Author Topic: Keg Virgin Questions  (Read 3758 times)

Offline gymrat

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Keg Virgin Questions
« on: December 12, 2012, 12:05:28 PM »
I am going to set up a kegerator after the first of the year and I have a number of questions. First off I took advantage of a sale on midwestsupplies and ordered a reconditioned 5 gallon ball lock keg for $25. How do I clean it? Would oxyclean free and a bottle brush work? Then when I get my kegerator exactly how do I go about kegging? Rack from my fermenter, put it under 7 lbs of pressure for a week, then enjoy? Does anybody prime their beer before kegging it? If so does that cause more sediment to be cleaned out of the bottom of the keg?

I did do a search but couldn't find any definitive answers to these questions.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 12:15:35 PM »
You can do it like you're outlining, it will work.  You may need something longer and stiffer (insert joke here (insert second joke because I said "insert")) like a toilet brush to get to the bottom of the keg for scrubbing, it depends on the size of your forearm.

As long as you're using a carb chart to determine the proper psi for your temp and desired volumes of CO2, no worries - the set and forget method of force carbonating works really well and is the main way I carb my beers.
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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 12:17:27 PM »
On the priming front, you can naturally carbonate with priming sugar, just add the dissolved sugar to the keg prior to adding the beer. Seat the lid with some co2 and leave it in a warm place to carb up. It will leave more sediment in the keg but after the first pint or so it's not really a prblem unless you move the keg.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 12:46:01 PM »
$25?!? Score! I would have bought many at that price.

Give it a good soak.  Scrub the interior.  I have a dedicated toilet brush. 

If you have a tiny brush you can scrub the dip-tube.  Pressurize it while it is soaking and then depress the poppet to get some cleaner in to the tube.  Do the same when rinsing and again when sanitizing.

When you first seal the keg after filling, hit it with 20 or 30 lbs of pressure to get a good seal on the lid, then you can dial back down to your carbing pressure.  Also, keep a spray bottle of starsan handy to check the lid and poppets for leaks.

I've found that warming up the lid o-ring can help getting it to seal well.  Warm water or even putting it in the microwave in a bowl of water will soften it up.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline yso191

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 01:10:09 PM »
An important question is which kegerator did you buy?  If it is one of the common inexpensive ones (Danby, etc.). There are issues specific to them.  A great place to do some learning is here:  http://www.micromatic.com/forum/us-en/kegerators-kegerator-kits-home/

There are several issues that new kegerator owners have, but once they are set up, they are the way to go.  If you have specific questions, ask away.  I say that so I don't clog the thread with a dissertation.  My kids tell me I'm the kind of guy that if you ask me what time it is I'll tell you how to build a watch.

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Offline gymrat

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 03:49:00 PM »
I havent bought the kegerator yet. This is the one I am currently looking at.
http://mobile.walmart.com/m/phoenix#home
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 03:54:33 PM »
Must be the wrong link.  I found no kegerator in the link you posted.
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Offline gymrat

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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 05:01:22 PM »
You may want to make sure you get one big enough to grow into.  It's amazing how fast you can go from one tap to needing 4!  If you have room in you house or garage, consider checking Craigslist for a used fridge.  This is what I did, found a cheap ($30) fridge that had room for 3 kegs and the CO2 and used picnic taps.  I started w/ one keg and I've now moved my CO2 outside the fridge and have 4 kegs with 4 taps installed in the door. 
Jeremy Baker

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Offline euge

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 05:56:41 PM »
Does that Danby hold 3 kegs and a tank? Hopefully there isn't a hump in it. I serve 2 kegs from my Sanyo 4912 though any similar will work.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline gymrat

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 06:07:23 PM »
I dont think the one I am looking at is a danby. The C02 bottle mounts on the outside of it in the back.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 09:00:07 PM »
No the one you linked to is a Magic Chef, which is made by and also sold under the name Vissani.  I have one.  I use it for my fermentation chamber.  There are a couple of issues with it. 

1. it is smaller than the Danby, but not by much.  You will not be able to fit three cornys in it, but two will.
2. It has a metric faucet.  You will not be able to swap or replace the faucet with one that you buy at the LHBS.  I replaced the whole tower on mine for that reason.
3. I have found that it does not cool as well as the Danby.  I had an analog Johnson temperature contoller on it and it would only get down to 40*, which is OK for serving ales or fermenting beer.  I have not tried to see if the ATC controller I have on it now will get it any lower.  I think I'll go try since I have nothing in it at the moment.
4. On the good side, it is MUCH easier to connect a controller to it than the Danby.  Which IMO is necessary unless you spend a lot more money on a kegerator.  All the entry level ones are really bad on temperature accuracy and massive swings.

If I were you, I'd watch Craigslist and pick one up second hand, then they are worth the extra work and investing in things to make them work well.

Steve
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 12:01:46 AM »
Mine will be in my basement where the temperature is a constant 68 degrees year round. I wonder if that will make it stay cool easier. Does yours run 100% of the time to stay at 40 degrees?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 07:42:08 AM »
I got my Sanyo mini-fridge on Craigslist for $100.  It holds two cornies and someday I'll put a tap tower on it (I have the tower, just not the time).

$450 for the Magic Chef is a steep price to pay for something that will only hold two kegs.  A Sanyo 4912 is essentially the same thing IMO and much much more affordable if you're willing to do the work to put the tower on top.  Also, if you remove the shelving on the door supposedly you can fit three kegs.  I use that shelving for yeast and bottles, however.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline gymrat

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Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 08:12:26 AM »
I looked into buying a mini fridge and converting it. But by the time I buy the fridge http://www.bing.com/shopping/sr-4912m-4-9-cu-ft-mini-refrigerator-stainless-steel-energy-star/p/D3D3655CE9CAF7EF157D?q=sanyo+4912&lpq=sanyo%204912&qpvt=sanyo+4912&FORM=HURE

And the conversion kit http://www.amazon.com/Kegco-Standard-Tower-Kegerator-Conversion/dp/B0036BYSR6/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1355411182&sr=8-6&keywords=kegerator+conversion+kit

I am still going to have $400 in the thing, plus the time it takes to put it together, and still not have a drip pan and the rails. To me the extra $50 for convenience doesn't seem that out of hand. Is there something I am missing in my thinking on this one?

Truthfully I don't drink enough beer to warrant more than one keg. I can see having a second keg just so I don't have down time when I empty one.

I brew once a month and I have 215 beers in my basement. I don't know that I will be able to drink a keg before it spoils. I just thought it would be cool to have a house beer on tap.
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