Kegging Part 2

Friday, November 20, 2009

The caulk dried fine. So it was time to sanitize and fill the keg! Oh boy...

Filling the keg with my lovely Belgian Cherry Dubbel (a Belgian Dubbel brewed with real Traverse City cherry juice):
Yummy. Smelled like tart cherries as I filled the keg. These kegs fill and cap so easily:
And look! The keg fits!And here it is, all hooked up:
With the gas hooked up, I am carbonating the beer right now. Sopor taught me the brewers way to cheat a bit to be able to drink faster. What I am after is a beer with a certain level of carbonation; in this case, 2-3 "volumes" of CO2 for this Belgian-style ale seems to be appropriate (2-3 volumes = not very fizzy, but some fizz for sure), which, in a fridge set with my digital temperature gauge at 45 degrees, is about 15 pounds per square inch.

Drinking comes soon....


Bob 12:55 PM  

Can you fit more than one keg in that fridge?

Smitty 2:50 PM  

Unfortunately, no. This is a single homebrew keg fridge.

Mrs. Smitty is looking into kegerators and other fridges I could convert that can fit 2 or 3 corny kegs for greater variety.

Bob 3:40 PM  

I have heard about people converting chest freezers into refrigerators. Maybe this would work.

Smitty 4:09 PM  

Absolutely. Chest freezers convert well, but freezers are better coolers...meaning that it's hard to keep beer at like 40 or 45 degrees in a freezer, because the freezer want to, you know, freeze. But with a digital temperature gauge that I have, it doesn't matter.

The cool thing about chest freezers is that they top-load. Logistically very handy for kegging.

Sopor 8:27 PM  

But with a digital temperature gauge that I have, it doesn't matter.

Do you mean like a temperature controller that overrides the thermostat on the freezer? Like this?:

If not... those things KICK ASS for turning freezers into refrigerators.

Also... you gotta have at least three taps! First two are for you, the third is for the "guest tap"... get your carboy filled at Founders or MBC or get a 1/6th barrell keg from MPBC!

Mike 8:37 PM  

By the way, for reasons I'm unsure of (though I ain't complaining) my local shop has jumped on the Arcadia Ales "Big Beer" series.


That Imperial Stout was delish, and this London Porter is even better (if lower ABV probably).

What are the odds that the Coco Loco and the Double IPA make it til tomorrow night?

(I'm thinking Coco won't see Saturday -- that double is the best way to start the "official" weekend tomorrow.)

Mike 8:41 PM  

As to kegging, I would think the downside is that if you don't down that fucker good and fast it's gonna go sour or "off" on you, no?

After a month or so, a keg of whatever you brewed can't be prime. But based on some of your recipes, I'd think your brews bottle condition well.

steves 10:28 PM  

I am certainly willing to donate my services so that your beer does not go unused.

Sopor 11:07 PM  

No worries there guys =)

A keg of decent 5% ale can easily last 3 months or more if kept under CO2 pressure all the time. At the brewery we like to stick kegs aside and open them between 4-6 months and see how the beer has been aging, same with bottles. Inf fact, as long as a keg is kept pressurized with CO2 it is better than bottles for storing beer.

Smitty 10:05 AM  

Sopor answered the question: beer in a keg under co2 lasts a long time.

Sopor, I indeed use the Ranco. Best gadget ever.

Bob 1:10 PM  

What psi is the CO2 in the tank? (not the keg)

That might be able to power some air tools.

Anonymous,  11:14 PM  
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Rickey Henderson 8:31 AM  

A while back, I heard probably the most horrific story involving home brewing and kegerators.

A buddy had a CO2 canister refilled but the dude doing it was completely unqualified and overfilled the tank. Late that night, my buddy awakens to this incredible screeching noise in his basement and sees the CO2 canister dancing along the floor and venting gas. Half-awake and not realizing what he was doing, he put his BARE HANDS directly over the nozzle where the gas was venting. You can figure out what happened next.

The burn was so intense that his hands swelled to twice their size and the skin sloughed off from his hands. He spent an agonizing night in the burn ward. This was a few years back. He still can't shake hands with anybody.

So that put me off from home brewing. But presumably, you know what you're doing here Smitty.

Smitty 9:05 AM  

Well, I certainly hope I know what I'm doing. That, or I got lucky.

Rickey Henderson 11:02 AM  

Yeah, Rickey didn't mean to frighten you... that story just popped in there.

Anonymous,  11:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phil 11:26 PM  

Hi Smitty!

A quick suggestion based on your pics. Cover the mouth of the keg with a paper towel. Ideally you would charge the keg with CO2 before kegging, but under any circumstance, you dont want wild yeast and random crud falling in your keg as you siphon.



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