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Old 03-07-2010, 07:07 PM   #1
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Default conditioning in keg

I've seen this topic come up a few times, but I want to rehash it and get some opinions. I brewed my first AG beer (irish stout from NB). It turned out right on target (yay!). NB instructs 6 weeks, which falls right in line with the 1-2-3 rule of thumb. However, I'm thinking of skipping secondary this time to avoid another racking, etc, especially since I have a spare keg to use. I'm thinking about 2 weeks in primary and 4 weeks in keg at room temps.

Thoughts? It's a rather low OG (1042). Do any of you condition in kegs, and if so, do you skip the secondary? Do you pressurize the keg before storing it? At what PSI?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-07-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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I keg condition whenever I have a full kegerator.

I also never use a secondary for a normal beer. The normal schedule I follow is 3-4 weeks in primary, then rack to keg with priming sugar for 2-4 weeks. As a warning, when you do this, the first pint you pull from that keg is going to be chunky and the next 2-3 of them will be rather yeasty.

I pressurize the keg to 10 PSI to seal it. A lot of people reccomend hitting the keg with 30 PSI to seal it... but if their kegs need 30 PSI to seal I have to wonder what they do when the beer is at serving pressure.

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Old 03-07-2010, 09:04 PM   #3
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I can see not doing a secondary if you tap a keg without moving it any. The first couple of pints will be dirty, but clear afterwards.

In my case I have to carry the kags from the storage room or keezer to the kegerator. Whenever you move the keg any sediment will get jarred off the bottom.

So that's exactly the reason that I secondary EVERY BATCH...the cleaner the brew going into the keg the cleaner it comes out.

I also hit it with about 10 psi and purge and hit it again at about 20 to keep it sealed. This way I won't have to worry about checking it for a couple of months...yes, I said months.

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Old 03-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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If I'm going to be moving one around I drain off most of the sludge before hand.

I took a keg to a party last weekend, so I hooked up a party tap and poured off half a pint or so, gave the keg a few twists to stir it a bit, waited 20 minutes and poured off another half pint then packed it up. After driving 10 miles over Texas roads the first 3-4 pints were a bit yeasty, so I gave those to the Hef fans in the crowd. The rest of the keg poured clean.

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisitgoodfor View Post
The normal schedule I follow is 3-4 weeks in primary, then rack to keg with priming sugar for 2-4 weeks. As a warning, when you do this, the first pint you pull from that keg is going to be chunky and the next 2-3 of them will be rather yeasty.
Just curious, why prime it? Rouse the yeast?
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by businesstime View Post
Just curious, why prime it? Rouse the yeast?
To carbonate it.

Essentially just treating the keg as one giant bottle.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisitgoodfor View Post
To carbonate it.

Essentially just treating the keg as one giant bottle.
You prefer the natural carbonation to force carbonating?
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:55 AM   #8
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It's all about the same.

If the kegerator is full and will be for a few weeks I'll naturally carb. If my pipeline is empty (like it is right now) I'll force carb. (I still do that the slow and easy way, set it at serving pressure and leave it for a week.)

Keeping some priming sugar around, I can have half a dozen different kegs ready to drop in the fridge and be ready in 24ish hours.

Plus, I'm kind of a stealth crunchy hippie. Doing things in a more natural way makes me feel good about life (hence making my own alcohol and cheese.)

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Old 03-09-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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I will be moving about 1200 miles at the end of the month and was wondering if I could use a 5 gal keg to condition without putting any pressure on it?? I can get the kegs but won’t have any regulator or co2 to pressurize it. Will the vibrations of the move have an effect on the beer?? If I don’t have pressure on it can I use priming sugar instead?? I understand the importance of not oxidizing the brew I figure this is the easiest way for me at the moment. Thanks for your input. DJ

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:11 AM   #10
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I can't think of a better way to move beer cross country than in a keg.

You'll still want to start the keg off with some pressure before letting it carb naturally. You should be able to pick up a cartridge type CO2 charger for a few bucks that will do the job for you. Also fairly handy for parties.

That initial CO2 blast ensures that you have a good seal. Without that initial seal, you may have a small pressure leak (that the oring would fill if there were any pressure) so your beer will never carb.

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