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Old 12-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #1
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Default First Time Kegging

Hello!

My wife graciously gave me a kegging system for Christmas. It is a ball lock system. What tips and tricks do you have for a first timer? I have attempted to find other threads describing the kegging process but I can't find any. Suggestions on processes?
Thanks!
Brian

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Old 12-28-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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What a great gift! Have fun experimenting with it.

Here are a few threads worth reading (some of the links are out of date, but still good info):
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/stic...ng-faqs-43347/
Any my personal favorite kegging thread, about force carbing:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/keg-...strated-73328/

Kegging is fun and easy, but my advice is to be patient and deliberate in everything you do. It's easy for a new kegger to over carbonate their beer (I sure did) and struggle to obtain the right balance between temperature, carbonation, and beer line length.

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Good advise for sure and good reads. Since I don't have faucets and use a picnic tap with only 14 inches of beer line here is what I do. Cool the keg to serving temp. Hook up the Co2 and set to 30 psi, lay the keg on its side with Co2 side up and gently rock the keg for 2 mins. Remove Co2 and drop down to ~8 psi, bleed excessive pressure from keg, hook up the Co2 again and begin drinking. I might need to adjust a few times over the next few days but its no big deal

Find what works for you and enjoy
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:48 AM   #4
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I suggest the set and forget method.... I set my keezer at 40 F and put my kegs in and hook them up to gas at serving pressure... For me between 8-12 PSI depending on style. Let it sit for 10-14 days like this. It will give you beer a little cold conditioning time a well and I always get spot in carbonation without over carbing my beer, plus if there is any sediment it settles and cakes at the bottom I the keg and you will only get cloudy beer for the first pint or two. If you really want to drink it fast kegs at 40F 30 PSI for 36 hrs gets you really close to 2 vol. I highly discourage the shake and bake method... 1 you are likely going I over carb your beer, 2 you are stirring up all the sediment and you will be waiting a few days for your beer to clear up, 3 you will get a lot of foam and everyone hates foam!

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Old 12-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #5
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Kegging is great.

Get some keg lube and apply it liberally to any o-rings, especially your keg lids. It can save you the cost of a tank of CO2.

Disassemble and clean your kegs at least every other fill. Keep your beer lines clean.

Get a second CO2 tank. It's great for purging and cleaning as well as having a backup tank on hand.

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Old 12-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moorerm04 View Post
I suggest the set and forget method.... I set my keezer at 40 F and put my kegs in and hook them up to gas at serving pressure... For me between 8-12 PSI depending on style. Let it sit for 10-14 days like this. It will give you beer a little cold conditioning time a well and I always get spot in carbonation without over carbing my beer, plus if there is any sediment it settles and cakes at the bottom I the keg and you will only get cloudy beer for the first pint or two. If you really want to drink it fast kegs at 40F 30 PSI for 36 hrs gets you really close to 2 vol. I highly discourage the shake and bake method... 1 you are likely going I over carb your beer, 2 you are stirring up all the sediment and you will be waiting a few days for your beer to clear up, 3 you will get a lot of foam and everyone hates foam!
I also agree with the set and forget method. Since it is your first time kegging with this(these) kegs, check keg for leaks by sealinmg when empty, Sanitize the keg, rack the beer into it, purge the headspace by pushing CO2 into the keg, then bleeding from the pressure relief valve. repeat. Pressurize to serving pressure and check for leaks (starsan and water works well). let sit on pressure for ~2 weeks as you do want to give it the conditioning time as you would with bottles.

I also suggest since you are using the cobra or picnic taps to not hook up the beer out lines until the 2 weeks are up. You may also want to disconnect the beer out lines after a drinking session because they oftentimes get wedged in the door, or if you accidentally overpressurize leak out all your beer into your kegerator.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:30 AM   #7
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I just kegged ten gallons. As my supply was gone, i set and forgot one keg, and did the 30 psi trick for the other. I agree that 36 hours seems to be perfect.

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Old 12-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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Be sure to get your system in balance:

http://www.iancrockett.com/brewing/i...gbalance.shtml
http://www.franklinbrew.org/wp/?page_id=98

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your help! I have another question...

I do not have a keggerator so when I pressurize my keg do I disconnect it to the co2 tank or do I keep it all connected and refrigerate the tank too?

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:17 AM   #10
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You want to keep it connected to CO2 to pressurize and for serving. Are you planning on using a picnic tap?

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