Kegging and maturing beer

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Kegging and maturing beer

Postby Legman » Thu May 01, 2008 6:16 pm

I've been bottling for awhile and now I'm getting ready to take the plunge into kegging for the first time. So, I really don't know squat at this point. :lol:

After fermentation, beer needs to be aged. In the bottle, I usually age 4-8 weeks (depending on the style). If kegging, does the amount of aging time change or is the same?
Secondly, can you transfer from fermenter to keg and let it age or does a secondary need to be used?

What procedures do y'all prefer?
Thanks!
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Fri May 02, 2008 4:14 am

Four to eight weeks will be fine. No need to change anything. Just think of a keg as one big bottle.

If you use a secondary now I don't see any compelling reason to change. With that said, many people rack directly from primary to the keg. You'll get a little more sediment the first few pulls that way, but after that the beer should be clear. In other words, there is no right or wrong way. It's up to you and what you're comfortable with. As for me, I usually secondary before going to the keg.
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Kegging ideas

Postby brewmeisterintng » Fri May 02, 2008 6:18 am

You will find that kegging is quicker. It takes me 30 minutes to get the beer out of my secondary and on CO2 in the frig. Unlike bottles/ bottle conditioning, forced carbonation occurs far faster. I have pulled pints in as little as a week. However, the flavors and carbonation level will change slightly over the next few weeks.
I always secondary. That way I can harvest the yeast. The beer/ fermentation will tell you when to transfer. No visable sign of activity/ crousin has dropped... transfer.
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Kegging and maturing beer

Postby Legman » Fri May 02, 2008 7:10 pm

Well, I typically don't use a secondary. I usually just leave it in the fermenter for 3 weeks, then bottle. I've found that leaving it 3 weeks clears the beer really nice and also helps get rid of that "green" beer flavor faster.

My kegerator only has room for 2 kegs, so I guess my question would be, can I transfer from the fermenter to the keg and age at room temp? I mean, could I just transfer to the keg seal it with co2, let it age, then put into kegerator to force carbonate? Or should I put the appropriate amount of co2 in the keg for force carbonating at room temp?
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Re: Kegging and maturing beer

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sat May 03, 2008 6:47 am

Legman wrote:My kegerator only has room for 2 kegs, so I guess my question would be, can I transfer from the fermenter to the keg and age at room temp?
That's what I usually do. That is unless I've fallen behind in my brewing and need to get something in the kegorator.

Legman wrote:My kegerator only has room for 2 kegs, so I guess my question would be, can I transfer from the fermenter to the keg and age at room temp? I mean, could I just transfer to the keg seal it with co2, let it age, then put into kegerator to force carbonate? Or should I put the appropriate amount of co2 in the keg for force carbonating at room temp?
My kegerator only holds two kegs too and I do exactly what you are talking about. My procedure goes like this: pressurize the keg to around 10 psi and let it sit for 10-15 minutes for the CO2 and air to stratify, repeat two more times and put the keg in storage. I store in the basement where the temp is mid sixties year round.
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re: kegging and maturing

Postby warthog » Sun May 04, 2008 1:47 pm

usually the maturing time for bottling is mostly for carbonation. if you plan to naturally carbonate in the keg, there will not really be any change. if you plan to force carbonate, i throw the whole thing (keg, co2 bottle, etc) into the beer fridge (i'm fortunate to not be limited to 2 kegs). i set the pressure to whatever level of fermentation i want, shat the ever loving crap out of it untill i no longer hear hissing from gas entering the keg, rest my arms for a few, then do it again. then i let it sit for a week or two, blow the first quart into a jar (this is all the sediment) let it sit for another week, and enjoy. i have tried cranking the pressure way up shaking and sampling after a week, but i've found that i can't really control the carbonation level, and i think the beer needs a little more time than a few days to a week.

hope that helps,

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Kegging and maturing beer

Postby Legman » Sun May 04, 2008 5:52 pm

Yeah, thanks. I'll take everyone's advise into consideration. I guess as usual, a little trial and error is going to have to happen until I find what works best for my set up.
I'm almost done building my kegerator. I just painted it today and the rest of my parts are on the way. It's about time to start brewing! I can't wait to try this.
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kegging

Postby warthog » Sun May 04, 2008 7:59 pm

good luck, i've been kegging for a few years now, i'll never go back to bottles. (i do keep a few growlers around if i need to bring some somewhere)
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Remaining yeast in the keg

Postby shaggyt » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:38 pm

I too am looking to join the keg ranks though the funds aren't quite there yet. Right now, I am pricing and researching.

When kegging, what's happening to all the extra yeast that's present after racking? Does it get flushed out the first few pours? It doesn't sound like anyone's filtering prior to the keg.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Remaining yeast in the keg

Postby bfabre » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:23 pm

From what I am told the first pour should get rid of the extra yeast at the bottom. As for filtering....Why?
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Yeast Will Fallout

Postby brewmeisterintng » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:13 pm

I primary for a week and secondary for two. (Some don't) This allow ample time for the majority of yeast to fall out of suspension. After a week on CO2 the remainder will drop out and is usually dispensed with the first pint. (I drink it any way) As the beer continues to mature in the keg it will continue to clear out. So, I agree, why filter.
If your beer isn't clearing... look at your brewing procedures.
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Just what I was looking for

Postby shaggyt » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:40 am

Thanks gents...just the answers I was looking for.

I follow the same fermentation/vessel schedule as you brewmeisterintng and the beers turn out very clear.
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Postby dogswholikebeer » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:32 pm

I leave the brew in the Primary for a week or two. I rack to the Secondary and leave it for another week or two. I then rack it to a purged keg. I force carbonate it with approximately 30 psi and shake. Every 12 to 24 hours I 'squirt' a little more CO2 at the same psi in to the keg.

I recently realized this latter part. The CO2 gets absorbed thus leaving room for more CO2; you can hear it. My carbonation issues, since, have been solved.

One issue I found is making sure there is alway, always, always, some sort of CO2 in the keg...to prevent a yeast bloom. What I mean by that is: I have found myself being lazy (prior to lessons learned) and not adjusted my regulator to a serving level of psi. This means I did the intitial release of CO2 to get it to serving pressure. After serving a few brews I would go back and burp it (because as it sits at low psi pressure builds back up as CO2 is released). Eventually, Oxygen is getting sucked in (during the 'burp' due to the displacement of the served brew....thus a yeast bloom.

Sorry if this dont make much sense....it likely will if you have been kegging for a while.
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