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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How to Keg?
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default How to Keg?

Since I have a few weeks till I look to bottle I wanted to know what you guys thought about kegging the beer? Do most of you guys keg or just do bottles?

If I want to stay with doing stouts should I just go ahead and get a nitrogen system and be done with it?

How hard is it to keg vs bottling?

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Old 10-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #2
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Kegging is easy. There is no great mystery to it. Just surf over to youtube and search for kegging beer. Most people here us cornelius kegs (or corni kegs) which are actually used for the soda industry. They come in two types, ball lock or pin lock. Both are easy to work with. You'll also need a small CO2 tank, some hoses and a CO2 regulator.

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Old 10-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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+1 on the nitrogen

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Old 10-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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If I am going to deal with stouts do I need to stay more so w Nitrogen/co2 blend? 75/25?

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Old 10-15-2012, 09:28 PM   #5
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Kegging is easier, IME. You have less things to sanitize, carry around, etc. I've even gotten to the point where I push from fermenter to serving kegs with CO2. I can keg 6 gallons in maybe 10 minutes that way. I also don't need to lift the fermenter from where it's been sitting in order to keg. With proper sanitation practices (or normal ones), you have far less risk too.

For carbonating stouts, you'll still want to use CO2 for that. The nitrogen, or beer gas, setup to use a stout tap means you'll want to carbonate on CO2 first. Then transfer to beer gas for serving. Depending on how you set the beer gas regulator, you can have loss of carbonation in the batch over the time it's on tap. IMO/IME, you can do very well with a Perlick 575 'creamer' faucet and the correct CO2 pressure set (see the chart here). You won't get the cascade effect in the glass, but you'll still get a great beer into the glass.

As far as bottling goes, I still do some of batches. BUT, I bottle from keg now (once it's fully carbonated). This way I have much tighter control over the carbonation level and don't need to worry about it being either too high, or too low, for the brew. Plus, I can bottle a few to take with me when I wish and don't have all those bottles to store. Granted, I still have plenty of bottles from when I was bottling beer. I'm seriously thinking about either selling most of those, or giving them away to other area home brewers. I'll keep some of them, of course, but I can get rid of a good amount too.

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:04 PM   #6
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Do you carbonate it by connecting the CO2 initially and letting it sit in the keg for a while?

Also when you say you "push" it from fermenter to keg what exactly do you mean?

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sok454 View Post
Do you carbonate it by connecting the CO2 initially and letting it sit in the keg for a while?

Also when you say you "push" it from fermenter to keg what exactly do you mean?
The top of my fermenter, set up for a transfer:


That's a liquid post in the middle, with a gas post off to the side. I send a dip tube (cut to the correct length) under the liquid post so that I can leave the yeast cake/trub behind and extract JUST finished (clear) beer. To the left of the liquid post is the thermowell. I send a sensor down that (plugging the top) so that I KNOW what temperature the beer is fermenting at.

When I keg, I just use a few psi of CO2 to move the finished beer from the fermenter into the serving kegs. I then seal the kegs up normally and have them ready. Once a spot opens up in the brew fridge, I set a new keg in for about 24 hours (or more) to get it to temp before connecting a CO2 feed to it. That's when it gets carbonated.

IF I wanted to, and I might in the future, I could try fermenting under pressure with my setup. I have the equipment to do it, I just have decided to not do it yet.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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You ferment in 1/2 barrel kegs? Yungling rules.

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:21 PM   #9
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Talked to the gas supply company and they said its about 25-26.00 to fill either beer gas or CO2. Does that sound about right? 165 for a 20# CO2 canister. Just exchange.

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
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You ferment in 1/2 barrel kegs? Yungling rules.
Tall 1/4 bbl kegs for most, but I also have a 50L keg that I use.

Never had any Yuengling before... No plans to either.

$25-26 for a 20# CO2 tank is a bit high, IMO. I paid $17 to get mine filled the first time.
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