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Old 03-25-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default First Time Kegging - What to Do?

It's my first time kegging and I would like some advice to make it as smooth as possible.

Can someone walk me through the process, from fill to dispensing? Tips, tips, and troubleshooting too.

Kegs are ball lock, cylinder is 10 pounds, and the regulator is dual-gauge.

Is it better / easier to prime with sugar, force carbonate, or follow a different practice.

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Old 03-25-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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It is best told on YouTube.com that's how I learned and they have some really smart people on there to teach you. I would tell u my self but I know I would forget something.

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Old 03-26-2011, 12:47 AM   #3
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It is best told on YouTube.com that's how I learned and they have some really smart people on there to teach you. I would tell u my self but I know I would forget something.
Totally agreed. Youtube visuals are very helpful!
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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I like force carbing, but you can prime with sugar if you want to keep the keg at room temperature for 3 weeks or so. If you do, use 1/2 the sugar you normally would.

As far as the actual technique, it's easy! Just make sure you clean and sanitize the kegs. I actually take mine apart each time. It takes just about 5 minutes, and I've pulled out some serious crud out of the poppits!

After the keg is sanitized, just siphon your beer into the keg, filling from the bottom as you always do when you rack. You can use some keg lube (a food-grade jellied mineral oil) on the seals and o-rings to keep them supple and help prevent leaks. I always set the sanitized lid down on a clean papertowel while I fill the keg. You can fill it up past the black "line" but dont' cover up the end of the short (gas) diptube! Then put the lid on, and seal it up. Give it a shot of co2 at 20 psi or so, check for leaks by spraying with a star-san solution, and then purge by pulling the pressure relief valve. Do it twice, to make sure you can get out as much o2 as possible. Then, put it in the kegerator to chill. Set it at 10-12 psi (if your fridge is 40 degrees or so) and walk away for two weeks if you can stand it! If you MUST have beer sooner, set it at 30 psi for 36 hours, then purge and reset at 10-12 psi.
When you tap it, simply put the black quickdisconnect on it that has about 6-10 feet of beer line and the faucet/tap. When you open it, open it fully. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but if you just want a little beer, don't just open the tap a smidgeon, open it fully. Think of it like a garden hose. What happens when you pinch off the flow of a garden hose? It's a much stronger stream, and the same is true with the tap.
When you tap it, pour the first couple of ounces. Just about two-three ounces. It'll be sediment/yeasty, yucky stuff. Pour that out, and then pour the beer. After that, you'll have no sediment issues if you don't move the keg. If you move it, you'll resuspend the sediment and have to start over with pouring out the first two-three ounces once it settles. Just try to put the keg where you're going to keep it when you set it up.
Sometimes I forget that one beer has to age longer, and I'll have it in front of another beer and I have to move it. It's ok, but I'd rather not. Within about two weeks, the beer is perfectly clear and without sediment on each pour.
That's really about it. It's super easy, and convenient.

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Old 03-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Yooper - my kegging kit came from Kegcowboy. The 5ft beer lines are 3/16" ID by 7/16" OD. What operating / dispensing pressure do you suggest for these lines?

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Yooper - my kegging kit came from Kegcowboy. The 5ft beer lines are 3/16" ID by 7/16" OD. What operating / dispensing pressure do you suggest for these lines?
Kinda short! I'd like to see at least 6' to 8' lines. But for now, go by the temp of your fridge. Here's a chart:
http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

I like my beers at about 2.5 volumes of c02 and my fridge is at 40 degrees. So I use 12 psi.

If it has problems serving with only 5' lines, then you could try turning it down to 11, 10, etc. But the beer will be flatter. Or you could get longer lines, and have no foaming issues. See how it works first- you might be just fine!
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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Small hijack here but this applies - Does anyone alter their out tube for natural carbonating? I plan on using sugar and I noticed the tube touches the bottom - or really close to it. Can I or should I cut a 1/4" or so off the tube to avoid picking up sediment?

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Old 03-28-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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Small hijack here but this applies - Does anyone alter their out tube for natural carbonating? I plan on using sugar and I noticed the tube touches the bottom - or really close to it. Can I or should I cut a 1/4" or so off the tube to avoid picking up sediment?
You can. I don't. Here's why- once the keg chills and sits, the sediment falls out and only the first pull gets any sediment anyway. So, pour out the first 3 ounces (I do the same whether I"ve used priming sugar or force carbonated), dump it and you're fine. You really don't get much more sediment in priming anyway- the difference is negligible.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:41 PM   #9
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I used a 12 foot length of 3/16 inch inside diameter vinyl tubing and got nothing but foam for my troubles.



I then replaced the 3/16 inch inside diameter tubing with a 52 inch long length of 5/16 inch inside diameter tubing and I pour perfect drafts every time now.

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Old 03-28-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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I then replaced the 3/16 inch inside diameter tubing with a 52 inch long length of 5/16 inch inside diameter tubing and I pour perfect drafts every time now.
Damn, and I thought I had a hell of a time corralling my lines! Did you try anything shorter than that, or just decide to go balls-to-the-wall?
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