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Old 02-22-2006, 08:34 PM   #1
Jester4176
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Default Kegging into Mini-Kegs

Before someone mentions it...because I'm a n00b to this forum...I did a search for my questions before asking them. I am new to the homebrew kegging scene, but have all the equipment I need from my old kegerator in college. I no longer have the kegerator, so I don't have a space for the soda kegs. Tried arguing the wife for a new kegerator, but I lost.... So I'm looking at the mini-kegs because they'll fit in the kitchen fridge. I have been reading about using these, and see more negative feedback than positive on them.

I came across another thread that has this listed:

Quote:
Filling the Mini Keg with finished beer.

If you would like to fill the mini keg with a finished beer from a larger keg. Follow these steps.

1) Pre-chill the mini keg to the same or colder temperature than the beer temperature.

2) Raise the Co2 volume of the beer being transferred. If the beer is in a five gallon keg, raise the Pressure by 10 psi. and shake the keg three to four times for 24 hours to introduce a higher C02 volume.

3) After the beer has acquired a higher volume of Co2. lower the pressure to 2 psi. Transfer the beer into the mini keg by filling the pre-chilled keg from the bottom up. Insert the bung and refrigerate.

By over carbonating the beer before it goes into the mini keg you compensate for the lose during the filling. With the mini keg cold the beer retains more of the Co2 by not getting hot and evaporation the Co2.
Has anyone done this? If so, how did the beer turn out? Also, how much head space do you leave at the top of the mini-keg? And will the oxygen in that headspace disturb the flavor of the beer? Also...would the beer in the soda keg HAVE to be chilled, or can it be carbonated warm for a few days and then transferred to the mini-keg? How long would these mini-kegs last like this?

I'd REALLY like to get away from bottling, even though I use 24oz bottles to ease the pain of bottling. But not having a spare fridge for a kegerator, I'm limited to mini-kegs or bottling. Trying to figure out a way to use the mini kegs with success.
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Old 02-22-2006, 08:46 PM   #2
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You need to have another talk with your wife

Soda kegs and a scrounged fridge are the way to go.

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Old 02-22-2006, 08:56 PM   #3
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The local brew shop sells a mini gasser for these brew kegs. I guess that you carbonate them as you would a bottle but the gasser keeps the head space filled with CO2 as the beer is dispensed. The link for the product is http://www.breworganic.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=705
I have no experience with how well they work but 4 of them is required for 5 gallons.

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Old 02-22-2006, 10:38 PM   #4
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I had this argument with SWMBO too, but I made her help me everytime I bottled and she eventually caved in.

Our problem was space... we had access to several larger refridgerators, but didn't have the room.

I ended up getting a Sanyo 4912 and currently using cobra taps. We keep it in our living room and it looks pretty decent. SWMBO keeps a silver toned lamp on top of it and it looks pretty contemporary for a keg in your den.

I also have a tap-a-draft system, but I have never used it. I got it for christmas, but I'm not too fond of the co2 cartridges it uses since they are non-standard.

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Old 02-22-2006, 10:42 PM   #5
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Offer to buy your wife a new fridge, that just about always works.

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Old 02-22-2006, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joutlaw
I had this argument with SWMBO too, but I made her help me everytime I bottled and she eventually caved in.

Our problem was space... we had access to several larger refridgerators, but didn't have the room.

I ended up getting a Sanyo 4912 and currently using cobra taps. We keep it in our living room and it looks pretty decent. SWMBO keeps a silver toned lamp on top of it and it looks pretty contemporary for a keg in your den.
You my friend are a genius! Make her suffer and then let her think the kegerator was her idea so she can avoid helping you bottle And the icing on the cake is that now it's in your den I will definately slip this card under my sleeve, thank you!
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatsOnTap
You my friend are a genius! Make her suffer and then let her think the kegerator was her idea so she can avoid helping you bottle And the icing on the cake is that now it's in your den I will definately slip this card under my sleeve, thank you!
Thank you... I thought it was the best way to get ourselves on the same level. Now she likes having the beer right there in the den. We have a shelf next to the Sanyo with 15-20 assorted pint glasses, and she keeps her pilsner glasses hidden away from my clumsy friends.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester4176
Trying to figure out a way to use the mini kegs with success.
Now there's an oxymoron. The words 'mini-keg' and 'success' cannot be used in the same sentence. The last one of mine was pitched into the Gulf of Mexico just off Pine Island some years ago and I hope it's rotting in hell for what it did to my precious beer that was hand carried all the way from Montreal.

Drawbacks-
1) each keg has a limited life span- the inner plastic lining will crack after 2-4 uses and cause your beer to take on a metallic taste from the steel keg.

2) you must drink the beer all in one session. Once it's tapped the beer will lose it's carbonation in fairly short order. OK if you're at party, not if you only drink a pint or two a day.

3) the CO2 cartridges are not meant to carbonate the beer. Not big enough and friggin' expensive. They're for dispensing and maintaining pressure only. This means you must keg condition with priming sugar (see below) or transfer pre-carbonated beer from elsewhere.

4) very easy to over/under prime with sugar. No fun to have 5l of flat beer, even less fun cleaning up 5l of beer off the floor walls and ceiling when one splits.

5) the keg tappers w/ CO2cartridges, by design, cannot dispense beer and maintain carbonation levels at the same time. If you lower the pressure enough that there's no foam the beer will go flat. If you raise it enough to keep proper carbonation, you'll get nothing but foam. Count on going through 2-3 cartridges per keg.

Advantages-

1) umm, they look nice when converted into a lamp. Like old Chianti bottles.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:42 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback. If I had the room, I'd DEFINANTLTY get the kegerator and use it. My old college kegerator (full size fridge with freezer) is still in my mom's storage shed (wife refuses to let me keep it in OUR garage), and worked when I put it there. The only issue is space...and the fact the wife hates the hideously ugly puke yellow color of it. Think I'll make her help me bottle a few times and see if she'll cave. And if she does give in...the next question is where to put it? In the computer room so I can surf the board while pouring a brew...or next to the couch, so I can watch tv while pouring....hmmmm...

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Old 02-23-2006, 04:52 AM   #10
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I always thought the house was the wife's, and the garage was the husband's...? (And my wife agrees with me...scarey)

Well, if she doesn't like the color, Wal-Mart sells spray paint for like $.90 a can. A little tape, scuff pads, 2-4 cans of paint, and it's a whole new fridge.

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