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rsitzejr

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What is the shelf life of a keg? Once I brew it, keg it, naturally carbonate it, how long will the beer last, with and without refrigeration? Basically I would like to keep 2 or 3 kegs rotating.
 

bikebryan

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rsitzejr said:
What is the shelf life of a keg? Once I brew it, keg it, naturally carbonate it, how long will the beer last, with and without refrigeration? Basically I would like to keep 2 or 3 kegs rotating.
Are you talking a corny keg? If so:

Why naturally carbonate a keg? You still need a CO2 source. Why? Because the lid of the keg won't seal without several psi to start with; if you just prime it and seal the lid, the pressure won't build up quick enough to seal the lid. The CO2 will just seep out. Further, you end up with sediment from the fermentation process. To get the initial pressure to seal the lid, you hit it with CO2.

Since you have the CO2, just use it to carbonate in the first place. It's easier, quicker, and produces an almost sedminent free beer.
 

No_Cool_Name

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I want to do the same thing with natural priming in a corny keg. I don't have a large CO2 source and I want to get a party set up (mini CO2 cartridges) after I prime my kegs. To get a good initial seal I plan on dropping a small chunk of dry ice (available at a number of grocery stortes) in initially and hold the lid for a few minutes until enough pressure builds to form a seal. Alternatively, you could hang the keg by the lid, but that would be a bit precarious.
 
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rsitzejr

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Everything I'm reading says hit it with CO2 to seal it, then let it carbonate naturally. Why do I want to do it? My first batch I force carbonated, I had to play around with it and still don't think I got it quite right, so I'm going to try this on the next batch.
 

Dude

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I've done both--I like force carbing better. You'll get the hang of it--it just takes some experimenting. All methods vary. Everyone does it a little differently. I think just about 24-36 hours under 30 psi works for me every time.
 
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rsitzejr

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ORRELSE said:
I've done both--I like force carbing better. You'll get the hang of it--it just takes some experimenting. All methods vary. Everyone does it a little differently. I think just about 24-36 hours under 30 psi works for me every time.
And you leave the CO2 attached the whole 36 hours? Last time I dumped 30lbs until it stopped bubbling, then shut the CO2 valve off.
 

soymateofeo

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Leave it connected. This is what I do and it seems to have worked.

1. I run CO2 in to the empty for a few seconds to drive any air out and leave just CO2. Maybe this works and maybe it doesn't but I know that CO2 is heaver than air so I assume it drives it out the top. ASSUME!
2. Rack to the keg and put the lid on.
3. Fill the gas space with CO2 and purge. Then do it again a few times. This is to remove oxygen to limit oxidation. This pressure also seals the keg.
4. I then set the pressure to 15-20 psi and shake the hell out of it every hour or so for the next day. The beer will absorb CO2 better at lower temperatures, around 40 degrees F.
5. Takes a day or 2 to fully carbonate.

If anybody has any way to improve my method, help me out!
 

bikebryan

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soymateofeo said:
Leave it connected. This is what I do and it seems to have worked.

1. I run CO2 in to the empty for a few seconds to drive any air out and leave just CO2. Maybe this works and maybe it doesn't but I know that CO2 is heaver than air so I assume it drives it out the top. ASSUME!
2. Rack to the keg and put the lid on.
3. Fill the gas space with CO2 and purge. Then do it again a few times. This is to remove oxygen to limit oxidation. This pressure also seals the keg.
4. I then set the pressure to 15-20 psi and shake the hell out of it every hour or so for the next day. The beer will absorb CO2 better at lower temperatures, around 40 degrees F.
5. Takes a day or 2 to fully carbonate.

If anybody has any way to improve my method, help me out!
Just set your regulator to the pressure necessary to dissolve enough CO2 for your carbonation level (use the charts), hook it up and leave it alone for about 5 to 7 days. Yes, you have to wait a little longer, but face it, letting it age a few more days will make it better anyway.

What's the all-fired hurry? If you are impatient, then brewing isn't really for you.
 
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