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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Kegging1st batch, got questions.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:59 AM   #1
cncquinn
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Default Kegging1st batch, got questions.

In a week or so, I'll be kegging my 1st batch and I have a few questions
What's a suggested psi
How long does it take to carb up
Do I need to add sugar
Can I cool it right away or do I wait for it to carb first
How long is it good for in the keg before it goes bad (not like it's going stay in the keg that long.)
Any tips or suggestions will help
Thanks

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #2
jmspence143
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Hey man, congrats on your first batch. What did you decide to brew? As far as carbonation, you'll be good with either adding sugar or using co2. You won't really need both. As soon as it's done fermenting and it's ready for storage, refrigerate it and get ready to drink (in a few days, after it's finished carbonating).

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
gr8shandini
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Well, I'll take the easy one first. Think of a keg as one big bottle. Your beer will keep in the keg as long as a beer will keep in a bottle.

Also somewhat easy is the suggested psi. The pressure you want to keep it at is a function of the temperature at which you want to serve the beer and the amount of carbonation you desire. For most styles, 2.5 volumes of CO2 is appropriate, which equates to 12 psi at 40 degrees. If your beer calls for something different, consult the following chart:

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

The rest of your questions are a matter of preference. There are many ways to carbonate the beer. One is to add sugar like you would for bottling and wait at room temperature and then chill. Keep in mind that many corny kegs don't seal well without 5 psi or so on them, so if you don't keep some kind of pressure in the beginning, you may end up with flat beer at the end.

For the others you want to chill first, do NOT add sugar, and force carbonate. The easiest way to do this is to set your regulator to the desired service pressure (from the chart above) and wait 2 weeks. There are plenty of other methods, but here's what works for me. Once you have cold beer in the keg, make sure the head space is purged of oxygen. Then set your regulator to the desired service pressure and roll the keg back and forth somewhat vigorously for about 20 minutes. At that point, you'll be about 80% of the way to your desired carbonation level and can try a pint or two. In another week you'll officially be ready to go.

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #4
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It seems that most people's setup balance out and pour nicely at around 12psi with about 10' beer lines. Every system is different so you might need to play with it to get it right. As far as carbing the beer, there are several methods. You can crank it up high and can it in just a day or two, or you can do the set it and forget it method. That is setting it to you serving pressure and giving it 10-14 days to fully carb. This is the method I use and have the best results with. Also, cold beer will absorb the CO2 faster than at room temp.

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Old 12-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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Wow lots of input, thanks. I went with a red ale. I had the kegs sitting around, and since I used most my bottles on a batch last week, I figured I should start using my kegs.
One more question. When carbing up the beer, can I set my desired psi and the disconnect the tank or does it need to stay connected til ready?

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Old 12-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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It needs to stay connected until fully carbed. Until the carbonation level stabilizes as per the vol/psi chart the great shandini posted, you will be continuously adding more CO2 to the keg. As the beer absorbs CO2, that reduces the pressure in the headspace, which needs to be replenished. If you disconnect the CO2, that can't happen.

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Old 12-07-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncquinn View Post
Any tips or suggestions will help
Thanks
i like to purge a clean keg before racking over. to do this you can insert your co2 hose (you'll have to remove your ball/pin lock) down into the keg and turn the gas on to a few psi to fill the bottom half with gas. this forces the O2 out and as you rack the beer will push the CO2 up and hopefully kick all the unwanted air/gases out of dodge. then i go one step further and after keg is sealed and under gas, i'll "burp" the pressure valve for a few seconds to make sure any gas that is not CO2 is gone.

this method lets me do what others mentioned... put the keg on 30lbs psi and shake it back and forth a few times. this usually gets it gassed up within a day. otoh, you have to gamble with this method, it's best to just set it at 10psi and leave it 2 weeks. the carb will be better absorbed, the bubbles will be finer leaving a nicer mouthfeel and possibly better head retention.
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