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Old 05-07-2014, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Whatís the best practice to start drinking from a keg after itís carbonated?

Iíve just started kegging (only kegged 2 IPAs so far) and it seems like my beer takes several weeks up to a month after kegging to get better. Both were kegged after around 10 days, but everyone says IPAs should be better fresh. I know that beers can get better with age, but specially for lighter pale ales and IPAs, shouldnít that happen faster than the 4-6 weeks that Iím seeing?

What Iíve done for the 2 beers Iíve kegs is the set and forget method. After about a week, I will pull off the slug of star san in the lines and a little beer, discard that and then taste a small sample (~2 oz), which both times hasnít been great. Then Iíll wait a few days, pull off a couple ounces to clear the lines (and drink it for learning purposes) and then pour another small sample (2-4 oz) and it will usually be getting better, but still not great. Iíve been repeating this every 3-7 days and it does seem like it keeps getting better so I was assuming they needed to condition longer. But should I just be pulling off 1 or 2 pints in the beginning and then drinking the rest? Will the beer be better then? Just curious what everyone else does.


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Old 05-07-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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anything hoppy is better drank young as they age you will lose more and more of you hoppy flavor

most ales for me are in the keg in about 10 to 12 days and on gas for 3 days then drinking

all the best

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Old 05-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #3
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I find myself pulling and drinking full pints after about 2 or 3 days of refrigeration/carbonation. Usually I have to dump the first pint or two as it's basically a glass of yeast with a little beer mixed in. After that it's very drinkable, but not great. It does take a couple of weeks before most brews start to hit their stride, though. As far as any general rules of thumb, I don't know. I think it depends on the beer.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:07 PM   #4
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I personally find all beer takes a little time. I can put a beer on in a week and as long as my brewing practices were sound, it's usually a decent beer. Although, they usually still hit their prime at about a month.

I think the big key to pushing a beer out quick, is really solid fermentation practices, temp control, sufficient yeast and good oxygen level for them to start with. This will produce a cleaner beer that needs less time to "Clean up."

Either way, I found I'm happiest just letting the beer sit in primary for 3 weeks, then keg. If it's an IPA, then I usually let it go 3 and then dry hop for a week right before kegging. I've built up my pipeline to accommodate this and it seems to really work nice for me.

Also I think one of the big keys is getting the yeast to settle out. A lot of yeast in suspension will definitely affect the character of the beer. If you are still going with the 10 day schedule, try cold crashing for a day or 2 after that and then kegging. You might just be tasting more yeast than you like in your beer.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:42 PM   #5
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Having 1 keg under my belt...so to speak... and no other expertise, the sweet stout I did was great after 8 days. It did have a slight metallic taste at 3 & 5, guessing it was the CO2. It carbonated at 35*, 14psi and today is day 8. Pulled the CO2 off today because, IMHO...it's perfect. Of course others will be stopping by to offer their opinions
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:29 AM   #6
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Thanks guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonefan94 View Post
I personally find all beer takes a little time. I can put a beer on in a week and as long as my brewing practices were sound, it's usually a decent beer. Although, they usually still hit their prime at about a month.

I think the big key to pushing a beer out quick, is really solid fermentation practices, temp control, sufficient yeast and good oxygen level for them to start with. This will produce a cleaner beer that needs less time to "Clean up."
I do all those things. I do only use agitation to oxygenate, but that should have been good enough for these beers.

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Originally Posted by Clonefan94 View Post
Either way, I found I'm happiest just letting the beer sit in primary for 3 weeks, then keg. If it's an IPA, then I usually let it go 3 and then dry hop for a week right before kegging. I've built up my pipeline to accommodate this and it seems to really work nice for me.

Also I think one of the big keys is getting the yeast to settle out. A lot of yeast in suspension will definitely affect the character of the beer. If you are still going with the 10 day schedule, try cold crashing for a day or 2 after that and then kegging. You might just be tasting more yeast than you like in your beer.
Thanks. Unfortunately no method for cold crashing.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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Anyone else have any tips or tricks for starting to drink for a keg?
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnagel View Post
Thanks guys. I do all those things. I do only use agitation to oxygenate, but that should have been good enough for these beers.

Thanks. Unfortunately no method for cold crashing.
Try this if you can, not perfect, but you can dramatically decrease the temp this way.

Get a big towel and two frozen milk gallon jugs of ice. Put those right next to the fermentor (after fermentation is complete) and wrap that big towel around the whole thing. This is what I do usually about 2 days before kegging. It won't get you down to 30s, but it will help to drop the temp enough to drop more out of suspension than just letting it sit at room temp.

I know the 2 gallon jugs of ice aren't easy either, but I have a large chest freezer we use for food. So, it's pretty easy for me to have ice on hand.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:31 PM   #9
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Depending on what kind of day i have had, best practice might include a funnel :-)
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonefan94 View Post
Try this if you can, not perfect, but you can dramatically decrease the temp this way.

Get a big towel and two frozen milk gallon jugs of ice. Put those right next to the fermentor (after fermentation is complete) and wrap that big towel around the whole thing. This is what I do usually about 2 days before kegging. It won't get you down to 30s, but it will help to drop the temp enough to drop more out of suspension than just letting it sit at room temp.

I know the 2 gallon jugs of ice aren't easy either, but I have a large chest freezer we use for food. So, it's pretty easy for me to have ice on hand.
I do always use a water bath for temp control and I have a spare fridge/freezer (beer fridge), so I could easily get some ice. Curious though, is this any different then just kegging, letting the yeast crash out for a few days and then pulling off the first pint or so? Seems they would accomplish similar things.

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Depending on what kind of day i have had, best practice might include a funnel :-)
LOL


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