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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: deepsouth on August 10, 2010, 09:16:52 PM

Title: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: deepsouth on August 10, 2010, 09:16:52 PM
i was wondering if i poured my priming sugar mixture in a keg and racked the beer onto it and closed it up if it would carbonate without co2?

if so, would it need to be held at room temp for a certain number of days and then could i put it in the cooler?

i don't need the beer for another month.  it's being served at a festival. 

thanks in advance.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: riverrat on August 10, 2010, 09:27:32 PM
It can be done.

You will most likely need to still hit it with a bit of CO2 to get the lid to seal.

You will have more yeast for the first few pints.

Simplest way is to just force carbonate it though.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: tschmidlin on August 10, 2010, 10:07:47 PM
Yeah, like river rat said I'd seal the lid with some CO2 as soon as you close up the keg.

You also need a bit less sugar to carbonate it, maybe 3/4 or 2/3 as much.  I force carbonate though, so I don't know the correction.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: beerocd on August 10, 2010, 10:25:26 PM
This would be a good excuse to get a spunding valve. It will keep your beer from overcarbonating by releasing pressure at a set level. If you don't have check valves in place, and your naturally carbed keg is hooked up at a higher pressure than what the regulators are set at, you're not going to be a happy camper.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: euge on August 10, 2010, 11:31:36 PM
This is my prefered method. Usually just 3oz cane sugar and a blast of co2 to seal the lid. Don't really get any more sediment off the first couple pours than with other carbing approaches.

So easy. I just dissolve the sugar in a cup of boiling water in the microwave and pour into the keg before the brew goes in.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: saintpierre on August 10, 2010, 11:36:14 PM
It can be done.

You will most likely need to still hit it with a bit of CO2 to get the lid to seal.

You will have more yeast for the first few pints.

Simplest way is to just force carbonate it though.

+1
Yes you can naturally carbonate kegged beer.  I carbonate all my beers this way and prefer it since I have found when I naturally carbonate beers I still have to wait to let them age.
I recommend you pressurize the keg with CO2 to seal it.  Sometimes the keg lid does not seat properly and needs a kick in the arse to seal properly. I usually hit my keg with 20psi to seat the lid.
I remember BYO had a CO2 correction for kegging with priming sugar but I can't remember the issue number.  3 to 5oz should do it depending on the beer.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: abraxas on August 11, 2010, 03:10:44 AM
Should help with any O2 introduced racking to the keg.

I've done this and haven't seen noticeably more sediment in the first few pours then without doing this.  I personally wouldn't do this if I was transporting the keg but in my experience once the yeast+etc settle the additional sediment per pour is negligible. 

Personally I'd add a racking cane tip to the dip tube from now on but I have not idea if that would be necessary.   Once it settles it seems to stay pretty settled- an month olf hefe I have on tap seems to prove this pretty well.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: gordonstrong on August 11, 2010, 03:59:53 AM
Yes, you can do it.  The keg is like a big bottle.  I agree about adding some CO2 to make a tight seal, but also to displace whatever oxygen is in there.  The yeast should take care of that anyway, but why risk it?

I'd be concerned about having the beer be cloudy after transporting.  Depends on the flocculation charcteristics of your yeast.  If you want to be safest, go with something like WY1968/WLP002 (probably too late for your question since it sounds like the beer is already made).  Get that cold and it drops out quickly and completely.

But if you have the CO2, I don't know why you wouldn't just force carb it.  It's easy and you have more control.

Maybe if you do it the way you want, you can fine it and transfer it to another keg before moving it to address the potential clarity problem. Or crash cool the yeast after it's carbonated and then transfer it.  To transfer, just use a beer-to-beer jumper between kegs and push it into a sanitized, pressurized keg.  Make sure it's pouring bright before transferring.  Watch the jumper tube to see if it's bright during transfer (a flashlight helps).  Then you're removing the beer from all the sediment in the first keg that's likely to get kicked up when you move it.  Something to consider if you do it your way.  Certainly easier than using plate filters.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: jbutterw on August 16, 2010, 02:14:40 PM

Ok, a related question...

