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Old 03-28-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Keg carbonate and condition outside of a fridge

I have 2 kegs which is the most that will fit in the kegerator I have right now. I would like to be able to have a keg conditioning and carbonating in an area that is about 66-68 degress so that when one keg is finished I have another carbed and conditioned nicely all ready to go. My question is will the CO2 absorb at these temps and the beer condition ok at these temps? I have an extra 10lb CO2 tank and an old regulator lying around and was thinking of hooking it up to do this.

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Old 03-28-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
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I am no expert, but I don't think so. Well, sort of. I guess technically it would carbonate, but since you likely would get it cold before serving, the carbonation would change. I believe it would then be overcarbed. Not a huge deal really as you can just release the gas a couple of times and give it a little time to balance itself.

However, take all that with a grain of salt, i am no expert on the matter and could be wrong. Someone will come along eventually and answer your question better.

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Old 03-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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I think cubbies is right. So what I do is this- when my fridge is full, I prime the next keg with priming sugar, and keep it at 63 degrees or so (my room temperature). When the keg in the fridge blows, I just vent the "new" one, and hook it up to the gas and it's all carbonated. There is some sediment in the first couple of pints, but that's true of force carbed beer, too.

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Old 03-28-2008, 01:28 PM   #4
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It's no problem to do that, you just need to set the correct pressure for the temp. There are tables you can use to figure it out based on temp and volumes desired.

This one is a little hard to read, but I know there are others around:
Force Carb Table

EDIT: One note. Whenever you change the temp (like when you move the keg to the fridge) you need to use the table to figure out the new pressure to maintain the same CO2 volumes.

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Old 03-28-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
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You can force carbonate at any temperature, you just need to apply the appropriate amount of pressure. For example if your kegerator is at 42F and you have your pressure at 13PSI you are getting 2.5 volumes of CO2 in your beer. To achieve the same 2.5 volumes at 68F you would need to apply 27PSI.

When you move that keg into the kegerator, just purge the headspace and give it a few days to chill. I naturally carbonate my beer normally, but I've used this method as well. The key is to get the same volume of CO2 into the beer as it will have once it's in the kegerator.

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Old 03-28-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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The only problem I see is that your beer will benefit from some cold condtioning too. Conditioning you beer for 3 weeks or so at 68*F is a good idea. However cold conditioning it for a week is a good idea too. And during that time you can easily force carbonate.

Here's what happens when you cold condition: It causes the yeast that's still in suspension to fall out (ie settle to the bottom of you keg). This makes for a better tasting glass of beer IMHO. The first glass or 2 will have some yeast in it, but the majority will stay on the bottom of the keg after that first glass is pulled.

Some folks cut off a 1/4" to 1/2" of the dip tube, others take a phillips head or torx screwdriver insert it in the end of the dip tube and bend the dip tube upwards slightly to prevent pulling any yeast. The second option is what I did because 1. I use corny kegs as secondary frementers and 2. if I want to take the corny on a road trip racking it off any yeast that may be left over will keep it from resuspending in the beer.

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Old 03-29-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
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I think for me it would be best to do what yooperbrew suggested and just naturally carbonate a third keg. Actually i would rather buy another fridge for lagering and conditioning, but need to find where that would go in the basement first. thanks for the help guys

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Old 03-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #8
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I had a similar question, but I wanted to rack the finished beer to the kegs, hook up the gas just to purge the oxygen and create a good seal, then store at room temperature to let the beer age for 3-4 weeks. Then, when a spot opens up in the fridge, force carbonate.

Are there any downsides to this, other than having to wait for the beer to carbonate when I put it in the fridge. I don't mind waiting a few days for this.

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Old 03-31-2008, 03:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughesj
I had a similar question, but I wanted to rack the finished beer to the kegs, hook up the gas just to purge the oxygen and create a good seal, then store at room temperature to let the beer age for 3-4 weeks. Then, when a spot opens up in the fridge, force carbonate.

Are there any downsides to this, other than having to wait for the beer to carbonate when I put it in the fridge. I don't mind waiting a few days for this.

This is my question as well. Also, if you carbonate the beer can you then remove it from the co2 and store it at room temp? If you can when you re-hook it up and cool it down will it still be carbonated?
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:08 AM   #10
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You can store it uncarbonated. I don't believe you will get the same affects of the aging period as you would if it was carbonated (some of the flavour changes require the prescense of CO2 I believe). Just be sure to completely purge the headspace of air after you seal up the keg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewlicious
...if you carbonate the beer can you then remove it from the co2 and store it at room temp? If you can when you re-hook it up and cool it down will it still be carbonated?
You don't not need to keep the gas connected to store the keg once it is carbonated. Unless there is a leak in your keg it will not lose any carbonation during aging.
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