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Old 10-29-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default transfer from keg to carboy

So, this weekend I got married -- fun!

Now I have a problem: too much leftover beer. It's a hard life... I know.

Specifically, I had purchased two 30L kegs from a local brewpub (they gave me one as a gift, also. a seriously great bunch of guys), and have a ton left in the kegs (my own bottled beer was very popular ;-).

I have to return the kegs and the equipment (a picnic cooler type affair) soon, and leave for a 10 day vacation at the end of the week...

I plan on having people over to attack the kegs, but I don't think we're going to finish them (that sounds like a bad goal to try to achieve).

I looked at bottling options a bit, but I'm not setup for bottling from a keg right now, nor do I have any real time to figure it out this week.

Instead, I'm considering pouring any leftover beer into a carboy or two (I have a 15L and 25L glass demijohns as well as a couple of 5Gal carboys), then letting them sit until I can get around to bottling them. I would probably just rig up a hose or racking cane from the tap on the cooler (so that it touches the bottom of the carboy and doesn't foam too much). Racking the beer from the keg might be less messy, but I honestly don't know how to open them up, and since they are just borrowed, I wouldn't want to damage anything.

If I fill the carboys to the brim with an airlock, and sanitize as much as possible, it seems like things should be fine, right? When it comes to bottling time in a few weeks, I would add some priming sugar (maybe a bit of yeast as well) and let them re-carbonate.

I have no experience with kegging equipment (I do all of my beer into 750mL belgian style bottles or champagne bottles), so I'm not sure what the best way to proceed is, but it seems like this should be fine as long as the sanitation is good enough. It should essentially be an extra secondary fermentation, no? It might change the beer, but but not necessarily for the worse.

Any better options I should consider?


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Old 10-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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It's going to be alot of trouble to save $10-20 worth of beer that you will likely be oxidizing anyway. Pouring the beer from a tap into a carboy is going to introduce a ton of oxygen. It'd be fine if you drank it ASAP, but to store it then later recarb it, you are going to spend all that time and energy to end up with oxidized, cardboard, stale beer.

I think your best option to end up with drinkable beer would be to purge all of the CO2 from the keg, take off the spear, then bottle straight from the keg with a siphon/bottling wand. It's not hard to remove the spear, and it isn't going to damage anything, but again, big PITA for a case or so of beer. You are going to spend $5-6 on yeast and priming sugar and about an hour+ of your time, I'd just let the beer go. Pour it into milk jugs and give it to the first homeless guy you see.

I think your best option is just to invite extra friends to the keg killing party....
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by drinkingcoffee View Post
I plan on having people over to attack the kegs, but I don't think we're going to finish them (that sounds like a bad goal to try to achieve).
That sounds like a perfect goal, haha. You can do it! Find a weekend day when everybody has the whole day to drink, if you each drink 1 beer/hour all day you'll stay relatively sober and the beer will be gone before you know it.
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