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Old 06-09-2007, 01:25 AM   #1
ChefyTim
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Default Sugar needed?

OK, so I've now got my kegs setup and a brew about ready to port to the kegs. I have only done bottling in the past so I need some advice.

Since I will be kegging and adding CO2 will I still need to add the sugar as I do with bottling? Should I add the sugar and just enough CO2 to seal the keg lid? Does the sugar not add any to the taste to the brew but only carbonates?

Also, I have another batch that is ready for the secondary. However, it looks like I am not going to get the full 5 gallons. Should I add water to the secondary to bring the brew to a full 5 gallons? Could I just leave the brew in the primary for another 2 weeks instead of migrating to the secondary?

The brew was my first mini-mash which is an Irish Stought

Thanks,

Tim

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Old 06-09-2007, 01:41 AM   #2
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Although you can certainly prime your kegs, there is really no need to do so. You will end up with a keg of beer that carbonates and clears faster if you artificially carbonate with your CO2 system.

If you use corn sugar or table sugar or something refined to prime with, it won't add any flavour. However, if you DO prime this way, make sure of one VERY important thing: you absolutely MUST vent the pressure off the keg before you connect your CO2 system. As some here will testify, the primed keg can build up more pressure than is coming out of your regulator, which could lead to backflow through your lines and make a mess of/ruin your regulator! So open the pressure release valve on the keg when you hook up the CO2 line to let out the excess pressure, then open the CO2 lines to repressurize for delivery.

And no, without knowing the details of your brew, I would not top up the keg with water. Generally, you are better off with a few less beers than watered-down beer. One thing you might do, however, is use your CO2 system to drive out any air from the keg before you rack into the keg so that the headspace is all CO2.

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Old 06-09-2007, 02:25 AM   #3
Denny's Evil Concoctions
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Yeah, skip the priming sugar thing and just force carb. Much cleaner brew that way, no extra sediment to deal with.

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Old 06-09-2007, 01:24 PM   #4
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With forced carbonation, you can get carbonated beer much earlier, but the beer is still green, and needs time to mature.
I prefer to use priming sugar. It's still carbonated by the time it's ready to drink, and I have absolutely no problem with extra sediment. I often bottle 6 - 12 bottles out of a batch, and for that, the priming sugar is a requirement unless you use a beer gun which I don't have.

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Old 06-09-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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OK, so here's the plan after all your input.

1. Leave the brew in the primary for another two weeks (3 weeks total)
2. Rack to the kegs without sugar and shoot with CO2.

Should still let the brew age for 3 weeks in the kegs?

Should the keg be kept at refrig temps or room temp?

How much pressure should I have the CO2 set to?

Thanks,
Tim

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Old 06-09-2007, 09:11 PM   #6
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I've been racking to secondary after about a week in primary and I let it clear for two weeks. The beer is now 3-4 weeks old and it goes in the keg, in the kegerator under 10psi. I'll let it carb and cold condition for at least 2 weeks. Even at that point it continues to get better for at least 2 weeks. You really have to restrain yourself from drinking it just because it's carbed, it will disappoint you. Figure that most styles become tasty brews at the 6 week mark (from the day it starts fermenting).

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