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Old 08-21-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default Minimum Keg Equipment Needed?

I've been fermenting a Belgian Triple for some time now, and need to bottle or keg it this weekend. From everything I've read, it will need to sit for several more month before it's really ready to drink.

Instead of buying bottles, I'm thinking about going with a keg. I don't have any other supplies (yet), and I'm wondering if I need a full setup before kegging. My thought is I buy the keg today, fill it (using 1/3 cup priming sugar), which then forces me to get the rest of the supplies (C02, hoses, regulators, freezer, etc.) over the coming months.

Thoughts? Do I need to be able to add some pressure right away, or will just the small amount of priming sugar suffice?



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Old 08-21-2010, 02:56 PM   #2
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Well, you're probably going to need the keg, a CO2 tank with at least some gas in it, a regulator, and a gas quick-disconnect. When you rack beer into a corny keg, it's always best to hit it with CO2 to ensure the lid is completely sealed. Check out kegconnection.com as they have great prices and deals. This set-up will get you started.

The priming sugar could work, but from what I've read even natural carber's on here will still hit it with gas to seal up the lid.



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Old 08-21-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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If your brew still has any trapped co2 some of it wiil be released when you transfer to the keg. If there is still some available after transfer and you are priming the keg with corn sugar, you will produce additional co2 in the keg, thereby pressurizing it to some degree.

Once transferred and primed, seal the keg up good and tight (use food grade sealant for o-ring on lid) and give it a good shake to release any trapped co2 from the beer. Release the pressure in the keg using the safety relief valve and shake it up again and repeat. This will purge any O2 trapped in the keg.

At this point as long as you have a good seal on the keg, you should be fine until you can pick up the remaining items you need. I would check the relief valve everyday to ensure you are not overpressurizing the keg. But I think this should work for you temporarily.

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Old 08-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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You just need a keg at first you can just naturally carb (using 1/3 cup priming sugar) then you just need one of the several different c02 set ups to dispense, or you could get or make a hand pump.

I kept an eye on ebay and have scored all the items needed for kegging at big savings. Especially I got a 7lb used butreconditioned, hydro tested, co2 tank for $38.90 delivered to my house. Thing looks brand new and it cost me $14 dollars to fill at my local welding supply. 7lbs will last a long time. The ebay seller had more than 10 available and I can't recommend them enough. If you have been looking at tanks you know I got a bigger tank for like 1/2 the cost of 5lb ones. Bonus where its an odd size they don't take my like new tank and give me a crappy one in exchange, like they will do with 5lb tanks (they only exchange) they have to actually fill it and I keep my nice, clean, like new tank.

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Old 08-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmckee56 View Post
If your brew still has any trapped co2 some of it wiil be released when you transfer to the keg. If there is still some available after transfer and you are priming the keg with corn sugar, you will produce additional co2 in the keg, thereby pressurizing it to some degree.

Once transferred and primed, seal the keg up good and tight (use food grade sealant for o-ring on lid) and give it a good shake to release any trapped co2 from the beer. Release the pressure in the keg using the safety relief valve and shake it up again and repeat. This will purge any O2 trapped in the keg.

At this point as long as you have a good seal on the keg, you should be fine until you can pick up the remaining items you need. I would check the relief valve everyday to ensure you are not overpressurizing the keg. But I think this should work for you temporarily.

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I've read this through, and I don't think I agree with doing it this way. Oh, sure, shaking it will release any trapped co2 but I'd be more afraid that you'd shake it WITH the oxygen that will be in there. I think the risk of aeration/oxidation, especially with a keg that will sit several months without co2 on it, would be too great.

I'd dissolve the priming sugar, add it to the keg, rack the beer very quietly into it (no splashing!), and seal the lid.

To see if you will get a good seal on the lid, you can sort of check it when you clean it and sanitize it. If you add water and cleaner, you can close it up and turn it upside down over your sink. If it doesn't leak, it's probably pretty good. I'd do what was suggested and use some keglube and then sort of "wiggle" the lid to seat it. It would be better to purge with co2 and to make sure the lid is sealed, but if you don't have a co2 tank yet, this should work.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by akthor View Post
You just need a keg at first you can just naturally carb (using 1/3 cup priming sugar) then you just need one of the several different c02 set ups to dispense, or you could get or make a hand pump.
I've never seen a way to make a co2 hand pump. Do you have a link?
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:25 PM   #7
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I also dont agree with the shaking of the keg thing, I would hate to have you compromise a beer that takes that long to get ready by jumping the gun and rushing the kegging process.
If I had too, I would add the sugar to my fermenter, rack into keg as soon as you notice renewed airlock activity and seal the keg. after an hour or so, you should be able to easily tell if the seal is tight enough by pulling or flipping the pressure relief valve a couple of times to check for built up pressure. shouldnt be too hard seal it up that way and the yeast should dispatch much of the residual 02.
good luck.

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Old 08-22-2010, 04:02 PM   #8
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Not Co2 pump, pump like you use on commercial kegs, you pump in air to force the beer out, just for dispensing, drawback is you need to drink the beer it will go bad after adding air. But it's a cheap way of dispensing it if you are having a party and drinking the whole keg. I have seen people make their own pump from adapting bike pumps.

Not ideal but its the minimum you can use to keg, carb naturally, make your own pump to dispense.

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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
I've never seen a way to make a co2 hand pump. Do you have a link?
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:26 PM   #9
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In actuality, while the beer is being transferred to the keg, it is releasing trapped co2 (even when done very gently, so to speak) thereby creating a layer of protection above the beer. This is of course dependant upon the beer not having been allowed to ferment for several weeks longer than necessary and most if not all of the trapped co2 having been released already.

I can appreciate the comments regarding not shaking the keg due to the potential for oxygenating the beer inside, however the majority of o2 will be displaced by the beer entering the keg. There will be very little head room left inside from a 5 gallon batch and with the amount of co2 still present in the beer racked, I believe you will expel any remaining o2 when the keg is sealed and shaken then vented. I am not advocating heavy duty shaking. What I am suggesting is to shake it sufficiently to release the trapped gas inside and drive the o2 out.

I have done this only twice and have not experienced any damaging effects in doing so. I am not saing it won't happen, just that I have not had any trouble.

I have co2 tanks and regulators available, so I do not experience this problem anymore.

Salute!



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