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Jared259

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Ok so I’m new to home brewing. I’ve so far done 2 brews with the kits you buy online and it makes about 5 gallons or about 50 bottles. Both times they tasted great I was very pleased with the results... at first. After the 2 week carbonation process in bottles I put them all in the fridge I cracked the first open and they tasted perfect. After about 2-3 weeks went by they became so over carbonated and lost all flavor. I used the sugar water mixture to carbonate them.
Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

Second thing is I have a full size sanke keg now and want to use it to put my brews in and out in my kegerator. I know how to remove the valve and spear and sanitize it.
My questions are:
Is there anything special I need to do to fill it or can I just fill it while the valve is out?
Can I do the carbonation process in the keg if so how?
Would I still need to use the carbonation tablets or the sugar water mixture or could I carbonate it with my CO2 bottle.

Sorry if these are dumb questions just couldn’t really find a straight answer online.
 

Mike B1190

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I've never used a Sanke keg personally, but I wouldn't assume you need to do anything special to fill it.

Regarding keg carbonation, there are a few different methods. You can certainly add priming sugar to the keg and let the beer carbonate naturally. Some prefer this. Some prefer force carbonating with their C02 tank. See the thread below for more information on methods.

 

doogie

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My guess is that you used a little too much sugar water when you bottled. There are calculators to determine how much to use for a desired carbonation level.

For the sanke spear removal, Google is your friend - here was one thread in HBT - You can certainly fill it when the spear is out, but I use Corny kegs, so I can't offer any first hand experience.
DIY Sanke Valve Removal Tool suggestions

Most keggers carbonate using their CO2 bottle. It's called force carbonating - lots of variations - I normally set to 20 PSI for 3 days or so and then dial back to 8-10 PSI for dispensing.
 

D.B.Moody

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I think it would be surprising to have more sugar provided in a kit than was needed, but it does appear that your are over carbonated. Is it possible you bottled before the batches are done fermenting? You didn't give many details to go on, but your questions about kegging suggest you might be a bit loose on planning or details.

I only bottle, so I can't help you with kegging.
 
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chessking

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One possability is the sugar was not mixed evenly and some bottles got a larger charge, or perhaps the primary ferment was not completely finished @ bottling time.
 
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Jared259

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One possability is the sugar was not mixed evenly and some bottles got a larger charge, or perhaps the primary ferment was not completely finished @ bottling time.
Sugar mixture was mixed in the 5 gallon bucket with the brew and then bottled definitely possible it wasn’t done fermenting. I did let it ferment the amount of time they told to though.
 
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Jared259

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I think it would be surprising to have more sugar provided in a kit than was needed, but it does appear that your are over carbonated. Is it possible you bottled before the batches are done fermenting? You didn't give many details to go on, but your questions about kegging suggest you might be a bit loose on planning or details.

I only bottle, so I can't help you with kegging.
The kit did not come with the sugar but it give measurements of how much to use and I measured it exactly but still possible it was to much. The fermenting not being done is definitely possible too. Yea I’m still learning and researching on how to do things. I assume there will be a lot of trial and error.
 
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Jared259

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My guess is that you used a little too much sugar water when you bottled. There are calculators to determine how much to use for a desired carbonation level.

For the sanke spear removal, Google is your friend - here was one thread in HBT - You can certainly fill it when the spear is out, but I use Corny kegs, so I can't offer any first hand experience.
DIY Sanke Valve Removal Tool suggestions

Most keggers carbonate using their CO2 bottle. It's called force carbonating - lots of variations - I normally set to 20 PSI for 3 days or so and then dial back to 8-10 PSI for dispensing.
Thanks. Your answer about the CO2 process is exactly what I was looking for. I’ll try that next instead of the sugar and see what happens.
 
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Jared259

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1 last question in regards to the fermenting since that might be my issue. I don’t have the kit instructions but I let it ferment the time they said I think it was 2 weeks. I realize that may vary a little. Generally what’s a good way to know it’s done fermenting?
 

KepowOb

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1 last question in regards to the fermenting since that might be my issue. I don’t have the kit instructions but I let it ferment the time they said I think it was 2 weeks. I realize that may vary a little. Generally what’s a good way to know it’s done fermenting?
Best way to know it's done is to to use a hydrometer. 2 readings from it a few days apart that are the same means it's done.

That said, 2 weeks should be more than enough time to finish fermentation.

For the sugar, do you remember how much you used? Also, was it just regular sugar, or something else?
 

hotbeer

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my 2¢ from recent experience with the 1 gallon kits is that 2 of 3 needed almost four weeks to finish fermenting.

I judged that by the bubbling in the beer stopping completely and the beer clearing up. I don't go by bubbling in the airlock. If you don't ferment in glass you might be SOL for my visual decision. Two of the same specific gravity readings several days apart are probably the best gauge.

My kits recommend more priming sugar than the calculators come up with. So I split the difference on mine and was more than happy with the result, though so far all the bottles were empty well within 2 weeks after carbonating fully.
 

Teufelhunde

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Sugar mixture was mixed in the 5 gallon bucket with the brew and then bottled definitely possible it wasn’t done fermenting. I did let it ferment the amount of time they told to though.
This sounds like a def possibility, as all batches are different. I have one in the fermenter that I have done before and it played out in three days, this time it has been happily bubbling away for 7 days now and is still going.....
 

seatazzz

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My concern in reading your post, is that you have what you call a "full size" sanke keg; if it's the kind of keg you normally see in a bar situation, that thing holds 15 gallons (these are also known as 1/2bbl {barrel} kegs). If you're brewing 5 gallon batches, you're going to have a LOT of headspace to fill with co2 before the beer is carbonated. If it's just a 5 gallon (also known as a 1/6bbl) you should be fine.
 
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Jared259

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My concern in reading your post, is that you have what you call a "full size" sanke keg; if it's the kind of keg you normally see in a bar situation, that thing holds 15 gallons (these are also known as 1/2bbl {barrel} kegs). If you're brewing 5 gallon batches, you're going to have a LOT of headspace to fill with co2 before the beer is carbonated. If it's just a 5 gallon (also known as a 1/6bbl) you should be fine.
It is a 1/2 barrel. I was doing 5 gallon batches once I figure everything out better I will be doing 10 gallon batches I just don’t want to waste a lot if it’s not right.
 
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