Looking At Getting Into Kegging. Would Like Some Input.

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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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This is probably an absolute total noob question that's been asked by countless forum users before me, but I would sincerely appreciate some input as I have zero experience with kegging. I don't have the floor space for a dedicated beer fridge, kegerator, or keezer, but after taking careful measurements, I have determined that I could easily fit two 2.5 gallon kegs on the bottom shelf of my existing fridge(move over milk and yogurt!) My current dilemma is that while I have the space for a 5 gallon batch of beer using 2.5 gallon kegs, there's no way I can fit a 5 pound CO2 tank and regulator into the fridge, and drilling holes through the door or sides of the existing fridge to run a line for CO2 is not an option, as it would surely provoke the wrath of SWMBO. I would love to get into kegging and force carbing my beer, moving away from bottling entirely. What options do I have?
 

Chorgey

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Would it be out of the question to only put one keg (2.5 gallons) and the 5 pound CO2 tank and regulator in the fridge? Do you need two kegs in at one time?

(EDIT: 2.5 gallon keg and tank in fridge, put the remaining brew in bottles with carbonation drops)
 
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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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Wouldn't necessarily need two kegs at once, but a 5 pound CO2 tank and regulator would be too tall and too big around to fit either on the shelves or in the door.
 

McKnuckle

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I would think that SWMBO would tire quickly of having your beer "junk" cluttering up the fridge. It's not only those awkward metal canisters, but gauges and hoses and fittings and taps... and the first spill in the fridge? Even worse, the first leaky liquid poppet that spews a layer of beer and foam along the fridge floor?!

Is there any space you can find that's yours and yours alone, a garage, a basement, even a closet near an outlet?
 

Knightshade

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You could always force carb them outside of the fridge, assuming room temp isn't too horribly warm? Might take a little longer..and chew up more CO2 in the process but..a possible option? And then maybe make sure that they stay pressurized in the fridge and maybe they'll have enough for your drinking session, them pressurize again when you're done for the night?



I feel like you'd eventually get tired of all the hookup/disassemble after awhile though..
 

McKnuckle

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^Right... now that's what I'm talkin' about. :)

I just know that when my stuff makes a mess, I don't want my wife anywhere near it or to be affected by it. She has a "thing" about messes in her spaces. And I have had kegs leak their contents into my keezer. It sucks!
 

Transamguy77

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Where do you store your bottles now? How many cases do you have? I ask this because after you get rid of all those bottles that’s the space to store and carbonate kegs.

You can carbonate them out side and get one of these to dispense. Keg Faucet Adapter Assembly - Ball Lock
And one of these to keep it carbed up.
43F55199-ED68-4C02-BC72-891D6C7D4145.jpeg

And then figure out the mini fridge
 
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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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Where do you store your bottles now? How many cases do you have? I ask this because after you get rid of all those bottles that’s the space to store and carbonate kegs.

You can carbonate them out side and get one of these to dispense. Keg Faucet Adapter Assembly - Ball Lock
And one of these to keep it carbed up.
And then figure out the mini fridge

Currently, I have two cases of bottles, 24 to a case, that I store in one corner of the room where my desktop computer is, rotating bottles to the fridge to chill as I'm ready to drink one. The keg charger does look like a feasible option. Thanks!
 
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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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Thanks for all the input. The solution I think I'm going to go with until I can get the needed space for a fridge and a CO2 tank is to naturally carbonate in 2.5 gallon kegs (still have to wait 2 weeks for carbonation, I know) and serve using the tap and CO2 injector setup suggested by Transamguy77. It's not a perfect solution, but it's at least a step towards a dedicated kegging set up.
 
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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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I have a full-sized keezer and I am currently naturally carbonating each batch in my kegs. Sometimes it's a preference and a choice, not just a necessary evil. :)

I've read that for natural carbonation in kegs, less priming sugar is needed than for bottling. How much much priming sugar do you actually need to naturally carbonate a 5 gallon batch for kegging?
 

McKnuckle

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I have read that too. But I have been targeting 2.0 volumes of CO2 in the usual calculators, such as the one hosted by Brewer's Friend. It has come out perfect for me so far on a few different styles - English bitter, pale lager, and porter.

As one example, I kegged 2.17 gallons with 39g of corn sugar, and that turned out perfectly. I use the highest temp reached during fermentation in the calculator.

If I were you and did not have the convenience of forced carbonation to augment an under-carbonated beer, I would not use less sugar. It's easy to correct a slightly higher carbed beer, if that even becomes an issue (doubt it will).
 
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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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I have read that too. But I have been targeting 2.0 volumes of CO2 in the usual calculators, such as the one hosted by Brewer's Friend. It has come out perfect for me so far on a few different styles - English bitter, pale lager, and porter.

As one example, I kegged 2.17 gallons with 39g of corn sugar, and that turned out perfectly. I use the highest temp reached during fermentation in the calculator.

If I were you and did not have the convenience of forced carbonation to augment an under-carbonated beer, I would not use less sugar. It's easy to correct a slightly higher carbed beer, if that even becomes an issue (doubt it will).

I'll definitely have to give natural carbing in kegs a try. Thanks for the info. :mug:
 

McKnuckle

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Trust me, it really helps to have another in the wings while you wait. In fact, after 9-10 days of carbonation in the keg, I don't really serve it until after another 10-14 days sitting in the cold. All of this conditioning time makes the beer clear, smooth, and delicious!

You might even try the little 1 gallon kegs with a ball lock lid. It's currently about $69 for the pair which I guess is expensive, but they are so darn cute and great for turning batches over and brewing frequently. Not to mention small spaces. I bought one and after two batches had to buy another.
 
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Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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Been wanting to brew some lagers, so waiting for them to naturally carb then letting them condition in the fridge wouldn't be an issue. :cask:
 

treacheroustexan

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With a little re-arranging, I might be able to put a mini-fridge in the corner of the room where I have my desktop PC.

Honestly, if you can do this, it would be your best bet. Trying to use your main fridge and naturally carbing and all the waiting is going to get old really fast. I recently scored a used mini fridge big enough to accomplish what you're trying to do.

A few years back I lived in a small apartment and didn't think I had room to keg and was in the same situation as you. My SWMBO oddly talked me into buying a small mini fridge because I was going to give up brewing because I hated bottling so much. We didn't exactly have the room for the mini fridge either, but we made it work and years later I'm glad we did.

Best of luck!
 

McKnuckle

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You don't need priming sugar to keg. Most people force carbonate in their kegs.

Some people choose to naturally carbonate their kegs as if they were giant bottles. It's simply a choice.
 

Wolffie

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Great idea... when I was starting out in life, I made a "desk" out of two big moving boxes with an unfinished mahogany door slab over the top. If I had the vision, one of those boxes could have been a mini-fridge!
After thought is always nice to think about, but it great to have moved on to better things. (Progress gotta love it) The mini might of got you started sooner ?? :)
 

Beermeister32

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It is a Sanyo 4.4 cubic foot mini fridge, now obsolete. Other brands are similar. 5 lb CO2 fits in the pocket in the door with Velcro strap. Regulator hardware was reversed so the valve knob and gauge are facing in the right direction for this door design. Door closes fine, the CO2 tank fits in the door space and the space between two kegs.
 
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