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Old 09-08-2007, 12:29 AM   #1
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Default more simple kegging questions

wow this is my fourth post about kegging in two days. i must be confused. i have two more questions: normally if i bottled this it would have two more weeks to age at room temp. will this beer age and improve in the keg if it is refrigerated or should i either secondary an extra two weeks or leave the keg at room temp for two weeks? also how do i clean my lines and how often?

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:31 AM   #2
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secondary is for clearing the beer, so whether bottling or kegging, 2 weeks (or more) in secondary is a good idea.

beer also ages in the bottle, as well as the keg. 1 week is all that's needed for carbing, but 3 weeks is a good rule of thumb for actual aging and allowing all the flavors to really melt, and any 'harsh' hopness will start to mellow.

chilling it does slow this aging process. I've only keg'd twice, but I let both sit at room temp in the keg for 10-14 days before chilling and carbing for a week. My irish red was just an extract + specialty grains kit, but it was a fine beer as it neared 4 weeks in the keg.

as far as cleaning your lines, I think its a bit of personal preference. if you had several kegs in a row of similar beer styles, you could just switch out, then clean every 3-4 kegs.
or you could be super anal about it (like me) and clean them after every keg.

Its basically a sanitized environment since the beer is clean, and the valve only flows one way. your CO2 is clean too.

I'd swear I saw one guy post that he doesn't ever clean his lines, just replaces them once a year.

I myself think clashing beer styles leeching their flavor/hops into the lines might be a good reason to clean em.

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:54 AM   #3
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My new plan is to let it clear in primary as long as I can hold out. That is, as long as I don't need the primary for another batch. After that, if it needs more aging time, I'll keg it and put 40 PSI on it, then disconnect the gas and let it sit at ferment temps for at least another week before I chill. The 40 PSI will carb it just a little so it won't take as long in the kegger.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:58 AM   #4
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Depends on the beer style. I usually brew simple, lighter recipes (I'm a wimp) that don't require a lot of secondary conditioning. I've gone from brew kettle to tap in as little as two weeks with a simple three grain, 4% ale.

The sooner you get a keg to a chiller, the sooner you can move the beer past the chill-haze effect. Cold is the only thing to eventually get that beer crystal clear. I use gelatin in the secondary to speed things along.

Are you force carbing your keg, or priming. That makes a big difference in timing, obviously.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:27 AM   #5
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I primary and secondary as I would if I were bottling (sometimes longer in the secondary if I don't have free keg space).

I have noticed that my kegged beer is markedly better two weeks after kegging and carbing as opposed to one week.

I like to clean my lines in place so as soon as I kill the keg I fill it halfway with oxyclean and water, add some gas, and run the solution through my lines. Then I break everything down to check all the o-rings. After that I sanitize all the pieces, put the keg back together, and run some sanitizer through the lines just like I did the cleaner. Finally I rack in a new brew. I follow this procedure every time I empty a keg.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:58 PM   #6
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Actually, super-anal is cleaning lines twice a month. I do it after each keg.

I keg after 3-4 weeks in the fermenter and generally give it a minimum of two weeks at room temperature after kegging.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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I've been kegging about 8 months now and have yet to clean my lines.

My logic is that they never rest. I always have something on tap and it "moves" every day.

I'll be gone a month come tomorrow, but I know the grandsons-in-law will be here to drink while I'm away...
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:35 PM   #8
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My beer usually sit in the fermenter for about a mo between primary and sacondary, then I keg at dispensing pressure and and store at 40 psi. It takes about another week for them to carb; at this point it's pretty tough to keep from starting to drink them, but the beer does just continue to get better the longer you wait. When it's not 90 degrees out, I often condition longer at room temp though. If you can stand it, wait. Simple beer taste pretty good after a couple of months, an Ipa is much better at about 6 mos, and big beers, as well as stouts and porters, really can sit for 8-12 mos to hit their peak.

I know this may be difficult, and sounds a little absurd, but it's worth th wait!
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:16 PM   #9
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You'll find that cleaning the lines is not only to get rid of bacteria, but to get rid of the "beerstone" that builds up. Once it is visible in the lines, it is a PITA to get rid of, and be assured that it is inside your taps and connectors too. Clean after every keg if possible. I don't do it every time, but at least every other time and between styles.

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