Kegging Q

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Kegging Q

Postby jayhawk » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:41 am

Ok, so I'm seriously considering of acquiring a kegging outfit. The most viable option seems to be the 5gal corny kegs. Questons:
1) How important is it for the beer to be chilled while force carbonating? I am a poor student, and I don't have the room nor the cash to acquire a separate keg fridge. Therefore, can I still get good carbonation if the beer is at room temp? Are there ways to compensate for the higher temp of the beer?
2)Since I won't have a fridge, I was thinking of running the beer line through an ice box to chill it. Besides the obvious hassle of having to ice down the line everytime I want a beer, are there any problems with this set up? Will I encounter excessive foaming from a setup like this?

Thanks
Chris
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Chilling = vital

Postby Push Eject » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:53 am

According to carbonation charts you can successfully force carbonate up to around 60 deg by raising your pressure considerably.

However, in my personal experience, if the beer is warmer than 42 degrees it takes forever to get the carbonation right.

As far as using a jockey box for dispensing beer, go ahead. That's a totally acceptable way to do it. If you keep the temperature of the coil consistant from top to bottom you shouldn't have a lot of foaming issues.

Of course, for the price of a good jockey box I'll bet you could find a small used refridgerator... :)

Cheers.
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Keg Fridge

Postby KBrau » Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:04 pm

You will have a hell of a time carbonating a keg at room temperature because it takes a lot more pressure to force the CO2 into solution. I may have a solution for you though. After scouring the globe I finally found the best and least expensive homebrew keg fridge. I think I paid about $160 for it and it houses a keg and regulator with room to spare. It is also easily converted into a kegerator. There is more info and some pictures on my website.

www.kuenstlerbrau.com check under "Building a Kegerator"
Hope this is helpful.
Rich
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If chilled = vital, then bootlegging = cash = fridge

Postby jayhawk » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:18 pm

Hmm, guess I will have to re-evaluate my finances. Move a little from column A to the miscellaneous category. Sell a little homebrew on the side maybe? Thanks for the info guys. I will have to keep my eyes peeled for a cheap fridge.
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Not any fridge

Postby KBrau » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:21 pm

Just make sure that the fridge will fit a corny keg. Most compact size fridges will not. Like I said the only one I have ever seen was the Danby brand fridge that I converted to a kegerator.
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Nice set up

Postby jayhawk » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:30 pm

Just checked out your site...nice work! You're kegerator is sweet! I will definately keep the dimensions of the keg handy while searching for a fridge. Just one thing, does chilling to CO2 affect the pressure needed for carbonation?
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Sanke vs Corny

Postby jayhawk » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:34 pm

Just for debate's sake, is there any advantage to using 30l sanke kegs (pony kegs)? I could increase my batch size to fill one of these (with goal of brewing full keg batches in future), but there seems to be a little more gear needed for these compared to the corny. (Correct me if I'm wrong). What about cleaning the sanke...how the heck to you fit a carboy brush past that frickin ball valve? ;)
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Difficult

Postby KBrau » Wed Oct 08, 2003 5:15 pm

The main reason so many home brewers lean towards the corny kegs is their ease of use. It is very easy to open and clean a corny and nearly impossible to really clean a sanke without professional equipment. I would recommend that you stick with the cornys and if you want to brew more just by used corny kegs. I picked up 2 of them for about $35. Sometimes you can even find brewers who are willing to part with them for even less.
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I you really want to save money...

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:12 pm

It may not be as pretty as KBrau's set up, but you could drop down to your local appliance store and get an old, reconditioned full-size fridge. I got one for about 60 bucks. I can fit three kegs, regulator and the CO2 tank in it. Or one keg and a fermenter for the occaisional lager. Its far from pretty, but it gets the job done. I also store my glassware on the shelves on the door. That way the beer stays at serving temp longer.

Cheers
Nate
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Thought so

Postby jayhawk » Wed Oct 08, 2003 7:10 pm

I kind of figured they would be more gear intensive than cornies. I start prowling the city now for stuff.

Thanks everyone for the input.
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Multipurpose

Postby KBrau » Wed Oct 08, 2003 7:55 pm

If you can spare the space, madhatters idea will serve more than one purpose. You can not only store your kegs in there, but you will also be able to brew lagers in a full size fridge. I got one at a garage sale for $10 and purchased the temp controller for $50. It makes brewing lagers a snap.
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cleaning

Postby joemez » Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:58 am

as far as cleaning, i use PBW. That stuff is great. I had an old keg that i cut and used as a kettle. It was all nasty with surface corrosion and all. I just soaked it in that stuff overnight and it rinsed nice and shiny with no scrubbing at all. I am sure if you opened a sanke keg and filled it with that stuff and rinsed it, it would be great.
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Why not just use corn sugar to carbonate?

Postby vtterror » Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:37 am

If you don't want to invest extra $$ in a fridge, (or in extra CO2 needed to force carbonate) why not just use corn sugar to carbonate your beer? It doesn't take particularly long and can easily be done at room temperature. You use less corn sugar to carbonate beer in a corny keg...only 1/2 c., dissolved in a small amount of water, boiled, cooled and added directly to your keg. Place in an out of the way place for about a week, and you're set.
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Genius

Postby KBrau » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:34 am

Great point vtterror, I can't beleive that simple solution eluded me.
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To be more exact...

Postby vtterror » Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:01 pm

Actually, you can use as little as 3/8 c. corn sugar to carbonate beer in a corny keg. I'd start with 1/2c., see how that batch carbonates. The beauty of a corny keg is that if your beer gets overcarbonated, you can always release CO2!
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