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n00bishness: Lagering With or Without CO2?

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Evan!

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Ha, I finally got my keg operation up and running tonight. I'm thrilled. Got 2 batches in keg quicker than it would have taken me to boil the priming sugar for one bottled batch. Oh yes.

So.

I have 2 kegs at 30psi in the fridge now. First, how long should I leave them at 30psi until they're sufficiently carbed and I can bleed the pressure off and drop it down to 10?

Secondly...

I have 4 kegs, 2 of which are open right now. I have a batch of smoked porter in my lagerator in a carboy. Should I leave it in the carboy (it's been there for 2 weeks or so), or should I rack it to an open keg, hit it with 30psi, rock it around to absorb, and then pull it off the co2 and put it back in the lagerator? Would this eliminate some of the "green" period once there's an open spot in my kegerator?

Thanks! It's like starting all over again, it is...
 

Dr_Deathweed

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I COULD be a jerk and talk about doing a search.....:D :D :D

you can do 2-3 days at 30psi, don't worry about shaking, you may get inconsistent results with that. I prefer to just let it sit in the kegerator 6-7 days at 12 psi. Ive waited this long for a good beer, whats another week?

I personally wouldn't lager carbonated, but thats just me. I do clarify in my kegs, after a couple weeks in the primary I rack to the keg and let it sit until I have an open spot/ready to put it in the kegerator.

Hope this helps!
 

PeteOz77

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It's a good question. I asked it a few weeks back, and was told that it's fine to lager in the bottle, which of course means it's fine to lager it in the keg as well, since the only difference seems to be the priming sugar is not used, and forced carbonation is used. I can't imagine how the week or so it takes to naturally carbonate would make much difference?
 

Bulls Beers

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Yup. What they said.. I set it at 30 psi for 3-4 days. Test it. If it's good, dial it back to 12 psi and your good to go..I like mine at 12..I guess 10 would also be good and tasty...

I never shake it...
 

Dr_Deathweed

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:off: Sorry, I didn't mean to come off as a complete a$$, I was just trying to poke a little fun. I had just finished looking at 2 or 3 different posts to typical n00b questions where the one and only response was "do a search" and a list of links. I just couldnt resist the opportunity to poke a little fun at a upwards of 5k poster:cross:

Now that you mention it PeteOz77, I do remember seeing that thread about lagering in the bottle. So I now officially retract my previous statement about carbing while lagering.
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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Well, regardless, I did a search but didn't come up with an answer for my specific question (should I leave it in the carboy or rack to a keg and hit it with co2).
 

ohiobrewtus

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I see no reason why you *can't* carb it then continue to lager it, but I'd probably just let it be until I had an open tap. I have a batch of EF and my APA that have been in secondary for a month now and probably won't get on tap for about another 2 weeks.

I'm pretty sure that you'll have the same problem that I do. I brew more than I drink, so I always have stuff sitting around waiting for an open tap.
 

the_bird

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I suppose one advantage of lagering in the keg is that it takes up less room in the lagerator than a carboy, so you might be able to lager another batch. Personallly, I wouldn't worry about hitting it with any more CO2 than you need to purge the keg and to get a good seal (some pressure inside the keg will help keep everything nice and tightskies).
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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the_bird said:
I suppose one advantage of lagering in the keg is that it takes up less room in the lagerator than a carboy, so you might be able to lager another batch. Personallly, I wouldn't worry about hitting it with any more CO2 than you need to purge the keg and to get a good seal (some pressure inside the keg will help keep everything nice and tightskies).
excellent point. I have 4 kegs, so two will be open at any given time. I could lager 2 that way, instead of the one that I can fit in there now. :D
 

pjj2ba

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Evan! said:
excellent point. I have 4 kegs, so two will be open at any given time. I could lager 2 that way, instead of the one that I can fit in there now. :D
*snicker* You think you'll have two open at any time - noob! Well, you may always have two open, but then it will also be 4 full, then 6 full. Next thing you know it there are kegs all over the place.
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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um, ah, the kegerator fits 2. Why would I need more than 4? One gets finished, I take it out, replace it with one of the others, clean & sanitize the used keg, and rack the waiting beer into it---then store in lagerator until another keg runs out. I'd bet I can fit, at the most, 4 kegs in my lagerator at any given time, so I could MAYBE see myself getting a couple more...but why would I need any more than that?

I'm genuinely curious...
 
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Evan!

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pjj2ba said:
*snicker* You think you'll have two open at any time - noob! Well, you may always have two open, but then it will also be 4 full, then 6 full. Next thing you know it there are kegs all over the place.
But, like I said, I can only tap 2 at a time...and I have 9 carboys. So...why would I need a bunch of them when I can just keep rotating them in and out of the kegerator & lagerator?
 

