How soon after kegging can I drink the beer

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Brutus Brewer

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How soon after filling the keg with beer and attaching the CO2 will the beer be able to be drank?
 

Yooper

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Well, the right answer is "it depends". If you force carb at high pressure and do some shaking of the keg with it already cold, it could be 30 minutes. I usually set my regulator for 30 psi or so for about 3 days, then purge and set at serving pressure (12 psi in my case). Others "set it and forget it"- put it at serving pressure for one to two weeks, and then wait.

So, I'm usually drinking my beer about three days after kegging.

The issue to me is that carbed up or not, green beer is still green beer. So, you could easily brew a batch and keg it and have it carbonated in a week. That doesn't mean it's "ready", though- it just means it's carbonated. I have two kegs next to the kegerator that are at least 6-8 weeks old, so they'll be pretty good as soon as I have an open tap.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Right, Yoop. To me it's not so much a question of how soon after you keg it, it's about how long it's been since you brewed it. If you're taking something that's 2 or 3 weeks old to keg, you can have it carbed and ready to drink in a couple hours if you shake the keg, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be be ready.Unless I'm getting something ready for a party, I hook my beers up to pressure according to a carbnation chart and let them set for 1.5-2 weeks. The carbonation is much cleaner that way. I used to set 30 PSI for 2 days, but it was really hit or miss and sometimes I'd end up with overcarbed, foamy beer.
 

bulletproof4age

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Well, the right answer is "it depends". If you force carb at high pressure and do some shaking of the keg with it already cold, it could be 30 minutes. I usually set my regulator for 30 psi or so for about 3 days, then purge and set at serving pressure (12 psi in my case). Others "set it and forget it"- put it at serving pressure for one to two weeks, and then wait.

So, I'm usually drinking my beer about three days after kegging.

The issue to me is that carbed up or not, green beer is still green beer. So, you could easily brew a batch and keg it and have it carbonated in a week. That doesn't mean it's "ready", though- it just means it's carbonated. I have two kegs next to the kegerator that are at least 6-8 weeks old, so they'll be pretty good as soon as I have an open tap.
What do you do for long term storage in the Keg? Anything special, or do you go right from the Secondary(or primary). Do you recommend carbonating with priming sugar if your not hurry and the Keg will be sitting for a while? I think I remember reading that you can carbonate a Keg "Naturally" with priming sugar then just purge and set at serving pressure when your ready to tap it. Any advantages/disadvantages?
 

malkore

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prime a keg with sugar = way more sediment in the bottom that has to be removed in the first draws.

also means more sediment left behind so if you move the keg, it may be cloudy for days afterwards.

and, priming with sugar won't seal the lid so you still wanna hit the keg with 30psi to make sure it seals.

I personally only carb with CO2 in my kegs, no sugar. i'll hit it with 30psi for several days then let teh keg sit. then when I tap it, I chill it and put it at serving psi which usually finishes carbing it in a day or two.

this allows me to carb, but age at 'cellar' temperatures so the keg is actually closer to 'prime flavor' instead of being a little green.
 

damrass

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What do you do for long term storage in the Keg? Anything special, or do you go right from the Secondary(or primary). Do you recommend carbonating with priming sugar if your not hurry and the Keg will be sitting for a while? I think I remember reading that you can carbonate a Keg "Naturally" with priming sugar then just purge and set at serving pressure when your ready to tap it. Any advantages/disadvantages?
It depends on what your definition of "long term" is, but unless it's going to be sitting a year you don't have anything to worry about (except maybe missing the beer's peak). And then there are some styles that need long term aging to properly mature. Your beer isn't going to "spoil" in any case, provided you've used proper sanitation.

I primed with sugar in a keg once. It was a great beer, and it didn't have as much sediment as you'd think. You don't "waste" as much CO2, but you don't get a crystal clear beer either. Personally I prefer putting the keg on 20 to 30psi for a few days while it's in the fridge and then knock it down to serving pressure. I generally like to wait at least two weeks (a month or two is ideal) after kegging before tapping but that's just me. Try it both ways, and see what works for you.
 

Homercidal

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Yeah, just don't forget to purge before dropping the PSI. I loaded a soda once and carbed for a few days at 30. Then I dropped the pressure and filled a glass. Well, I filled a glass with foam and almost filled the floor with foam too.

