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Corny kegs, one less cleaning

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Witbier

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I like to time a batch for kegging right as I'm emptying one of the Corny's I use. I pop the cover, clean it, and rack right into the keg without having to sanitize it. The keg's cool from being in the beer fridge and filled with CO2. I thoroughly clean the draw hose and tap though.
 

Janx

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I do the same thing, or if I blow a keg and there's nothing to put in it, it just takes a quick rinse, and I throw in a bit of Iodophor solution. I can't imagine ever going back to bottles. You have so much more freedom and control with kegs, and SO much less cleaning.
 

rooftopbrew

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I do the same though I'm going to replace the popits soon. Shouldn't be much of a challenge though.
 

Janx

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Nah, it's a piece of cake. I've taken them apart tons of times.

Little buggers are a pain. We have one keg in particular that likes to stay open and spray beer when you remove the connector. It just doesn't seat quite right. Maybe the spring is going and I should replace it.
 

rooftopbrew

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Janx said:
We have one keg in particular that likes to stay open and spray beer when you remove the connector. It just doesn't seat quite right. Maybe the spring is going and I should replace it.
I've got one of those too. Its always after having cleaned the floors too.
 

rightwingnut

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Beer ages well in bottles...does the same hold true for kegs? Can you have a bunch of corny kegs sitting in a closet for a year? I didn't like the keg idea at first, only because I usually take my beer with me, and don't drink at home, but after taking home a few growlers from the local brewpub...I could do that with my own kegs, so I'll get there someday. I LOVE brewing, and I've only tasted 1 batch, brewed 3. My only problem is I don't drink all that much...6-12 bottles a week....I'll have to start giving it away!
 

Uncle Fat

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rightwingnut said:
Beer ages well in bottles...does the same hold true for kegs? Can you have a bunch of corny kegs sitting in a closet for a year?
Ummmmm YEP!! I worked out a deal with my girlfriend where I only take up half the basement fridge for beer. So I use 2.5 gallon kegs. I put one directly in and force-carbonate it, and keg-condition the other. The second always tastes better (and pours better from the tap). Now that I've moved to 10 gallon batches, I'm going to need more kegs...
 

Chadbrew

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First of all plz forgive me if this one has been answered to death. I'm right on the verge of getting a kegging system and at least initially I planned on "keg-conditioning". Is the process basically the same as bottle conditioning (5oz/5gal) and when you draw off a pint do you get the yeast?
Thanx
 

D-brewmeister

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Uncle Fat said:
Ummmmm YEP!! I worked out a deal with my girlfriend where I only take up half the basement fridge for beer. So I use 2.5 gallon kegs. I put one directly in and force-carbonate it, and keg-condition the other. The second always tastes better (and pours better from the tap). Now that I've moved to 10 gallon batches, I'm going to need more kegs...
Do you add some CO2 when you keg condition? Is it possible to get enough CO2 into solution at warmer temps? The keg system I am considering would involve racking the beer from secondary straight into 5 gal corneys, putting it under some level of pressure (im not sure how much), and when transfering out of that keg to a 2.5 or 3 gal keg that would be refrigerated, and put under additional co2 for serving. (this is possible isn't it? What connectors would be needed?) I want to try and do this so that I can have a few different beers in rotation more quickly that I would go through a 5 gal keg. Would the beer that remains in the 5 gal keg after transfering over half of it be in more danger of spoilage? Since the volume was replaced by co2, I woudn't think so, but I'm not sure. Can't beer probably sit in a keg under co2 for just as long as in bottles without loosing quality, if not longer?
 

D-brewmeister

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How long can beer sit in the keg at warmer than fridge temps? Does it matter how full the keg is? Like would a half full keg that has the air purged with co2 still be able to sit arround for a month or two without going bad? I have had bottled beers that were great after 2 months of sitting in my basement. Also, how warm is too warm for a keg to sit for a period of time? And how carbonated should you get the beer before letting it sit? I realize that at warmer temps, it is hard to get it up to full serving carbonation (or at least once you cool it down to serving temps, it would probably be flat).

And what do you think of the plan I ran by in my post above (sorry about doubling up, but I have been seriously geeking out about kegging)

Will it work? Should I just bite the bullet and figure out how to refrigerate all my beer in 5 gal cornys? By the way, I just ordered the Whirlpool fridge I was looking at:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7505402662&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

the price was right, and I really need a second fridge in my appartment anyway, just to hold all my condiments, salad dressings etc (oh yeah, and some beer stuff too:D). I bet I won't be able to fit 5 gals in there easily, but I am thinking about getting some 3 or 2.5 ers for it.
 

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D-brewmeister said:
Will it work? Should I just bite the bullet and figure out how to refrigerate all my beer in 5 gal cornys? By the way, I just ordered the Whirlpool fridge I was looking at:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7505402662&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

the price was right, and I really need a second fridge in my appartment anyway, just to hold all my condiments, salad dressings etc (oh yeah, and some beer stuff too:D). I bet I won't be able to fit 5 gals in there easily, but I am thinking about getting some 3 or 2.5 ers for it.

