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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Keg choice
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default Keg choice

I have previously bottled beer, but after receiving a couple of plastic kegs for xmas I will be giving kegging a try - anything that cuts down on the labour of bottling sounds like a great idea to me!

I will still be carbonating my beer in the same way; adding sugar to the keg in order to prime it and waiting 3-4 weeks before sampling the beer.

I thought I would stock up on kegs, which would allow me to up my brewing production big time, so had a look on Ebay for kegs. I have seen some cornelius kegs for sale, which basically appear to be the same as the kegs I have now only steel. I did some reading and it appears that people use the cornelius kegs as they can force carbonate the beer, so no priming is involved.

This immediately appealed to me, but I wasn't sure whether the different carbonation techniques made any difference to the final product. I will be relying on the yeast to carbonate my beer, but I could do the same job by pumping in Co2 and the beer will be ready in 24 hrs ish.

Can anybody confirm whether the different techniques make any difference to the beer? Does anybody here still prefer to prime beers the traditional way?

Any help will be appreciated as I may start buying these, albeit one by one due to the price.

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Old 01-15-2008, 09:04 PM   #2
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Well, I'm new to kegging, but I can't tell any difference between the forced carbonated and the primed beer. I'm actually priming my next keg anyway, because I only have two taps, and while the other keg waits to be put in the kegerator, it can carbonate and be all ready to tap when one blows.

If you prime the keg, you'll have a little sediment in the bottom of the keg just as you do when you bottle condition. That's usually gone with the first 1/2 glass of beer or so, then the rest of the beer is clear.

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Old 01-15-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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I haven't primed many kegs, but other than the increased sediment, I couldn't tell the difference between primed and force carbed kegs.


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Old 01-15-2008, 09:17 PM   #4
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I can tell the difference. The naturally carbed beers have a bunch of sediment in em...

truthfully I can't tell the difference which is why I force carb. quick, easy, less sediment. why not?

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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Cheers guys. I may have to do some shopping. Drinking my beers 24hours after secondary sounds good.

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:42 PM   #6
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I naturally carbonate my kegs, my kegerator only holds 2 and they're both for serving. I've force carbonated a few kegs as well though and I can't tell the difference.

Just remember, fast carbonating doesn't mean you can skip aging. Green beer is green beer.

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul
I naturally carbonate my kegs, my kegerator only holds 2 and they're both for serving. I've force carbonated a few kegs as well though and I can't tell the difference.

Just remember, fast carbonating doesn't mean you can skip aging. Green beer is green beer.
When you say just for serving, what do you mean? Is it not possible to get a tap attachment for the Cornelius keg?

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:47 PM   #8
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Your beer will not be drinkable in 2 weeks, it will be sweet and the yeast is still working. Yes the Corny kegs have connectors for Co2 in and beer out which homebrew shops have for sale. Generally ale takes 4-5 weeks and lager takes 7-8 weeks aging. If 12 LBS of Co2 is applied to a keg at 40 degrees it will carbonate in 6 to 7 days. There are charts for the proper serving pressure for all temps available online. Beer can be force carbed faster at a higher pressure too but don't go overboard with this. Information is online about this too.

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Old 01-16-2008, 12:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam's Apples
When you say just for serving, what do you mean? Is it not possible to get a tap attachment for the Cornelius keg?
I just meant that my kegerator only holds 2 corny kegs and they're both attached to faucets. You can definitely buy disconnects for corny kegs, check your LHBS.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:49 AM   #10
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I asked this same question a couple of weeks ago. Here's the very simple answer:

Forced Carb = very quick, clearer beer, standard alcohol content.
Natural Carb = slower, more sediment/Cloudier beer, higher alcohol content (up to .5%)

The beers that I know only myself an few people who appreciate good beers are going to drink, I prime, and let them naturally carbonate. I don't mind the sediment and the extra .5% is good!

The beers that I brew for mass consumption by less evolved palates, I force carbonate to keep it clearer and have it ready to drink sooner.

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