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Old 06-16-2010, 04:53 AM   #1
storunner13
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Default Lagering/Kegging questions..

I'm going to be lagering and kegging soon and have a couple questions.

After fermentation of a lager, can I rack to a corny, purge it with some CO2, bring it down to 35 in the fridge, and then put 12 psi on it for the entirety of the lagering process? Then remove it from the CO2 and keep it at room temperature until I want to put it back in the fridge to serve it?

For other brews, would it be ok to cool them down in a fridge, hook them up to CO2 at 12psi for a week to carb them, then take them out until serving?

If not, what should I do instead? I'm brewing a lot this summer...mostly to save it for the fall and winter months when I have less time to brew....which is why I want to carb beers now without waiting for a week with them in the fridge. Also, I've read that priming kegs, changes the flavor a bit, and could put sediment in a lager (something I'd like to avoid)... Comments?

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Old 06-16-2010, 05:26 AM   #2
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The answer to your first question about the lagers under pressure for lagering that is fine.

For your other beers I find 1 week under pressure is insufficient to properly carb a beer.

For any beer, even if you leave it under pressure after removing it from your fridge, the beer warms up and will not absorb an appropriate amount of CO2, in fact it could lose some depending on how warm it is and how much CO2 had gone into solution. It will no longer be appropriately carbonated when you go to put it back in your fridge and hook it up to your taps.

In your situation I would keg condition. Having the yeast carbonate your beer in the keg is fine. The little extra yeast produced will be purged in the first pint you draw off and flavour differences are debatable (meaning they are probably so small most would not notice). Be aware that the amount of priming sugar to use in a keg is different than what you would use to prime 5g going into bottles.

GT

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Old 06-16-2010, 05:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storunner13 View Post
Also, I've read that priming kegs, changes the flavor a bit, and could put sediment in a lager (something I'd like to avoid)...
As GT said, the little bit of yeast at the bottom is no big deal. If you want to take the beer somewhere without making it cloudy just transfer to another keg (after pulling off the first, yeasty pint).

If there are any flavor effects from keg priming/conditioning, they're probably positive. Kraeusening a lager is a pretty well-accepted means of reducing diacetyl.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:36 PM   #4
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Thanks! This whole kegging thing has sorta been been throwing me for a loop, with all it's gizmos and gadgets and so on. I'll definitely just prime the kegs, since that'll be (by far) the easiest with what I've got goin' on. Good point with that bit about krausening. Hopefully I'll be on my toes (big starter, check gavity/diacetyl, ramp temps) to avoid having to take on 3 new things (lagering, kegging, krausening).

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Trub? View Post


For any beer, even if you leave it under pressure after removing it from your fridge, the beer warms up and will not absorb an appropriate amount of CO2, in fact it could lose some depending on how warm it is and how much CO2 had gone into solution. It will no longer be appropriately carbonated when you go to put it back in your fridge and hook it up to your taps.


GT
Got Trub,
The way I read your post it suggests that some of the CO2 will come out of the beer into the head space of the keg which will change the carb level of the beer. This is true, but it is no different than naturally carbing. Both will lead to a slightly undercarbed beer until you give it some time to reach serving temp and allow the CO2 in the headspace to diffuse into the beer. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended to chill a bottle of beer for 48 hours before serving. I think you are saying the same thing but wanted to be sure for the OP.


I think you could force carb or naturally carb if you want to. Either way the result is going to be the same. Essentially the question is what is easiest for you....
1. Force carb for 2 weeks at serving temp and then allow to warm up
or
2. Naturally carb for 3 weeks at room temp and discard the first few pints when chilled or transfer to another keg.

For me the easiest solution would be to force carb although more expensive.
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