Author Topic: Kegging with priming  (Read 5920 times)

Offline dons

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Kegging with priming
« on: January 05, 2012, 08:42:24 AM »
Okay, I TRIED looking through the forum for an answer - but thought I'd pester you instead.

I have read in the latest Zymurgy about using priming sugar (.3 v. .7 cups) in the keg, and then continuing on to CO2 carbonate (as usual?).  I'm new to kegging, but was under the impression that kegging and the use of priming sugar were mutually exclusive.  So, now I find they are not. 

Sooooo, what are the reasons for doing both?  Does it create a different kind of carbonation?  And is it as simple as adding that amount of sugar (boiled, I presume, just as in bottling) to the receiving keg at keg time?

Thanks in advance,
Don
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 08:56:27 AM »
I am not sure about priming and force carbing which is what you are describing. I have not finished the latest zymurgy either so...

But what I am thinking it might be is that even if you prime the keg that will only carb the beer, you will still need to hook up co2 to a) set the seal on the lid and b) serve the beer. so you are not counting on the canned co2 to carb your beer, the sugar and remaining yeast will handle that, just to push the beer out without losing carb.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 08:57:50 AM »
It does not create a different carbonation, CO2 is CO2.  It's just a different way of approaching it.  Say you don't have space in your keg fridge or another CO2 connection to carbonate a spare keg and you want to carbonate a beer before you hook it up to the tap, you can naturally carbonate and have it ready when you need it.  But you'll have a lot of sediment at the bottom in the first few pours, like when you carbonate in the bottle.  
You have to use less priming sugar than you would if you were bottling.  I think it's 1/2 a cup for a keg?  
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Offline tygo

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 09:33:49 AM »
Another advantage with priming the keg may be that the refermentation will scavenge up any oxygen that was introduced during the transfer to the keg.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 09:36:52 AM »
I use priming sugar in almost all my kegs and it works just fine.

I boil .25 cup to .33 cup of corn sugar in about a cup of water, dump it in the keg and then rack on to it.  I use my CO2 tank to set the seals and then put the keg into my storage cabinet until it's needed.  

I'm typically 4-8 weeks ahead on my brewing so the kegs are carbed just fine when they go into the keg fridge.

You do have some sediment on the bottom and that comes out in the first pour (usually).

I also force carb if I need a beer in a hurry.  These are normally light colored "party beers" being served to BMC drinkers.  And you do need to push the beer for serving using CO2 from your cylinder.  There isn't enough gas in the keg to serve a beer carbed either way without external gas connected.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 10:53:17 AM »
Another advantage with priming the keg may be that the refermentation will scavenge up any oxygen that was introduced during the transfer to the keg.

I usually just force carbonate but you raise a good point...this would be one advantage to priming the keg with sugar.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2012, 11:05:35 AM »
Another advantage with priming the keg may be that the refermentation will scavenge up any oxygen that was introduced during the transfer to the keg.

I usually just force carbonate but you raise a good point...this would be one advantage to priming the keg with sugar.

Yeah that makes sense. when I am kegging I first fill the keg with idophor solution right up to the tippy top, even letting it overflow a bit as I fill. I then try to carefully put the lid on with out losing any liquid so the amount of air in there is absolutely minimum and force it all out with co2 but I bet there is a tiny amount of o2 still present. course a keg rarely lasts more than a couple weeks in my house but I am thinking of getting a third keg for bigger beers that will probably hang around longer. I will try this with that.
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Offline euge

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2012, 11:50:24 AM »
I've primed many kegs. Depending on carbonation volume levels you want to use 3-4 ounces of cane sugar per 5 gallons. Better to weigh than measure.

