How to Keg Beer – Step 1: Sanitize or clean your keg. You sanitize a keg when you want to fill it with beer to carbonate and drink. You clean an empty keg when the carbonated beer has already been drunk. For either sanitizing or cleaning you need to: disassemble the keg, soak the small parts, and fill the shell. To do this:
Vent the pressure in the keg by lifting the lid relief valve. Then, remove the lid. Use a socket wrench and a deep driver socket to remove the liquid and gas posts from the keg. (out = liquid, gas = in). Remove gas dip tube. Soak these small parts in a cleaning or sanitizing solution. Remove the long liquid-side dip tube and place it inside the keg shell. Fill the shell with a solution of easy clean or your sanitizer or cleanser of choice. Soak time for sanitizing: 2+ minutes. Soak time for cleaning: 30min to 1hr, depending. The dirtier the keg, the longer you should soak it. Air dry all parts when done soaking. Follow steps in reverse to re-assemble your keg.
Step 2: Assemble and leak test the gas side of the keg system.
Attach the CO2 Regulator to the gas cylinder and tighten. Tighten the gas line and disconnect to the regulator body. Make sure all valves are closed Sponge a bit of soapy water on all connections: the regulator and cylinder, the gas line and regulator, and the gas line and the disconnect. Open all valves. If you have a gas leak, you will see bubbles and you need to tighten the connection with the leak.
Step 3: Transfer beer to sanitized keg.
Siphon beer from fermentor into keg Seal the keg with the lid Connect CO2 supply to the keg by attaching the disconnect to the gas “in” post on the keg. You will hear a hiss sound as the keg is pressurize. Force carbonate the beer by pressurizing the keg with CO2 gas. Adjust the carbonating pressure to force carbonate the beer in the keg. Use the set screw on the regulator. The gauge opposite the gas line shows the pressure being supplied to the keg. Recommended: 20 PSI for force carbonation (may vary depending on style, etc.)
Step 4: After 2-3 days, test the carbonation of the beer.
Shut off the CO2 at the regulator Vent the CO2 from the head space in the keg by opening the lid relief valve and use the set screw to lower the PSI from force carbonating to dispensing levels. Recommended: 10-12 PSI for dispensing levels. Re-open the red shut-off valve on the regulator. You’ll probably need to use the set screw to adjust the pressure back to 10-12 PSI Attach liquid line to liquid out-post on the keg. Make sure the faucet is shut.
Step 5: Enjoy your beer!
If your beer is still a bit flat, remove the liquid line and return your PSI back to force carbonation levels. Test the beer again in a day or two.
- 1 Can you put home brew beer in a keg?
- 2 How do you keg beer after fermentation?
- 3 Is kegging easier than bottling?
- 4 Do you need to cold crash beer before kegging?
- 5 How long can a keg sit without CO2?
Can you put home brew beer in a keg?
3. Fill the Keg with Beer – To keg your homebrew, transfer your beer from the fermenter or carboy by siphoning the beer into the keg just as you would with bottling. Avoid unnecessary sloshing of the beer to keep air from slipping in and oxidizing your beer.
How long does homemade beer last in a keg?
How Long Does Homebrew Last in a Keg? Quick answer: probably a lot longer than you’ll be able to keep yourself from drinking it all. Long answer: If dispensing with CO2, and maintained at the proper temperature (35-43 °F) and pressure (10-15 psi), homebrew will remain fresh for at least 6 months. : How Long Does Homebrew Last in a Keg?
How do you keg beer after fermentation?
