What To Do Now ?

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Are you bulletproof boy?
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Hello All,
Better introduce myself, the name is Browndog, I've been bottling coopers kits for a while and got sick of mucking around with bottles. Having sampled my workmates beer from his keg setup, decided this is for me, so I got myself a keg kit from TCB found out what he had brewed and did the same. A Black Rock Nut Brown Ale with a kilo of light malt added. This has feremented and I've racked it to the keg and burped it. Now I am at a loss of what to do. Should I now carbonate it now or wait till it has conditioned before carbonating? Should I condition it in the fridge or our of the fridge?

Welcome to AHB Browndog and welcome to the wonderful world of kegging and no bottle washing.

What was your starting gravity and what was the gravity when you racked it.
Also how long had it been in primary ?
Answers to these questions will help with an approrpriate answer.

Jeez Doc,
I have to confess to being totally ignorant of SG readings. When I brew I just add the dextrose, sugar or whatever (in this case malt) then wait till the bubbling in the airlock stops. In this case it was pretty well over in 5 days, I proceeded to rack to the keg on the 7th day.

to move up to craft brewer from backyard brewer you need to get in the habit of taking original Gravity and final Gravity readings

As a rule of thumb, Fg will be about a quarter of OG

If your OG was 1040 it had 40 gravity units, a quarter of that is 10, i.e. you expect your beer to finish at about 1010. A beer made with a kilo of dextrose (if you can call that a beer :) ) will be a bit under 1010, even as low as 1006, while a beer made with lots of dark malt (grains) may finish about 1015

So if your beer finishes at about 1020 you know you have a stuck ferment and potential bottle bombs and kegging problems

Also, leave your beer in the fermenter for two weeks, the first week it ferments, the second week the yeast drops and other reactions take place to clean your beer (in summer you may not be able to do this in the absence of a deep cellar as heat would turn your yeast cake to vegemite :(

Jovial Monk
Well Browndog, in that case I'd just gas it up and get stuck in.

Seems like everyone likes to get technical these days Browndog..

;) After you are sure fermentation is finished...(racking into a second fermentor and leaving for a week at 20degC should be fine)
Rack into sterlized keg and burp...Put the keg into the fridge and wind gas pressure up to 200kpa and leave for 48 hours...after 48 hours turn gas off at bottle and ease pressure from keg and set it to 50 kpa..

Pour a sample and taste...if its not carbonated enough...wind pressure up to 200kpa and leave another 24 hours...
I know people will tell you to rock the keg or shake it...I have found doing this is a waste of energy.
The beer will only accept Co2 gas when its cold...No use trying to carbonate warm beer....
I find the after the first 48 hours I can confidantly turn the pressure down to 50 kpa and leave it that way untill the keg is finished..
I know there at lots of ways to achieve the end result....
But the basics are

(1) make sure fermentation is finished
(2) The beer will not gas up until its cold
(3) 48 hours at 200kpa pressure will normaly gas a beer
to drinking quality
(4) once the beer is gassed to your liking set the
Pressure to obtain a good pour and leave it alone.
(5) Any of the above statement is only the experience of
a brewer who has been kegging for 5 yrs and is aware
that other methods achieve the same results.
(6) Keep trying and dont give up....have another beer
and read every thing you can find about home brewing



If I want to age the beer (1-3 months) in the keg after racking should I:

a ) Leave it alone for the 3 months and then gas it
b ) Gas it as soon as it is in the keg (and cold) and leave it for the 3 months before pouring
c ) Your suggestions

Help appreciated.
In addition to brentonspear's post is there any advantage of keeping the keg of ageing beer at a low temperature, ie in a fridge?
I'd like to thank Doc, Jovial Monk and JWB for your replys, I wish to become a brewer of the finest ales so I'll definitely be doing a lot more research on the subject and getting heavily involved in testing the results until perfection is achieved.
On top of famousguy and BrentonSpears questions, I'd like to ask, how long will a brew last on the fridge once you start drinking it. I enjoy a beer as much as the next guy (if not more so) but the missus is going to start nagging me if I start drinking 6 schooners a night to finish the keg before it goes off !

don't worry for a second about your beer going off.i don't think that your gunna have the keg in their for a couple years at that rate.personally mine are lucky to see a month.

with the other stuff the general thing is to condition first then carbonate when you are going to drink it.with force carbonating there is no advantage of aging the beer with bubbles in it.you don't get the big coke bubbles.you always get a nice carbonation.i really don't know if there is any affect on the final product doing it one way or the other so do what ever.then you'll know for yourself from experience.either way will be fine.

for my kegs i condition in whatever ,secondary,c/c cube, keg.then when ready force carbonate by rocking the keg on its side 100 times at 300 kpa.
I'm hoping to follow Browndog into kegging in the new year - here's an additonal question for the experts:

Does anyone naturally condition beer in the keg? That is, bulk prime, keg, let the pressure build 'natually' and just use bottled CO2 to keep the pressure topped up. Is there any advantage in doing this?

I used to naturally condition in an old plastic pressure barrel and give it a squirt of C02 every now and then to keep the beer flowing. This is what you'd do if it you were really going back to first principles (anyone still use wooden barrels?!). I've got to admit, when I first started reading about kegging, it seemed a little bit like cheating. Are there any kudos in being able to say - 'Yep, naturally conditioned, mate'...

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