I don't think kegging and priming with sugar, as a transition from bottles are mutually exclusive. Doing this doesn't defeat the purpose of kegging. Just another tool in your box to use at your leisure and at times deemed appropriate.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2012, 12:46:51 PM »
Yeah that makes sense. when I am kegging I first fill the keg with idophor solution right up to the tippy top, even letting it overflow a bit as I fill. I then try to carefully put the lid on with out losing any liquid so the amount of air in there is absolutely minimum and force it all out with co2 but I bet there is a tiny amount of o2 still present.

Are you somehow then transferring the beer into the keg under pressure?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2012, 01:54:40 PM »
Yeah that makes sense. when I am kegging I first fill the keg with idophor solution right up to the tippy top, even letting it overflow a bit as I fill. I then try to carefully put the lid on with out losing any liquid so the amount of air in there is absolutely minimum and force it all out with co2 but I bet there is a tiny amount of o2 still present.

Are you somehow then transferring the beer into the keg under pressure?

ideally I would be, at this point I am not. so I am probably defeating myself in that way, I use a auto syphon attached to the beer out dip tube post. If I could figure out a good way to transfer from a bucket fermenter to the keg under pressure that would be awesome as well.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012, 02:18:49 PM »
If I could figure out a good way to transfer from a bucket fermenter to the keg under pressure that would be awesome as well.

I've been meaning to modify one of my bucket lids to give this a shot. I think all you'd need to do is drill a second hole for a stopper that would be plugged with a non-drilled stopper during fermentation. Then when ready to transfer, replace the airlock with a racking cane and replace the other stopper with one that is drilled and fitted with an appropriate piece of tubing perhaps fitted with a barb to take your CO2 line.  You don't need much pressure at all to get the beer moving. I've used the same principle with dual port carboy caps "dry fit' onto the gas line with no clamps and its worked fine.
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Offline dons

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2012, 02:21:15 PM »
Well, if I'm understanding the issue, it would be okay.  My "chemist/physicist" friend contends that CO2 is heavier than O2 and that releasing the CO2 at the bottom of the keg pushes the O2 out.  In just the same way, siphoning beer from the carboy into the keg at the bottom (after all, it IS under a little pressure, so to speak, is it not?) will create a steady push of the CO2 (and, heaven forbid some bad stuff) out of the top of the keg.  You are left with beer with CO2 "floating" on top.  As I understand it, all should be well.  Am I missing something?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2012, 02:30:50 PM »
Well, if I'm understanding the issue, it would be okay.  My "chemist/physicist" friend contends that CO2 is heavier than O2 and that releasing the CO2 at the bottom of the keg pushes the O2 out.  In just the same way, siphoning beer from the carboy into the keg at the bottom (after all, it IS under a little pressure, so to speak, is it not?) will create a steady push of the CO2 (and, heaven forbid some bad stuff) out of the top of the keg.  You are left with beer with CO2 "floating" on top.  As I understand it, all should be well.  Am I missing something?


While CO2 is indeed heavier than air and will push the air out there will be significant mixing in the process. unless you trickle the CO2 so slowely as to not create any currents at the air/CO2 interface. that beeing said if you pressurized the empty keg. let it sit for a while and dumped some of the presure and repreasurized you would get most of the o2 out of there. not really an issue unless you plan on the beer hanging around for a while.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Kegging with priming
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 04:23:47 PM »
I use priming sugar in almost all my kegs and it works just fine.

I boil .25 cup to .33 cup of corn sugar in about a cup of water, dump it in the keg and then rack on to it.  I use my CO2 tank to set the seals and then put the keg into my storage cabinet until it's needed.  

I'm typically 4-8 weeks ahead on my brewing so the kegs are carbed just fine when they go into the keg fridge.

You do have some sediment on the bottom and that comes out in the first pour (usually).

I also force carb if I need a beer in a hurry.  These are normally light colored "party beers" being served to BMC drinkers.  And you do need to push the beer for serving using CO2 from your cylinder.  There isn't enough gas in the keg to serve a beer carbed either way without external gas connected.

Paul

Great post.  I'm going to try this!
Dave Zach