Keeping it cold

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Keeping it cold

Postby Zok » Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:58 pm

Alright, I've been learning bit by bit about kegging. I just finished my first batch in a keg, actually, and when I tapped it, all that came out was foam. I figured this was because it was warm and wasn't holding its carbonation. So now what I'm looking for is an easy way to keep the keg cold.

It's a 5gl corny keg. Stands a few feet high, not very wide. I don't want to buy a full fridge, so I was thinking that some sort of a cooler or mini-fridge rig might be in order. I don't really mind dismanteling old appliances to make the thing, as long as it doesn't cost me out the nose.

Any ideas?
Zok
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in your kitchen fridge

Postby Sapper » Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:54 pm

If your wife will let you, take some room out of your kitchen fridge.

Mine put up with this for a while, but she finally got completely frustrated and let me get another fridge.

You can tap directly from a corney keg with an adapter. It is available at http://www.leeners.com/kegging.html I am sure it is available other places and probably cheaper, but that's the first beer site I had bookmarked that had that particular piece of equipment.

You don't need to drill your fridge, and you can still use the top shelves if it is tall enough. The best thing is that it does take up enough room to aggravate your wife so she will let you buy a used fridge to convert to a dedicated kegerator.

Kegging is the way to go, and a dedicated fridge is the best way to do it.
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Postby Zok » Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:51 pm

Yeah, I have the adapter and faucet and everything. It's just that when I attach it all and try to pour a glass, it's nothing but foam. I'm pretty sure that it's because it's going from a high pressure enviroment (the keg) to a low pressure (the hose and the glass), when it does this, the co2 turns into a gas and causes foam. The colder it is, the slower it turns to a gas.

Unfortunatly, I don't have the room in the fridge. I plan on buying an extra one soon, but I hate to just let this beer sit in a keg for another few years while I save my money. Any ideas on how to keep it cold enough to get it out without it turning to foam? I don't need to keep it cold all the time, just on an evening when I have friends over for poker or the game.

I was thinking I'd get some sort of up-right cooler and fill it with ice water and let the keg sit in that for a few hours first. Any other ideas?
Zok
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Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:06 pm

Don't change

Postby Sapper » Fri Nov 12, 2004 5:15 pm

Changes from warm to cold to warm to cold can't be good for your beer.

I am struggling with the same problem with my kegged beer. The first glass is 3/4 foam, then if I pour another glass within the next 5 minutes or so it is fine.

The key is having a balenced system. I have found some websites about this with formulas and tips about CO2 pressure and the length of line from the keg to the faucet, but I haven't got it quite right yet. My situation is getting better. I have put 8.5 feet of 1/4inch ID line from my keg to the faucet and set my regulator at 8psi. I have to bleed a little pressure off the keg before my first glass, but it is better. I am figuring out the problems I am having. This month's BYO has a good piece on force carbonation. I have fallen into the impatient category, so I need to carbonate my beer more slowly at a lower pressure.

I think that getting carbonation right in the keg is a learning process that takes experience. I am gaining that experience, but at the cost of a few glasses of foam.

More to follow when I figure out all the details.
Sapper
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Postby yakimicki » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:43 pm

this time of year the garage may be cool enough, right? A couple years ago i built a box big enough for the keg. 2x4 frame, osb bottom and lid. The sides were made from foam insulation (the stuff used when building a house).. The bottom and lid were also lined w/ this insulation.
The reason for this contraption? My garage falls below freezing, and I wanted my beer to remain in the 40/45 degree range.
So the keg goes in the box along w/ a trouble light housing a 40 watt light bulb.
That bulb was more than enough to keep the beer up to temp. Some people have done this but added a thermostat that turns the bulb on when the temp drops below 40 or whatever.

My plans for something that'll work in the summer:
Buy small upright chest freezer. Install thermostat to control temp. People have used this idea for the summer, and threw the light bulb in for winter in cold garages. Many people have done this and added a tower and faucet to the lid. Whatever floats your boat.
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