Author Topic: New to kegging  (Read 1050 times)

Offline Robin Foster

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New to kegging
« on: May 17, 2019, 07:09:57 AM »
Hello.  We are new to kegging, and will try it for the first time this weekend.  I have watched a few youtube videos, but still have a couple of questions:

Do you put the keg in the refrigerator immediately after transferring the beer and putting the PSI where needed?

I have seen different recommendations for PSI's and how long to let it set.  We did a BIAB blue moon clone.  What PSI, and how long would you recommend?

Is it ok to use a mini fridge, and does the CO2 tank go in the fridge with the keg?

I only brew 2-3 times a year, and don't have fancy equipment, so I'm an amateur brewer anyway, so I apologize for all of the questions.  Thank you in advance for any advice given.  I need all of the help I can get.

Robin Foster

Offline jomebrew

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 08:52:46 AM »
Hello.  We are new to kegging, and will try it for the first time this weekend.  I have watched a few youtube videos, but still have a couple of questions:

Do you put the keg in the refrigerator immediately after transferring the beer and putting the PSI where needed?

[jomebrew] Yes. Check the charts for PSI settings. Iput my keg and CO2 tank in at 36F and set the PSI to 12 for 10 days. There are faster ways but this workd fantastic for me and my beers.

I have seen different recommendations for PSI's and how long to let it set.  We did a BIAB blue moon clone.  What PSI, and how long would you recommend?
[jomebrew] I would do 12 PSI for 10 days at 36F and see if you like it at that. If not, crank the PSI to 30 for a day then lower again, release the CO2 pressure form the keg and try it.

Is it ok to use a mini fridge, and does the CO2 tank go in the fridge with the keg?
[jomebrew]Either way. I prefer both in the fridge so I can control the pressure easier. Of the tank is warm, you need higher pressure.

I only brew 2-3 times a year, and don't have fancy equipment, so I'm an amateur brewer anyway, so I apologize for all of the questions.  Thank you in advance for any advice given.  I need all of the help I can get.
[jomebrew] I was the same for a few years before I slowly replaced my brewing setup. It isn't the gear as much as the love put into the beer.

Robin Foster

Offline Robin Foster

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 10:15:15 AM »
Thank you so much.  That was very helpful. 

Robin Foster

Offline dtapke

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 12:18:56 PM »
I assume you'll be transferring out of a bucket or carboy into a "corny" keg?

personally my procedure (i'll actually adjust to more common procedures) is to first clean and sanitize my kegs, I will disassemble the posts, clean the posts, dip tube and co2 inlet with a small brush, then soak in sanitizer with the lid while i clean the keg.

at this point, cleaning the keg first with a kitchen scrubbing pad and rinsing, then adding 1/2 gallon of sanitizer i will re-assemble the keg and pressurize with co2. this gives me a chance to check for leaks at the posts, generally i'll pressurize the keg to 10-20psi for this, and shake it up to distribute the sanitizer. disconnect the co2 and I'll then push the sanitizer out the tap/faucet until it is purged of all sanitizer AND co2. I'll then hit it with another 10psi of co2 and pull the release valve. now my keg is ready to fill.

open the lid and rack the beer into the keg using a sanitized (inside and outside!) hose that goes all the way to the bottom of the keg. this reduces some oxidation as opposed to just letting it splash into the keg.

once the keg is full (i actually do closed pressure transfers by weight) I will then pressurize it with 30 psi to make sure that all the seals are seated and put it in the fridge for a day with the co2 disconnected. in a day usually the co2 will come down and I'll start with my carbonation, I carb at around 12psi and 36F for 1-2 weeks. keep in mind you should look into line balancing (google it, you'll find all sorts of things, tldr? you need about 4.5' of 3/16 beer line to get a good pour.)

I personally keep my co2 outside the fridge so i have more fridge space. I cannot understand why Jomebrew seems to think keeping it in the fridge helps. 10psi of co2 is 10psi co2, the regulator delivers 10psi regardless of temperature if that is what it's set at. you won't use more or less co2 regardless of tank position.

Other recommendations i would make, purchase quality forward sealing faucets. intertap and perlick are the gold standard of the day. you'll pay a bit more for perlick, i think its worth it. I use Stainless Perlick faucets and don't look back at the days of using cheap "Krome" faucets. they constantly stick, need more regular cleaning, and just suck.

don't forget to get some Beer Line Cleaner and maintain some form of regimen for cleaning your lines and taps occasionally. some say to clean monthly, some folks clean yearly, ymmv.
32g eHERMS
Drinking: Dopplebock, NEIPA, Pils
Primary: empty
Secondary/Lagering:
Next Brew: RIS

Offline Kevin58

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 09:49:31 AM »
My first keg set up was one corny keg... a CO2 tank with regulator... and a length of gas line with fittings to connect the CO2 to the keg. All of this I put in an old refrigerator in my basement. No faucets through the door so it didn't look as cool as some others but it did the job and did it very well.

Eventually I bought a couple more kegs so I bought a 4-way splitter and split my hose to accommodate three kegs. They all easily fit in the same refrigerator.

The one drawback to that system is that there was no way to have different pressures going to each keg. For that you would need secondary regulators.

There are articles online that can help with the details. Here's a couple I found for you...
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/1312/Summerzym95-Kegging_How-To.pdf

https://www.morebeer.com/themes/morewinepro/kegging.pdf
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Offline Robin Foster

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 11:11:06 AM »
I will print these off.  A lot of good advice here, but not totally clear to me, just because I'm so new to this. I will watch some of the recommended videos.  I'm sure it will become much clearer with practice.  Thanks again. 

