Poll

Do you prime (naturally carbonate) your kegs?

Never
23 (74.2%)
Sometimes
6 (19.4%)
Always
2 (6.5%)

Total Members Voted: 31

Voting closed: April 15, 2010, 04:17:47 PM

Author Topic: Do You Prime Your Kegs?  (Read 2006 times)

Offline skyler

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Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« on: January 15, 2010, 04:17:47 PM »
I brew in bursts. One month I will brew five batches, then I will brew nothing for the next month or two. And my gf and I don't drink enough to finish the kegs in time for the beer. So I frequently prime my kegs in order to save CO2 (well, in order to save a trip to LHBS to refill my tank). I have been shocked at how long a small amount of CO2 lasts when I have pre-carbonated kegs. I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank? Mostly I am just curious how many of you prime your kegs, and if there is any good reason not to.

Offline denny

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 04:20:48 PM »
I did it a couple times but I didn't care for the sediment it created in the keg.  In addition, in my case I didn't see any advantage to doing it.
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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 04:23:27 PM »
I don't for 2 reasons.  First all the extra sediment that is created which isn't normally a big deal, but I have a commercial kegerater that holds 3 kegs and without fail, I will jostle all of them trying to get one of them out, stirring up the sediment.  The second reason is that some of my kegs don't seal with no pressure on them.  I don't think that priming would produce enough CO2 quickly enough to properly seal my keg.

I'm all for it if it owrks for you, I just don't do it personally.

Offline zee

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 09:14:44 PM »
I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank?

the answer to this is a definite no. at 21c [69f] the pressure in your co2 tank will be about 838psi. standard corny kegs are rated to only 130psi, so you'd have keg all over your face long before you got co2 back in the tank.

Offline dzlater

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 07:03:00 AM »
I did it a couple times but I didn't care for the sediment it created in the keg.  In addition, in my case I didn't see any advantage to doing it.

Why would this produce more sediment?

Offline a10t2

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 09:28:52 AM »
I have wondered if I over-carbonate, and reduce the pressure, will the CO2 move from my keg into my gas tank?
the answer to this is a definite no. at 21c [69f] the pressure in your co2 tank will be about 838psi. standard corny kegs are rated to only 130psi, so you'd have keg all over your face long before you got co2 back in the tank.

I don't think he meant without the regulator... anyway, the answer is still no. Every regulator I'm aware of has a check valve in it, so that gas can only flow out.

Why would this produce more sediment?

Just like in the bottom of a bottle, the yeast will reproduce while fermenting the priming sugar, and then go dormant and drift to the bottom of the keg. The result being a layer of sediment.

Someone should also mention that buying CO2 is cheaper than having yeast make it from table sugar, at least at the prices I pay.
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Offline nyakavt

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 06:27:03 AM »

I don't think he meant without the regulator... anyway, the answer is still no. Every regulator I'm aware of has a check valve in it, so that gas can only flow out.

Are you talking about from CO2 tank to regulator or regulator to keg?  The micromatic regulator I bought was intended for commercial kegs which have the check ball at the sankey coupler, so the ball valve it came with was sans check ball.


Offline redbeerman

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 10:28:41 AM »
I did a couple of times in the beginning, but I don't any more.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 10:40:41 AM »
Never tried. I beleive it defeats the purpose, but if it works for you then that's great.  8)
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 07:36:37 AM »
Did it once, early on when I started. Figured I was gonna save a couple pennies by priming the keg before putting it on the gas. I shot in bit so it would seal, and then let it sit for a month. No spunding valve, nothing. So, it's time to hook it up - I hoist it into the fridge, pop the connector on to the wrong post I guess and pblthhhhhhhhhhh beer shooting out my regulator. That was the one and only time I primed the keg.
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Offline dontblake

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2010, 10:13:02 PM »
Nope.  The savings in CO2 is pretty negligible (I brewed/carbonated ~20 batches last year and had to refill my CO2 bottle maybe twice - for a total cost of $24).  So that's what... $1.20 per batch?   The necessary amount of DME would certainly be close.

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Offline a10t2

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010, 12:40:09 AM »
Well, DME would be an obscenely expensive way to carbonate, but CO2 may be cheaper than sugar anyway. One mole (342 g) of sucrose ferments into four moles (176 g) of CO2. So basically two pounds of sugar yields one pound of CO2. For me, CO2 costs right around $1/lb, so it's cheaper than using table sugar.
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Offline Beertracker

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2010, 09:46:39 AM »
I occasionally keg conditioning a batch that I'm too lazy to bottle at the time. However, a recent attempt left me with overly sweet beer that didn't carbonate leaving me to reevaluate the practice.  ;)
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Offline nyakavt

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2010, 05:55:11 AM »
Well, DME would be an obscenely expensive way to carbonate, but CO2 may be cheaper than sugar anyway. One mole (342 g) of sucrose ferments into four moles (176 g) of CO2. So basically two pounds of sugar yields one pound of CO2. For me, CO2 costs right around $1/lb, so it's cheaper than using table sugar.

For me, table sugar is $0.48 / lb and CO2 is $2.37/lb, assuming that they fill the tank exactly to 10 lbs.  I still prefer to carbonate with CO2 because it can be faster and you can do it while cold conditioning.  Even at my prices we're still only talking ~$0.50 / keg to carbonate with CO2.

Offline dhacker

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Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 06:48:19 PM »
Never have, doubt ever will.
Just brew it...