Kegging Vs Bottling

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Jack_O

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I've recently brewed a mango IPA using the BIAB method. It's turned out really well. Very hoppy and lovely taste. I bottled 5l of it and kept the other 10l for my keg.

Ive bought a 5l keg which I've used for the first time with this brew. The beer tasted nice and had a nice head, it was just a little darker than what i anticipated. I force carbonated the beer using the Co2 bulbs. The beer had a smooth feel to it, was not very bitter and if anything a little too sweet. But was nice none the less.

I've quickly supped the keg and just moved onto the bottles now. I've just opened a bottle and it looks and kinda taste like a completely different beer. The colour is alot lighter and clearer than what it was in the keg. The aroma isn't half as good but it doesn't taste as sweet and has a nice bitterness to it at the end.

It's bizarre that it's the same beer but just taste completely different.

I'm still abit of a novice at brewing. Have I done something wrong? Do I need to change anything in my kegging process?

I've attached some photos to show what I mean.

Any feedback, if any, would be appreciated. Cheers.
 

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VikeMan

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It's almost certainly oxidation. What does your kegging process look like? Also, how did you get 10 liters into a 5 liter keg? :)
 

NSMikeD

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+1 on likely o2 in the keg. Most folks will put the CO2 on the out line and use the pressure relief calve to purge the O2 out of the keg. More extreme is filling the keg with star San, Forcing that out under CO2 and then pressure transferring the beer to the keg.
 

bracconiere

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I force carbonated the beer using the Co2 bulbs.

i'm a newb too, or at least never cared to get good, but what is a co2 bulb? could your tap, or serving lines be dirty?

(i ask because if that's the little co2 things for BB guns, to properly purge a keg with them, just purging it would take about 3-4 at an ounce a piece...i might be wrong but when i purge my kegs, with my 20lb tank on a scale i burn through about 2-3 oz's just venting like 5-6 times at 50psi....and according to @doug293cz purging chart that's not even a good purge)
 
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Jack_O

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It's almost certainly oxidation. What does your kegging process look like? Also, how did you get 10 liters into a 5 liter keg? :)
I bought the 5l mini keg set up from Dark farms. Home Brew Draught Beer System 5L Mini Keg & CO2 dispenser + DOUBLE WALLED + FLOW CONTROL TAP - Dark Farm

"Also, how did you get 10 liters into a 5 liter keg? :)"

Haha I stored 5l in a fermenting bucket until the first 5l was drank. Then I transferred the next batch in there.

Do you have any tips on how I can avoid this next time? I used the force carbonation method of shaking the keg for 10 minutes with the PSI set to 20.
 
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Jack_O

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i'm a newb too, or at least never cared to get good, but what is a co2 bulb? could your tap, or serving lines be dirty?

(i ask because if that's the little co2 things for BB guns, to properly purge a keg with them, just purging it would take about 3-4 at an ounce a piece...i might be wrong but when i purge my kegs, with my 20lb tank on a scale i burn through about 2-3 oz's just venting like 5-6 times at 50psi....and according to @doug293cz purging chart that's not even a good purge)
Yes the bulbs are the little threaded cannisters used for the smaller kegs. I didn't purge my keg. I just poured the beer in and set the PSI to the required setting. Is this where I'm going wrong?
 

VikeMan

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Do you have any tips on how I can avoid this next time?
Well, the easy answer is "keep the oxygen out." But that's why I asked you what your kegging process looks like. If you can describe it, folks can help troubleshoot.

I didn't purge my keg. I just poured the beer in and set the PSI to the required setting. Is this where I'm going wrong?
Not purging is an issue. But what do you mean by "poured" the beer in? If you really mean poured (and not racked/siphoned), that's a huge issue right there.
 
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bracconiere

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Yes the bulbs are the little threaded cannisters used for the smaller kegs. I didn't purge my keg. I just poured the beer in and set the PSI to the required setting. Is this where I'm going wrong?

so a paint ball tank? yeah i'm thinking not purging would reduce hops, and darken. acording to what i've heard other people say. they do crazy stuff with closed transfers and stuff just to avoid it...but like you said it still makes a decent beer without....
 

eric19312

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I've recently brewed a mango IPA using the BIAB method. It's turned out really well. Very hoppy and lovely taste. I bottled 5l of it and kept the other 10l for my keg.

Ive bought a 5l keg which I've used for the first time with this brew. The beer tasted nice and had a nice head, it was just a little darker than what i anticipated. I force carbonated the beer using the Co2 bulbs. The beer had a smooth feel to it, was not very bitter and if anything a little too sweet. But was nice none the less.

I've quickly supped the keg and just moved onto the bottles now. I've just opened a bottle and it looks and kinda taste like a completely different beer. The colour is alot lighter and clearer than what it was in the keg. The aroma isn't half as good but it doesn't taste as sweet and has a nice bitterness to it at the end.