Use QR Code to visit this article online. by Byron Burch, Robyn Burch and Gabe Jackson H ome brewers sometimes show an aversion to the practice of bottling. Over the years, we’ve been able to codify that into something we like to call Burch’s Third Law: “The tendency of a home brewer to look favorably on the idea of kegging homebrew is directly proportional to the number of bottles washed during the course of one’s home brewing career.” Logic of the Soda Keg O ne of the best draft containers for homebrewers is the five-gallon soda syrup keg (also called cornelius keg, corny, ball lock and pin lock keg). The first reason is the convenience of the five gallon size. Five or ten gallons tends to be the normal batch size for most of us, and that makes it almost too easy to resist, especially for those who really want no more bottle washing whatsoever. Natural Carbonation vs. Force Carbonation M ore than one way is available to carbonate your beer. The first is to “bottle” condition your keg. In this case, you prime your beer in the keg after fermentation is finished using half a cup of corn sugar. The keg is then sealed up and set aside for a week or two until your beer has had a chance to fully carbonate.
- The disadvantage of keg conditioning is that the yeast has to be active in the keg in order to carbonate the beer.
- Because the yeast is converting the sugar into CO2, a new sediment layer is formed.
- There are three ways to avoid getting sediment into your glass.
- You can either cut an inch off of the bottom of your beverage downtube with a pipe cutter so that it rests above the sediment layer, replace the metal downtube with a floating pickup tube, or assume that you will discard the first several pints of cloudy beer.
E ventually, most homebrewers move to force carbonation. There are a number of reasons to force carbonate the keg. First of all, this practice leaves the keg virtually sediment-free, which means you can leave the downtube uncut, and still draw beautifully clear beer right to the bottom.
- Second, the kegs are fully carbonated in three days time, and around any house, that can be an important consideration.
- B ottling some beers may still be important for parties, club meetings, or competitions.
- If you would like to have some bottled beer on hand, for such events, siphon as much of the beer as you would like to serve on draft into the keg and reserve the rest to bottle.
Make sure you are ready to bottle on the same day that you are kegging. We recommend you use 2 1/2 Tablespoons of corn sugar for each gallon you are bottle conditioning. ( Bottling instructions can be found here ). Filling the Keg R inse out, clean and sanitize your keg before filling it.
Use either TDC™, Proxycarb or PBW™ for cleaning. Use BTF™ or Star-San™ for sanitizing. If it is not too troublesome to produce a couple gallons of boiling water, you may partially fill the keg with boiling water before beginning the cleaning process. Allow the boiling water to pasteurize the keg for a while, then top with cold water and add your cleaner.
While the sanitation of the kegs is underway, go ahead and take steps to sanitize all of the equipment you will be using for moving the beer including through your beverage lines. At this point, you’re ready to keg! E levate your secondary fermentor to siphon your beer into the keg.
- Before you fill the keg, you should force out any air in the keg with CO2.
- CO2 is about 50% heavier than air.
- As you pressurize the empty keg (10-15 PSI is fine), the CO2 will naturally fill the lower part of the keg.
- Vent the pressure using the lid relief valve.
- Pressurize the keg again, and vent it again.
Do this 6-8 times to force the air up and out of the keg. Now you may transfer the beer by siphon. When you remove the lid of the keg to fill it, you will notice it is filled with a visible cloud of CO2. Go ahead and fill it with beer. After transfer, measure the temperature with a sanitized thermometer or LCD thermometer sticker attached to the keg.
- Eep the temperature recorded to refer to later.
- Seal the keg lid so it’s ready for carbonation.
- Pressurize and vent a few more times to remove air from the headspace that may have entered during transfer.
- Setting Up the Draft Hoses & Gas To attach your beer line and spigot/faucet, begin by heating up some water on your stovetop or in the microwave and put the ends of the tubing in the hot water.
The 3/16″ tubing we recommend is slightly smaller than the 1/4″ hose barbs on the spigot/shank and the black beverage disconnect. Heating it will allow you to easily slip the tubing over the hose barbs. Now attach the gas line to the regulator and secure a tight fit with a stainless steel clamp.
- Then attach the other end of tubing to the (gray) gas quick disconnect and secure tubing with a stainless steel clamp.
- Hook up the gas to the IN post of the keg and turn on the gas at low pressure.
- W hen your beer is safely in the keg, and your gas and draft lines are all assembled, you can proceed to force carbonate the beer.
