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Old 11-11-2011, 12:25 AM   #1
mrfrost05
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Default New to kegging...Please Help

Here's the scoop...
I have 3 brews that are just about ready to keg:
1) American Cream Ale
2) Oktoberfest
3) American Red Ale

Each one is a week apart in the secondary fermentation process, number 1 having been in the secondary the longest.

I have 5: pin lock corny kegs
Co2 tank
Regulator
Fridge destined to become a kegerator

i am looking for something to tell me the basic steps to keg each of these. By researching i have come up with the following plan:

Siphon each into a sanitized keg
Hit the keg with some pressure
Bleed off the top headspace in order to rid the keg of O2
Pressurize to 30 psi
Set the keg into the fridge for 2 days at 30 psi
Bleed the pressure down to 10-12 psi
Let keg set for another 5-7 days
And...Enjoy!

Do i have any of the steps in the wrong order, or have i missed anything? I would appreciate any input.

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Old 11-11-2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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Use the method mentioned by Bobby_M here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/keg-...strated-73328/

Basically, you purge the oxygen/atmospheric air from the keg, then hit it with ~30psi (in the brew fridge) for 24-48 hours before releasing the pressure and then keeping it at serving pressure (depends on the style, CO2 volumes desired, and temperature of the brew) for ~2 weeks before pulling pints from the faucets/taps. I would advise not connecting it up to the gas until the brew has fully chilled (at least overnight, or 24 hours in the fridge). You'll also need a solid way to either monitor, or set, the fridge temp so that it's correct for the brews.

You can also try the 'set and forget' method. Pretty much the same as above except you don't hit it with 30psi, just go to serving pressure. You can pull a pint after 2 weeks to test for carbonation.

I would also advise getting/making one of these: PIN LOCK KEG PRESSURE TESTER. I have the ball lock version, and it's a huge help. You can easily tell how much pressure the beer is under in the keg.

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Old 11-11-2011, 12:55 AM   #3
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What is the best way to lower the pressure from 12psi to 5 for serving? I used the set & forget method as the shock method didn't work for me.

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Old 11-11-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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If you have the time (2 weeks) use 1/3 table sugar primer before you rack the beer into the keg. You will get a much better infusion of co2 and avoid that young beer taste when you're anxious to try it after your two days of force carbing. Not to mention you will save on gas. For this two week period you will need to store the keg at ferm temp. Happy kegging!

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Old 11-11-2011, 01:04 AM   #5
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What is the best way to lower the pressure from 12psi to 5 for serving? I used the set & forget method as the shock method didn't work for me.
If you're having foaming issues at 12 psi, you need longer 3/16" lines. If you're going to turn it down for serving, and back up after drinking, it wastes lots of co2 and is a PITA.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:12 AM   #6
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I've been kegging for a bit, I pretty much do the same thing, except I don't give the beer more time before I start drinking it, after it's carbonated. That being said I usually give ales 2 weeks in the primary before I do anything with them.

Cooling the beer to serving temp prior to kegging is a good practice, settle out most of the muck and CO2 will dissolve into solution a bit quicker.

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfrost05 View Post
Here's the scoop...
I have 3 brews that are just about ready to keg:
1) American Cream Ale
2) Oktoberfest
3) American Red Ale

Each one is a week apart in the secondary fermentation process, number 1 having been in the secondary the longest.

I have 5: pin lock corny kegs
Co2 tank
Regulator
Fridge destined to become a kegerator

i am looking for something to tell me the basic steps to keg each of these. By researching i have come up with the following plan:

Siphon each into a sanitized keg
Hit the keg with some pressure
Bleed off the top headspace in order to rid the keg of O2
Pressurize to 30 psi
Set the keg into the fridge for 2 days at 30 psi
Bleed the pressure down to 10-12 psi
Let keg set for another 5-7 days
And...Enjoy!

Do i have any of the steps in the wrong order, or have i missed anything? I would appreciate any input.
I bleed the headspace a couple times to get rid of O2, not just once. Don't be shy.

Other than that, that's exactly what I do. Except, like others, I don't wait 5-7 days after it's been burst carbed.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfrost05 View Post
Here's the scoop...
I have 3 brews that are just about ready to keg:
1) American Cream Ale
2) Oktoberfest
3) American Red Ale

Each one is a week apart in the secondary fermentation process, number 1 having been in the secondary the longest.

I have 5: pin lock corny kegs
Co2 tank
Regulator
Fridge destined to become a kegerator

i am looking for something to tell me the basic steps to keg each of these. By researching i have come up with the following plan:

Siphon each into a sanitized keg
Hit the keg with some pressure
Bleed off the top headspace in order to rid the keg of O2
Pressurize to 30 psi
Set the keg into the fridge for 2 days at 30 psi
Bleed the pressure down to 10-12 psi
Let keg set for another 5-7 days
And...Enjoy!

Do i have any of the steps in the wrong order, or have i missed anything? I would appreciate any input.
1. Since you will have multiple kegs going at the same time, you will need a 3 way distributor. Make sure it has a check valve. Alternatively, you will need rotate which keg gets the gas. When you are carbonating this is important, once the beer is carbonated you can be more lazy about how often you need to ensure the keg is gassed.
2. Vent the oxygen a couple/few times when you are beginning your carbonation process. CO2 is a lot cheaper than your beer.
3. In the long run, you will want a 2nd regulator and co2 canister, as you find more and more use for co2 in the process:
a) I use it after cleaning the keg and rinsing. Add co2 to force cleaning solution through beverage line.
b) Same for sanitizing solution.
c) I sometimes bottle from kegs. It's nice to take the keg out of the refrigerator and have co2 at a reduced pressure to bottle. See this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/we-n...eer-gun-24678/
d) Even if you are going to naturally carb, you can use co2 to help the process. I rack the beer to a sanitized keg in which I've already put my sterilized sugar solution. Vent oxygen/add co2/vent/add. I then use co2 and attach my bottling thingy to a picnic tap to fill my bottles (which will be carbonated naturally). For the remaining beer in the keg, I make sure there's enough co2 to get a good seal and then let it carbonate on its own.
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