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Kegging V Bottling

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Brizbrew

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This morning I spent 4 hours bottling my latest brew. cleaning..scrubbing..sanitising..capping..clean up...It all takes time.

Er indoors has kindly offered to purchase me a kegging setup for xmas so as we can have our weekends back and do things rather than...Bottling.

For those of you who have made the move from bottling to kegging how have you found it and how long does it actually take to get your beer from the fermenter or cube to the keg, what other factors are there to consider?

Over to you keggers. :)
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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I haven't kegged yet, but I just bought a keg for the very reasons you gave. Also, the idea of pouring my beer from my keg is a great thought.

Also, the flavour of the beer is affected if you condition it in the keg compared to bottle conditioning; in a good way of course! Just think of the difference between Coopers pale ale between tap and bottle- as well as having no sediment.

Where was I??
 

Wortgames

'Draught' is not a beer style - it's a lifestyle
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Brizbrew, it takes all of about 5 minutes to fill the keg.

Then you put the lid on, give it a bit of gas, burp the air out, and you're ready to serve.

It will still be flat, and maybe not cold, but trust me, you'll still drink it :p

If you're patient, it will carbonate itself nicely in a couple of days.

If you're impatient you can slosh it, roll it, and do all kinds of other desperate things to it to get the gas in.

The bottom line is you can be drinking it the same day the airlock stops bubbling if you want...

:super:
 

sintax69

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So how long will the beer keep in the keg weeks months years?

was reading another forum they said u have to turn the gasess on and off after you finished using it this true?

Are the beer guns any good for a lite user or is there more advantage to getting a door tap
 

Wortgames

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There's no real reason that kegged beer will keep any less than bottled beer, except that if you keep sampling from the keg then you increase the headspace, and over time this can seem to have an effect on aroma. A full keg that's kept pressurised should last every bit as long as a bottle.

If you'll get through a keg within a month or two you'll have no reason to worry. For longer term storage and speciality brews you're probably best off still bottling them.

You only have to turn off the gas if you think you've got leaks, or if your gas supply is precious. If you're getting gas in a decent sized cylinder and you're pretty sure your system is tight, leave it all connected and enjoy a balanced system.

A beer gun is probably the most sensible option for most people, as you'll get less foaming and if you're only pouring a couple of beers a night then opening the fridge is hardly an issue.

A tap is good if you will be pouring more frequently, as you don't have to keep opening the fridge. However, you'll reduce the efficiency of the fridge slightly because the tap acts a bit like a heatsink. You also get a bit of foam in the first pour as the tap is warmer than the keg and line.

The differences are small though, and there's just something very cool about having your own row of beer taps...
 

Uncle Fester

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Just a quick question re the life of beer in a keg... i intend buying 2 or so more kegs than I have fridge space for (I have space for 3). What is the best way of keeping the beer alive, whilst warm? Is it best to gas the keg and burp it, or is it best to add some sugar so it keg-contitions (and removes the oxygen from the headspace that way). I dont drink the things all that fast, and would probably have a keg in the fridge for about 2 months before emptying it. If it takes 2 months for me to create space in the fridge for another keg, then I may as well get some contitioning value out of the waiting brew.

Any ideas???


M
 

Fingerlickin_B

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I plan on storing my excess (filled) kegs under the house...nice and cool under there :)

PZ.
 

Uncle Fester

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Fingerlickin_B said:
I plan on storing my excess (filled) kegs under the house...nice and cool under there :)

PZ.
[post="84989"][/post]​
I have the same option... But for longer term storage do you force carbonate, or simply burp with CO2, or do you naturally carbonate in the keg?

M
 

Fingerlickin_B

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I'll be doing a bit of both depending on what brew is in the keg.

PZ.
 

Wortgames

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I wouldn't bother doing anything special - just gas as normal and find a cool spot if possible. As long as the keg has a good seal and you've purged any air, you've got a very effective 'time capsule' to keep it in.

Ideally though, you don't want to store any beer for too long, unless you are lagering (storing at very cold temps for an extended time). When you bottle, you get in the habit of letting it 'mature'. Most of this 'maturation' though is about getting rid of the off flavours caused by the bottle fermentation.

