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Old 12-11-2012, 12:35 PM   #1
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Default Moving to kegging - need some help

I'm finally moving to kegging since I now have room for a chest freezer in my new house.
I have room for the Holiday 5cu ft freezer from Lowes (which will hold 2 kegs and a 5lb CO2 tank; don't plan to ever have more then 2 beers on tap) and I have a Johnson digital temp controller for it.
Where is the best place to place the temp controller probe in the freezer?

Second question. I was going to get the single picnic draft ball lock system from Morebeer.
Now I was taught by a friend, who has been brewing for 12years, how to force carb at 30psi and shake for a couple of minutes at room temp until no more gas will go in. Then chill the keg and to give it a shot of CO2 at 12psi at least 3 times a day for a week.
He then unhooks his CO2 and serves his beer from the pressure in the keg and will only hook the CO2 back up when it reaches the end of the keg and needs more pressure.
Yet, a lot of what I have read says to leave the CO2 hooked up when serving and to set it to 10-12psi.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Should I always hook the CO2 back up when I want a beer?

And finally, will the single gas line be fine for 2 kegs if I just switch the gas back and forth to either keg when I want to serve?
Or can I split the gas line with a splitter and leave both hooked up?

Thanks for the help
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by HopHead73
I'm finally moving to kegging since I now have room for a chest freezer in my new house.
I have room for the Holiday 5cu ft freezer from Lowes (which will hold 2 kegs and a 5lb CO2 tank; don't plan to ever have more then 2 beers on tap) and I have a Johnson digital temp controller for it.
Where is the best place to place the temp controller probe in the freezer?

Second question. I was going to get the single picnic draft ball lock system from Morebeer.
Now I was taught by a friend, who has been brewing for 12years, how to force carb at 30psi and shake for a couple of minutes at room temp until no more gas will go in. Then chill the keg and to give it a shot of CO2 at 12psi at least 3 times a day for a week.
He then unhooks his CO2 and serves his beer from the pressure in the keg and will only hook the CO2 back up when it reaches the end of the keg and needs more pressure.
Yet, a lot of what I have read says to leave the CO2 hooked up when serving and to set it to 10-12psi.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Should I always hook the CO2 back up when I want a beer?

And finally, will the single gas line be fine for 2 kegs if I just switch the gas back and forth to either keg when I want to serve?
Or can I split the gas line with a splitter and leave both hooked up?

Thanks for the help
Brew for all
Most people just place the probe in a jug of water or sanitizer in the keezer.
You can split a co2 line for kegs.
I would just leave the keg on CO2 at 10-12PSI as long as you have no leaks the beer will only absorb so much CO2 till it reaches the limit set on your regulator then it won't use more gas till you serve and the empty space in the keg is replaced by the gas. You can certainly add gas a few times a day and disconnect but it seems easier to me to just put the keg on the gas set my PSI and let it go 1.5-2weeks till ready to drink.
If I'm in a hurry I'll set the psi to 30 for a day then drop to serving pressure and in a few more days its usually pretty drinkable.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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I
Now I was taught by a friend, who has been brewing for 12years, how to force carb at 30psi and shake for a couple of minutes at room temp until no more gas will go in. Then chill the keg and to give it a shot of CO2 at 12psi at least 3 times a day for a week.
He then unhooks his CO2 and serves his beer from the pressure in the keg and will only hook the CO2 back up when it reaches the end of the keg and needs more pressure.
That's overly complicated! The easy way to quick carb: Fill keg, purge with co2 and place in keezer at 30 psi for 36 hours. Purge and reset to 12 psi. Leave it there. Forever. If you're not in a hurry, set it at 12 psi for a week, and leave it there. Giving it a shot three times a day for a week is no better than just leaving it alone!

If you then unhook the gas to serve, the beer will start to lose carbonation. If you leave the gas hooked up, it stays perfect the whole time.

If you get a "Y" (WYE) for the gas line, you can simply have both kegs on the gas all the time. That's the easiest way.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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I'm finally moving to kegging since I now have room for a chest freezer in my new house.
I have room for the Holiday 5cu ft freezer from Lowes (which will hold 2 kegs and a 5lb CO2 tank; don't plan to ever have more then 2 beers on tap) and I have a Johnson digital temp controller for it.
Where is the best place to place the temp controller probe in the freezer?
Best? I'm not totally sure but I just have mine hanging in the air. I think a better idea is to put it in a glass of water but I think either will be fine since after a while the temp should stabilize between everything nicely.

