Author Topic: First time Kegging  (Read 2474 times)

Offline tporco

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First time Kegging
« on: April 30, 2011, 07:09:50 AM »
Looking for some help/tips on making the jump to kegging from bottling.  Just moved an imperial IPA to secondary so I have a little time but wanted to see if you guys had any tips for a first time kegger.  I purchased a complete setup with regulators and 2 corney kegs so i think i am ok from the equipment side.  Any tips/suggestions on what to watch for?

Offline euge

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 07:41:05 AM »
I kept mine simple and just hook up the co2 when needed. Most have a pressure tested system that is "on" all the time. This involves running lines into the fridge somehow, usually by drilling one or more holes in the fridge. If you go the freezer route a "collar" can be added to run all the lines through without drilling into the freezer. Taps can be attached to this collar as well.

So you need to decide which route to take. Did you get traditional beer taps or picnic style cobra taps?

I'm still using my cobra taps after 4 years. ;)
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 05:39:53 PM »
Keg balancing is what usually trips up new keggers.  The pressure needed to keep your beer carbonated is typically too high for serving if you don't have significant flow resistance in your beer lines.  As a result you'll want much longer or much thinner beer lines than you think you need in order to serve a beer that's not all foam.  As an alternative, you can monkey with the pressure at serving time to reduce the foam, then increase again when the beer will sit a while to keep it from going flat.  Eventually that will become a PITA, but it'll work until you get everything balanced.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 06:33:31 PM »
+1 on balancing your system. what seems to work really well for me, I serve at 12psi, with 10' of 1/4" beer line. Beer stays carbed nicely, and the perfect head every pint. It took me a lot of playing around, and lot of wasted to beer line to figure that out, but once I got, it works like a dream.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2011, 06:29:08 AM »

I'm still using my cobra taps after 4 years. ;)

+1.  I love my Perlicks, but love my cobras too!!  

Also, I might just give you a little advice about racking.  I noticed you said you had an IIPA that you're going to be racking soon.  Either give it a long cold crash to get all the hop floaty material out ( I assume you dry hopped) or make sure you siphon from the top of your beer so as to not pick up any hop particulate.  I had a bad experience with this after kegging my first IIPA.  A large piece of a pellet got lodged in the out poppit.  One of the best beers I ever made, but you could only pour about a 1/4 of a glass, as it would foam up like crazy!  Now I use a sanitized paint strainer on the end of my racking tubing to keep all the hop sludge out.  Enjoy kegging, it's awesome!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 05:04:42 PM by liquidbrewing »
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 11:05:29 AM »
BEFORE you connect the gas hoses to the kegs, put it all together, pressurize it and then close the valve on the bottle. If 24 hours later the pressure hasn't dropped you're good to go. If it has, start looking for leaks with Star San or soapy water. (the former is better as you don't want soap near your beer).

Sanitize your keggies. I have a compressor and made a gas and liquid hose with ball connectors on one end and nothing on the other. I clean the kegs, then rinse. Put the air on the gas line and force water out the liquid side. Repeat with sanitizer.

Store the keggies with sanitizer in them, pressurized with air. Keeps the seals seated and alerts you if they lose pressure to look for leaks.

The most reliable way to carbonate is with the bottle. On service pressure for a week to ten days and you are good to go. If you're in a hurry you can hook the keg up at 30psi and gently roll it back and forth (end to end). You will hear the CO2 go into solution. 20 minutes or so. Pull the pressure relief vent on the top of the keg to relieve the high pressure and then hook up service pressure. It won't be perfect but it will be drinkable. Depending on how it is you can also leave it hooked up to high pressure for another day and then drop to service pressure, or just hook it up at service pressure and in a few days it will be just right. Play around with this, you're get the feel for it.

One caution, if you have another keg hooked up, disconnect it when the pressure is cranked up.

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Offline tporco

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 05:45:48 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I just replaced all the seals in my keg, cleaned it, filled with sani and pressurized with 30 psi.  if she holds for 24 hours, it sounds like i am good to go.  As liquidbrewing pointed out, there may be a problem with the amount of hops in the 2ndary.  I used a ton of pellet hops in the secondary and i was thining that i would have to strain it somehow to remove all of the hops solids on the way to my keg.  I think i will try to cold crash it for awhile and also strain it thorugh a sterilized hop bag into the keg.  Sound about right?

Offline bluesman

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 06:24:46 PM »
Aside from good sanitation practices, I think one of the most important steps in the kegging process is to minimize the amount of oxygen that comes in contact with the beer. One tip is purging the keg with CO2 prior to transfer and then purging the head space after the transfer.

