Author Topic: priming and CO2 in a keg  (Read 1087 times)

Offline lyonmountainbrew

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priming and CO2 in a keg
« on: April 07, 2014, 06:55:18 PM »
Ok - This is probably a pretty rookie question.  I have used sugar for priming in the bottling bucket.  I will sometimes take a 5 gallon batch and put 1/2 in a small keg and bottle half, but I will also do the whole 5 keg.  each time I use priming sugar.
 Question 1:  Is it necessary to use priming sugar when kegging if you will put CO2 on it or can you just go CO2. 
Question 2.  If you do not plan to put it on CO2 for a few weeks should you use priming sugar.
Question 3: I will put the CO2 on the keg (which has been primed) and then I will leave it.  I am finding that I think my beer is getting over carbonated and it is changing flavor after a week or so.  Should I be taking the CO2 off after 3-4 days and then just hook it up as necessary.  Basically is doing both the priming and the CO2 on the keg a big mistake?
 

Offline goobersan

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 07:23:43 PM »
There are charts online for CO2 carbonating. I'm pretty sure you shouldn't use both sugar and CO2. I've found it necessary to use less than 5 oz. of sugar with some styles. Always control your temperature. Hopefully one of the experts will chime in.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 12:44:40 AM »
1.  You can just use CO2.  This is my preferred method.
2.  You can, or you could hit it with 20 psi for a few minutes to seat the lid and then don't worry about it until you can get it carbed.
3.  Typically you do one or the other, you don't both prime and force carbonate it.

Most people who keg force carbonate.  It is easy and gives good, consistent results.  There are also people who prime their kegs, usually because they prefer it or they don't have the a way to carb kegs while dispensing other kegs.  but like I said, force carbing is my preferred method, it's really simple.
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Offline Hello.

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 05:44:47 AM »
Like others have said, you can carbonate your beer in a keg then hook it up to gas at the serving PSI when ready to serve. I did that with my last keg due to lack of room. 3 weeks later, when I had room, I hooked it up to gas at 10 PSI (ideal for me and my setup) and it was carbonated.

When you carbonate using priming sugar or any other type of sugar, you will use less than what you would use if you were bottling. For 5 gallons of a blonde ale, I would normally use about 4.2 oz of dextrose if I were bottling. In the keg, I used 2.10 oz of dextrose which I found from Beer Smith. I still picked 2.4 volumes of CO2, but it gave me the amount to use if I were bottling or kegging and not force carbonating with gas.

If you use too much priming sugar, you will over carbonate your beer and have foam issues when serving.

Offline duboman

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 06:32:00 AM »
So, if I have a keg that will be sitting around for at least 2-3 weeks prior to having room in the keggerator I will typically prime it with half the amount of sugar that would have been used if I were to bottle it, seal it up with a blast of co2/purge the o2 and let it sit like I would any bottles.

Once it's ready to go under gas I simply set it to serving pressure and it's basically ready to go and fully carbonated.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 06:33:00 AM »
I prime my kegs with 2oz of sugar. I have 4 kegs and 2 taps. This way they can be carbonating while they are waiting their turn to be tapped. Then I just use my C02 to serve the already carbonated beer.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 06:59:07 AM »
When you carbonate using priming sugar or any other type of sugar, you will use less than what you would use if you were bottling. For 5 gallons of a blonde ale, I would normally use about 4.2 oz of dextrose if I were bottling. In the keg, I used 2.10 oz of dextrose which I found from Beer Smith. I still picked 2.4 volumes of CO2, but it gave me the amount to use if I were bottling or kegging and not force carbonating with gas.

If you use too much priming sugar, you will over carbonate your beer and have foam issues when serving.

This is the key, IMO.  Larger vessels require less priming sugar for whatever reason.  I know there are some that disagree, but my experience follows what others are saying on this thread.

If you primed with the same amount you would use for bottling, you would get overcarbonated beer.  OF course, you can always bleed off some gas and let it equalize at a lower PSI, which is the beauty of kegs.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 11:10:21 AM »

When you carbonate using priming sugar or any other type of sugar, you will use less than what you would use if you were bottling. For 5 gallons of a blonde ale, I would normally use about 4.2 oz of dextrose if I were bottling. In the keg, I used 2.10 oz of dextrose which I found from Beer Smith. I still picked 2.4 volumes of CO2, but it gave me the amount to use if I were bottling or kegging and not force carbonating with gas.

If you use too much priming sugar, you will over carbonate your beer and have foam issues when serving.

This is the key, IMO.  Larger vessels require less priming sugar for whatever reason.  I know there are some that disagree, but my experience follows what others are saying on this thread.

From what I understand, it has to do with the amount of headspace. I guess a keg filled to capacity has less total head space then a couple of cases worth of bottles.

Offline euge

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 09:39:01 PM »
I've cut back on my dose of sugar in the keg..

Holding the glass and tap higher while pouring helps slow a pour down. If needed.
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Offline lyonmountainbrew

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 02:46:44 AM »
Thanks to all that responded, very helpful.  It sounds like I could still use priming if I was not planning to serve for a few weeks but if I did I should only hook up the co2 for serving, however for more consistent results for a keg I may not use for awhile would be to force carb then take off until ready to serve. Correct? I have purchased a manifold so hooking up a co2 for serving should help me out without having an over carb issue by leaving it on.

I also felt I was having oxygen issues with the kegging but I never gave the keg a blast of co2 to seal up.  I think this would be wise to do as well.

Thanks again for the feedback


Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: priming and CO2 in a keg
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 06:39:30 AM »
I also felt I was having oxygen issues with the kegging but I never gave the keg a blast of co2 to seal up.  I think this would be wise to do as well.

I purge the keg with CO2 before filling and then purge the head space a few times after filling by pressurizing and then releasing the gas via the PRV.
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