Author Topic: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary  (Read 3701 times)

Offline amico414

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Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« on: May 11, 2012, 08:24:57 PM »
I completely get and agree with the concept of using a keg as a secondary. I have a couple of other questions.

I'm going to be dry hopping an APA for a week or so before kegging. Here are my questions:

1.  If I do this do I need to worry about any sort of airlock?  In my mind even if there is still any fermentation activity not affixing an airlock would only serve to condition the beer and reduce the amount of CO2 used to force carbonate. Or am I overestimating the amount of additional fermentation activity I can expect at that point?  OG of this beer is around 1.050 and I was planning 2 weeks in the primary.

2.  Or should I just add the dry hops to the primary and leave it in the primary for an extra week as opposed to moving it into the keg and adding the hops then?  Maybe just add the hops to the primary and not worry about using a hop bag?  Once it is in the keg I could cold crash it and push any trub out in the first glass or two...

3.  If I dry hop in the keg should I take the hops out of the keg before I start drinking it?  I always use a hop bag for dry hops - the one time I didn't I wasn't too happy with the results.




Offline Pinski

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 09:44:43 PM »
I think any of the methods you describe will work. If you add hops to the primary without a bag you just need to take some measure to make sure you don't clog during your rack to the keg.  I've had good results with that method but I think the best aroma and flavor results for me have come from tucking a hop sock of whole hops behind the dip tube as high as I can get them to stay and leaving them in the keg.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 09:06:01 AM »
After two weeks the beer will probably be done fermenting so no need to worry about an airlock.  You can just suspend a bag of hops in the keg.

Or you could add them to the primary.  I've heard pro brewers say that they like to add them right near the end of primary fermentation so that the convection from the fermentation stirs them around somewhat.  I usually just add them to the keg.
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Offline a witty man

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 09:23:58 AM »
If you are reusing your yeast (as I tend to do), I'd wait until the beer is in the keg to dry hop.

Another thing to consider is whole v. pellet hops. [**slight hijack**] Does anyone have a method of dry-hopping with pellets in a corny?
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Offline lornemagill

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 10:16:18 AM »
i have used a large stainless tea ball in a corney.  the 1oz of hops was hard packed in the ball when i finally removed it.  if i do it again i will use 1/2oz per ball to hopefully ensure good infusion.

Offline euge

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 11:16:45 AM »
I have used stainless balls before but now use a bag that I just drop in. I don't bother to suspend it or fish it out. The bag(s) stay in until the keg kicks.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 01:52:02 PM »
I have used stainless balls before but now use a bag that I just drop in. I don't bother to suspend it or fish it out. The bag(s) stay in until the keg kicks.

that's me to. just leave it in there until the keg kicks
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2012, 02:11:15 PM »
I have used stainless balls before but now use a bag that I just drop in. I don't bother to suspend it or fish it out. The bag(s) stay in until the keg kicks.
Same here.  It's really interesting to see how the hops evolve over time.
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Offline amico414

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Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2012, 02:51:51 PM »
Thanks for the info and insight.

So for those of you who leave the hops in until the keg kicks, have you had any issues with grassy flavors?  I had an APA last summer that I botched (no flavor or aroma - I think I messed up the sparge) and I tried to fix it by dry hopping in the keg. I just ended up with the same beer except it tasted grassy. Probably because it had no flavor to start with...

Offline Pinski

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2012, 03:46:42 PM »
Thanks for the info and insight.

So for those of you who leave the hops in until the keg kicks, have you had any issues with grassy flavors?  I had an APA last summer that I botched (no flavor or aroma - I think I messed up the sparge) and I tried to fix it by dry hopping in the keg. I just ended up with the same beer except it tasted grassy. Probably because it had no flavor to start with...
Nope.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 08:48:34 AM »
For IPAs, I'll dry hop in the primary as fermentation subsides and then dry hop in the keg. I do this because I normally want to get the IPA on tap ASAP after primary, so this gives the first round of dryhops more time at higher temps. They do this at Firestone-Walker and Bell's.

In the keg, I'll tie my hop bag to a (never-used) fishing bobber with fishing line.

I think suspending the hops extracts aroma/flavor compounds faster, AND if I want to remove the hops, I can.
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Offline kraftwerk

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Re: Further Clarification on Using a Keg as the Secondary
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 06:34:18 PM »
Try transfering from primary to the keg along with your hop bag when you are about .003 from FG (easy to predict if you have brewed this particular beer before.) Then set at normal ferm temp and wait a few more days. If it's not bubbly enough, give it a shot of CO2.
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