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Old 12-15-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
Eskimo Spy
 
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Okay, I have the equipment, but have never kegged before. So, here's what I thinkI'm supposed to do, help me clear up any incorrect assumptions I may have...

1. Clean the keg, sanitize.
2. Siphon beer into keg. Seal the keg.
3. Attach the CO2 tank to the keg.
4. Set the CO2 tank somewhere between 25-30 (Beersmith says set to 27)
5. Wait a week, perhaps two.
6. Bleed off the excess gas, transfer to fridge.
7. Attach the CO2 again, set to 5 - 8, dispense the delicious libation.

So, a couple of questions. One, when I set the tank to 25 - 30 and wait, I assume I leave the tank attached, set to 25 - 30?

Two, how long do I put the keg in the fridge before it's ready to serve?

Any help or direction is appreciated. I did look at the sticky and do some searches before I posted, and some questions were answered, but not all. I'm trying to put together a step-by-step beginner's guide for extract brewing, kegging, etc. for a friend who's just getting started, and I figured why not help us both at the same time!
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:23 PM   #2
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Past #1 and #2, i would put the beer in the fridge for 24 hours to get it down to serving temp. Then hook up the gas at whatever pressure you will be serving it at, and let it sit under that pressure (aprox. 10 psi). It should be fully carbed within 1 to 2 weeks, then enjoy.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:28 PM   #3
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Right...up until step #4.

After you hit the keg with pressure, make sure to release the pressure valve on the keg a couple times to allow any oxygen to purge out.

Don't try and force carb a room-temperature keg.

Drop the keg into the chiller and hit it at 30PSI for 48 hours. If the keg is already chilled when you hook it up, drop that time down to 36 hours.

Cold kegs carb faster.

Make sure that when you're ready to test the carbonation, you lower the PSI to serving (7-8) and bleed the excess pressure out of the keg.

 
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:30 PM   #4
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+1 on putting your carboy in the fridge and cooling it down before kegging. This will not only cool the beer which makes for quicker carbonation, but also will help clear the beer as more proteins and yeast will drop out of suspension.

For carbonating, I find that 30psi for 3 days works perfectly for most beers. If you want super bubbly then leave it at 30psi for 4 days. After that, put the pressure down to 6-8psi depending on your serving line length. After you adjusts the pressure, purge the keg so you don't get foamy rocket beer for your first glass!!!

I typically wait 1-2 weeks after carbing to start drinking on a keg regularly, but as soon as it's carbed you can drink it.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:40 AM   #5
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Okay, so if I'm not trying to force carb in a hurry, and I don't have a dedicated fridge or chest freezer right now, would the following steps be correct?

1. If possible, put the carboy in the fridge 24 hours before racking to the keg. If not possible (it's not in my case, right now), proceed to step 2.
2. Clean the keg, sanitize.
3. Fill the tank with CO2, purging the tank until the oxygen is gone.
4. Siphon beer into keg. Seal the keg.
5. Attach the CO2 tank to the keg.
6. Set the CO2 tank somewhere between 25-30 (Beersmith says set to 27)
7. Release the pressure valve on the keg a couple times to allow any oxygen to purge out
8. Wait 3-4 days.
9. Bleed off the excess gas, transfer to bucket with ice.
10. Attach the CO2 again, set to 5 - 8, dispense the delicious libation.

Obviously I'm looking for some step-by-step directions to use until I can get a dedicated freezer for fermentation/dispensing. Thanks for all the help, I've consulted the books, and it seems simple, but then I read another and it seems to conflict with the first. Perhaps I'm confusing force carbing with regular carbing.

Anyway, one more thing. Would it be a good idea to add some 1/4 cup of DME after boiling in 1/2 cup of water to add some body to the beer when kegging? This was a suggestion from the LHBS owner.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:51 AM   #6
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Cold beer "holds" carbonation better than warm beer. Warm beer is hard to carb up without foaming. You need a higher pressure, and then when you chill it, it may be overcarbed.

If you don't have a dedicated fridge, have you considered priming and then allowing it to remain at room temperature for 2-3 weeks? That would give you the carbonation, and the conditioning time as well. You'd just use 1/2 the priming sugar you normally do (so, maybe just 2.5 ounces instead of 5 ounces), seal with a shot of co2 and keep at room temperature until it's carbed up. That may be the best way to do this.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:56 AM   #7
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I saw that you want to carb it in a hurry- so that rules out priming, I guess.

Check out this chart: Force Carbonation & Carb Table

At 68 degrees, you'd need 30 psi for a couple of weeks to carb up. If your regulator goes higher than 30 psi (mine does), you could go up to a higher psi and it would take less time to carb up. You could try the shaking thing, but that never worked well for me (too much foam).
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:18 AM   #8
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So, it would take 2 days to carb the keg at 30 PSI at fridge temps, and 2 weeks to carb the keg at 30 PSI at room temp, right?

If that's the case, then I guess it's time to buy a chest freezer, a Johnson temp controller, and use it for fermentation and as a keezer.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskimo Spy View Post
So, it would take 2 days to carb the keg at 30 PSI at fridge temps, and 2 weeks to carb the keg at 30 PSI at room temp, right?

If that's the case, then I guess it's time to buy a chest freezer, a Johnson temp controller, and use it for fermentation and as a keezer.
Yeah, that's about the size of it! I have a $40 "apartment" fridge that I use. It's a 3/4 size fridge, not a little dorm fridge. It only holds two kegs, but it's good enough for right now. The nice thing about a fridge is that you don't need a temp controller, and no modifications are really necessary. I keep saying I"m going to drill it for faucets, but I probably won't. I have my eyes open for something bigger! You know what they say, "Bigger is better"!
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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Wow, this is a great thread, maybe we can clean it up and put it as a sticky... I learned a lot from this thread!

 
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