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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > A keg conditioning question
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:44 AM   #1
Brewski1975
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Default A keg conditioning question

I've seen alot of debates about keg conditioning and force carbing and which is better. I'm hoping to avoid that here if possible. I'd like to try to keg condition my next keg which is a 5 gallon IPA. It's just something I'd like to give a try, I've seen alot of rough estimates on the amount of priming sugar to use but I'd like to hear from those that do this on a regular basis on how much priming sugar they use? I've heard many different estimates, most of which being 3 ozs or a half cup. Does this seem accurate?

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Old 02-10-2013, 04:48 AM   #2
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I almost always prime a keg to carbonate and really like the results. I use BeerSmith to do the calculations and use plain table sugar. I undershoot a little bit since I find it easier to make up lacking carbonation once I hook up the gas as opposed to having to vent the keg a few times to bring overly carbed beer back in line.

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Old 02-10-2013, 05:47 AM   #3
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Why add sugar at all?
If you secondary directly to a keg, it will naturally carbonate without extra sugar. You'll need a pressure relief valve set at 10 psi.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewski1975 View Post
I've seen alot of debates about keg conditioning and force carbing and which is better. I'm hoping to avoid that here if possible. I'd like to try to keg condition my next keg which is a 5 gallon IPA. It's just something I'd like to give a try, I've seen alot of rough estimates on the amount of priming sugar to use but I'd like to hear from those that do this on a regular basis on how much priming sugar they use? I've heard many different estimates, most of which being 3 ozs or a half cup. Does this seem accurate?
How much you need depends on what carbonation level you're looking for, and how much headspace there will be in the keg. I've had good luck using a bottle priming calculator like this one and then using 75% of the amount I'd need for bottling. And I second the suggestion to err on the side of undercarbed. A few days on the gas will fix a slightly undercarbed keg, but a slightly overcarbed keg can be a nightmare.

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Why add sugar at all?
If you secondary directly to a keg, it will naturally carbonate without extra sugar. You'll need a pressure relief valve set at 10 psi.
At fermentation temps 10psi will only get you ~1.4 vol of carbonation. The spunding valve needs to be set closer to ~25-30psi for more standard carbonation levels. It's also a fine line deciding when to either attach the spunding valve or turn up the spunding valve pressure, since if you do it too early you can stress the yeast and cause off flavors, and if you do it too late there won't be enough fermentation left over to fully carbonate the beer.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default Keg Priming

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneBriar View Post
I almost always prime a keg to carbonate and really like the results. I use BeerSmith to do the calculations and use plain table sugar. I undershoot a little bit since I find it easier to make up lacking carbonation once I hook up the gas as opposed to having to vent the keg a few times to bring overly carbed beer back in line.
So, I'm thinking of trying this with a sweet stout I have in the secondary at the moment, and I have a question - do you pressurize the keg after racking to it to insure a proper seal? By that I mean, hit it with the gas, then disconnect...what I'm trying to shoot for is to "cask condition" the stout in the keg.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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Yes, most people hit it with gas to make sure the keg's sealed. Otherwise all of the CO2 created will just escape, and you'll be right back where you started.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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Yes, most people hit it with gas to make sure the keg's sealed. Otherwise all of the CO2 created will just escape, and you'll be right back where you started.

Thanks for the info. That's kinda what I was thinking, but just wanted to be sure. I've been force-carbing up to now, but my pipeline is good for the moment, so I wanted to give this stout some extra conditioning time.
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