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Old 05-01-2012, 03:20 AM   #1
Canadianbrewer2012
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Default First time kegger

I find myself a little confused and could use some knowledge from one of the ever so helpful seasoned brewers on here ... I recently finished bottling my first brew and am waiting for carbonation to complete .. So.. I know that people say to wait up to 3-4 weeks to pop a bottle open not only to let your beer carbonate but also to allow it to establish "certain flavors".. Well I recently acquired all of the equipment I need to keg my beer as well .. With doing forced carbonation will I be able to carbonate my beer with my c02 immediately after my 2 week fermentation process and enjoy? .. Or is there more of an aging process to follow when kegging like there is when bottling for it to establish "certain flavors?" is the wait when bottling just for carbonation purposes?

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:45 AM   #2
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What do you mean by certian flavors? Are you talking about giving the yeast time to reduce diacetyl? That is something that usually takes place following fermentation, and will mostly happen in the fermenter. It does take a little bit of time to force carb your beer using the set and forget method. You can speed this up by using a carbonation stone in your keg, or by shaking the keg while applying co2. Just having carbonated beer will change the flavor as having co2 in the beer will change the way you precieve the flavors.

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Old 05-01-2012, 12:52 PM   #3
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Short answer: yes you can quickly carb a keg, but its still a green, immature beer with extra carbonic acid (bite), so you really should only do this in emergencies.

Also I'd go for 3 weeks in primary if you're skipping secondary.

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Old 05-01-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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I do use a secondary ... Basically it's one week primary.. One week secondary ... Depending on observations ... So what you saying is I should still be waiting to drink out of my keg after I carbonate it for the same amount of time as when bottling?

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Old 05-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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There has been a ton of research done around here and it has found that the only need for a secondary is if you're dry hopping or adding fruit. I leave mine in the primary for 3 weeks no problem. Personally i don't think you are giving the beer enough time in the primary.

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Old 05-01-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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Carbed beer tastes different than non-carbed beer. I usually try one after a day, and it tastes like green beer.
Here's my schedule that works really well.
-3 Weeks Primary
-Keg it- Set lid with 10lbs, put in kegerator or however you're keeping it cold. Wait 24 hours.
-Hook up CO2, put pressure at 18, let it sit this way for a week. Pull the relief valve on the keg a couple times during the week.
-After 7 days, pull relief valve, turn pressure down to 10-12. Serve.

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Spartan-

I'm wondering why you pull the relief so many times? I understand doing it once or twice at the start to purge oxygen, but why in the middle of force carbing? Also why put it under pressure then wait 24 hours? Why not just keep the CO2 on it at the pressure you plan to carb it? Not trying to put you method down (If it work, it works. right), just curious about the reason behind it.

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Old 05-01-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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I agree, 1 week primary isn't enough.

I basically 3 week primary all my beers now, with few exceptions (but good reasons when I do) and then keg or bottle.

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Old 05-01-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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CO2 doesn't absorb into room temperature beer very well. It absorbs into cold beer really well. So I wait until it gets cold before starting to force carb it.
I don't know if it hurts anything to have the gas on while its cooling down, I just think it doesn't do anything productive.

I pull the relief to get some movement of CO2 through the beer. You can hear it bubbling after you pull it, so I know that CO2 is traveling through the beer. ( I usually carb through the liquid side)

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Old 05-01-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartangreen
CO2 doesn't absorb into room temperature beer very well. It absorbs into cold beer really well. So I wait until it gets cold before starting to force carb it.
I don't know if it hurts anything to have the gas on while its cooling down, I just think it doesn't do anything productive.

I pull the relief to get some movement of CO2 through the beer. You can hear it bubbling after you pull it, so I know that CO2 is traveling through the beer. ( I usually carb through the liquid side)
FWIW pushing gas through the liquid out with the pressure relief open is counterproductive to carbonation. It's actually a great method for removing all of the carbonation from an overcarbed beer. The agitation of the large bubles forces the residual CO2 leftover from fermentation out of solution. For pushing the gas through the beer to be effective you need to use a carbonation stone to break the gas into millions of tiny bubbles.
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