Lots of people will fill a keg, top with CO2 and let it age at room temp before placing in kegerator. That way you can carb as quickly as you like and still get great beer. Of course these are the same people who brew enough to fill the kegerator and still ahve several full kegs in queue.
 

Bulls Beers

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prime a keg with sugar = way more sediment in the bottom that has to be removed in the first draws.

also means more sediment left behind so if you move the keg, it may be cloudy for days afterwards.

and, priming with sugar won't seal the lid so you still wanna hit the keg with 30psi to make sure it seals.

I personally only carb with CO2 in my kegs, no sugar. i'll hit it with 30psi for several days then let teh keg sit. then when I tap it, I chill it and put it at serving psi which usually finishes carbing it in a day or two.

this allows me to carb, but age at 'cellar' temperatures so the keg is actually closer to 'prime flavor' instead of being a little green.
I was just wondering, After you hit it with 30psi for several days. Do you cool it or leave it at room temp for that period of time?
 

ohiobrewtus

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I was just wondering, After you hit it with 30psi for several days. Do you cool it or leave it at room temp for that period of time?
You want to carb at serving temperature. You *can* carb at room temp, but you'll need a lot more gas to do so.
 

hammacks

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You don't need more gas, do you, just more pressure?

I think volume is your constant as pressure and temperature change according to
PV=nRT
 

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Rando question: How long will a 5# CO2 tank last? Assumptions: 2 corny kegs connected to the tank. Beer will be consumed in 2-3 weeks from being carbed. Force carb will be done at serving temp.

I'm looking to see if buying a more robust CO2 tank right off the bat will be worth it in the long run.
 

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Rando question: How long will a 5# CO2 tank last? Assumptions: 2 corny kegs connected to the tank. Beer will be consumed in 2-3 weeks from being carbed. Force carb will be done at serving temp.

I'm looking to see if buying a more robust CO2 tank right off the bat will be worth it in the long run.
I have a 5# tank, with two kegs, all force carbed at 40 degrees. Once I had a leak, but otherwise I seem to get the tank filled about 3 times per year. So, I'd guess that I can do 8-10 kegs between fills. I don't really know for sure, but it does seem to last quite a while.
 

Kung_Pow_34

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Excellent, thanks! Looking at a 5# tank/2 keg setup on kegconnection.com ($209). If I understand the concept correctly, I will be forcing the same pressure across both kegs. Is this an issue if I keep both kegs at the same temp (ie, stored in the same fridge)? Will 2 different types of beers carb at different rates, and if so, is it just a matter of waiting on the 'other one?'
 

ohiobrewtus

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Excellent, thanks! Looking at a 5# tank/2 keg setup on kegconnection.com ($209). If I understand the concept correctly, I will be forcing the same pressure across both kegs. Is this an issue if I keep both kegs at the same temp (ie, stored in the same fridge)? Will 2 different types of beers carb at different rates, and if so, is it just a matter of waiting on the 'other one?'

If you want to carb them to different levels you will need to get a dual body regulator.
 

flyangler18

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Is this an issue if I keep both kegs at the same temp (ie, stored in the same fridge)? Will 2 different types of beers carb at different rates, and if so, is it just a matter of waiting on the 'other one?'
If you are using a single regulator like this set-up (I have the same one, BTW), it limits you to serving beers that fall under the same carbonation level. For example, you couldn't serve a stout at 1.5 volumes and an IPA at 2.5 volumes.
 

Kung_Pow_34

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Ok, got it. Midwest has a dual regulator setup for a few bucks less. Do you replace the keg gaskets every so often, or just when you suspect a leak? (also, what's a reasonable price for a 5# CO2 fillup?)
 

ohiobrewtus

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You don't need more gas, do you, just more pressure?

I think volume is your constant as pressure and temperature change according to
PV=nRT

It's going to take more gas to get a keg to 30 psi at room temp then it would if it were at 43F. To get a beer to 2.3 or so volumes of CO2 at 43F you want it at 11 or 12 psi for 10-14 days. To achieve the same volume of CO2 at 69F you would need 30 psi over the same period of time.