K egs must be kept cold and under constant pressure for good draft flow. First, turn the screw on your gas regulator clockwise until you reach your desired pressure. Having the beer as cold as 38° F. and setting the gauge at 12 PSI is a great place to start. E ven with the beer very cold, you need intimate contact between the gas bubbles and the beer to get the gas dissolved. With the gas on, turn the keg upside down and rock it back and forth for 5-10 minutes. This allows the CO2 to bubble out of the gas inlet tube and on up through the beer. G o ahead and assemble your dispensing system once the beer has had a chance to carbonate, usually several days to a week. Vent the keg to release any built up pressure. Attach the beverage quick disconnect to the OUT post on the keg. Attach the gas quick disconnect to the IN post on the keg.
- Once everything is connected put everything back into the refrigerator.
- S et the delivery pressure after you turn on the gas and open the gas valve on the regulator.
- Adjust the regulator screw to the appropriate PSI.
- About 12 PSI is usually a good place to start.
- Dispense and adjust the PSI up or down according to the level of carbonation you desire.
Now you can sit back and enjoy your very own draft beer as well as your newly found freedom away from the tiresome task of bottling. On behalf of all of us who have also made the leap we are happy to welcome you to Burch’s Third Law of home brewing. For a more detailed discussion on carbonating your beer and understanding how to balance your draft system, including keg line balancing, please read this guide by staffer Joe Hanson-Hirt. A detailed instruction that delves deeper into the factors affecting carbonation and successful draft service.
Do I need CO2 for my keg?
August 10, 2020 An essential part of dispensing beer from your kegerator involves your carbon dioxide (CO2) Tank, To get the perfect pour, your CO2 tank needs to be properly installed and optimized to deliver you the best taste. If it’s your first time owning a kegerator, you may have many questions about how to set up your CO2 and a number of other questions on how a CO2 tank works.
Can you keg beer without CO2?
Yes you can naturally carbonate kegged beer. I carbonate all my beers this way and prefer it since I have found when I naturally carbonate beers I still have to wait to let them age. I recommend you pressurize the keg with CO2 to seal it.
Is kegging easier than bottling?
There are two popular options when it comes to packaging homebrew — bottling and kegging. For many, choosing between the two is a classic case of time vs. money. Bottling is fairly time-consuming, but costs next to nothing. Kegging requires you buy some equipment, but saves you time at the packaging stage.
The basic idea in bottling is to move beer from one big container (your fermenter) to numerous small containers (the bottles). In the process, you want to avoid introducing any oxygen, bacteria or wild yeasts to the beer. Oxygen introduced after fermentation will cause the beer to go stale faster. Bacteria or wild yeasts can lead to off flavors in the beer or gushing bottles.
For bottle-conditioned beers, you also want to prepare the beer so it will carbonate to the right level in the bottle. There are four steps to bottling: cleaning, sanitizing, preparing the beer and filling the bottles. The equipment you’ll need is: a bottling bucket, a racking cane, a large spoon, tubing to move the beer from the bucket, a tubing clamp or a bottle filler, bottles, sugar, bottle caps and a capper.
Is kegging cheaper than bottling?
Space: Bottles take up less space than kegs and can be stored in their original box, a FastRack storage system, or a Bottle Tree drying rack. This aspect is particularly useful if you live in an apartment, or if your significant other doesn’t appreciate having half the house occupied by delicious beer. Sharing: It is easier to give a friend a bottle of your homebrew. Price: Bottling costs less than kegging, plain and simple. Especially if the bottles come for free (like they do in our small batch starter gift set !). You can even re-use commercial beer bottles.
Do you need to cold crash beer before kegging?
One of the key benefits of kegging your beer is that you’re able to cold crash and force carbonate your homebrew fairly easily. Cold crashing ensures all the hop, yeast and protein particles drop out of suspension, creating clear beer, while force carbonating allows you to reach the perfect levels of carbonation each and every time.
- Nowing how to force carbonate a keg of homebrew can also save you a lot of time.
