Getting kegs: confused

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JGHunter

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So I'm looking to ditch bottling (who can blame me?) for kegs, at least for the most part. My question is, if I want to brew a large quantity, say 20L+ but I want to take just a small 5L keg with me to some friends because they won't have the fridge space for something that big, what should I do? Do I get a larger keg and "decant" into a smaller one? If so do I then bother carbonating the first one or will that help preserve it, as I won't be able to refrigerate any large kegs (don't have the space or extra rooms or a garage/shed in a rented terraced house). What do you recommend?
 

sibelman

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I'm not sure kegging will work well for you until you can find a way to keep a keg cold. Many use a mini fridge for this. Moving beer into a smaller keg or growler is feasible.
 
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JGHunter

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I'm not sure kegging will work well for you until you can find a way to keep a keg cold. Many use a mini fridge for this. Moving beer into a smaller keg or growler is feasible.
Why is it important to keep a keg cold but not, say, glass bottles, when kegs can be co2 purged?
 

day_trippr

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You're right, assuming 5L kegs are still a viable thing you could always keg your 20L batch into four mini kegs and only chill one or two at a time...

Cheers!
 

balrog

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You really want a way to serve cold beer, typically. For most of us that keg, that means putting the keg into a cold environment, which can be as simple as a garbage can full of ice, or as complicated as 7 kegs in a chest freezer individually piped for liquid out and gas in with multi-tap towers. Temperature is not really beer's friend as the chemical reactions for decaying hop & malt aroma/flavor are somewhat accelerated in warmer temps. Having said that, I can only fit two kegs in my small 5 cu ft chest freezer, and will have a dark and a light. During the summer, that means that the kegs on standby, brewed, kegged, carbed, are simply sitting in the 60-70F basement. It would be better if they were cold, but they do ok. In winter, there is no issue as the hatchway bulkhead is perfect storage for me...
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JGHunter

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No I know that. I meant I'd transfer it into a small keg when desired that can be then refrigerated, but that the large one wouldn't be.
 
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JGHunter

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I keg, and use a counter-pressure bottle filler (Tapcooler) to fill up 1-L EZ-Cap bottles when I want to bring beer somewhere. EZ-Caps are, price per volume, cheaper than mini-kegs, and everyone can dispense out of a bottle (and fit a bottle in the fridge.)
True, but then I've got the same problem of regular bottles, all the cleaning, sanitising and almost definite mess. On this basis I may as well just keep the bottles I already have.
 

oakbarn

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I was away in Japan an number of years ago and my kegerator in Texas broke. 100 plus days and all eight kegs were fine. I have a couple of kegs that have been outside in Texas for a couple of years. Next Brew Party we will cool down and tap them. I am hopeful for those. Storing them outside was the only option I had for a while.

You can use the small brown flip top growler to take 2L of beer. Amazon.com: 2 Liter Growler with Metal Handle- Amber : Home & Kitchen I have found these hold the CO2 well and can even be kept for a couple of weeks in a fridge. Once you open, you should drink in a day or so, but right out of the fridge they are great. I have found that any growler with a screw top (even the small mini kegs) do not hold pressure well.
 

AlexKay

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True, but then I've got the same problem of regular bottles, all the cleaning, sanitising and almost definite mess. On this basis I may as well just keep the bottles I already have.
That would be why I use the largest bottles I can find! I generally don't bring more than a few liters with me, so 1-liter bottles do the trick. I'd use growlers, but like the EZ-Cap seal too much.
 

GoodTruble

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I've been waiting many months for these to be available in the US, but hopefully very soon ....



I plan on getting several of theses for transporting/sharing occasions. Either carbing directly in them, or filling like large growler and then adding 10-12 psi charge.
 

AlexKay

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So I'm looking to ditch bottling (who can blame me?) for kegs, at least for the most part. My question is, if I want to brew a large quantity, say 20L+ but I want to take just a small 5L keg with me to some friends because they won't have the fridge space for something that big, what should I do? Do I get a larger keg and "decant" into a smaller one? If so do I then bother carbonating the first one or will that help preserve it, as I won't be able to refrigerate any large kegs (don't have the space or extra rooms or a garage/shed in a rented terraced house). What do you recommend?
I'll try to answer the specifics a little better. Keeping beer refrigerated is almost always a good thing as far as shelf life goes, so if you've got the fridge space, keep that larger keg refrigerated too. Definitely carbonate it; it'll be easier and help purge the oxygen. Decanting from keg to keg is inviting a lot of mess. Grab or make a liquid-post-to-liquid-post jumper and push contents over with CO2.
 