It's bizarre that it's the same beer but just taste completely different.

I'm still abit of a novice at brewing. Have I done something wrong? Do I need to change anything in my kegging process?

I've attached some photos to show what I mean.

Any feedback, if any, would be appreciated. Cheers.

I really appreciate you sharing this. So many brewers assume kegging is going to be superior than bottling from a beer quality perspective. You have serious oxidation in that kegged beer. The bottles were older than the kegged beer yet appear much less oxidized.

To be fair the color and description of sweetness indicates the kegged beer was oxidized, the comment that you get better aroma out of the kegged beer does not. But that color difference is just too much evidence of oxidation to let that aroma comment carry much weight since none of us online get to smell your beer...

I think a lot of people fail to realize that bottle conditioning is easy and pretty forgiving and naturally protects beer from oxidation. It is fair amount of work to get similar level of oxidation protection when kegging beer. Fully purged kegs and closed transfers are pretty much required and take a bit of effort and planning to learn. And even with those boxes checked there is still a bit of oxygen introduced from the "pure" CO2 we use to force carbonate.
 

DuncB

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Definitely a good learning experience for taste and colour!
Kegs are not big bottles unless you are priming your keg and secondary ferment. That is another possible option, but I favour the fill flush and purge then fill with beer approach unless I'm making real ale for cask serving. That's a different ball game again.
 

Tobor_8thMan

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The SRM between the keg vs bottled is, IMO, significant. First time in my experience I've seen such a wide variance in SRM.

Please realize bottle conditioning causes an additional fermentation (due to sugar added to prime).

How long was the time between kegging and bottling? I'm still trying to wrap my head around the SRM issue.
 

micraftbeer

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For the longest time, I was disappointed with my kegged IPAs. The bitterness was always "harsh" and unpleasant. My method was to transfer via siphon into a clean keg, then close it up, and fill & purge the headspace with CO2 4-times. Anecdotally, that seemed the common process people used and I thought that was sufficient.

After getting telltale diacetyl in my NEIPAs after a very short time in keg, I decided to try the StarSan fill & purge approach. Wow. Night and day. Now I fill the keg with StarSan, including topping it off with water flowing in through the liquid out post while leaving the CO2 post open to allow StarSan to flow out, and the PRV valve held open until StarSan flows out as I fill with water. Then, I push it all out with CO2, keeping the lid on. Of course you can't take the lid off from that point, so I use a diaphragm pump (anti-gravity pump from Northern Brewer) to transfer from fermentor into the keg. I let the pump run while I have the double-ended ball lock fitting from Brew Hardware in the liquid disconnect and shoot that into a bucket until the line is full of beer. Then connecting the pump output to the liquid post on the keg, and I create a loop with the gas post of the keg connected to a hose circulating back to the blow-off fitting on the fermentor.

After that, diacetyl problems in NEIPA gone, and it totally fixed the harshness of bitterness in my regular IPAs. Maybe this is extra work over just using gravity feed or auto-siphon into an open keg, but the difference in the beer is so significant. No regrets.
 

bracconiere

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L33t speak? That is so y2k. We say n00b now.

this is way off topic, but i stay couped up in the house a lot....so you're telling me kids went from 33 to 00?


anyway i wasn't lying, i am completly "new" to low oxygen stuff....but read a lot about it on these forums....keep my eyes peeled for stuff not to hard to implement because i'm usually happy with my oxidized beer, as the OP stated...
 

Barbarossa

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this is way off topic, but i stay couped up in the house a lot....so you're telling me kids went from 33 to 00?


anyway i wasn't lying, i am completly "new" to low oxygen stuff....but read a lot about it on these forums....keep my eyes peeled for stuff not to hard to implement because i'm usually happy with my oxidized beer, as the OP stated...
My bad, he lost me at mango IPA.
 

bracconiere

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he lost me at mango IPA.

you know there's nothing wrong with that! i've made pinapple/whiskey alco-pop before. :mug: (they were out of lemon concentrate at the store that day! ;))


edit: but honestly, i'll have to scroll back up...if that was the case...apples and fruits in general oxidize way quicker then grain juice!
 

bracconiere

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and somtimes people get confused between humor, and anger.....humor can be insensitive, but anger smells bad.....

but as far as getting "our" disscord, back on topic...how much mango did you use @Jack_O , apples and stuff will go brown just a couple minutes in air?
 

Nate R

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Haha I stored 5l in a fermenting bucket until the first 5l was drank. Then I transferred the next batch in there
This is the issue i think.
I will bet your picture of "keg" beer came from the 2nd 5L keg, right??
I think that this is the largest culprit of oxidation.
 