- If you’ve been following the previous parts of our essential guide on how to keg beer, you should now have a keg filled with beer — check part 3 if you need a refresher.
- Part 4 of the guide takes you through the various options you have for carbonating your beer.
This guide assumes you have not previously cold crashed your beer in the fermenter — but if you have, simply skip the cold crash step detailed below.
What happens if you keg beer too early?
The main detractor in kegging too early is the amount of yeast solids your keg will have. That’s not a big deal to me. I actually keg all of my lagers early so that the keg will be spunded.
Do you need to add sugar to beer after fermentation?
When To Add Your Extra Sugars – While it’s safe to add sugars at any time in the process, adding them late can be very beneficial to your cause. This is because of two reasons. First, yeast can get lazy if offered simple sugars up front, and stall out early or ferment slower than normal once they have to convert more complex sugars.
- To prevent this, add the sugar after a few days of primary fermentation.
- Next, if you’re adding sugars with a lot of flavor and aroma (like Belgian Candi or honey), the initial portion of primary fermentation can send a lot of desirable aromas out of the beer.
- Adding them after this vigorous portion of fermentation helps keep them in the beer, but still allows the yeast to ferment them out.
Get creative, and experiment with sugar additions. If you have the ability, the best way to test these things or learn the flavors would be to split your beer into separate fermenters after brewing and add different sugars, while keeping a control batch.
This will allow you to taste the same beer with different additives and note the difference. If you do this successfully, you should walk away with a basic understanding and first-hand knowledge of what each sugar you are testing does to the beer. There are many more details on types of sugars and what each does to your beer, but hopefully this has whet your appetite.
Sugar additions can be so much more than just a sneaky way to up your ABV. Have fun and play around with this additive. If you’re ever wondering how to get some new flavor profiles in your beer, using brewing sugars appropriately can be the answer. All contents copyright 2023 by MoreFlavor Inc.
Why is my keg beer foamy?
Beer Foam Physics – One should understand the physics behind foamy beer! Most beer is carbonated, meaning that it is a liquid solution saturated with a large amount of CO2 gas. When a liquid is saturated with CO2 gas, more gas stays in the mixture at colder temperatures.
- In this case, the beer gas/liquid solution holds itself together the best right around 34-38 degrees.
- When the temperature rises above 40 degrees, the CO2 gas starts to escape from the beer, and this is what causes foam (in most cases).
- For this reason, temperature issues constitute the great majority of problems with kegerators serving foamy beer.
Pressure Now that we’ve gone over the basics, check your CO2 regulator settings. Beer can be pushed at anywhere from 4 PSI to 14 PSI, but most kegerators work best between 5 and 12 PSI. You should compensate for the size of your beer lines – the bigger the inner diameter of the beer line, the more pressure that should be used to push the beer.
The colder the beer, the more pressure you can use as well. High pressure and high temperature will cause excess foam to result. If your beer lines are on the small side, like 1/4″ inner diameter, this can contribute to foaminess. Check our Carbonation Pressure vs. Temperature Chart to make sure your pressure is set correct with the temperature you are serving your beer.
Temperature For more persistent foam problems, you should verify that your kegerator is cooling beer to the proper temperature. You can double-check the cooling at both the top and the bottom of your kegerator by placing a glass of water near each location overnight, and measuring the resultant temperature in the morning with a standard thermometer.
- If you have a draft tower, you should ensure that cool air is circulating through the draft tower as well as the refrigeration compartment.
- If the beer is cold at the beginning but raises temperature at the end of the beer line, it can cause a great degree of foaming.
- Consider a draft tower fan or an insulating tower wrap to reduce foaming and regulate temperatures in the beer tower.
Dirty Beer Lines If this is all in order, it is time to check the condition of your beer line and fittings. Dirty beer lines can cause foaming as well, and this makes it very important to clean your beer lines regularly. Now, check all fittings. If any of the fittings are loose, it can cause outside air to be sucked into the beer solution, causing air bubbles and foaminess.
