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Old 04-03-2013, 12:00 AM   #1
Hauger
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Default Kegging and Storing

A question for all you experienced brewers. Right now I brew and ferment in my house, kegging in Sanke kegs that I put in my under-counter DIY kegerator where I force carb it and serve.

What I'm about to do is build a STC-1000 controlled fermentation chamber out of a chest freezer. I plan on using it to crash cool as well.

What I would like to do is set up something outside my kegerator that I could use to force carb and condition the homebrew so when I move it to the Kegerator it's ready to drink. Naturally though, eventually SHMBO is going to get annoyed at the number of refrigerator-based cabinets I need.

I was thinking I could use the fermentation chamber, cooling the kegs to maybe 3C to 5C for carbing over 2 days at 30PSI (seems to work in my Kegerator) then storing in a warmer place (maybe 70F or so) to condition. I would rather keep them cool to condition, but unless someone has a great way to partition and independently cool a chest freezer, it's the best I can do. Any thoughts with this plan?

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Old 04-03-2013, 06:02 AM   #2
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Warming them up once they're carbed will force some of the CO2 out of solution, so it will take a little bit once you move them to the serving chamber to get them to recarb again. It will certainly work though, and should condition faster at room temp. You could always carb at room temp too, although it would take higher pressures, which I suppose for a sanke would be tougher to get rid of than in a corny with a pressure relief. The other option is to forgo force carbing and just naturally carb in the keg. You've got to use less priming sugar than for a batch of bottles (you'll have to search for the proper amount), but add it to your keg and let it carb up naturally at room temp until its carbed, then you can move it into the kegerator.

There's a lot of debate on the benefits of naturally carbing, but the one thing that it would probably help the best in your situation is to remove some of the oxygen that inevitably gets into the keg during transfer. Since at room temp oxidation should occur faster, the second fermentation will help to prevent that while the keg sits at room temp. The downside to naturally carbing is if you've got a big beer that you want to serve quickly, but might not be carbed up in time. Although, while I've heard that big bottled beers take longer to carb, I'm not sure if the same happens within a keg, so you might be alright.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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Never thought of natural carbing in the keg, but not a bad idea. The "problem" with that though is I was looking to start filtering the keg beer as well to avoid the normal 2 pints of cloudy beer before clearing. I know a lot of homebrewers think filtering is unnecessary and I don't disagree, except I like to gauge how full my keg is by giving it a shake from time to time, something I don't do with homebrew since it disturbs the sediment bed and gives me another 2 pints of cloudy beer.

Wouldn't hooking up the Sanke and pressurizing, then relieving a bit of the pressure, effectively purge the air from the head space and replace it with CO2 (probably not fully but at least somewhat)?

I like the idea of conditioning at room temp. I just didn't want to harm the beer but I guess aging at room temp is just fine.

Thanks for the response.

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Old 04-03-2013, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauger View Post
Never thought of natural carbing in the keg, but not a bad idea. The "problem" with that though is I was looking to start filtering the keg beer as well to avoid the normal 2 pints of cloudy beer before clearing. I know a lot of homebrewers think filtering is unnecessary and I don't disagree, except I like to gauge how full my keg is by giving it a shake from time to time, something I don't do with homebrew since it disturbs the sediment bed and gives me another 2 pints of cloudy beer.

Wouldn't hooking up the Sanke and pressurizing, then relieving a bit of the pressure, effectively purge the air from the head space and replace it with CO2 (probably not fully but at least somewhat)?

I like the idea of conditioning at room temp. I just didn't want to harm the beer but I guess aging at room temp is just fine.

Thanks for the response.
Rack from one keg to an empty will leave the sediment behind and you can shake all you want. I use CO2 from a kicked keg to transfer helps save on CO2.
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