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Old 12-22-2009, 02:57 AM   #1
lknbigfish
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Default Getting started, Need input and correction

I have read hundreds of posts and worn out the search function, it seems there's more than one way to skin a cat, and not many beginners that are kegging.

My plan is to start out with simple, partial boil, extract brews-stouts and wheats. I will be kegging, I have a kegerator, so the draft stuff is not new, but the corneys are.

The way I understand it, I can start with a simple extract recipe, follow the boil directions, pour it into cooled water in the corney, add the yeast and ferment, force carb, pour the first glass of sediment out, and have tasty beer?

I pulled that together from many posts so I'm sure I'm missing something.
Is it really possible to go from boil to corney?


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Old 12-22-2009, 03:04 AM   #2
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You could go from boil to corny but it is not adviseable. During primary fermentation the yeast population will increase dramatically. When they are finished fermenting most of the yeast will drop out to the bottom of the fermenter. Also any hop material and cold break material that got into the fermentor will drop out to the bottom. So you will have a substantial collection of trub on the bottom of the keg.

After several taps there will be a cleared space around the dip tube and you will not draw much more trub out of the tap after the first several taps, however after a period of time, and there is a lot of debate on how long that is, but eventually the yeast will autolyze (basically die and decay) and some of the other debris can begin to break down as well and throw bad flavors into your beer.

The correct way is to let the primary fermentation complete in a separate fermentor. You need to at least wait several days after the gravity stops dropping. Then move to your keg. Some people go to secondary after primary, but this is personal preference and not necessary.


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Old 12-22-2009, 03:12 AM   #3
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thanks, for the primary does it matter whether i use a bucket or carboy?
(with airlocks)
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:18 AM   #4
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It does not matter. Bucket or carboy is fine as long as it does not have any scratches in it to harbor bacteria and you sanitize. If you use a bucket just make sure it is a food grade bucket. Generally the recycle code will be #1 or #2 on food grade buckets.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:36 AM   #5
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Indeed, ferment in a separate container and then rack to the carboy after fermentation is complete. Many folks around here will leave the beer in the fermenter for up to a month before racking it to a corney keg, forgoing any sort of "secondary fermentation" (which is more often than not just a fancy term for "additional time to allow the yeast to drop out of suspension").

If you're doing a fruit beer or an IPA where you want to add raspberries or dry hops or whatever to the beer after the primary fermentation is complete, you will want to do that in a glass carboy or plastic food-grade bucket, then rack it to the carboy - you don't want that nasty stuff (and it does indeed turn nasty) in your keg, clogging up the works.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:17 PM   #6
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so besides the kegerator and corney stuff, the brew pot, and a carboy or two, is there anything i need or anything that will make my life easier or batches better?

my wife is pretty exited about this also so i am trying to make sure i have everything i need to make it a good experience for her (and me).
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:28 PM   #7
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Lots of little stuff:

hydrometer - measure the specific gravity

thermometer

racking cane or autosiphon and plastic tubing - for moving your beer from the carboy to your keg

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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when searching about a hydrometer, it seemed like many of the seasoned vets did not use one, but instead just left it in the fermenter a little longer. is that safe/full-proof?
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lknbigfish View Post
when searching about a hydrometer, it seemed like many of the seasoned vets did not use one, but instead just left it in the fermenter a little longer. is that safe/full-proof?
They use them, they just don't take a lot of samples. If you leave it long enough, it should be done fermenting, but you really should check the gravity to make sure it's done.

Of course, there are people that use a refractometer instead, but they're still checking the gravity.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Don't forget sanitizing solution, one of the most important steps from what I've been reading.

I'm new here too, obviously,
<-------------

but I would think you can get a good beer without knowing/measuring the gravity.

As far as fool proof, or safe? HA! Safe, sure. Fool Proof, I guess not.

Jay


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