That is the EXACT fridge I have for my draft set-up. I can fit one 5 gal corny and one 3 gal corny. Its perfect for my needs. If oyu need it, I can take some pics of where I drilled and how I manipulated the freezer section to work for a 5 gal corny. The whole project took me about 2 hours to do.
If you go with two 3 gal cornys you'l probably be able to get away with keeping most of the shelves in it. I had to remove all of mine but its a dedicated beer fridge so that didn't bother me. :D
 

D-brewmeister

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orrelse said:
That is the EXACT fridge I have for my draft set-up. I can fit one 5 gal corny and one 3 gal corny. Its perfect for my needs. If oyu need it, I can take some pics of where I drilled and how I manipulated the freezer section to work for a 5 gal corny. The whole project took me about 2 hours to do.
Sweet! Thanks for the response, and yeah, I would love to see some picks about how you set it up for kegs. I suppose that if you put 5 gals in it, you have to make the freezer unusable, but you wouldn't have to if you just had smaller kegs in it?
 

D-brewmeister

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Well, I just got my new fridge, and I think it looks pretty cool, all black and everything. I just tried to stick in a 5 gal corny, and it seems to fit under the freezer compartment just fine (I will have to take off the little plastic door in front of it. I dig this, because it means I probably should not have to do any major reconfiguring to the inside of the fridge, except of course removing all the shelves and stuff, which is good as I might want to be able to sell the fridge at some point, like when I get a bigger place and want to upgrade. I dunno. There is one issue that I see, however:

The door has a plastic liner, with clips and stuff for the door bottle holders and stuff, and there is a big lip at the bottom of this liner. With that lip sticking into the bottom of the fridge, the door won't close when a keg is in there, as it reduces the floor area to around 6-7 inches deep. So my question is: How do I remove that door liner, with out totaly destroying it? I peeled back the rubber door gasket a bit and didn't see any obvious screw heads or anything, so is it just some sort of pressure fit? Should I just say to hell with keeping the fridge sellable and go to town, rip the door up, drill some holes through for taps etc.

Oh, and one more thing, has anyone had any luck installing a tap tower in a fridge that has a freezer compartment at the top?
 

zprime

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You'll have to watch the top of the fridge....we discovered with the one we bought this weekend that the freezer is where all the cold comes from so to remove the freezer is to remove the cold.

We discovered that we could take the screws loose in the freezer and kind of push it up....if I get the chance I'll post some pictures. Then if you take the bottom shelf, the small one and put like a couple of blocks under it (in my case i did a couple of 2x4 scraps on the bottom of the fridge the door will close under the keg, with the only modification being the removed screws, which should be able to be undone. Might not work in yours but might be worth investigating.
 

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is keg conditioning the same as bottle conditioning? i just got an all grain setup and now i want to start kegging and brewing more... can i just put in 3/4 cup of corn sugar into a 5 gallon keg and let it sit two weeks in the basement?
 
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The ones with experience can chime in and over-ride my thoughts here, but I've been reading on it a little bit with the intent of going to kegging. It seems to me that with kegging, you can 'force carbonate' your beer and never have to add these primers to get it to carbonate itself. With this method, you get no sludge in the bottom of the keg because there are no more sugars and because you can put it right to the fridge which would stop yeast activity. I'm not certain wether going right to the fridge is the right approach since it seems that the temperature will affect the time it takes the beer to carbonate using this method. I forget which it is, but either hotter or colder makes the gas absorbtion into the beer take longer. Not that it wouldn't happen, but it would just take longer. In my case where I have plenty of fridge space, I plan to keg and put it straight in the fridge. As far as conditioning, putting it in the fridge will be the difference, not really kegging vs. bottling.
 

bikebryan

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phuzle said:
is keg conditioning the same as bottle conditioning? i just got an all grain setup and now i want to start kegging and brewing more... can i just put in 3/4 cup of corn sugar into a 5 gallon keg and let it sit two weeks in the basement?
It depends on what your plans are with the beer in the keg. If you are going to bottle it out of the keg, don't carbonate it in the keg. Rack it to a bottling bucket, mix your corn sugar there and bottle like normal.