Here's a great kegging manual.

https://files.pbworks.com/download/oxvnokdSFh/draftquality/18182336/DBQM_Full.pdf
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Offline love2brew

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 08:20:55 AM »
Some great advice on this thread; here are a ton of links that may help you:

Basic overviews:

http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages/index.php?page=Soda-Kegs
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue5.1/flemingsb1.html
http://www.ebrew.com/primarynews/intro_keg_system.htm
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue5.1/fleming.html
http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/Kegging.pdf
http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Cornelius_kegs


Carbonating/line pressure/line balancing:
http://www.homebrewmart.com/carbona.html
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue5.1/flemingsb.html
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/ForceCarbonation.html
http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
http://www.ebrew.com/primarynews/ct_carbonation_chart.htm#Carbonation_Chart
http://www.kegman.net/equilibrium.html
http://kegman.net/balance.html
http://www.iancrockett.com/brewing/info/kegbalance.shtml

Rebuilding:
http://cruisenews.net/brewing/kegging/index.php
http://brewery.org/brewery/library/KegCleanDH1095.html
http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages/index.php?page=Soda-Kegs-Maint#cleaning
http://hbd.org/uchima/kegging/kegadvent.html


O-ring Numbers:
http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=34669

QD Internal O-Rings:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/need-source-washer-inside-ball-lock-quick-disconnect-73269/

Replacement Parts:

http://www.simgo.com/replacem.htm
http://www.northernbrewer.com/keg-repair-parts.html
http://kegman.net/soda.htm
http://www.breworganic.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=325
http://www.undergrounddigital.com/draft/kegparts.htm
http://www.thebeeressentials.com/kegging/cornelius-keg-parts.shtml
http://www.ebrew.com/kegging/cornelius_parts.htm#top_of_page
http://www.williamsbrewing.com/KEG_PARTS_C78.cfm
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/kegging/kegs-accessories.html
http://morebeer.com/search/102295
http://www.rcbequip.com/productCat15956.ctlg

Sanke stuff:
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/ForceCarbonation.html

Kegging equipment specs and capacities:
http://www.kegman.net/tap_info.htm#beerline

Alternative Dispensers:
http://www.angelfire.com/cantina/carbonation/TappingandDispensing.htm

Kegerator Tutorials/Blogs/Journals:
http://www.thegatesofdawn.ca/wordpress/homebrewing/kegerator/
http://community.livejournal.com/homebrewing/413981.html (thanks, Buford!)
http://www.vonnieda.org/blogdetail.jsp?id=805
http://www.chaddickerson.com/gallery/kegerator
http://brewheads.com/kegerator.php
http://www.kegman.net/rc.html
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/archive/index.php/t-410.html
http://www.homebrewblog.com/archives/000012.html
http://fiberspeed2k.googlepages.com/kegerator
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/sanyo-4912-draft-tower-stabilization-mod-stainless-steel-rail-install-tips-24176/
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=14079&start=0&postdays=0&postorder =asc
https://picasaweb.google.com/KalvinEddie/Sanyo#
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=20702&highlight=

Tower Assembly:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/draft-tower-help-24034-post234625/#post234625

Kegerator Parts Links:
Stainless Steel Rails For The Top:
http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p=46331&cat=3,43520,43521,46758&ap=1

Quality Draft Towers:
http://www.acumetalfab.com/index.html

Stainless Drip Trays
http://www.barproducts.com/index.php
'Bar Supplies', then 'Bar Supplies 2', near end of page-'Stainless Steel Drip Tray'.

Tower Cooling Fans:
http://www.crazypc.com/products/fans/fansmain.htm
http://www.buyextras.com/fans.html
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=573&name=Case-Fans
http://www.directron.com/casefans.html


www.love2brew.com  -  Check out our new articles updated every day!

Offline denny

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2011, 08:31:57 AM »
Wow, nice collection of links!
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Offline tonyp

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 01:15:56 PM »
wow thanks for the links!
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Offline tubercle

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 03:22:35 PM »
.... If 24 hours later the pressure hasn't dropped you're good to go. If it has, start looking for leaks with Star San or soapy water. (the former is better as you don't want soap near your beer).


 Question (hand raised):

  Why not  look for leaks with Star San or soapy water to begin with and save 24 hours of wait time?
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 03:48:10 PM »
Mid Michigan first time keggers: don't take kegging advice from ThingsBeer in Webberville. #Clueless
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Offline euge

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 04:01:57 PM »
That's it! I'm buying some taps and retiring my cobras. 
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline maxieboy

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Re: First time Kegging
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2011, 04:38:39 PM »
Looking for some help/tips on making the jump to kegging from bottling.  Just moved an imperial IPA to secondary so I have a little time but wanted to see if you guys had any tips for a first time kegger.  I purchased a complete setup with regulators and 2 corney kegs so i think i am ok from the equipment side.  Any tips/suggestions on what to watch for?

A balanced, gas on, leak free system is the only way to fly. Carbonate and serve your beers @ the same temp and pressure. When your beer is kegged, hook it up, 7-10 days later(known as "set it and forget it"), serve. No muss, no fuss. Helpful table: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
 10' of 3/16 ID beer line @ 40*-45*(depending on desired volumes of CO2) w/cobra taps or faucets will get you very close. I shoot for a 2 oz/second pour, ideal IMO.
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