Suppose you are lucky enough to have a full kegerator AND freshly fermented beer that could go into a keg and into the kegerator (if there were only space in the fridge). What do you do in the meantime? I was thinking I would move the newly fermented beer to a keg with priming solution and let it naturally carbonate while I wait to finish the other kegs. Then, all I would have to do is chill and serve the new beer.

Obviously that is not the only way to handle beer waiting to be enjoyed. How do you do it?

Thanks.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: gordonstrong on August 16, 2010, 02:19:47 PM
Lots of kegs. Lots of cold space that can store kegs. Lots of taps.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: bluesman on August 16, 2010, 02:43:57 PM
Yes, you can do it. 

But if you have the CO2, I don't know why you wouldn't just force carb it.  It's easy and you have more control.


This is my suggestion as well.  Unless there is a real need to do it I would force carb.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: bonjour on August 16, 2010, 02:49:30 PM
Yes, you can do it. 

But if you have the CO2, I don't know why you wouldn't just force carb it.  It's easy and you have more control.


This is my suggestion as well.  Unless there is a real need to do it I would force carb.
This is what I do as well.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: tschmidlin on August 16, 2010, 05:37:27 PM

Ok, a related question...

Suppose you are lucky enough to have a full kegerator AND freshly fermented beer that could go into a keg and into the kegerator (if there were only space in the fridge). What do you do in the meantime? I was thinking I would move the newly fermented beer to a keg with priming solution and let it naturally carbonate while I wait to finish the other kegs. Then, all I would have to do is chill and serve the new beer.

Obviously that is not the only way to handle beer waiting to be enjoyed. How do you do it?

Thanks.

I would pressurize the keg warm to 30 psi to make sure it was sealed.  Then when I had room in my fridge, put it in there and force carbonate it at whatever psi is appropriate for the style and temperature.  Then serve it.

Or I'd take one beer off for a few days or a week while I carbonate the new keg, then switch them back when it is done carbonating.

What I would not do is carbonate it with sugar, but that's just me (and a few other people apparently).  :)
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: trekmore on August 31, 2010, 05:55:31 PM
I have a somewhat related question.  I transferred from the primary to the soda keg, and then put it in the fridge for a month with the CO2 on.  The theory being to condition it cold (my understanding of what the recipe said). It's a Belgium ale. Clone of Long Trail in VT.   At that point I added extract (I typically use sugar).  I increased the amount to I think it was a cup (do not have it in front of me) or perhaps 3/4.  The beer did not carbonate.  So I am wondering... should I add more extract (dry), sugar, and is that fact that it is cold, preventing the yeast from reacting with the sugar (even if I add more)...

Thanks for any help!  Jake
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: euge on August 31, 2010, 06:07:09 PM
You had the co2 on? And primed the keg? And no resulting carbonation?

Cold temps probably plays a factor- would be my first clue, but even after a month it could still carbonate. But with the co2 attached, I suspect a leak.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: tschmidlin on August 31, 2010, 07:18:02 PM
The cold temp will definitely keep the yeast from carbonating the keg, but it's an either/or thing.  Either prime with sugar or force carbonate with CO2.

If you mean you put some pressure on the keg and let it sit cold, then added sugar and got no carbonation, your problem is the yeast won't work when it's too cold.

If you mean you had constant pressure on the keg and let it sit cold and it didn't carbonate, then a leak is the most likely suspect as euge said.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: deepsouth on August 31, 2010, 07:53:37 PM
i ended up kegging it later than expected and i'm force carbonating it with co2.  thanks for all the help.  it will surely come in handy in the future!

cheers.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: trekmore on September 01, 2010, 05:33:26 AM
I did have constant pressure... and had 3 kegs hooked up.  The other 2 are fine and the CO2 has not drained, but I will check for a leak anyway and perhaps try to reprime it if that does not work.... I guess perhaps warmed a bit... Thanks.
Title: Re: can i carbonate beer in a keg with priming sugar and no co2?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 01, 2010, 06:32:04 AM
Are you sure the gas is actually flowing into the keg?  Because it should force carbonate if there's gas there, and if the leak is so slow that it didn't drain the tank then the keg should be holding enough pressure to carbonate the beer.

Don't add more priming sugar, if you choose to go that route just warm it up.  The sugar is probably still there and the beer will carbonate.  It might need some yeast added though.  This is just a weird situation.