When you keg (and carbonate with bottle CO2), your beer has finished fermenting and you don't revive the fermentation, so it is ready to drink straight away. A lager will benefit from extended cold storage, but if you are brewing ales you don't want to store them any longer than necessary, they are best drunk fresh to get their real character. Remember that bottling ales is a compromise anyway, when you keg them you are getting back to the way they are supposed to be served.

Having said that, a lot of people prefer their ales to be 'cleaner' and 'less fruity', so they cold-condition them. Sacrilege, IMO - if that's what you like then brew lagers.
 

Jye

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Hey Brizbrew,

1 week in primary, 1 week in secondary then into the keg :beerbang: or CC until a keg is free.

When I finish a keg I give it a rinse and also flush sanitise through my lines and taps, quick and easy. After a few brews I give it a soak in napisan. So in short you will save time... but this results in brewing more since you can drink quicker and there is no evidence for SWMBO to see how much you have drunk.
 

peas_and_corn

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Wortgames said:
Ideally though, you don't want to store any beer for too long, unless you are lagering (storing at very cold temps for an extended time). When you bottle, you get in the habit of letting it 'mature'. Most of this 'maturation' though is about getting rid of the off flavours caused by the bottle fermentation.

When you keg (and carbonate with bottle CO2), your beer has finished fermenting and you don't revive the fermentation, so it is ready to drink straight away. A lager will benefit from extended cold storage, but if you are brewing ales you don't want to store them any longer than necessary, they are best drunk fresh to get their real character. Remember that bottling ales is a compromise anyway, when you keg them you are getting back to the way they are supposed to be served.

[post="85002"][/post]​
So it's straight from secondary to force carbonation & drinking??
 

WillM

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Could you do your secondary in the keg, or would this make the beer cloudy?
 

peas_and_corn

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I wouldn't do it (even though I haven't thought of doing it until you posted that); for the reason you gave. Secondary fermentation is a good way of having more sediment drop out of solution. Also, I don't like the idea of one of my kegs tied up just doing a secondary ferment when a fermentor could be doing it just as well :)
 

Wortgames

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Yep, you can secondary in the keg if you like, this is what I normally do.

Just give it a couple of days longer in primary then rack it straight to the keg. Burp but don't carbonate and let it sit for another week or two before moving to your serve temp and carbonating.

Some brewers clip the diptube to avoid picking up any sediment, but I don't bother - anything that settles in the keg will usually come out in the first pour or two anyway, leaving behind a fairly clean keg. Choice is yours though.
 

devo

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Once I've kegged my brew I connect it up to the gas line installed in my beer fridge and leave it for a week before I start drinking. Each day though during the week I rock the keg back and forth about 20-30 times to help the CO2 dissolve into the beer. This is done more effectivley at a cold temp (4-6 C).

I used to bottle for a number of years and even used stubbies.(maddness) Since jumping to kegs I can keg a batch in 10-20 minutes including prep and clean up.

The outlay cost can put people off but once you make the step you won't regret it.
 

Samwise Gamgee

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I only recently got into kegging and wouldn't look back!

Using the "Ross Method" for carbonation, I had beer out of CC, into keg and carbed up in a matter of a couple of hours.

Obviously you wouldn't keg all styles of beer like barley wines for example, unless you have got a heap of kegs or a complete piss pot :lol: ;)
 

Trough Lolly

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Same here - kegging is the way to go. Get a ventmatic faucet and you're definately in business!

I have 8 kegs - a couple on tap, a few conditioning beer in my cellar and the rest queued up for filling!! When the keg is empty, you give it a rinse out with hot water, wash with keg and line cleaner and it's good to go to the back of the queue. Just sterilise the keg (instead of umpteen bottles) before you rack beer into it and it's ready for drinking as soon as you gas it up!

I've been brewing for 10 years and this is one of the best steps I ever took!

Cheers,
TL
 

Fingerlickin_B

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devo said:
The outlay cost can put people off but once you make the step you won't regret it.
[post="85042"][/post]​
Hell yes, kegs are the best thing that has ever happened to me beer-wise...and a close second or third best ANYTHING that has ever happened to me :super:

PZ.
 

sintax69

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So Whats the better inside the fridge tap configuration
a beer gun or a tap mounted straight on to the quck disconnect
which will give the better pour etc etc

5galp002_1_tm75.jpg
 

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