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Forced Priming Kegs Vs Sugar Priming Bottles

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Truman42

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I read a lot of comments in threads about force priming kegs and what not and brewers advising us bottlers to ditch the bottles and go to kegs because they're easier than bottling and you can force carb and be drinking your beer a lot sooner.

What I dont get is even though it might take a couple of weeks (in the warmer months) for my beer to carb in bottles, most of the time its still too green and needs at least another couple of weeks for it to mature, hop aromas to settle down etc.

So how do the keggers get around this? If you force carb your kegged beer and its fully carbed in a few days surely the beer is going to still be green and need another 3-4 weeks to age?

Would it be that a lot of keggers are drinking their beer green and not enjoying the full potential their beer can/will become with 3-4 weeks of aging?

Not trying to start a debate, (or dissing the keggers) just curious as I dont keg so not sure?
 

Screwtop

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So how do the keggers get around this? If you force carb your kegged beer and its fully carbed in a few days surely the beer is going to still be green and need another 3-4 weeks to age?

Would it be that a lot of keggers are drinking their beer green and not enjoying the full potential their beer can/will become with 3-4 weeks of aging?
Yes!

Beer seems to condition more quickly in larger volumes, it's good, quite drinkable but yes 'Green". A lot of keggers will tell you that their beer is at it's best just before the keg blows :lol: tell you something?. Time is of benefit to "most" beer styles!

Cheers,

Screwy
 

glenwal

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I carb my kegs at serving pressure. I normally hook it up to gas a week or 2 before I start drinking it. I have my gas split 4 ways, and 3 taps, so I have a "spare" keg that is aging/carbing, then swap it over when another keg blows.
 

Dave70

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I bulk prime my kegs.
So I guess I'm having my two bob each way eh?


And I'm glad you're not dissing keggers coz dey'll busta cap in yo azz.
 

JDW81

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I bulk prime my kegs.
So I guess I'm having my two bob each way eh?
I presume you've force carbonated in the past? Do notice any difference between bulk priming and force carb'ing?
 

Nick JD

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I keg a few different ways depending on the beer, and the stockpile situation.

If it's a lager in the brewing fridge that's been in secondary at 4C I'll usually transfer it to keg, force carb and serve. But it's had a week or more to settle, or has been fined, so is no longer truely "green". But it still gets slightly better after a week or two. Often I carb cold lagers and then store them at room temp - works fine.

If it's an ale I often keg and put it in the keg queue in winter. So it'll sit at ambient for a wekk or a month before being chill ed, force carbed and served.

If it's a beer that favours being drunk fresh then it gets drunk fresh.

These situations change in summer as my brewing is at drinking pace (can't ambient brew ales), so I am drinking more green beer, but it's also a great season to drink beers that are great green.
 

Mike L'Itorus

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Yes!

Beer seems to condition more quickly in larger volumes, it's good, quite drinkable but yes 'Green". A lot of keggers will tell you that their beer is at it's best just before the keg blows :lol: tell you something?. Time is of benefit to "most" beer styles!

Cheers,

Screwy
@OP....pay attention to the inverted commas screwy has used: "most". Certainly not all.. (although, I might disagree slightly and say "most" is a touch strong. Some, yes; many, yes...most? maybe, maybe not).

Some beer styles are too long in the tooth and past their prime in the time it takes a bottle to carbonate. An (extreme) example imo is English Milds....if it's not drunk within 2 weeks of pitching the yeast, you're not drinking fast enough. (my personal record is 20L pitched, fermented, clarified (without filter), kegged, and drunk to the dregs within 7 days).

Wychwood reccomend to their publicans that their casks should be emptied and returned within 14 days, or the quality of the beer will suffer. ;)
 

Dave70

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I presume you've force carbonated in the past? Do notice any difference between bulk priming and force carb'ing?
Yes. But not due to the method. CO2 dissolved in beer is CO2 dissolved in beer regardless of how it got there.
Personally I've never made a beer that didn't benefit from an extra week or two under it's belt before serving. Bulk priming forces you to be a little more patient. About the only con is a glass two of cloudy beer when you first crack it.
Both time and cold conditioning have improved my beers, that's all there is to it.

One trap for new players is a leaky seal on the keg, which I've had happen on one occasion. Now I always give the primed keg shot of gas to make sure it holds pressure. Waiting a fortnight to discover eighteen litres of flat beer is disappointing to say the least.
 

bignath

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G'day truman,

i force carb my kegs and am drinking it almost immediately (within reason).

