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Kegging instead of bottling. What's different?

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AR-Josh

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So I have a pilsner in primary right now. I want to keg it instead of bottle it. The instructions on the kit say to basically let it ferment out in 5-10 days then bottle for 21 before consuming. So what do I do to keg it?

Can I just let it ferment out then keg it, force carb, and let it sit? Or will force carbing effect the conditioning? What would you recommend?
 

Mparsons327

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I would suggest a longer primary. 4 weeks is what most ppl on here do. Then keg, and chill. I carb at 10 - 12psi for about to weeks so the beer has some time to condition in the keg.
 

beerrepository

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Mparsons327 said:
I would suggest a longer primary. 4 weeks is what most ppl on here do. Then keg, and chill. I carb at 10 - 12psi for about to weeks so the beer has some time to condition in the keg.
I do a 4 week primary as well. Allows the yeast to clean up after the job is done.

Check out the sticky in the Bottling/Kegging section, there is a good discussion about force carbing techniques.
 

buzzkill

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I would primary at least 3 weeks,then put fermenter in fridge to crash cool for a week. this will drop out alot of remaning yeast and help to clear it up.
 

Gridlocked

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I don't know if this is obvious or not, but I'll mention it anyway. When you keg, you don't add the priming sugar, you just wrack the beer from the fermenter into the keg. It's good to try to keep your exposure to oxygen as low as possible. After the beer is in the keg, I usually put a blast of Co2 into the discharge side so that the Co2 bubbles up through the beer forcing out any oxygen and then purge once or twice. the kegging process is a LOT faster and easier than bottles and it's probably the BEST upgrade I've made to my process.
 

jkreuze

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It's a pilsner so you're going to want to lager it. I would rack it, gas the keg (30 psi) to tighten up the lid seal, then lager it in the keg fridge for awhile (8-10 weeks?). Force carb it when the lagering period is over, and enjoy.
 
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AR-Josh

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I would primary at least 3 weeks,then put fermenter in fridge to crash cool for a week. this will drop out alot of remaning yeast and help to clear it up.
What would be the difference between doing what you said and just racking it to keg and chilling it? Does chilling it in the primary do something for it that chilling it in the keg won't?
 

jmo88

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It's a pilsner so you're going to want to lager it. I would rack it, gas the keg (30 psi) to tighten up the lid seal, then lager it in the keg fridge for awhile (8-10 weeks?). Force carb it when the lagering period is over, and enjoy.
Since it's a pilsner, this is the best answer. Also, give it at least 2-3 weeks of primary fermentation. Primary fermentations temperature depends on the yeast strain, so check the recommended temps for the strain. Lagering temps should be between near freezing and serving temps.
 
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AR-Josh

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Since it's a pilsner, this is the best answer. Also, give it at least 2-3 weeks of primary fermentation. Primary fermentations temperature depends on the yeast strain, so check the recommended temps for the strain. Lagering temps should be between near freezing and serving temps.
Does it matter that I didn't use lager yeast? It is a muntons gold continental pilsner kit.
 

jmo88

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Does it matter that I didn't use lager yeast? It is a muntons gold continental pilsner kit.
Yes that makes a difference, it isn't technically a pilsner without lager yeast. With that yeast, you want to ferment at ale temps 65-70F. Let it sit for about 3 weeks. After that, I'd just rack it to a keg and 'set it and forget it' for a couple weeks in the fridge. Despite the kit's title, I'd say you are brewing a blonde ale.
 
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AR-Josh

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Yes that makes a difference, it isn't technically a pilsner without lager yeast. With that yeast, you want to ferment at ale temps 65-70F. Let it sit for about 3 weeks. After that, I'd just rack it to a keg and 'set it and forget it' for a couple weeks in the fridge. Despite the kit's title, I'd say you are brewing a blonde ale.
Yeah. I don't have a good way to ferment and monitor temps to make sure they stay at lager temps. I think I need to read up on all that cause I don't understand what all you do with a true lager.

As far as winding up with a blonde ale instead of a pilsner....I'm OK with that. Right now I just want beer. Good spring like beer. That's why I bought the pilsner kit. Funny how a pilsner kit gives you ale yeast. This is my first 5 gal batch so I will be happy with good beer. :mug:

Actually should I set it up to force carb over that rest period? Also should I have it in the fridge while I do this or let it sit where my fermenters are?
 

JNye

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i would primary three weeks and then put it in the keg, 12 psi for a week. This is your cold crash and carbonating time. the first pint will be yeast and a dumper. Let it lager as long as you can wait after that. but you'll have the option of drinking a pint along the way.
 

buzzkill

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What would be the difference between doing what you said and just racking it to keg and chilling it? Does chilling it in the primary do something for it that chilling it in the keg won't?
cold crash in the keg and the yeast will fall to the bottom,where the pick up tube is. cold crash in the ferm before you rack and you will get alot less gunk on the bottom. but its cool either way.
 
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AR-Josh

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cold crash in the keg and the yeast will fall to the bottom,where the pick up tube is. cold crash in the ferm before you rack and you will get alot less gunk on the bottom. but its cool either way.
Ahhhh! Good call. Didn't think of that.
 

munche

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The question is a bit compound, because bottle conditioning is doing multiple things to your beer.

When you keg, assuming you are force carbonating, you are replacing the time it takes to naturally carb in the bottle with the time it takes to force the CO2 into the solution. This tends to be quicker, which is one of the advantages of kegging over bottling.

But, you then lose out on the actual conditioning time in the bottles, which can be desirable for flavor reasons. It's why you'll see some of the big brewers (Rogue, for example) bottle condition their beer. You can compensate for this lost conditioning time with a longer primary.

Personally, I'm a quick turnaround brewer....2 weeks primary, 2 weeks kegs and we're drinking. Lack of patience will do that to you. Although some of my beers I notice have some fairly significant changes while they're in the keg, as well. Since I have 4 on, none of the kegs tends to go SUPER quickly, so they have a bit of time to age out and mature while I take a pint or five here and there.
 

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