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Old 08-20-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
dougy
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Aug 2010
Australia
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Hi

I've spent hours searching and reading over the last few days but there's still a few things I can't work out. You lot seem pretty cool, so hopefully I won't get my head bitten off for asking a bunch of questions that are keeping me awake at night

I bought a starter kit last year but never got around to finding enough flip top bottles (in Australia most beers are twist tops now). Yesterday I bought some plastic homebrew bottles and started my first brew.

I really really want to set up a keg system once I have made a few batches. The main things I'm trying to work out are:

1. Do you have to 'clean the line' out each day before serving a beer and if so how much beer approx. is wasted each time?

The reason I ask is because it will mostly be just me drinking it. I'd light to try and limit myself to something like 2-4 drinks a day, so I'm worried about how much will be wasted.

2. How long can a keg be left on tap? Is it ok to take a several months to finish it off?

3. Can the CO2 be left turned on all the time or does it need to be turned of at the cylinder when not in use? If it does have to be turned of, does it have to be primed or anything when turned back on?
(I've read about forced carbonation etc. I have a vague idea of how it all works, I'm just trying to work out if it's feasible for such low scale usage)

 
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:59 PM   #2
Yooper
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Welcome!

1. No you don't have to clean out the line each day. The beer in the lines will be ok, especially if you have the lines in the fridge with your kegs. I don't pour a beer from all my taps everyday, and the beer is fine when I do pour one.

2. Since you use co2 to move the beer and it's not exposed to air, it can last a long time. A very long time. Some beers start to fade with age, but that's just because some beers don't age as well as others. We're talking many months, though.

3. Your co2 should be left on all the time. It keeps the beer carbonated. If you don't have any leaks (and you shouldn't- but you'll check!), you just leave your set up alone. Mine is in the kegerator, and I never mess around with it. My temperature is 39 degrees, and the psi on the gauge is 12 psi. Perfect beer, perfect pours, all the time!
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:01 AM   #3
marubozo
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1. No, you don't have to clear the line out with each pour. As long as your lines stay cold you won't notice any real waste due to excessive foam or flat beer or anything. No worries.

2. A keg can be left for a really long time at serving temps. Many many months, 6+ even, without issue. Granted, keep in mind that some beers age better than others. A really nice dry hopped IPA will lose some of its aroma over time, but a porter may just continue to get better and better.

3. As long as you don't have any leaks in your system (which you shouldn't) then the gas can be left on all the time without a problem. The beer will only absorb a certain amount of CO2 at a specific pressure and temperature, so even if the gas is left on for months you can't overcarbonate the beer or anything. That being said, once the beer has been adequately carbonated you can turn the main gas off and then turn it back on again when you want to use it. As long as the pressure and temp hasn't changed there is no special priming or tricks needed before serving.

EDIT: Damn. Yoop beat me

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Old 08-21-2010, 12:38 AM   #5
Greyhound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
HAHAHA- almost word for word. I guess that means we agree!
That's eerie. I almost thought it was a double post.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:40 AM   #6
marubozo
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Great minds think alike.

 
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:07 AM   #7
dougy
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Aug 2010
Australia
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Thanks for the quick replies!

After looking at whats available in Australia, I'm leaning towards something like this

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/BEER-FRIDGE-R...?pt=AU_Barware

It's a little pricey, but so is the gear to make my own. My question now is, since the taps are raised (think its called a font?) the beer towards the end of the line won't be refrigerated as well. Does this mean it will go off faster and might need to be flushed a little?

Also why is it that pubs need to clean their lines (daily?), some people say the bear taste fowl and makes you sick when they don't... but you are saying that we don't need to?

Thanks in advance!

 
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:14 AM   #8
lumpher
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like they said i've had a keg on tap for over 6 months, and it just melded in together better

 
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
likwidbliss
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I have never gotten sick from beer in my lines. I have left beer in there for a couple of days before drinking again. I am assuming the bars do this because they have to for some health code reasons.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:41 PM   #10
dougy
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Aug 2010
Australia
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Thanks for the responses. I didn't mean to be argumentative. I think the question I meant to ask, is there an advantage to having a tap coming directly through the front of a fridge over having a font.

After doing some more research I found out that pubs need to clean everyday because they have up to 20 meters of unrefrigerated line.

So I guess the worst that might happen is that the first drop isn't quite as cold

 
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