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Old 04-18-2012, 05:38 AM   #1
Timpy
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Default Brewing inside a keg, with yeast?

Forgive me for my newbness, but I've been wanting to have finer control over the root beer I've been brewing. Bigger batches make sense to my situation rather than brewing in individual bottles. So, tell if this would work...

If I had a 5 gallon keg that I could brew the root beer in, and somehow monitor the pressure with a gauge to see when ideal carbonation amounts have been achieved, that would be great. When I want my root beer, I could just tap it and go crazy. This would allow me to use champagne yeast, which apparently has a less aggressive taste, while being able monitoring the pressure.

Unfortunately I was unable to find a clear answer to this with a search, as obviously kegs are used for different things. I know nothing about brewing though, so perhaps there would be a better solution than the one I'm proposing that I'm not aware of.

Let me know what you think!

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Old 04-18-2012, 05:44 AM   #2
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Why don't you carbonate it with co2?

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Old 04-18-2012, 05:46 AM   #3
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Possible, definitely. A corney keg has a pressure relief valve so you couldn't blow it up like with glass bottles. I'd recommend investigating force carbing though, easier and far better control, especially for dispensing. Probably around $150 for the gear for it though.

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Old 04-18-2012, 05:55 AM   #4
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i would force carb with co2!! you could use the gas side connector to a gauge and get to the pressure desired (i would go 50 psi at room temp for soda and leave it for a week) and then get it into a fridge before it tried to fully ferment...

Edit: um forgot to say purge it down to 50psi everyday for a week!!

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Old 04-18-2012, 06:14 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick input, guys. I would say force carbonation would be a step I could take a bit later after this becomes more feasible to me financially. Also, the idea of brewing with yeast seems like something I'd like to play around with for awhile! I have easy access to used corny kegs for cheap as well.

So, the consensus seems to be that this is definitely possible! Good to hear.

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Old 04-20-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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You can get keg gas line disconnects that have a pressure gauge attached. A little pricy imho but i am a cheap bastard.

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Old 04-22-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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So it seems like a good route would be to use a spunding valve. The problem is that I can't find any pressure relief valves that are rated 50 psi or higher. Most ones discussed here only go to 20. Could I achieve the correct amount of carbonation with only 20 psi?

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Old 04-22-2012, 11:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timpy View Post
So it seems like a good route would be to use a spunding valve. The problem is that I can't find any pressure relief valves that are rated 50 psi or higher. Most ones discussed here only go to 20. Could I achieve the correct amount of carbonation with only 20 psi?
No, probably not. Unless the soda was very very cold, near freezing and then maybe it'd be close.

I have a dumb question though. Since you aren't force carbing, I assume you don't have a co2 tank or faucets. So, how is the root beer going to be served? It needs some co2 to "push" it out of the keg for serving. You said you could "tap it", but you'd need a tap set up, co2 tank, regulator, etc.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:49 AM   #9
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In addition, how cold will the soda be, and how quickly will it be consumed? Do you expect to drink all 5 gallons within a few weeks to a month? Or do you expect to not be able to finish it for half a year?

Despite the cold, some yeast may still be active and continue to eat sugars at a extremely slow pace. This means that given enough time, it's possible for all the sugar to be consumed (or until said yeast finally give up and go dormant.) I have a cider that was racked into a keg (meaning I tried to leave behind as much yeast as possible) and sweetened when I added a gallon of pasturized cider in November and I did not add sorbates or other preservatives to halt yeast activity (as I have a friend who has a sulfite reaction. Heck, he reacts to the water in this town too.) And as of last week Saturday, it's very dry and lacks most of the sweetness.

I wonder though... If you have two kegs, connected with connectors and a hose, one with soda syrup and water, the other with sugar & water & yeast. Would equilibrium be hit at some amount (lets say 50 psi per keg), and could potentially offer some minor amount of extra pressure when the soda is dispensed? (generally the same experiment kids do with two 2-liter bottles)

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Old 04-23-2012, 06:31 AM   #10
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I have a dumb question though. Since you aren't force carbing, I assume you don't have a co2 tank or faucets. So, how is the root beer going to be served? It needs some co2 to "push" it out of the keg for serving. You said you could "tap it", but you'd need a tap set up, co2 tank, regulator, etc.
I suppose a hand-pump style would suffice? Wait... do those exist for corny kegs? EDIT: yes they do.

Also, KevinM, we ideally want to put these into bottles but we'll also be drinking straight from a chilled keg. This will be served at a local market in cups and bottles for those who want them 'to go' so hopefully we go through batches in a week or two. Interesting with your idea of two kegs. Possibly later down the road!

I didn't realize that the all the sugar could be consumed by the yeast. This actually decreases the sweetness?
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