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Old 01-22-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
libeerty
 
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This doesn't really pertain to those of you who keg with tons of taps, or who exclusively bottle, but for those of you (like me) who keg with ~2 taps, do you utilize a pipeline strategy?

I've recently decided that my thought process for beer goes like this: "Do I want a hoppy pale ale or do I want something else?" That something else is usually a stout or porter, but can be almost anything but sour or super sweet beers.

Based on this realization, I've come up with this strategy:

TAP 1 is a pale ale (usually IPA) of some variety. Usually playing around with different base malts, trying with and without crystal, playing with hops, etc.

TAP 2 is the Something Else.

My kegerator can fit three kegs, but I only have two taps, so I have an ON DECK spot for a keg to carb and condition without being on tap. If I think the IPA is going to kick first, On Deck is the next IPA. If I think the Something Else is going to kick first, On Deck is the next Something Else.

The IPA and Something Else have different pipelines. Generally speaking, unless I'm doing a hefe or other drink-when-young beer, the Something Else pipeline can be as long as I have primaries for. I let them sit until it is time for one to get promoted to ON DECK, then it gets kegged.

The IPA pipeline is more tricky. I like my IPAs FRESH. Generally 2 weeks in primary, 5-7 days dryhop in primary, then in the keg for another week. Approximately 1 month. And it probably drains in 3-4 weeks.

I've been trying to come up with a way to time it so I never have to drink an IPA older than my ideal. Since my IPA brewing time of ~4 weeks is close to my keg drinking of ~3-4 weeks, I try to brew when I think my IPA keg is almost kicked. That way, I always have 2-3 IPAs in rotation. I have 2 until the one on tap is nearing its end, then I brew up a 3rd.

Kind of fun to write this out, because it made me think through what I was doing...
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
BxBrewer
 
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Thats what i do ! Although i have a 2.5 keg i use for Cider. I always have both 5 gal kegs full "or in use. With something fermenting.

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
SpentGrains
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You didn't mention how many kegs you have or how long tap #2 usually lasts, that would help with figuring out your pipeline.

 
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
libeerty
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BxBrewer View Post
Thats what i do ! Although i have a 2.5 keg i use for Cider. I always have both 5 gal kegs full "or in use. With something fermenting.
Nice. Yeah, I have Apfelwein that has been in the primary for quite awhile now, waiting to tap it in the Spring!
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #5
libeerty
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpentGrains View Post
You didn't mention how many kegs you have or how long tap #2 usually lasts, that would help with figuring out your pipeline.
True. I have 4 kegs. Tap #2 varies quite a bit... but it almost doesn't matter because the beers in that pipeline do not usually get worse with age.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #6
kwadric
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I have a keezer that fits four kegs and only has two taps. I use a cobra tap for a third keg sometimes. Something like a RIS or Barleywine that I'm only going to drink occasionally and ages well.

 
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