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Old 06-14-2006, 06:41 PM   #1
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Default Help - Question about priming with DME in a keg

I have searched these threads for an answer, and I can't seem to find it. How much DME should I use to carbonate my beer naturally in the keg? By the time these beers are ready to drink, my kegerator should be up and running, but I want to have a few kegs ready for that day.

So, I am getting ready to rack from my secondary into the corny kegs - forgot how much DME I should use to naturally carbonate . . . any help?

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Old 06-15-2006, 07:48 AM   #2
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I normally keg condition with 5/8 - 2/3 cup of DME depending on the style I brewed.

Good luck,
Wild

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Old 06-15-2006, 10:55 AM   #3
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What is the advantage of priming with DME? Wouldn't it make more sense to force carbonate when you get your kegorator set up?
It doesn't take that long to force carbonate. If you gently rock the keg with pressure applied it will be ready within about 24 hours.

I'm kinda new to this kegging thing so maybe I'm missing something. I personally wouldn't want the sediment in the bottom of the keg.

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Old 06-15-2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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Use 1/2 the amount of DME that you would use to bottle to prime the keg. The reason I don't use force carbing is that I only have one CO2 tank and don't want to have to be hassled with unhooking it from the fridge to do the shake, shake, shake act since I don't have enough room to do it near the fridge. My local HBS guy told me that this is what he does with his kegs. I figure the extra time it takes won't be a problem as I am planning on having a number of kegs sitting ready.

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Old 06-15-2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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There's no advantage to carbonating with LME, DME or sugar. There's also no need to shake a keg to force carbonate it, contrary to constant discussion.

Just attach your CO2 line, set the pressure to the desired serving pressure and come back in a few days, possibly a week. Your beer will be completely carbonated.
You only NEED to shake the keg if you want to speed up the process.

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Old 06-15-2006, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
What is the advantage of priming with DME? Wouldn't it make more sense to force carbonate when you get your kegorator set up? I'm kinda new to this kegging thing so maybe I'm missing something. I personally wouldn't want the sediment in the bottom of the keg.
It's a practice followed by those who enjoy real ale and the mouthfeel that accompanies it. The sediment is usually dispensed within the first to second draw leaving just the live beer to taste.

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Old 06-15-2006, 02:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild
It's a practice followed by those who enjoy real ale and the mouthfeel that accompanies it. The sediment is usually dispensed within the first to second draw leaving just the live beer to taste.

Wild
Exactly . . . even though CAMRA is a bit overzealous, I find myself aligned with their view on real ale. I'll admit, I am a real ale enthusiast, and I think that force carbing is kind of . . . well . . . cheating. Besides, one of the reasons I love my homebrew is that it is naturally conditioned, so now that I am getting into kegging, I want to continue naturally conditioning my ales in the cask.

Someday, when I can afford it, I want to have a beer engine from which to serve it. No need for CO2 at all!!!!
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
Someday, when I can afford it, I want to have a beer engine from which to serve it. No need for CO2 at all!!!!
How will you keep your beer carbonated once you start drawning off a few pints?
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Old 06-15-2006, 06:34 PM   #9
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Real ale is not carbonated to a great extent . . . instead, the sparkler at the end of the beer engine makes it fizzy and releases what CO2 is left in the beer itself. Most casks are drained over the course of a few days and the beer changes during those days due to oxidation - but most real ale drinkers see this as a good thing, adding complexity to the ale.

At home, I will not always have the ability to drain my cask in a few days. I may be able to take down a 5-gallon corny in a weekend with some buddies, but under most circumstances, my casks will be on air too long to ensure that they remain fresh. For this reason, I may use a cask breather and a wee bit of CO2 just to keep a blanket on the top of the keg - hopefully not enough to carbonate it.

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Old 06-16-2006, 10:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
Someday, when I can afford it, I want to have a beer engine from which to serve it. No need for CO2 at all!!!!
I was the same way but couldn't wait. Phoenix had its first Real Ale Festival in 11/04 and I had a conditioning Roggen. I built my own cheap version using an RV hand pump. It worked great and I was able to pump out 5 gallons in less than 2 hours. Check out BYO 12/04 issue for plans if you find your patience waning.

Wild
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