I do have one more question though.  I tried my beer today.  It was cloudy, but not bad.  I do believe it needs a few more days though.  The one video I watched said to remove the liquid line and re-set to the carbonating PSI.  Is there a reason to remove the liquid line?  And, how do you clean these?

Offline Kevin58

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 06:48:13 PM »
The first pulls are going to be cloudy. it will clear. I wouldn't mess with it until you become much more comfortable with the process. The easiest way to carbonate is set the PSI on your regulator to serving pressure and leave it there.... set it and forget it. It will take up to a week to reach full carbonation. A lot of people will suggest a lot of different solutions for carbing your beer quicker but your beer will benefit from the extra conditioning time. I've included a link to a a carbonation chart. Temperatures are down the left side of the chart. Along the top is volumes of CO2. I make British styles which work well at around 2.2 volumes. So for me, I start at 40F on the left and go across until the chart intersects with 2.2 at the top and it tells me to set my regulator to 9.0PSI.

https://byo.com/resource/carbonation-priming-chart/
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Offline Robin Foster

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 04:50:41 AM »
Thanks again.

Offline dtapke

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 08:02:46 AM »
for "Clear" beer you need to be very particular about all of your processes leading up to kegging as well.

If i want a brilliantly clear beer i do a longer and slower vorlauf until i have a clear layer of wort on top of my grain bed when lautering. I make sure to add some first wort hops to help with kettle performance and whirlpool and settle out before draining to the fermenter. After that, making sure your fermentation is done, settling out your yeast in the fermenter by lowering the temperature while its there to get 90%+ of the remaining particles out, fining with gelatin if needed, and then kegging.

even then, you need at least a week before its REALLY clear, and I'll often pour off 500ml or so every few days.
32g eHERMS
Drinking: Dopplebock, NEIPA, Pils
Primary: empty
Secondary/Lagering:
Next Brew: RIS

Offline drb1215

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 04:14:20 PM »
Hi - The most important thing is relax and have fun :)  (Actually, there are more important things, but I'd thought I'd throw that out there to ease the tension a bit)

It seems everyone's process is similar, but with slight differences.  For me, I start by making sure my keg(s) are clean and sanitized, along with any tubing (and fittings) that are used to transfer the beer. Sanitation is key, but it's not as important as it is when the wort has been chilled prior to pitching the yeast. Beer that is ready to be kegged has a level of alcohol in it that will help fight bacteria.  Unfermented wort does not.

When I'm ready to transfer my beer from the fermenter to the keg, I first remove all air out of keg by filling it with CO2 while occasionally opening up the relief valve on the keg to expel the air.  When you open up the top of the keg to fill it, you will have a layer of CO2 in it that will prevent oxidation if splashing occurs.

Once the keg is filled, I'll put pressure on it, and once again open the relief valve to expel any air.  At this point, i don't pressurize the keg. What I do is put it in the fridge overnight to bring it down to the temp I want to carbonate it at.

Once chilled (about 12 to 24 hours), I'll put it at 25 PSI for 2 to 3 days (check it after every 24 hours) to see what level the carbonation is at.  Once it's where I want, I'll dial it back to about 11 to 12 psi depending on the style of beer.  It takes a couple of days beyond the initial high pressure to settle out, but it is faster than setting it based on this chart https://www.kegerators.com/articles/carbonation-table-pressure-chart/ and waiting 10 to 14 days.

Hope that helps.

Offline Kevin58

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 07:19:01 PM »

Once the keg is filled, I'll put pressure on it, and once again open the relief valve to expel any air.  At this point, i don't pressurize the keg. What I do is put it in the fridge overnight to bring it down to the temp I want to carbonate it at.

Once chilled (about 12 to 24 hours), I'll put it at 25 PSI for 2 to 3 days (check it after every 24 hours) to see what level the carbonation is at.  Once it's where I want, I'll dial it back to about 11 to 12 psi depending on the style of beer.  It takes a couple of days beyond the initial high pressure to settle out, but it is faster than setting it based on this chart https://www.kegerators.com/articles/carbonation-table-pressure-chart/ and waiting 10 to 14 days.

Hope that helps.

Cleaning, sanitizing and the rest are standard procedure. I dispute the claim that the described method is faster....

I have a Porter that I began drinking this past Saturday that I put it in the keezer and hooked up to the gas the previous Monday... 5 days. it was carbonated enough that I had no problem serving it to company yesterday. 6 days.

That's a little fast but 7+ days is about average. And that's without turning the PSI up and down and pre-chilling and... whew. Too much work. Just set-it-and-forget-it for a week then come back and enjoy a beer.
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Offline dtapke

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Re: New to kegging
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 07:25:24 AM »
I mean I'll keg at 30psi and 28F and a quick shake three times a day and have well carbonated beer in about 24 hours if i'm in a hurry...e

I also will carbonate with the keg laying on its side on my basement floor at the corresponding pressure/temp and get slightly quicker results that way as there's more surface area for the co2.

Lots of ways to skin a cat so they say. carb stones work great too... but i'd say the easiest and simplest way is to just put it in the fridge/keezer/kegerator, set it at serving pressure, and forget about it for 2 weeks.

for the most part, I've got a secondary chest freezer that i've converted to "storage" and I just throw my kegs in there to carbonate and sit until they're ready to go in the kegerator for serving.
32g eHERMS
Drinking: Dopplebock, NEIPA, Pils
Primary: empty
Secondary/Lagering:
Next Brew: RIS