Craiginthecorn

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This is the issue i think.
I will bet your picture of "keg" beer came from the 2nd 5L keg, right??
I think that this is the largest culprit of oxidation.
That stuck out for me too, although I expect it was just the coup de gras. Just about everything was aligned to create maximum oxidation. NEIPA, the beer most notorious for its ability to oxidize. Keg not purged with CO2. Half the batch stored in what was most likely a plastic bucket fermenter after sucking in at least 5L of air, assuming it had a faucet. If no faucet and a racking cane was used without the lid, I couldn't even imagine how much air was introduced.

It is really an amazing testament to the anti-oxidative power of bottle conditioning! Jack_O, bottle conditioning, as I'm sure you know, causes a continuation of the fermentation inside the bottle. It is thought by many that this fermentation will consume the oxygen introduced at bottling time. Since the is much less or, perhaps, no oxygen left, the oxidation is greatly diminished. At least that's the theory. Your experience might be the best proof of that I have ever seen. Oxidation adds a caramel-like sweetness to the beer. Some people like that the taste, but it is definitely considered an off-flavor, particularly in a NEIPA.

I often will brew a little extra and bottle condition that excess beer. Although I am careful to purge my kegs of CO², I have often thought the bottle conditioned beer tasted fresher. I have recently started kegging using a tiny amount of sodium metabisulfite, which helps to eliminate any O² introduced during the transfer. Because my processes were already solid, the improvement is probably subtle, but I am happy with the results so far. I very also done keg conditioning, but sometimes I have run into difficulty getting a good low-pressure seal on the lid, allowing the CO² to escape.
 

VikeMan

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It is really an amazing testament to the anti-oxidative power of bottle conditioning! Jack_O, bottle conditioning, as I'm sure you know, causes a continuation of the fermentation inside the bottle. It is thought by many that this fermentation will consume the oxygen introduced at bottling time. Since the is much less or, perhaps, no oxygen left, the oxidation is greatly diminished.
Bottle conditioning uses some of the oxygen introduced by typical homebrew bottling methods, but not all of it. I don't have hard numbers, but I've seen enough bottle conditioned beers that were oxidized messes (see hundreds of pic of purple/brown NEIPAs on this form and others). Not to mention that big commercial brewers go to great lengths to get O2 down into tiny PPB levels before bottle conditioning.
 
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Jack_O

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Well, the easy answer is "keep the oxygen out." But that's why I asked you what your kegging process looks like. If you can describe it, folks can help troubleshoot.



Not purging is an issue. But what do you mean by "poured" the beer in? If you really mean poured (and not racked/siphoned), that's a huge issue right there.
My brewing terminology isn't quite up there with everyone else's. Yes I racked the beer using a siphon into a sanitized keg. Then I set the pressure to the required PSI and shook the keg for 10-15 mins. So I can only assume by skipping the purging process and shaking all that oxygen into my beer has been the cause?

For the second batch of 5l, I actually tried to set and forget method of 15 psi and left it a couple of days. I would say this method was better for me. However the oxidation would of obviously still been there as 1- I didn't purge and 2 - that 5l were sat chilling in the plastic vessel for a few days after the initial racking.

I really appreciate you sharing this. So many brewers assume kegging is going to be superior than bottling from a beer quality perspective. You have serious oxidation in that kegged beer. The bottles were older than the kegged beer yet appear much less oxidized.

To be fair the color and description of sweetness indicates the kegged beer was oxidized, the comment that you get better aroma out of the kegged beer does not. But that color difference is just too much evidence of oxidation to let that aroma comment carry much weight since none of us online get to smell your beer...

I think a lot of people fail to realize that bottle conditioning is easy and pretty forgiving and naturally protects beer from oxidation. It is fair amount of work to get similar level of oxidation protection when kegging beer. Fully purged kegs and closed transfers are pretty much required and take a bit of effort and planning to learn. And even with those boxes checked there is still a bit of oxygen introduced from the "pure" CO2 we use to force carbonate.
Appreciate that. It's all a learning curve and the first time I've tried kegging beer. I have very little to no knowledge regarding the purging process so will have to do abit of reading up on that for next time.
 
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Jack_O

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The SRM between the keg vs bottled is, IMO, significant. First time in my experience I've seen such a wide variance in SRM.

Please realize bottle conditioning causes an additional fermentation (due to sugar added to prime).

How long was the time between kegging and bottling? I'm still trying to wrap my head around the SRM issue.
The beer was in the primary fermenter for 14 days. After hitting my target gravity and after chilling for a couple days, I then racked 5l of the beer straight into the keg. 5l went into my bottles and I transferred the remaining 5l in a sanitized vessel and stored it in there until I had drank the first 5l in the keg. As @Nate R correctly guessed the picture of the kegged beer was from the second batch. I did find a picture of the first kegged batch and it is lighter, but not as light as the bottled picture. I can see how the colour has darkened overtime. Attached is a photo of the beer on the day it was initial placed into the keg.
 

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