Help me out here, please. Trying to figure out the cold side and kegging.

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PersonalBrewer

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I BIAB and do primary fermentation in a Speidel Fermenter.

I always keg after 14 days and secondary in the keg.

I have no idea how to check if the fermentation is over, I have always figured it would be over in 14 days.

I don't bump up the carbonation, I just hook the keg up to about 11lbs of serving pressure and in several weeks it will be carbed up enough to drink.

I've been reading on LODO and thinking I would like to give a try but don't really have an idea of how to proceed on the cold side.

I'm thinking that even if the kegging is handled differently that hooking it up to serving pressure is going to force carb some.

I don't bottle and don't wish to start now.

Need to figure out the best way to proceed.
 
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You are going to hear this from a lot of folks, but "How to Brew" by Palmer, rocks. 1st Ed is a free PDF, but I have been reading the 4th Ed and I think it was worth the $$$ upgrade from the 3rd Ed. I had been using as a reference.



The practicalities:

1. You need to measure your Starting Gravity (SG) (hydrometer is good for this)
2. Then measure your Final Gravity (FG). I would recommend checking gravity after 3 days, then again at 7 days, and at 10, and at 14.

You need to get some idea of your own process, how the yeast are doing with your wort's fermentability, etc. At this point, I only check SG, and then FG after the dry hop or once I have moved it to the keg. Some beers move to the keg after 3 days, some after two weeks. There are so many variables for why, I can't cover it all, but if you are taking notes on your own beers and process, you can start making judgment calls on the when and why.

Once you start understanding the timing for your beer, you can start estimating how much sugar is left before fermentation finishes. Then you can move the beer over to the keg at the tail end of fermentation and it can naturally carbonate. Or, you could move it after a set time (early), and then attach a spunding valve to the keg to allow for a set pressure build-up and carbonation amount at the keg's ambient temperature.

I hope this helps.

Peace,

Reevesie
 

Holden Caulfield

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Here is a video...


A couple process alternatives...
  1. Instead of filling the keg with starsan and then pushing it out with CO2 which will use a full volume of gas you can use the keg as an airlock and capture the CO2 from fermentation
  2. Instead of using gravity to fill the keg, you can push it with CO2. This is what I do as I ferment in a chest freezer and I don't want to lift the fermenter.
Regarding how to know when fermentation is over...
  1. Use a Tilt
  2. If you trust your airlock, 14 days should be long enough to ferment most beers, but always wait until 3 days after bubbling stops. That said, even if fermentation is not done, you will be ok because you are using a keg with a PRV (you can also attach a spunding valve to the keg)- no bottle bombs
 
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PersonalBrewer

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Thanks guys for helping me get further down this path.

Excellent posts to get me in the right direction.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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Thanks

I had heard of a tilt but hadn't heard of an Ispindel. Will check it out.
 

DuncB

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This thread wealth of useful information and team help


Slightly different ( wrong spelling ) for the thread, but the info is correct.
 
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All good advice above, but I'd suggest getting a hydrometer and a thief to check gravity. Then, you'll know when it's done. Take gravity readings a couple days apart before kegging. If the numbers are the same for each, it's done. As for the tilt and ispindle, well, I don't call this hobby the most expensive way to get cheap beer for nothing...
 

CascadesBrewer

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I have no idea how to check if the fermentation is over, I have always figured it would be over in 14 days.
Honestly, I usually do about the same if I am making a low to medium gravity beer using a yeast I am familiar with. I use clear fermenters and I get a lot of information on the state of fermentation visually. If I am using a new yeast, brewing a high gravity beer, something seem off with fermentation, or I just have a question about fermentation (usually I just want a sample!) I will take a reading. I am a little more cautious when bottling to ensure fermentation is complete.

I have been very happy with my Fermonster fermenters with spigots to assist with taking gravity readings without having to open up my fermenter. If you don't have a setup to avoid suck back, you might introduce a little air when taking a gravity reading if taking enough for a hydrometer tube (I am not to the point where I really trust my refractometer readings, especially during fermentation). The spigots do add a potential leak or contamination vector, and I have to lift my fermenter to take a reading. But the spigots do make a closed transfer into a keg fairly easy.

All good advice above, but I'd suggest getting a hydrometer and a thief to check gravity.
While I only scan through the Low Oxygen Brewing forum occasionally, I suspect using a thief is not the forum approved method.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Here is a video...
This is a well done video. I use a very similar process. I like the "spigot" on the top of the Speidel. I have thought about doing something similar. Right now my plan is to add a gas quick disconnect post to my Fermonster top which should give me similar flexibility.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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I'll just pick up a Tilt.

I almost got one a while back but didn't see the need. They even have them at my local home brew supply.

I can sure see the need now.
 
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