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Old 12-26-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
dierythmus
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Default First time kegging

Hi All,

Wasn't sure if this should go into the Beginner's thread or this one, so here it goes:

The wife got me a kegging system for Xmas. I have about seven extract brews under my belt, but I've bottled them all in the past. She bought me this from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Homebrew-Kit-R...I2RR772PB7DQKG

I know I'll need some CO2, but other than that, I'm not sure where to go from here. Some general questions:

1) Besides CO2, what else do I need that I might not already have?
2) Is there a step-by-step guide to kegging beer vs. bottling? I don't even know how to open the keg, how kegs work, etc.
3) With force carbonation, can I potentially knock off a week or two off of my brews (vs. bottling), depending on the type?
4) Will I still need to use priming sugar, or was the sole purpose of that to carbonate in the bottles?
5) I'm planning on drilling a hole in my back fridge (or having someone do it for me) so I can keep the CO2 out and the beer in. Any tips on that?

I have a Homebrew Warehouse by me that I can run some of these questions by, but I trust this places ideas more. I'm sure these questions have all been asked, so if there's a one stop shop for these answers, please point me in the right direciton.

Thanks!

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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looks like the only thing you need is Co2 bottle. Opening the keg is easy just pull the pressure release valve to make sure its not pressurized then pull up on the handle and push the lid down into the keg a bit then turn the lid slightly to work the lid out. Install goes the reverse. its seems a bit daunting at first but it isn't that complex. When force carbing you can have carbonated beer faster than waiting for bottles to carb up. but you want to make sure the beer is ready to drink first. just because its carbonated doesn't mean the beer is at its best.
The lines hook up only one way. The keg should be marked in and out by the posts or at least one or the other. Gas goes in beer tap on the out.
You can prime with sugar or just use the CO2 either way works
Just watch for coolant lines before drilling through the fridge I missed mine but it was purely luck. Redoing it I would probably drill a very small hole at first to probe for coolant lines but I went through the side not the back so really depends on where the lines on your fridge run.

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:05 PM   #3
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You have a dual gauge regulator so you can force carb or set it and forget it. I would do a search and try both methods to see what you like best. You do not need sugar to carb but you can if you want. I assume you only have the one keg so you may not want to take the time to carb slow so you can be drinking right away! It sounds like you have the fridge but I am not sure what size? If you can fit it I would leave the co2 inside and look into drilling a 1" hole in the front and buying a shank and a faucet. They are not too expensive and it will save you from having to open the fridge every time you pour a beer and it looks better. Happy kegging!

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CaveBrewing View Post
You have a dual gauge regulator so you can force carb or set it and forget it. I would do a search and try both methods to see what you like best. You do not need sugar to carb but you can if you want. I assume you only have the one keg so you may not want to take the time to carb slow so you can be drinking right away! It sounds like you have the fridge but I am not sure what size? If you can fit it I would leave the co2 inside and look into drilling a 1" hole in the front and buying a shank and a faucet. They are not too expensive and it will save you from having to open the fridge every time you pour a beer and it looks better. Happy kegging!
Thanks - so if I have room in my fridge, there's no reason to drill any holes? I wasn't sure if any part of the system had to be room-temperature. I don't mind opening the door to pour.

I'm assuming that once my beer is normally ready to be bottled, instead of bottling, I simply rack it into the keg? How do I know how much CO2 to add and when? I normally bottle condition at room temperature - is it OK to rack the beer into the keg and immediately put it in the fridge?
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dierythmus View Post

1) Besides CO2, what else do I need that I might not already have?
2) Is there a step-by-step guide to kegging beer vs. bottling? I don't even know how to open the keg, how kegs work, etc.
3) With force carbonation, can I potentially knock off a week or two off of my brews (vs. bottling), depending on the type?
4) Will I still need to use priming sugar, or was the sole purpose of that to carbonate in the bottles?
5) I'm planning on drilling a hole in my back fridge (or having someone do it for me) so I can keep the CO2 out and the beer in. Any tips on that?
1)CO2 is all you need to get one keg up and running with what you already have. Though you can always get a gas manifold, lots of hose, a few perlick taps, and a freezer to convert to a keezer.

2)There are some resources on balancing keg systems and a BYO on kegging that may be helpful. You have figured out how to get the lid off by now right?

3)Kegging can take time off your waiting to drink beer. some keg, shake, and drink with in a half hour to an hour of kegging. i take a week to force card. just depends on your method.

4) you can carb that way in a keg but you won't shave any time off you wait that way. I just use co2, cause it is pretty cheap after you have the tank.

5) yeah you can have you co2 outside the fridge. I have a keezer set up so my hole goes through the collar, which doesn't hurt the fridge at all. You can use a piece of stainless to go through the hole and connect a piece of hose on either side. this will allow you to drill a smaller hole and when you press the hose close to the wall (and clamp it) it will cover the edge of the hole. this way you don't need silicone.

.02c
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dierythmus View Post

Thanks - so if I have room in my fridge, there's no reason to drill any holes? I wasn't sure if any part of the system had to be room-temperature. I don't mind opening the door to pour.

I'm assuming that once my beer is normally ready to be bottled, instead of bottling, I simply rack it into the keg? How do I know how much CO2 to add and when? I normally bottle condition at room temperature - is it OK to rack the beer into the keg and immediately put it in the fridge?
Yep everything can go in the fridge. Yes when your beer has reached its FG and you think it is ready then rack it to the keg. Put the gas on and purge the top a couple of times to get the oxygen out and you are ready to carb. Do a search to read up on what levels are appropriate for the style and to what you like.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
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http://www.brewersfriend.com/keg-car...on-calculator/ This should help you for your keg carbonation. Just have to find a chart to find your volumes of CO2. You can always add more CO2 if under carbonated. I set mine around 10.0 psi or 12.0 psi depending on the beer of course, and the temp of the keezer. So i do the sit and forget method.

P.S. this is a sweet site for alot of stuff. If you dont have a beer program on your computer.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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Thanks again all.

Just to be clear - is it OK for the CO2 tank to go in the fridge as well? If it's cold, will that affect the pressure in the tank in any way (will I need to adjust the pressure accordingly, etc.)?

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Old 12-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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I mounted my Co2 tank outside it's just way easier to get at it to make pressure adjustments and to get a better reading of the gas left in the tank, not to mention it freed up room inside the refrigerator too.

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Old 12-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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You can put your tank inside. I did the same think as ^^. Just makes it easy to adjust my pressure. Now my secondary regulator is in my keezer.

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