Help kegging a Hefeweizen

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ernestmyname

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So I am cooking my first batch on Thursday. Smacked the pack on Sunday, made my yeast starter on Monday, plan to put the starter in the fridge on Wednesday (it is still slowly bubbling as of Tuesday evening), and plan to cook my wort Friday morning. This is an extract kit (not liquid)

A couple questions:

1. I don't have a hydrometer. Do I absolutely have to have one? I am going to get one on my second batch, but won't have one for my first brew. I can get one but it will be at a high inconvenience.

2. I am kegging my beer. When do I know when to keg a Hefeweizen?

3. Can I dispense Hefe out of my kegerator, prime with a little priming sugar, and cap it?

4. Is it better to add extra water to account for boil-off or can I add bottled spring water as I need it?

Thanks so much for any useful input at all.
 

android

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1. only if you want to know your ABV and if you want reassurance that your beer is done fermenting. many, many people have done it successfully without one.

2. i'd say keg it when it's done fermenting, after 10-14 days maybe. or if you want to be more sure, wait two weeks since you're not using a hydro.

3. i'm not 100% sure, but if you want to bottle some of it, i'd do that first with a bottling bucket and then keg the rest.

4. it's best if you can start with enough water to compensate for boil-off, but if you have to add water at the end, that's fine and i believe i've read about people adding water as they boil.
 
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ernestmyname

ernestmyname

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Thanks a lot for the input. I have read most of Palmer's how to brew. But, questions always arise. I am really anxious to find out about bottling out of a keg. I would prefer to keg the whole 5 gallons, since I don't have a great method of getting the air out the top of the corny keg. I am using pin lock 5 gallon coke kegs.
 

beds

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You can bottle directly out of a keg. Carbonation will mostly stay in suspension when everything is cold - beer should be 0 degrees, bottles too and do it in the garage in the north. It will be a bit of an issue if you are planning on aging the beer in the bottle, as you aren't replacing the air in the bottle with CO2. Concerning the air in the keg, I wouldn't be worried about that. Again, if you are planning on having this on tap for months, it may be an issue, but I have half filled cornies and had great success.

good luck!
 

Cpt_Kirks

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Yeah, two weeks is about right for a Hefe. They get ready fast and are best drank young.

Another option is to use PET bottles, like 2 liter soda bottles.

When I keg, I always fill a 2 liter bottle. Then, I force carb it with my Carbonator Cap. That way, I can sample it that day.
 
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