Make sure to tighten all of your hose clamps and any fitting that has bolts or hex flanges. Beer Line Length In some cases, your beer line may not be long enough. About six to eight feet of beer line is usually enough to allow you to play with the pressure and find a nice balance. You may want to use our Beer Line Length Calculator to determine the perfect size line for your draft system.
Regulator Fail If all else fails, you may have to look to your CO2 regulator. If the regulator has been dropped or banged up (they usually are), you might have a regulator malfunction or leak that is causing a gauge to fail or let excess CO2 into the keg.
Should I use nitrogen or CO2 for keg?
Time to Drop Some Knowledge – A good basic rule of thumb is if the beverage has bubbles, it should be hooked up to CO2. If it’s not supposed to have bubbles, then is should be hooked up to nitrogen. While both CO2 and Nitrogen do have bubbles, CO2 bubbles are smaller than Nitrogen bubbles.
Do I need a pump for a keg?
How to Prepare and Tap a Keg with Hand Pump PREPERATION Keep your keg cold; ice your keg. To insure a quality head on your beer, chill your keg before tapping. To chill your entire keg: – Surround your keg with ice – Let your keg sit in its ice bath for about 3.5 hours if it hasn’t previously been refridgerated – Periodically replace the ice as it melts.
- Make sure you let your keg settle after movement for about an hour to avoid foam.
- TAPPING Remove the cap from the fixture on the top of the keg.
- You will see two notches on the keg top with a round valve and ball bearing in the middle.
- Make sure your hand pump is in the off position before tapping (lever should be up).
Seat the pump on top of the keg in line with the notches. To engage the tap: Pull the arrow on the hand pump outand pull down to secure it in a locked position. Screw your pump clockwise to fasten it in. If you see bubles or foam escaping around the tap, it is not seated correctly.
- POURING Do not pump for the first few pints.
- You only have to push down on the nozzle because there should be enough pressure in your keg to pour your first beers.
- Pour out your first pour of beer foram so the flavour is not disrupted by non-harmful sanitizer residue in your pump.
- You will need to pump your keg a few times periodically if the flow of the beer slows doen.
Don’t over pump otherwise you will make your beer flat. Set any foam aside and let the next few beers pour and settle out. Enjoy! Note: To minamize the head you must tilt your cup at a 45° angle as you first fill. This allows the beer to roll around the cup as it pours.
As your glass fills, return it to a vertical position. ENJOY Hand pumps are different from CO2 systems. Your keg will lose carbonation after 23hrs. Hand pumps use air to pressurize a keg, which oxygenates the beer faster. The cooler your keg, the longer it will stay carbonated. Enjoy your keg within a few days.
: How to Prepare and Tap a Keg with Hand Pump
How long can a keg sit without CO2?
How Long Does A Tapped Keg Last? – The method you choose for dispensing your beer also plays a major role in how long your keg stays fresh. Using a kegerator or draft system that dispenses draft beer using CO2 should not impact your beer’s freshness as long as the keg is stored at the proper temperature and pressure.
- You can follow the guidelines explained above for determining how long your tapped keg will last.
- Using a picnic pump, party pump or keg tap is a completely different situation.
- These introduce oxygen into your keg, which greatly speeds up the process of beer going bad.
- Since a picnic pump uses oxygen instead of carbon dioxide, a tapped keg will only last about 12-24 hours depending on the type of beer and how much oxygen was pumped into it.
The oxygen will cause the beer to go flat and spoil quickly if you don’t finish the keg within that time frame.
How do you carbonate beer in a keg naturally?
How to Carbonate Beer in a Keg One of the joys of kegging your beer is not having to endlessly clean bottles or them occasionally exploding in your garage. Force carbonating is also another advantage of kegging, allowing you to carbonate faster and without the sediment found in the bottom of the bottle when naturally carbonating.
Of course you can naturally carbonate in a keg by adding the correct amount of sugars and keeping it warm for about two weeks but most people prefer to ‘force’ the carbonation into the beer using a CO2 cylinder. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, force carbonating does not affect the head retention or size of the bubbles in the beer, CO2, once dissolved into the beer is the same weather it comes from a cylinder or produced by the yeast.