catalanotte

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True, but then I've got the same problem of regular bottles, all the cleaning, sanitising and almost definite mess. On this basis I may as well just keep the bottles I already have.
Use growlers. Easy for a few folks to polish off 64oz and fits great in a fridge or cooler.
 

day_trippr

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Beer that ends up in a growler is usually already carbonated - as growlers aren't generally rated for high pressure...
 

catalanotte

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Beer that ends up in a growler is usually already carbonated - as growlers aren't generally rated for high pressure...
Trying to bottle condition a growler would be ugly, assuming the cap held. đź’Ą

I was suggesting filling from keg to growler for transport which sounds like the OPs concern about switching to a keg and not washing/filling bottles.
 

mashpaddled

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I think you would make your life easier just buying mini-kegs. You could carbonate in the kegs and just put one in the fridge as you need it.
 

seilenos

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Do I get a larger keg and "decant" into a smaller one?
Following up on what @day_trippr said earlier...

In theory you could get four 5L kegs and clean them.

Daisy chain them, gas to beer posts, and leave the last one vented from the gas post.

Fill the first one 100% of sanitizer, seal the lid, and then push the sanitizer through all the kegs with CO2 to purge. Once all the sanitizer has been pushed through the last keg, remove the vent from the gas-out post and pressurize to a few PSI, just enough to keep the lids sealed. Then remove the daisy chaining.

When it comes time to fill from your fermenter, hook them all up daisy chained again.
Again vent to atmosphere on the last one (important to do this BEFORE you start transferring). Put vent hose into a container.

Assuming an autosiphon and gravity assist, with your fermentor higher than the kegs, fill through the beer post on the first one until you run out of beer from the fermenter or beer starts coming out the vent on the last one.

Remove the vent, pressurize to 10-15 psi, then remove the daisy chains ... last to first.

Now you have four 5L kegs that can be individually chilled and carbed as space permits.
 

catalanotte

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I got frustrated with 5L minis almost as much as bottles. The following suggestion requires a bit of investment but might be what you are looking for.
1 - Get a standard 5 gal corny set up
2 - buy a 1 gal mini with corny ball lovk fittings.
3 - make a jumper with a piece of 3/16 liquid line and 2 ball lock liquid posts.
4 - keg and force carb your 5 gal batch
5 - counter pressure transfer from 5 gal to 1 gal with liquid line jumper.
6 - buy a 16g CO2 cartridge dispenser with ball lock post fitting to server.

Now you have a 1 gal keg, cold and carbed ready to travel.
 

rallenhall

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I've done the mini's (no longer) and sometimes package in 2.5 or 3 gal. kegs instead of 5 gal. when I know that an event is coming up. Most often, I use a Tapcooler to fill 1 ltr. flip-tops. That provides well-carbed, clear (moving kegs always rouses sediment) beer for parties or smaller gatherings. Washing a few big bottles is no problem.
 

Indian_villager

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Naturally as everyone else has stated, keeping the mass cold for the whole time is the easiest route. However if you do want to keep the 20L keg at room temperature you have to check the carbonation charts to have the gas on the keg high enough to keep the proper carbonation at that temp. From there you are going to have to make a jumper line that goes from the liquid post on the bulk keg to the smaller vessel (smaller keg, oxebar setup, kegland PCO tee and 2L soda bottle). After that you will need a back pressure regulator/spunding valve to keep the smaller vessel at about 2psig LOWER than the bulk keg. This will allow you to transfer without foaming to oblivion as your bulk keg will be somewhere in the 30psig neighborhood. Once your transfer is complete, unhook everything, cool your smaller vessel, and enjoy your beer.


If you honestly have no way of cooling the bulk keg this whole thing seems a lot more tedious than bottling. What is your current plan on how to get a single beer for yourself while at home?
 

Gajol

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Hi

I have been no experience with the Pco38 but a 8l keg at a good price
I am told that a 4l version is comming soon(tm)
 
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GoodTruble

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Hi

I have been o experience with the Pco38 but a 8l keg a a good price
You might wanner look ik to that, I am told that a 4l version is coming soom(tm)
I ordered these several weeks ago and kegged/bottled two beers in them so far. Only one has been tapped, and I received good feedback. They seem to work well, though I had to locate a small co2 leak in one (just needed to twist one of pieces in tighter).
 
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