TexLaw

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Evan! said:
um, ah, the kegerator fits 2. Why would I need more than 4? One gets finished, I take it out, replace it with one of the others, clean & sanitize the used keg, and rack the waiting beer into it---then store in lagerator until another keg runs out. I'd bet I can fit, at the most, 4 kegs in my lagerator at any given time, so I could MAYBE see myself getting a couple more...but why would I need any more than that?

I'm genuinely curious...
Pardon me for answering your question with a question:

Why does a snowball get bigger as it rolls?;)

And, yes, you can lager in the keg. That's the way I do it, as a matter of fact, and it works just fine. As Bird pointed out, you just need enough pressure in the keg to maintain a seal. It does not hurt to have more carbonation, but it also does not help (until you are ready to sample or drink).


TL
 

pjj2ba

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I serve 4 kegs at a time. I typically have at least 2 more aging in the basement waiting for an available space. My lagers don't get a real cold lagering, more like about 40 F in my garage. Pretty quick here I'll have 4 cornies aging in my garage. I've got three more lagers I want to do. So that'll be 7 plus the 4 I'm drinking. The seven are for summer drinking but soon I'll switch over to ales for the spring and a couple for summer........

I started with 2 kegs, then got 3 more and thought, Wow, that's a lot of kegs. Now I've got 15. I started with 1 tap, then three, now four.............

And you'll want to brew beers and take kegs to parties where the beer will be tapped and gone by the end of the evening. For our annual pig roast I'll have my stable of 4 in the basement bar, then 4 more brews to serve from the party cart. Gotta have backups man.

Believe us, it is a snowball. It may take a couple of years, but it will happen.
 
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Evan!

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it'd better take at least a couple years, because I just dropped about $500 on this freakin' kegging operation. I think, between two taps, 6 kegs and still bottling some batches, I'll be just fine for a good while. Like I said, until I upgrade to more taps, which is a long way away (I haven't even pulled my first pint from these yet!), if I can keep 2 in the fridge, 4 in the lagerator, and the remainder in my carboys (of which I have 9), it should suffice.
 

Yooper

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Well, I bought three kegs initially because my kegerator fits two kegs. I thought one extra would be enough. Within a month, I bought 4 more. I know I have carboys, but it saves me a racking and it's alot more convenient to just stick the finished beer in the keg, and then let it either age at room temperature or in the basement (lager temps). I've primed some of the ones "waiting" so they'll be carbonated while I put them in the fridge, some I haven't. So, yes, I started kegging at Christmas time, and have 7 kegs. Only 4 have beer in them right now, but I'll be kegging another when the maibock is done. (The maibock is in a carboy at the moment).
 

blacklab

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I'm going to jump on to the end of this one instead of cluttering with a new thread - hopefully one of you guys will see it.

OK - hereza deal. Picked up a corny keg and associated connecting hoses, etc., yesterday on a whim. I already have a full kegerator thing going. My question is about procedures in carbonating the keg. I have a brew which has finished primary and am going to use the keg as a secondary.

I've done the fun super search and found 95% of the info necessary. Rack in beer, put in 30 psi, purge, put in 30 psi and refrigerate for 2-3 days to force carb.

(I know that the beer will taste green after 2-3 days, so let's pretend I let it sit with 30 psi for a few weeks)

My question is, do I bleed it down to 10-12 psi from the 30 psi that is already in there, or let it all out and re-carb with a 'fresh' 10-12 psi?

thanks, people. :D
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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blacklab said:
I'm going to jump on to the end of this one instead of cluttering with a new thread - hopefully one of you guys will see it.

OK - hereza deal. Picked up a corny keg and associated connecting hoses, etc., yesterday on a whim. I already have a full kegerator thing going. My question is about procedures in carbonating the keg. I have a brew which has finished primary and am going to use the keg as a secondary.

I've done the fun super search and found 95% of the info necessary. Rack in beer, put in 30 psi, purge, put in 30 psi and refrigerate for 2-3 days to force carb.

(I know that the beer will taste green after 2-3 days, so let's pretend I let it sit with 30 psi for a few weeks)

My question is, do I bleed it down to 10-12 psi from the 30 psi that is already in there, or let it all out and re-carb with a 'fresh' 10-12 psi?

thanks, people. :D
Actually you need to bleed it out quite a bit. Per ohiobrewtus' excellent instructions, I force-carb at 35psi for 48 hours (longer for high-carbo, shorter for low-carbo). Then I disconnect the gas and bleed the keg entirely. I wait an hour, bleed it again. Wait another hour, bleed it a third time, and hook up the gas at serving pressure (8-10psi normally). It's ready to go.

If you don't do these bleedoff steps, the beer'll be very foamy.
 
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