonate my kegs naturally by priming at room temperature (just like bottles)...
That is what I do also. So I'd recommend adding priming sugar and keg now. By Christmas, it will be almost two weeks of natrually carbing. It probably won't be fully carbed, but when you hook up the C02, it also wont take two more weeks to finish.

With natural carbing, the first couple of pints will be cloudy-just like bottles the spent yeast is on the bottom and you draw that first from the keg. After that, you'll have clear beer.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinison_fan
That is what I do also. So I'd recommend adding priming sugar and keg now. By Christmas, it will be almost two weeks of natrually carbing. It probably won't be fully carbed, but when you hook up the C02, it also wont take two more weeks to finish.

With natural carbing, the first couple of pints will be cloudy-just like bottles the spent yeast is on the bottom and you draw that first from the keg. After that, you'll have clear beer.

You can do both?!?

So priming sugar and beer goes into the keg, seal it, then after two weeks at room temp conditioning, you hook up the co2 cylander without unlocking the keg and infuse that way in the kegorator and after a week its ready to serve?


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