If you are getting into kegging so you can serve out of the keg, then you just carbonate using a CO2 tank. The point of kegging is to avoid all the excess stuff that comes from adding more sugar to carbonate. You rack it into the keg from your primary or secondary (preferably a secondary), chill it, then hook up your CO2 source set the correct pressure for the volumes of CO2 you want based on the beer's chilled temp, and wait around five to seven days. Then tap it and enjoy.
 

bikebryan

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
The ones with experience can chime in and over-ride my thoughts here, but I've been reading on it a little bit with the intent of going to kegging. It seems to me that with kegging, you can 'force carbonate' your beer and never have to add these primers to get it to carbonate itself. With this method, you get no sludge in the bottom of the keg because there are no more sugars and because you can put it right to the fridge which would stop yeast activity. I'm not certain wether going right to the fridge is the right approach since it seems that the temperature will affect the time it takes the beer to carbonate using this method. I forget which it is, but either hotter or colder makes the gas absorbtion into the beer take longer. Not that it wouldn't happen, but it would just take longer. In my case where I have plenty of fridge space, I plan to keg and put it straight in the fridge. As far as conditioning, putting it in the fridge will be the difference, not really kegging vs. bottling.
The colder the solution, the easier it is for gas to dissolve in it at lower pressures.
 

phuzle

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well, the reason i asked is because i can get some kegs very cheaply, but i dont have the money to shell out for a co2 system, at least not yet (and i dont have space in my fridge, so i dont want to buy a new fridge any time soon). i was hoping i could keg condition - i dont really care about yeast at the bottom or anything, cause there really wouldnt be THAT much yeast. i just want to buy a few cornys and a tap, and drink the whole keg in one night.

so, can i keg condition? 3/4 cup corn sugar into a corny will work just fine, as long as i drink all the beer in a few hours?
 

bikebryan

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phuzle said:
well, the reason i asked is because i can get some kegs very cheaply, but i dont have the money to shell out for a co2 system, at least not yet (and i dont have space in my fridge, so i dont want to buy a new fridge any time soon). i was hoping i could keg condition - i dont really care about yeast at the bottom or anything, cause there really wouldnt be THAT much yeast. i just want to buy a few cornys and a tap, and drink the whole keg in one night.

so, can i keg condition? 3/4 cup corn sugar into a corny will work just fine, as long as i drink all the beer in a few hours?
Can you? Sure. I've never tried it but I've heard of people who have. I've never met one, though.

You'll still need something to provide pressure to move the beer from the keg. One way or the other, you're going to have to get some type of gas (usually CO2, but some people have used nitrogen as well) to hook up to the keg and provide the necessary pressure to force the beer out of it.

The mini-CO2 cartridges will work, but if you use very many of them you will probably come close to the cost of a CO2 tank anyway.
 

Kephren

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If you're gonna drink 5 gallons in one sitting, you're not gonna care about sediment anyhow. Yes. You can keg condition. Then just find a way to force the beer out the tap. You can use those little co2 canisters that you can buy at the hobby store. But... if you are going as far as to get kegs, taps and brew a good beer, just make the one-time $70 investment into a co2 tank which will last through several kegs. Refills are only about $10.

On a side-note, make sure there are no leaks in the keg seals. I just hooked up my co2 a couple of days ago to a leaky tank and found out this morning that my canister was empty. Check for leaks.
 

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D-brewmeister said:
There is one issue that I see, however:

The door has a plastic liner, with clips and stuff for the door bottle holders and stuff, and there is a big lip at the bottom of this liner. With that lip sticking into the bottom of the fridge, the door won't close when a keg is in there, as it reduces the floor area to around 6-7 inches deep. So my question is: How do I remove that door liner, with out totaly destroying it? I peeled back the rubber door gasket a bit and didn't see any obvious screw heads or anything, so is it just some sort of pressure fit? Should I just say to hell with keeping the fridge sellable and go to town, rip the door up, drill some holes through for taps etc.

Oh, and one more thing, has anyone had any luck installing a tap tower in a fridge that has a freezer compartment at the top?

No need to worry my friend! I have solutions....
You'll have to modify the fridge a tiny bit, and your problems will be solved.
First, the lip on the door--here's what I did:

I made a small shelf from a piece of floor tiling and a few pieces of scrap wood I had laying around, and made a few cuts. Its crude, but it solved my problem easily. The keg sits on top of the shelf and even tilts when I open the fridge for easy access to it! I'll get you exact measurments if you want them. It took me less than a half hour to do it.

Bottom view of the crude shelf


View of shelf with the keg sitting on it in the fridge, the lip on the door slides right underneath it.


Draft tower was just as easy. I drilled a hole right through the top of the fridge. It doesn't have any freon lines in the top so its a safe project. I used a 1 1/2 inch hole bit to drill it. You'll go through a the thin layer of metal on the top of the fridge, as well as about 2 inches of insulation, and then a small layer of plastic inside the fridge. It drilled through extremely easily. The I installed the tower and ran the beer line through the drill hole in the top, and ran it behind the freezer compartment. No, the beer line will not freeze. Mine works perfectly.

You can see by the next pic that I carefully bent the metal freezer compartment up and connected it into the slots int he top. Once you look in your fridge you'll easily see what I did. By bending it, it creates plenty of room for 1 5 gal corny and one 3 gal corny. I can have one corny hooked to tap beer, and another as a lager tank. Its exactly what I wanted to do with my limited space right now.
If you have questions, I can help you with any of it.
 
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