More pressure over the same amount of time requires more CO2. It's not like you're goning to use half a tank or anything, but you will use more gas carbing at room temp. (someone please correct me if I'm wrong - Bobby... :D)

EDIT - I already stand corrected. I get it now, thanks, Bobby.
 

david_42

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Back to the OPQ:

IF the beer has had time to condition, say by leaving it in the clearing vessel for 6 weeks, then you can force carb in 30 minutes & drink it. The flavor will change over the next week, because the CO2 changes the pH.

(As always, there are exceptions that don't require aging.)
 

Chriso

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Prices for a 5# fillup vary by region, around here it's pretty solidly between $12-$16.

I get about 5 kegs per fillup, but I wind up wasting some CO2. I could be more thrifty if I planned ahead better. (Full disclosure: I force carb with CO2, and not priming sugar.)

I really want/need a 20# tank. :p

As for time.... I leave all brews in primary for 3-4 weeks, then keg. After kegging, if I am ready to drink it, I put it in the fridge for 1 day, then connect gas at serving PSI for a couple of weeks. If I need it done quickly, I turn it up to 20psi, and leave it for 3 days, then bleed pressure, and continue carbing at serving pressure.
If I'm not going to drink it anytime soon, I close the lid, purge the headspace, crank up to 40PSI, let it sit for 2-3 minutes to fully pressurize, then disconnect and store at room temp.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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Not to hijack the thread, but...
My first brew (Oktoberfest) was brewed, sat in primary for about 8 days (hit FG right on!). Then moved to a secondary. Plan was to bottle it a week later, but then my garage caught on fire ( don't worry - the beer was safe ).

On to plan B - it has been in secondary 3 weeks. I am hoping to drink this at a Halloween party, so I am thinking time to Keg :) I have the CO2 and can get the rest of the stuff pretty soon. I even have a temporary freezer (that was in the garage) and a love controller to keep it cool.

If I keg it this weekend, and keep it cool, will it be fine for Halloween?
 

lucky2balive

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I let all of my ales (except wheat beers) sit in the keg for six weeks before tapping. Time is your friend. It gives the beer time to blend/mellow and it just tastes better. I've drank a few after only a couple of weeks and they tend to have a sharper edge to them.

So, have patience and let them sit for a while. You'll be happy you did!
 

Chriso

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Yep. Keg it, cool it down, and carbonate it at desired pressure. You've got PLENTY of time before Halloween!

Sorry to hear about the garage fire!! Not good at all! :eek:
 

D-Boss

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I keg it, little shake, put in the fridge, crank the gas up to 30 psi for 3 or 4 days. Then bleed the gas off, turn it down to serving pressure. Perfect brew everytime.:mug:




Primary: None
Secondary: Coffee Stout
Bottled: Am. Pale ale, Vanilla Porter, Bock
R.I.P.:Am. Brown Ale, Chocolate Porter, Oatmeal Stout
 

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Question to all those folks who 'crank the gas to 30 (or 40, or whatever) for a few days'.

How do you know what kind of C02 volume you have in solution? When you bleed the gas, you can't possibly know exactly how much you've bled, so couldn't you have 5, 6, 10 or more volumes of CO2 in there and be serving beer-flavored champagne?

There's an approach I've read about which makes a lot more sense to my brain. You chill to serving temp, set your PSI to exactly reach the volumes of CO2 you want (based on serving temp according to the chart) and rock the beer @ that PSI to give it a headstart. Then let the beer sit for a couple days and it should be ready and carbbed right where you want it.

Someone please help me understand how I can have any control over my carbonation levels if I'm blasting the beer with exorbitant amounts of CO2? Is it just a 'by feel' approach where at serving time folks slowly bleed the tank until the carb level is just right?

Thanks!
 

Chriso

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Is it just a 'by feel' approach where at serving time folks slowly bleed the tank until the carb level is just right?
That one, right there. It's pretty much 'by feel'.

I try not to resort to blast-carbing unless I *really* need the keg ready within 24-48 hours. Otherwise, I dial it in and wait.
 

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Kegged my first beer two days ago. I forced carbed it at 30psi. I keep reading that I need to Bleed the keg before dropping the pressure to serving levels. Would appreciate a description of the bleed process.

Thanks.
 

Judochop

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That one, right there. It's pretty much 'by feel'.

I try not to resort to blast-carbing unless I *really* need the keg ready within 24-48 hours. Otherwise, I dial it in and wait.
Thanks for the confirmation, chriso.

