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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: skyler on January 15, 2010, 11:17:47 PM

Title: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: skyler on January 15, 2010, 11:17:47 PM
I brew in bursts. One month I will brew five batches, then I will brew nothing for the next month or two. And my gf and I don't drink enough to finish the kegs in time for the beer. So I frequently prime my kegs in order to save CO2 (well, in order to save a trip to LHBS to refill my tank). I have been shocked at how long a small amount of CO2 lasts when I have pre-carbonated kegs. I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank? Mostly I am just curious how many of you prime your kegs, and if there is any good reason not to.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: denny on January 15, 2010, 11:20:48 PM
I did it a couple times but I didn't care for the sediment it created in the keg.  In addition, in my case I didn't see any advantage to doing it.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: mikeypedersen on January 15, 2010, 11:23:27 PM
I don't for 2 reasons.  First all the extra sediment that is created which isn't normally a big deal, but I have a commercial kegerater that holds 3 kegs and without fail, I will jostle all of them trying to get one of them out, stirring up the sediment.  The second reason is that some of my kegs don't seal with no pressure on them.  I don't think that priming would produce enough CO2 quickly enough to properly seal my keg.

I'm all for it if it owrks for you, I just don't do it personally.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: zee on January 17, 2010, 04:14:44 AM
I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank?

the answer to this is a definite no. at 21c [69f] the pressure in your co2 tank will be about 838psi. standard corny kegs are rated to only 130psi, so you'd have keg all over your face long before you got co2 back in the tank.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: dzlater on January 17, 2010, 02:03:00 PM
I did it a couple times but I didn't care for the sediment it created in the keg.  In addition, in my case I didn't see any advantage to doing it.

Why would this produce more sediment?
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: a10t2 on January 17, 2010, 04:28:52 PM
I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank?
the answer to this is a definite no. at 21c [69f] the pressure in your co2 tank will be about 838psi. standard corny kegs are rated to only 130psi, so you'd have keg all over your face long before you got co2 back in the tank.

I don't think he meant without the regulator... anyway, the answer is still no. Every regulator I'm aware of has a check valve in it, so that gas can only flow out.

Why would this produce more sediment?

Just like in the bottom of a bottle, the yeast will reproduce while fermenting the priming sugar, and then go dormant and drift to the bottom of the keg. The result being a layer of sediment.

Someone should also mention that buying CO2 is cheaper than having yeast make it from table sugar, at least at the prices I pay.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: nyakavt on January 20, 2010, 01:27:03 PM

I don't think he meant without the regulator... anyway, the answer is still no. Every regulator I'm aware of has a check valve in it, so that gas can only flow out.

Are you talking about from CO2 tank to regulator or regulator to keg?  The micromatic regulator I bought was intended for commercial kegs which have the check ball at the sankey coupler, so the ball valve it came with was sans check ball.

Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: redbeerman on January 20, 2010, 05:28:41 PM
I did a couple of times in the beginning, but I don't any more.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: bluesman on January 20, 2010, 05:40:41 PM
Never tried. I beleive it defeats the purpose, but if it works for you then that's great.  8)
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: beerocd on January 21, 2010, 02:36:37 PM
Did it once, early on when I started. Figured I was gonna save a couple pennies by priming the keg before putting it on the gas. I shot in bit so it would seal, and then let it sit for a month. No spunding valve, nothing. So, it's time to hook it up - I hoist it into the fridge, pop the connector on to the wrong post I guess and pblthhhhhhhhhhh beer shooting out my regulator. That was the one and only time I primed the keg.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: dontblake on January 23, 2010, 05:13:02 AM
Nope.  The savings in CO2 is pretty negligible (I brewed/carbonated ~20 batches last year and had to refill my CO2 bottle maybe twice - for a total cost of $24).  So that's what... $1.20 per batch?   The necessary amount of DME would certainly be close.

Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: a10t2 on January 23, 2010, 07:40:09 AM
Well, DME would be an obscenely expensive way to carbonate, but CO2 may be cheaper than sugar anyway. One mole (342 g) of sucrose ferments into four moles (176 g) of CO2. So basically two pounds of sugar yields one pound of CO2. For me, CO2 costs right around $1/lb, so it's cheaper than using table sugar.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: Beertracker on January 23, 2010, 04:46:39 PM
I occasionally keg conditioning a batch that I'm too lazy to bottle at the time. However, a recent attempt left me with overly sweet beer that didn't carbonate leaving me to reevaluate the practice.  ;)
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: nyakavt on January 25, 2010, 12:55:11 PM
Well, DME would be an obscenely expensive way to carbonate, but CO2 may be cheaper than sugar anyway. One mole (342 g) of sucrose ferments into four moles (176 g) of CO2. So basically two pounds of sugar yields one pound of CO2. For me, CO2 costs right around $1/lb, so it's cheaper than using table sugar.

For me, table sugar is $0.48 / lb and CO2 is $2.37/lb, assuming that they fill the tank exactly to 10 lbs.  I still prefer to carbonate with CO2 because it can be faster and you can do it while cold conditioning.  Even at my prices we're still only talking ~$0.50 / keg to carbonate with CO2.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: dhacker on January 27, 2010, 01:48:19 AM
Never have, doubt ever will.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: yugamrap on February 09, 2010, 11:31:07 PM
I've done it a few times with Hefeweizen since it's a style that's expected to be cloudy.  For other beers, I force carbonate.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: novabrew on February 11, 2010, 01:02:45 AM
No.  I started kegging because it was easier and quicker than bottling.  This would be like taking a half step back.
Title: Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
Post by: euge on February 18, 2010, 06:22:22 AM
I brew in bursts. One month I will brew five batches, then I will brew nothing for the next month or two. And my gf and I don't drink enough to finish the kegs in time for the beer. So I frequently prime my kegs in order to save CO2 (well, in order to save a trip to LHBS to refill my tank). I have been shocked at how long a small amount of CO2 lasts when I have pre-carbonated kegs. I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank? Mostly I am just curious how many of you prime your kegs, and if there is any good reason not to.

I have taken on this habit. More of a convenience issue. No shaking of kegs or repeated pressure-ups to bring to to proper volumes. Use 3 oz sugar per keg and it's perfectly and easily carbonated. And a blast of CO2 seals the lid of the corny right off the bat.

I do it because the kegs will sit for another 3 weeks or so before they find their way into the kegerator and quite simple to do. Haven't really noticed any clarity or sediment issues at all.