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Second question. I was going to get the single picnic draft ball lock system from Morebeer.
Now I was taught by a friend, who has been brewing for 12years, how to force carb at 30psi and shake for a couple of minutes at room temp until no more gas will go in. Then chill the keg and to give it a shot of CO2 at 12psi at least 3 times a day for a week.
He then unhooks his CO2 and serves his beer from the pressure in the keg and will only hook the CO2 back up when it reaches the end of the keg and needs more pressure.
Yet, a lot of what I have read says to leave the CO2 hooked up when serving and to set it to 10-12psi.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Should I always hook the CO2 back up when I want a beer?
Your friends method seems way too complicated for me. I don't see the real benefit to it either. Theoretically it could use a bit less CO2 than just leaving it hooked up but thats it. Also with his method, the beer will slowly decarbonate as the keg empties, and the pressure will drop in the keg as well so the pour will change over time. The "best" way I think is to hook up your gas at serving pressure (usually 11-12PSI) and leave it. In a couple weeks the beer will be carbonated. You can serve nicely at that pressure with the right length beer line and the pour/carbonation level will remain the same through the entire keg. You can look into "force carbing", which is a misnomer since it's all force carbing, if you need to get a beer carbonated quicker than a couple weeks. There are downsides to this as well though so you'll have to figure out what works best for you.

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And finally, will the single gas line be fine for 2 kegs if I just switch the gas back and forth to either keg when I want to serve?
Or can I split the gas line with a splitter and leave both hooked up?

Thanks for the help
Brew for all
You can buy a SS tee that will let you carbonate 2 kegs at once with the same regulator, you'll just need another gas QD. I would buy another Liquid QD, beer line, and Picnic tap too so that you'll have both beers ready to go at all times. If you keep switching the beer line over you will lose lots of beer clearning the line of the previous beer to pour the next one when you switch kegs.

Your other option is to buy a dual regulator if you'll never have more than 2 beers on tap, this is a pretty good option. You can then set each one at a different pressure so if you have a stout that you want low carbonation on , and a hef that you want higher carbonation on, you can do that. It's personal preference and budget driven at that point. You can get away fine with the same pressure on both kegs if you want to save a few bucks as well.

If you're gong to be opening and closing your keezer a lot, you'll probably have condensation issues like i do. I'd get something to help with that or get ready to keep mopping up the bottom of your keezer. Unless you live in a very dry area. I have the eva-dry 500 and it's working well to keep the bottom of my keezer much dryer than before.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help everyone!
I guess it will all depend on how fast I need the beer carbonated. If I can wait at least 2 weeks I'll go with the set it and forget it method and leave it hooked up at 12psi.
And if I'm in a hurry I'll try the 30psi at 24-36hours, purge and then drop it to 12psi for a few days.

I'm definitely planning on getting a 2nd picnic tap and beer line for the 2nd keg. I don't plan on switching those back and forth at all.
I would only be switching the gas line back and forth when I'm serving, unless I do split the line.
But, I may just get a dual regulator instead so I can serve at different carb levels for lets say a stout in one and an IPA in the other.

The only problem I see with putting the temp probe in a glass of water is that the Johnson Digital Temp controller probe is not submersible. But I did see a good suggestion about just taping it to the side of a bottle of water in the bottom of the freezer so that should work.

And I definitely am getting the eva-dry 500, forgot to mention that.

Thanks again everyone
Cheers!

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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One other hint is that usually the kegging packages sell 5 foot beer lines which is usually a bit short. I run 10 foot lines and they work well. I have one shorter line and it pours so fast and foams a lot.

Look into "balancing" your system to get it all right. Rembmer its easier to cut a line too long and shorten it than the other way around.

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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One other hint is that usually the kegging packages sell 5 foot beer lines which is usually a bit short. I run 10 foot lines and they work well. I have one shorter line and it pours so fast and foams a lot.

Look into "balancing" your system to get it all right. Rembmer its easier to cut a line too long and shorten it than the other way around.

Thanks for the tip!
I was actually listening to Brew Strongs "Perfect Pour" podcast the other day and they went over all of that.
Definitely going to have to some experimenting when I get it all set up.

This is the system I'm looking at getting.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/dual-...se-system.html
It comes with a new CO2 tank and is cheaper then Northern Brewers system that doesn't even come with a CO2 tank.
I see this is a long term investment, so why not buy the best right off the bat. (Bought a new 15gallon Polarware kettle for the same reason, so I won't need to upgrade to a new kettle when I move from 5 to 10 gallon batches)
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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I got a midwest 3 keg kit to start mine. Works great for me. Definitely buy some longer lines. I also sugest swapping out the cobra picnic taps for shanks or a tower for your keggerator/keezer. You will be amazed how quickly you want to add an additional 8-9 taps to yours, though I have somehow managed to stick with my original 3.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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Ditch the picnic taps ASAP. If you pay attention on here, once a week someone has a thread about their picnic tap getting stuck or bumped and pouring all their beer into the bottom of the freezer.

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
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If you're open to considering options, I think you'll find these priced pretty well. http://www.birdmanbrewing.com/keg-kits/

In our newsletter that went out today, we also launched a coupon code for $10 off any keg kit over $100. Coupon code is 10KEGGING

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