Does it get better if you let it condition in the keg for a couple of weeks? Not necessarily i've found. The general consensus is that it certainly does, but i've noticed the hop presence disappear fairly rapidly in kegs, and beers that i thought were quite hoppy in conditioning or primary, aren't necessarily as hoppy at week 2 in a keg.

I tend to drink my beers very fresh so i get the intended slap in the face with hops, depending on style of course..

Standard procedure for me is:

Primary until it's "done"
Condition at 1 degree for 5-7days
Straight into a keg @ 250kpa/psi (not sure which one as i keep forgetting what my regulator measures in) for 1 minute of vigourous shaking about back and forth twice a second. (im a drummer so this method is easy for me).
Let it sit for 20mins. Come back and burp off the gas.
Repeat gassing @ 200-250 for another minute at the same speed.
Let it sit for 20mins. Come back and burp off the gas.
Drop reg to serving pressure, and do some "quality control" into a glass to see how it is - usually it's bang on target.

Very rarely have a problem with this method (maybe once a year i'll overcarbonate a keg, usually when i'm careless and drunk).

Never naturally carbed a keg so can't offer much advice here, but with regards to flavours and "greenness" not noticed any detrimental things in my kegged beers (other than due to factors outside of the kegging system).

Nath
 

tricache

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Interesting read so far.

I bottle but I am thinking of moving to kegging in the near future so this has me very interested.

I have drank a few beers rather green and can definitely taste a difference! My "Euro Spec" Lager tasted green until about 2 weeks after bottling, fantastic after that though ;)

I'm just about to bottle my stout on the weekend and after a few tastes from gravity tests I would be happy drinking it from the tap of the fermenter haha

Just my experience but I am taking all this info in for when I get kegging :D
 

Truman42

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Interesting replies...

So would it be right to assume that the act of priming with sugar is what contributes to the green beer to a degree?

So the yeast gobble up the sugars during fermentation, produce off flavours etc, then gobble them up once they run out of sugar, which cleans up the beer.

If we now keg and force carb our beers relatively clean with minimal of flavours (depending on style and other variables of course)

But......

if we then we add some more sugar and bottle the yeast wake up, gobble up the sugar, produce more off flavours etc, and then need time to clean this up as well? Thus adding a good week or 2 after priming the beer to clean it up?

I was always on the fence with bottling versus switching to kegging. The lure of one big bottle wasnt enough to sway me over especially with the added cost. But now must admit I have one foot over on the kegging side.
 

tricache

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I was always on the fence with bottling versus switching to kegging. The lure of one big bottle wasnt enough to sway me over especially with the added cost. But now must admit I have one foot over on the kegging side.
I'm more worried my drinking will increase with one big bottle :lol:
 

Dave70

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So the yeast gobble up the sugars during fermentation, produce off flavours etc, then gobble them up once they run out of sugar, which cleans up the beer.
How are you drawing that conclusion?
Yeast basically eat sugar, shit ethanol and fart CO2. Yeast selection and fermentation temp's may effect the flavours the yeast throw, but they don't turn around and start eating their own shit when the sugars dry up.
 

Nick JD

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... but they don't turn around and start eating their own shit when the sugars dry up.
Yeah - they kinda do. :) It's half of "conditioning" - the other half being stuff dropping out. Yeast eat all manner of off-tasting things they shat out like acetaldehyde and diacetyl (Palmer: acetaldehyde, esters, amino acids, ketones- diacetyl, pentanedione, dimethyl sulfide, etc...). That said - if you brew a decent beer (AG with top yeast management) your "green" beer doesn't have a lot of these things the yeast needs to "condition". In a perfect brewing world, no conditioning would ever be needed, just filter, carb and serve - like Megaswill white lab coat folk do.

The biggest difference I find with (like a 4%) bottle conditioned beer is the fact that 1/8th of the alcohol in the bottle is derived from your priming sugar. That's quite significant. The same as force carb kegging a AG beer with 12% sucrose in it.
 

Truman42

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How are you drawing that conclusion?
Yeast basically eat sugar, shit ethanol and fart CO2. Yeast selection and fermentation temp's may effect the flavours the yeast throw, but they don't turn around and start eating their own shit when the sugars dry up.

So then why do I read in various articles on brewing that after primary fermenation is finished you should keep your beer in the fermenter for another week to allow the yeast to "clean up"?
 
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