Now, I'm off to set the CO2 on my kegged UK IPA to reach EXACTLY 2.0 volumes. (In a few days.)

:mug:
 

Chriso

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@Delpo : Bleeding the keg *is* dropping to serving pressures. All you do is ... disconnect your CO2 line from the keg... grab the ring on the pressure release valve, and pull up, letting the CO2 escape from the headspace.

Once it stops whooshing, then you let go of the valve (closing it), make sure your CO2 regulator is on the new, correct serving pressure (I use 8-10psi, some use more, some use less, it all depends on your setup), and then reconnect the CO2 line.
 

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Lots of people will fill a keg, top with CO2 and let it age at room temp before placing in kegerator. That way you can carb as quickly as you like and still get great beer. Of course these are the same people who brew enough to fill the kegerator and still ahve several full kegs in queue.

So, are you saying to hit the keg with 30PSI, then let the keg sit for a couple weeks at room temp? My last few kegs were carbonated with sugar but the beer has been cloudy. Now I know why. I want a clear beer, but I don't want a green beer either. What's the best method for conditioning?
 

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So, are you saying to hit the keg with 30PSI, then let the keg sit for a couple weeks at room temp?
That seals the lid, and partially carbonates the beer. When it's time for that beer to be served, you still have to chill the beer, and finish carbonating it to the desired vols.
 

Judochop

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Ok, so I set my PSI to ~8.0 (trying to achieve 2.0 volumes @ 42 degrees), pumped it into my keg and rocked for about 15 minutes until the bubble sounds neared a stop. I read that this pretty much carbonates the beer as needed, but that it's best to let the beer sit a bit before serving, just to let things settle.

So, I put the keg and the CO2 tank back in the freezer (@42 degrees) and left the CO2 on the beer @ ~8.0 PSI.

Four hours later... with palpable anxiety, I go to serve myself my first-ever kegged brew, and the regulator is reading 20 PSI! Why did it do that? Shouldn't it stay where I set it?

What do I do now if I want to pour myself a pint?
 

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Um... try turning off your CO2 tank, disconnecting the QD from the keg, and venting the contents of the line (I use my thumb against the pin). Then let go, and turn the CO2 tank back on to see what the real pressure is. It's likely that the headspace in your beer has just gotten to a higher pressure than that from your regulator. There's a check valve most likely there to prevent the gas from going back into the reg.

If the reg pressure after venting is 8psi, then purge your keg headspace, and reconnect the gas line.
 

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That seals the lid, and partially carbonates the beer. When it's time for that beer to be served, you still have to chill the beer, and finish carbonating it to the desired vols.
Thanks Chriso. How long do you recommend conditioning in the keg before drinking?
 

Judochop

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It's likely that the headspace in your beer has just gotten to a higher pressure than that from your regulator. There's a check valve most likely there to prevent the gas from going back into the reg.
So maybe this is a dumb question, but does that mean that my beer has reached peak carbonation? ie. at the 2.0 volumes that I was aiming for?

If I were to carbonate by leaving the CO2 on the beer the moment after racking into the keg, is this the way to tell when carbonation is complete?
 

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I thought I read that you can set the keg (chilled) at 30 psi for about 30 hours. I have kegged my first beer and want to have it ready for a small get together and was going to try the 30/30. Plus I really want to use my new Kegerator :)

Will this work or will I need more time?
 

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There is a huge difference between when the beer is ready to drink from an aging perspective and when it's carbonated. Bottling helps to couple these two times, IOW forcing you to wait 3 weeks for carbonation. If the beer is only 2 weeks old and fully carbed, it's going to be pretty disappointing.

No, kegging is NOT a way of getting your beer drinkable faster.
 

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There is a huge difference between when the beer is ready to drink from an aging perspective and when it's carbonated. Bottling helps to couple these two times, IOW forcing you to wait 3 weeks for carbonation. If the beer is only 2 weeks old and fully carbed, it's going to be pretty disappointing.

No, kegging is NOT a way of getting your beer drinkable faster.
True Dat!

When I started drinking my first kegged beer, I was like...well, it's OK, and it was cloudy. After about 3 weeks of drinking it, my last 3-4 pints were crystal clear and it tasted better than ever.

I learned my lesson.
 
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