Basic Kegging Questions

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Picobrew

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I am new to kegging, and have been reading the kegging faqs etc, but can't find quite the advice I am looking for.

I have been racking my beer to corny after primary or after secondary, and then moving the keg to the garage, which is about 58degrees. Then after a few days I have been fridging it, and then using various techniques to carb.

I have a sure screen on the keg, so I am interested in using the kegs as secondaries and just racking straight from primary.

1. Is it important to let the beer "secondary" in the keg at temperatures above my fridge level, or can I just generally primary for 10 days and then slap the keg in the fridge?

2. Should I just hook up the keg at serving PSI and leave it and forget? Is that the easiest most consistent technique? Do I need to let it cool for a day before I do this?

I have been messing around with raising the PSI and shaking the kegs etc, its just quite a pain. I'd rather set it and forget it. It seems like even if I shake them etc, it still takes a week before it is to my liking. The other thing about shaking the keg is that everything gets unsettled again, so the settling that happens during secondary in the keg seems a bit useless.

I am asking these basic questions because I have read so much and there are so many techniques, I'd sort of like to know what the most common practice is for HBT'ers.
 

Yooper

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Beer will continue to condition at fridge temps, but at a much slower rate. I'd leave it at room temperature for a couple of weeks, then stick it in the fridge for the cold crash, to clear and be ready to drink.

I like to put the kegged beer next to the kegerator at room temperature until I'm ready to move it into the kegerator, and then when it goes it to the kegerator, I put it on serving temperature. In my case, that's 12 psi. In about two weeks, it's carbed and nice and clear and ready to drink.
 
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Picobrew

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Beer will continue to condition at fridge temps, but at a much slower rate. I'd leave it at room temperature for a couple of weeks, then stick it in the fridge for the cold crash, to clear and be ready to drink.

I like to put the kegged beer next to the kegerator at room temperature until I'm ready to move it into the kegerator, and then when it goes it to the kegerator, I put it on serving temperature. In my case, that's 12 psi. In about two weeks, it's carbed and nice and clear and ready to drink.
So when you leave the beer in kegs next to the fridge, they are uncarbed and at 0psi? Do You just leave your PSI at 12 all the time? that sounds nice and easy :mug: I just need more kegs and a bigger fridge now....
 

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So when you leave the beer in kegs next to the fridge, they are uncarbed and at 0psi? Do You just leave your PSI at 12 all the time? that sounds nice and easy :mug: I just need more kegs and a bigger fridge now....
Let's see- yes, and yes.

Well, I blast a shot of co2 in them, to make sure they are sealed. I spray some star-san solution on the lids and posts to make sure that there aren't any leaks. Then, I purge by pulling the pressure relief valve, and do it again. And then once more. I'm trying to make sure that any oxygen in the keg is displaced by the co2, so I purge it a couple of times, and again, make sure it's sealed. Then, I leave it alone as long as I can to condition.

Now, I'm talking about most ales here. I do treat my lagers a bit differently, as well as the "bigger" beers or beers I'm dryhopping in the keg.

Then, in the kegerator, it goes right in at 12 psi. Once in a great while, I do something different, like if I suddenly need a keg carbonated sooner. But usually, the "set it and forget it" method works the best for me. Conditioned, carbonated beer without shaking, foam, adjusting the pressure, etc. It really is very easy.
 

beerthirty

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After primary (or secondary if thats your gig), cold crash in the fermenter, bring the temp down slowly over the course of a week to about 35*. Rack to a keg and gas it to make sure the keg is sealed. If force carbing gas it to about 35 psi and let it sit at room temp without the gas hooked up. After a week or two move a sanitized empty keg next to the full one. Use a transfer hose and push the beer to the empty keg, you will need to hook it up to the gas to push it all. The beer that is transfered will be sediment free and can now be chilled and force carbed. The fuller the keg is the longer it takes to carb. I find that the recommened times don't work for me. 5-7 days at 30PSI gets it real close, then take it down to serving pressure. For me its 12-16 depending on style.
 

oasisbliss

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after you let it sit for 7days or so at 12psi - should i back it off to about 5-6 psi for serving or leave it at 12psi for the duration of the keg?
 

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after you let it sit for 7days or so at 12psi - should i back it off to about 5-6 psi for serving or leave it at 12psi for the duration of the keg?
Leave it at the same pressure. The pressure you need to use, both for carbonating using the set and forget, and for serving, can be determined by using a chart like this one-
http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

You look on the left to find your serving temperature, follow that row over until you see the carbonation level you want, and look up to see what pressure that requires.

If you lower the pressure, CO2 will come out of the beer and into a head space every time you pour a beer, until the carbonation drops to whatever level corresponds with the lower pressure and your serving temp. The carbonation level always wants to reach equilibrium with the temperature and pressure. If you're having trouble with foamy pours at the serving pressure, the correct solution is usually balancing the lines by adding more resistance (usually by getting smaller ID or longer beer lines).
 
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