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Old 06-30-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
Winderbrau
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Default Looking for some advice kegging

I'm a pretty new home brewer, just finished up my first few batches using a 5 gal system at home. I've gotta say, individually bottling is a bit of a pain. My father has a friend who is willing to provide me with some home brewing equipment he has left over- most importantly, a 5 gallon keg. My question is, what other equipment do I need in order to make the kegging work? Can I still use natural carbonation, or do I have to use force carbonation in order to carbonate the beer? Would I need to buy a keg kit with a CO2 tank in order to make this thing work? I really don't know too much about whats involved here, so any advice is much appreciated.

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Old 06-30-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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you would need a co2 tank, lines and connections plus a thumb pour valve.

you can still carb with sugar...but why? force carb in about 3days vs 2-3 weeks with sugar

i use a 5lb co2 tanks and i get 6-7 kegs out of one tank.

force carb is easy, set the reg about 25psi and give the keg a shake and forget about it, your done.

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Old 06-30-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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You will want to get a 5# CO2 cylinder, a regulator, and a picnic tap. That's the minimum to force carbonate and dispense the beer.

Extra kegs, a manifold or stainless cross or T and more picnic taps will help you expand.

Later, you can buy shanks, faucets and handles to build a kegerator.

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Old 06-30-2009, 09:52 PM   #4
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I use Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System- with Reconditioned CO2 Tank :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies in a chest freezer. You are going to want more than 1 keg.

I am happy with my picnic taps.

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Old 06-30-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireballbrewer View Post
you would need a co2 tank, lines and connections plus a thumb pour valve.

you can still carb with sugar...but why? force carb in about 3days vs 2-3 weeks with sugar

i use a 5lb co2 tanks and i get 6-7 kegs out of one tank.

force carb is easy, set the reg about 25psi and give the keg a shake and forget about it, your done.
I like to prime my kegs and naturally carbonate, because I use less CO2, and I can store the kegs disconnected. If the pipeline is full, the time to naturally carbonate is no problem.

OP, you'll need a CO2 bottle, regulator, gas line, fittings, and disconnects (ball or pin lock) for your keg(s). Ball-lock seems to be more common. If you have a refrigerator to store your kegs in, it works better, but isn't 100% required.

You do need a way to dispense beer. Picnic taps are inexpensive, but prone to foaming if the line is less than about 10 feet long. I recently changed out one of my picnic taps from a 5' line to a 10' line, and the pour from the picnic tap is much better.

If you have a short line, or are dispensing at cellar temperature, you'll have to turn the CO2 pressure way down and blow off some of the gas in the keg headspace to get a good pour. You'll go through gas a lot faster than if you can store and dispense chilled beer.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jds View Post
You do need a way to dispense beer. Picnic taps are inexpensive, but prone to foaming if the line is less than about 10 feet long. I recently changed out one of my picnic taps from a 5' line to a 10' line, and the pour from the picnic tap is much better.
I keep my keezer at 38degrees with a 5foot line, and dispense 10-14psi depending on style and have no issues with foam. I do tend to fill my glass about 3 feet above the keg, because I am really freaking tall tho, and gravity works as well as a longer line.
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