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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > New to Kegging some advice???
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:58 PM   #1
sasjodi
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Default New to Kegging some advice???

Hello Brew Talk,

I have been brewing beer for about a year and a half and have stepped into all grain and have made numerous delicious beers. Now I want to step into kegging since I want to have more batches of beer and less bottling . So I looked at midwest brewing supply and noticed a duel kegging draft system, and was thinking about buying it tonight. First I would like to know a little about kegging, I know its force carbonating, I have only done natural carbonation and brew Ales more. Besides that I know I place the Co2 tank on the beer for a certain amount of time, do you take it off after the carbonation is achieved or do you leave it on the keg while in the fridge or the cold basement? Can a keg be stored in a basement to drink if the basement is around 40 degrees? Also has anyone ordered this kegging system from midwest? It looks like a pretty nice set at a really good price...
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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Can you post a link to the system you are looking at? Basic practice is to rack the finished beer to a sanitized keg, connect the CO2, and purge out the O2 by operating the release valve on the keg. Then chill the keg down to around 40 f depending on style and preference. There are many different opinions on how to force carb. The way I do it is to set the pressure to 30psi and leave it for 2-5 days depending on the carb level I'm going for (you can set this pressure before the keg is fully cooled, just set the keg in the cold environment, set the pressure, and leave it alone). Then reduce the pressure down to 4 to 10 psi to serve. Dude, kegging is awesome. SOOOOOO much easier than bottling. The time you save on bottling can be spent brewing (or sitting on your ass for that matter). Take the plunge, it is worth every penny and you'll never look back.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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Well ill start i guess. I buy alot from midwest, but any of the big retailers will sell a nice kit. The co2 will stay hooked to the beer, and i guess 40 would be ok, many like stouts at that temp. They easiest way for me to carb is to try to plan ahead and be carbing my next beer before i need it. I set the co2 pressure to about 12lbs and leave it alone for about a week to 10 days. However this is with my beer at 36 degrees. colder beer absorbs co2 better than warmer beer so at 40 your co2 pressure would need to be higher. fortunately there are charts that spell that out, such as this one..
http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

Not sure with serving at 40 degrees, but suspect that may cause some foaming to work on. nothing that you probably couldnt overcome.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:28 PM   #4
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thanks man, the link is

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brew-...-co2-tank.html

I do intend to buy a fridge for the keg but as of now money is tough, and buying a keg system is looking better as days progress .. So what do you guys think of the system? Is it a legit draft system?
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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That is the one I started out with. It gets you all you need to get started kegging.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasjodi View Post
thanks man, the link is

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brew-...-co2-tank.html

I do intend to buy a fridge for the keg but as of now money is tough, and buying a keg system is looking better as days progress .. So what do you guys think of the system? Is it a legit draft system?
That looks like a really nice system but you don't have to start out that fancy. You can start with a singe regulator and one keg and then add a manifold later to add a second keg. The advantage to the dual regulator is that you can have your kegs at separate pressures. A nice luxury but not totally necessary. Also, the pressure guage for the CO2 tank itself is pretty much useless. The tank stays at constant pressure through the whole 5 pounds of CO2 so the guage will not change AT ALL until all but the last few ounces of CO2 are left. The only real way to check how much CO2 is left is to weigh the tank and subtract the tare weight (the tear wieght is etched into all CO2 gas cylinders). My first keg stayed in a keg tub full of ice for the first week. Then I bought a fridge at Fry's. You can also find really cheap (or free) fridges on craig's list. If you have a basement and plenty of room you have lots of options for cooling. I had to buy slick little fridge at Fry's because I live in an apartment and don't have the space. Also, my gf wouldn't approve of some janky fridge in the corner of the living room. If we had a garage or a basement it would be a different story.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:31 PM   #7
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That looks like a good system to start with.

You will very quickly want more kegs so you can age some beers while your pouring those 2.

40F is a seriously cold basement! Are you sure it's that cold? If it is it will work great for kegging beer. My keg fridge is set to about 40F.

As others have said to carb, you hook up the gas and set the pressure according to the chart and how much carbonation you want in the beer. Most ales are good with 2-2.5 volumes. Weizens and Belgians are better with much more carbonation in the 3-4 volumes range. Then set the pressure according to the temp it's stored at per the chart. Wait a week and it will be carbonated. After 2 weeks it will fully reach the intended volumes. Enjoy!

PS: make sure you get a long hose (6'-10') made from very high quality 3/16" ID Beverage tubing. The tube used to pour the beer makes a big difference in how the beer foams.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #8
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Compare prices with this one: http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=464

Make sure to account for shipping costs as well.

The taprite regulator is nice because you use the dial to get to your desired pressure instead of using a screw driver. It pretty much came assemble ( just need to fill the co2 tank and the keg ) and the kegs did not need any fixing ( i.e. didn't need to replace the gaskets ).

I set my pressure according to the temp of my freezer and leave it on the gas at that pressure for the life of the keg.

Edit: sorry. Just realized it was a dual-pressure system. The one I linked above does 2 kegs, but at the same pressure. Seems like a good deal.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for the good responses, haha yes Maida my basement gets pretty cold, its a old house so it gets very cold in the winter, so where exactly can I get the chart that you are describing?
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasjodi View Post
Thanks guys for the good responses, haha yes Maida my basement gets pretty cold, its a old house so it gets very cold in the winter, so where exactly can I get the chart that you are describing?
From a few responses earlier

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

at 40F & 12 PSI you get 2.47 volumes. This is appropriate from most styles of beer.
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