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-   -   First time kegger seeks input... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/first-time-kegger-seeks-input-1607/)

Driftwood 07-21-2005 03:31 AM

First time kegger seeks input...
 
Hey all,

My kegging buddy is away, so I put this question to you wise men...

I'm planning on kegging for the first time in about a week. I'll be getting a 5 gal soda keg and necessary extras to keg the beer, and I wanted to get peoples input for three senarios:

1. Naturally carbonating / conditioning: this i think i get, you just add your priming sugar, add you beer and leave it alone for... how long? same as bottles (at least a week)? longer? Anything else I should know if I go this way?


2. Force carbonating: I guess I don't add priming sugar then? so what about conditioning? should I leave the beer longer in secondary to condition, or condition in the keg? Any other tips?


3. Filtration after secondary and then force carbonation: might borrow my dad's wine filter to see what'll happen... so how do you handle conditioning in this case, assuming most yeast is removed in the filtration? Somewhere on this board, someone mentioned your beer won't keep as long if you filter out all your yeast, can someone elaborate?


So those are the three cases. Input on any or all would be appreciated. And if you had the means to do it any way, which way would you do it and why?

Thanks...

P.S. Kegging is goin to be so cool! :D

AlaskaAl(e) 07-21-2005 08:01 AM

1. Naturally carbonating / conditioning: this i think i get, you just add your priming sugar, add you beer and leave it alone for... how long? same as bottles (at least a week)? longer? Anything else I should know if I go this way?

Well, IMO, if you naturally carbonate the keg you're missing the point of kegging. Even with the natural carbonation you'll still have to eventually use something to keep service pressure up. It'll service with the natural pressure for a little while but you won't get the whole keg. Also, you'll end up with a fair amount of very-yeasty beer before it comes out tasting how you actually intended.

2. Force carbonating: I guess I don't add priming sugar then? so what about conditioning? should I leave the beer longer in secondary to condition, or condition in the keg? Any other tips?

This is my prefered method. You will find several differing opinions on how to go about the actual carbonating process but I personally set the regulator at my servicing pressure and let it sit for a few days. As for conditioning, I would suggest giving it a little extra time in the secondary and, if you have room, let it chill for awhile cold and you'll be impressed.

I'm not sure about the yeast question but I can't see how filtering/force carbonating can be bad. I happen to like clean, cold, and properly carbonated beer on tap. It's kinda why I do this whole homebrewing thing.

bikebryan 07-21-2005 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Driftwood
Hey all,

My kegging buddy is away, so I put this question to you wise men...

I'm planning on kegging for the first time in about a week. I'll be getting a 5 gal soda keg and necessary extras to keg the beer, and I wanted to get peoples input for three senarios:

1. Naturally carbonating / conditioning: this i think i get, you just add your priming sugar, add you beer and leave it alone for... how long? same as bottles (at least a week)? longer? Anything else I should know if I go this way?


2. Force carbonating: I guess I don't add priming sugar then? so what about conditioning? should I leave the beer longer in secondary to condition, or condition in the keg? Any other tips?


3. Filtration after secondary and then force carbonation: might borrow my dad's wine filter to see what'll happen... so how do you handle conditioning in this case, assuming most yeast is removed in the filtration? Somewhere on this board, someone mentioned your beer won't keep as long if you filter out all your yeast, can someone elaborate?


So those are the three cases. Input on any or all would be appreciated. And if you had the means to do it any way, which way would you do it and why?

Thanks...

P.S. Kegging is goin to be so cool! :D

1. "Naturally carbonating" beer in a keg is problematic. The lid on a corny won't seal unless you hit it with some CO2 pressure to start with. You'll also need a CO2 source to purge the headspace of room air so you don't get oxygen spoilage. Since you need a CO2 source to do all that, just use it to carbonate. If you just prime it in the keg and close the lid, two things will result: oxygen spoilage, and flat beer. The pressure from natural carbing won't build up fast enough to seal the lid, meaning all your CO2 will just leak out through the lid.

2. Force carbonating is the way to go with kegs. Just rack into the keg, seal the lid, purge the headspace, then set your serving pressure (consult the charts) and let it sit for about a week. You'll end up with beer precisely carbonated to your taste, and well conditioned.

3. Filtration is up to you. I don't filter and don't have any problems. Your first glass or two may have some sediment in it, but after that you should be getting pretty clear results.

cbotrice 07-21-2005 02:09 PM

I am relatively new to the beer game and I didn't want to bottle so I went straight to kegs. I don't filter between secondary and keg, I do try and leave it in the secondary for a week or two, I force carbonate at 30psi for 48 or so hours and then check it to see if it is carbonated to my liking and then I try not to drink it all before it spends 2-3 weeks in the fridge as it gets better when it gets to that age in the keg. If it sits for those 2-3 weeks it will settle out better and taste smoother, but it is hard not to get into it and drink it as it is so good and so easy to just walk out to the garage and pour another. MP Wall

awillis 07-21-2005 04:45 PM

My question here is, how is the specific gravity influenced when force carbonated? Furthermore, I'm assuming the gravity continues to decrease but does it decrease faster or slower when conditioning in the chilled keg. Should the keg be chilled at 40-45 F at servicing pressure for at least two days in order to let the brew condition to a level similar to two weeks when naturally carbinating? TIA

rsitzejr 07-21-2005 07:23 PM

I have two kegs, one CO2 cylynder, my plan is to keg this batch of beer, Put CO2 on it, about 15 lbs, for a week and test. Brew a second batch, once it's ready to keg, naturally caronate, put enough CO2 in to seal it and get the oxygen out and refrigerate, and return my cyclyder back to the keg I'm drinking.

bikebryan 07-21-2005 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by awillis
My question here is, how is the specific gravity influenced when force carbonated? Furthermore, I'm assuming the gravity continues to decrease but does it decrease faster or slower when conditioning in the chilled keg. Should the keg be chilled at 40-45 F at servicing pressure for at least two days in order to let the brew condition to a level similar to two weeks when naturally carbinating? TIA

By the time you are ready to "naturally carbonate" the fermentation process is done. The amount of SG decrease and alcohol increase you could get using priming is so slight it's not worth mentioning.

So, bottome line: how you carbonate has nothing to do with SG of the brew.

bikebryan 07-21-2005 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsitzejr
I have two kegs, one CO2 cylynder, my plan is to keg this batch of beer, Put CO2 on it, about 15 lbs, for a week and test. Brew a second batch, once it's ready to keg, naturally caronate, put enough CO2 in to seal it and get the oxygen out and refrigerate, and return my cyclyder back to the keg I'm drinking.

The second batch: how do you plan on "naturally carbonating" it? Put it in bottles, seal them, wait, then pour them into the keg? Or are you going to rack to the keg, prime it, seal it, hit it with CO2 to purge and pressurize it and wait?

If it's priming in the keg, why bother? You have to purge the headspace and pressurize it with CO2 to prevent oxidation and seal the lid, let alone get pressure to push it out of the keg later. All you are going to do is increase the amount of sediment in your keg - and one of the points of kegging is to get rid of extra sediment.

Robbw 03-06-2006 11:51 PM

I usually condition at 20psi for 4 days in cool storage. I've been told to try 2 days at 30psi so I have two kegs that I conditioned like that. Hopefully, they'll be carbonated sufficiently.


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