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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > When to Keg??
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
frankieboy007
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Default When to Keg??

Long time homebrewer finally getting my shot at kegging. My question for those with some experience is: When do you normally keg, after primary, or should I perform a secondary? This is a batch of Northern German Altbier, and has been in primary for 2 weeks.

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Old 03-09-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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I never secondary. I do not brew big beers so not sure if that would play a roll.

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Old 03-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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I never secondary. I do not brew big beers so not sure if that would play a roll.
This isn't a big beer, 1.055 OG. I want to cold condition it for at least a month as I will be pulling a few bottles from it for MCAB XV, which is in May (no specific date yet).
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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Like all things in brewing and law school: it depends.

It is totally fine to rack directly from primary to the keg, especially for a beer that should clear up fairly quickly like an Altbier. Like always just to try to keep the yeast/trub in the fermenter, not your keg.

For big messy IIPAs or oaked porters or whatnot I will often transfer to secondary for a few weeks and let everything really settle down before racking to the keg.

But it really doesn't matter- as long as the beer is donezo you can put 'er in the keg and start carbing up.

Congrats on your first foray into kegging- it is the freaking best.

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Old 03-09-2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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The best thing about kegging is you can completely eliminate oxygen exposure. If you have an enough extra kegs, I recommend using one as a secondary. Make a hose with 2 "out" connectors so you can transfer to a clean keg off the slop once the beer is clear.

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Old 03-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gbx
The best thing about kegging is you can completely eliminate oxygen exposure. If you have an enough extra kegs, I recommend using one as a secondary. Make a hose with 2 "out" connectors so you can transfer to a clean keg off the slop once the beer is clear.
I remember listening to a brew strong episode about fermentation. Kegs were not recommended to ferment in because of the height to width ratio of kegs being higher than a bucket or carboy which could stress the yeast. I believe osmotic pressure was the term used. Have you had any similar problems with the keg as a secondary? I would imagine it would be more severe on the primary fermentation.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:58 AM   #7
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I remember listening to a brew strong episode about fermentation. Kegs were not recommended to ferment in because of the height to width ratio of kegs being higher than a bucket or carboy which could stress the yeast. I believe osmotic pressure was the term used. Have you had any similar problems with the keg as a secondary? I would imagine it would be more severe on the primary fermentation.
I've never had any problems like that. Depending on the yeast and beer, I'll do a week or 2 primary in a bucket or carboy before putting it in my secondary keg. There really is nothing going on except clearing If I'm dry hopping I'll put the hops in a bag and rack the beer in on top. Its easy to pull samples off and see when its clear or when the hoping is right.

if you listen to jamil talk about no-secondary, he is actually doing a secondary in a keg. I can't remember what ep. I think it might be one of the lager shows.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:16 AM   #8
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When I walk through commercial breweries - and I mean every single one I've ever been in - the geometry of the fermentation tanks is way closer to that of a corny keg than a bucket or carboy.

Just sayin'...

Cheers!

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:55 AM   #9
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When I walk through commercial breweries - and I mean every single one I've ever been in - the geometry of the fermentation tanks is way closer to that of a corny keg than a bucket or carboy.

Just sayin'...

Cheers!
Even if the geometry is similar, the cross-sectional area is not. That's what's important - not the general geometry of the fermentation tank.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Even if the geometry is similar, the cross-sectional area is not. That's what's important - not the general geometry of the fermentation tank.
I think this is another example of "over-sciencing" homebrewing. I would put "osmotic pressure" in the same category as "hot side aeration" (as in "maybe it has some effect but it is so small in 5gal batch that its not worth adding even 1 minute of effort to you brew day to avoid it") but I wouldn't use a keg for primary as my 5gal cornies are too small for a 5 gal batch.
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