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Old 04-25-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
thejuanald
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Default Kegging question

So I finished my first all grain batch. Brew day was horrible (stuck sparge that wouldn't get unstuck), but I eventually got it done. I got less wort into the boil kettle than I should have and it lead to less wort into the carboy.

I got around 4.75 gallons in the carboy (I'm thinking I will lose a bit to settling, etc) so I'm thinking I will get about 4.5 gallons. I've never kegged before, and I got a nice sanke keg that I took apart and cleaned for kegging (I have all sanke couplers in my kegerator for local craft brew) but I'm wondering if it's a bad idea to keg less than 5 gallons. Is this okay or should I just bottle these and save kegging for the next batch? Also, is it okay to just dry hop in the keg rather than transferring to a secondary and either dealing with the mess from the pellets in the secondary? If I do dry hop in the keg, it will be in a muslin hop bag.

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Old 04-25-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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You can put any volume into a keg assuming it is less than the maximum volume of your keg - When you say sanke, that refers to the type of connection. Sanke style kegs come in different sizes. Do you have a 5 gallon, quarter, sixtel (10 gallon) or 1/2 barrel? Either way, you will just have to use more CO2 to fill the head space in a larger vessel.

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Old 04-25-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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You can keg less than 5 gallons with no problems. You'll use a little more CO2 when you purge, but that is a nominal expense. Yes you can dry hop in the keg. Probably be a little tricky in a sanke because of the small hole, but it can be done (the pellets will expand and may be difficult to get the bag back out). Thing to remember about dry hopping in the keg. Even with the bag you'll probably get some particles in your beer. No big deal to me, but it happens. Also, depending on how long it takes you to drink the keg.....it will change over time with the hop pellets in the keg. If left in the beer too long certain hop strains can leave a 'grassy' taste. I've had success with hops like cascade, but others just didn't taste right after a month or so.

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I was just worried about my first kegging attempt. Yeah, the sanke is a 1/6th barrel (5 gallon). Yeah dry hopping in hop bags is difficult to deal with, I've done it before in secondaries and removing it sucks. I figured skipping the secondary would be better since I can't cold crash very easily to transfer from secondary to the keg.

Would it just be better to dry hop in primary or secondary?

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Old 04-26-2013, 05:32 AM   #5
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You can dry hop in primary, just be sure that fermentation is over since CO2 will drive off all those nice hop aromas.

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Old 04-26-2013, 05:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diS View Post
You can dry hop in primary, just be sure that fermentation is over since CO2 will drive off all those nice hop aromas.
Great thanks.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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I put my 5G brews into two 5L mini kegs and bottle the rest. No problems yet.

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