Although the principal is the same, there are many different techniques to carbonate in a keg. There are three 4 main factors at play when force carbonating, pressure, temperature, surface area and time. Pressure and temperature are both related and determine the carbonation level of the beer.
Typical beers will have a carbonation level around 2.4 – 2.6 volumes of CO2 by less common styles can have much higher or lower carbonation. The higher the temperature of your beer the higher the pressure will need to be inside the keg to achieve the desired carbonation level. The table below shows the pressure required to achieve your desired carbonation depending on the temperature.
Obviously the whole keg won’t be carbonated as soon as you set this pressure on your regulator. Over time the beer will approach the carbonation level determined by the pressure and temperature depending on the surface area to volume of the keg. Shaking the keg or using a carbonation stone effectively increases the surface area hence reduces the time.
Can you use a keg as a primary fermenter?
Keg Fermenter Sizing – A five gallon keg isn’t really suitable for a primary fermenter for a 5 gallon batch. You could use it as a secondary for a full 5 gallon batch, as a primary fermenter for smaller batches (maybe 3 to 4 gallons max) or you could split 5 gallon batches between two kegs.
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Why is my home brew flat in keg?
My Beer In My Keg Is Flat And Has No Gas, Why? Flat beer in a keg is usually due to the keg being under gassed or the keg having a gas leak. Before you gas the keg a second time you will need to check the keg for leaks. To do this you need to set your regulator to 40 psi (280kpa) and pump gas into the keg for about 5 minutes.
This will be enough to test the keg. Once the keg is full of gas get a spray bottle with a mixture of dishwashing detergent and water and spray the mixture onto the Hatch Cover, Gas Post and Liquid Post, lines and fittings. Don’t be shy with the detergent and make sure the whole area is covered with the solution (detergent and water).
If bubbles appear you will be able to see the leak and need to repair the keg. Usually it’s the Popette valves in the gas and liquid posts or it’s the Hatch Cover Seal. All of these parts are available from us online. If no bubbles appear around the Hatch Cover, Gas Post or Liquid Post you should spray detergent all over the keg especially around areas where the rubber head or toe of the keg joins the stainless body of the tank.
- These areas are pron to rusting under the rubber and getting pin hole leaks.
- If no bubbles appear it is safe to say the keg is OK and you should proceed to re-gas the keg.
- When gassing a keg the easiest method is to attach your gas line, turn it to 40psi (280kpa) and allow it to sit under pressure for 36-48hrs.
: My Beer In My Keg Is Flat And Has No Gas, Why?
Can you put coffee in a keg?
How to Cold Brew Coffee? – Cold brewing coffee is easy, all you’ll need is your coffee grounds of choice and a simple cold brew system – Toddy makes a great one, Lastly, if you’re looking to serve iced coffee on tap (full article to come), cold brewed coffee is the way to go.
Why? Because with most things that are served on tap, they’ll be stored in a keg (potentially for extended periods of time). If you put hot brewed coffee into a keg, its flavor profile will change as it cools and in the following days. Cold brew coffee maintains a consistent flavor profile and can be kept in a keg for extended periods of time.
I keep my cold brewed coffee in a 2.5 gallon keg, but there are plenty of options for storing your cold brew coffee in kegs,
Combine coffee grounds and water inside your Toddy, Let this sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature. Drain the coffee concentrate through the filter into your container. Keep the coffee concentrate refrigerated for 2-4 weeks. You have high quality coffee on hand at all times now. When serving, dilute with water. I typically heat water in a teapot. I’ll pour 1/3 cup of coffee concentrate and add 2/3 hot water from the teapot.
I’ve found that when using coffee concentrate, I use less sugar and less creamer and enjoy much more natural coffee taste. Stay tuned on our future articles about creating cold brew coffee, as well as serving iced coffee on tap, We’ll also explore creating a homebrewed beer using coffee concentrate rather than coffee grounds.