Reconditioning

Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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Reconditioning

Postby BarleyMan » Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:44 pm

Is it okay to use appropriately sized gaskets from the local hardware to recondition (cornelius) kegs, or do you need gaskets specifically for that purpose?

Also, could someone kindly put together a simple checklist of everything I need to make sure I have to start kegging. I have kegs on the way. I am going to get a CO2 tank shortly. Will the kegs have the ball-lock quick-connects for line in and out, or will I need to get those? What size line is best? I've seen offerings of 1/4" ID, 3/16"ID, and 5/16"ID. Any other information would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to start solo because I can't seem to get together with any of the locals that I know who are using kegs, and would be able to help me with the process.
I post here because you guys are always helpful, and you should know it's always appreciated.
"Here's looking at the bottom of your mug!"
BarleyMan
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Keg Stuff

Postby BillyBock » Thu Feb 05, 2004 7:48 pm

For lines I use the standard 1/4" thick wall for the gas-side only. For the liquid line, I use 3/16" since it offers greater resistance per foot so I can use less of it to balance the system properly (hint, hint, imporatant step). Otherwise it's 15 feet or so of 1/4" line. If you don't understand keg balancing, let me know and I'll explain it.

The kegs don't have the quick disconnects (QDs). Those are sold separately. To get started you'll need (bare minimum):

-1 x Gas QD (gray)
-1 x Liquid QD (black)
-Gas line (length to be determined)
-Liquid line (length to be determined)
-CO2 Tank
-Regulator
-Cobra Tap (picnic style)
-and of course, kegs

Some nice to haves:
-Gas distribution manifold for multiple keg setup (individual shutoffs w/ check valves)
-Enough QDs for all gas lines and liquid lines (prevents you from swapping all the time)
-Faucet (for the extra cool factor with the neighbors)
-Counterpressure filler, for those times later when you want to fill bottles from the keg (like for competitions or give-aways).

Hope this gives you a running start. Kegging is great!

v/r
Bill
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Balancing the keg system

Postby BarleyMan » Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:17 pm

This is a term I haven't come across in my reading or discussions with other brewers, so any info you have time to share would be great. I'm planning on getting a setup for running multiple kegs as soon as possible. Thanks for the info posted. I'll get on an order quickly, as there isn't a HB shop around here unfortunately.
BarleyMan
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Balancing

Postby BillyBock » Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:39 am

Balancing is a most often overlooked aspect. But it'll keep your glass filled with the right amount of beer and foam. http://www.morebeer.com has alot of good products, I've been a happy customer of theirs.

There's two aspects to the whole process--picking a temperature/pressure to carbonate with, and picking a pressure to dispense with. I choose to keep them the same value, otherwise you get into dual regulator setup ($$$$)

The objective is to get your perfectly carbonated beer dispensed without foaming wildly. To do this you need to balance the system. Balancing is where you apply enough liquid line resistance to balance out the pressure applied from the tank. The smaller the inner diameter of the tube the more resistance it has. The typical 1/4" beer line has about .7 to 1.0 psi/ft resistance. The 3/16" beer line has around 2.0 psi/ft resistance. Remember beer line has thick walls, it's not the same as the vinyl tubes in the hardware store.

So let's say you've picked 15 psi to carbonate with and to dispense with. You'll want to apply 15 psi of resistance in the line to balance it. If you use 1/4" hose, you'd need up to 15 ft of it. If you use 3/16" hose, you'll need up to 7.5 ft.

You may need to tinker with the hose length to find the perfect spot. Start long and then cut it down as needed. Also, every foot of vertical rise adds another 1.0 psi of resistance.

Look at my page for a gas manifold setup (it ain't much right now, but you'll get the idea).
http://webpages.charter.net/patriot-brewing/

Hope this helps, and good luck.
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Your setup

Postby BarleyMan » Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:54 am

Wow. I am thoroughly impressed with your meager (cough cough) brewhouse. Nice job. I aspire to similar but simply don't have the extra room right now (or the discretionary funds ;-). Some day in the not-too-distant future though.

Thanks for the balancing information. I'm ordering lines today, hoping a buddy of mine will let me borrow an extra to pressurize and condition a couple of batches I have this weekend in my kegs, then get my order and set up the lines next week. I'll post an update (and probably more questions) as things happen. Again, thanks. Raise a toast to yourself and if ever we meet I owe you one.
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More Info for Ya

Postby BillyBock » Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:19 am

Thanks. The woodwork is compliments of the head carpenter, my father, who is also the assistant brewer. We've spent the last year cobbling together ideas in the "smoke filled room" :-) Making stuff is half the fun.

Here's another resource for you on kegging.

http://tinyurl.com/3dgh3
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Tried to look - no go

Postby BarleyMan » Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:30 pm

I went to the link you provided, but the browser keeps redirecting back to beertools and giving me a message, "post owned by another member"

Thanks for trying though. I kegged the bock today, which allowed me to move both the bitter and the porter into secondaries. The bitter is so-so... a little to high on the hops. I was going for a strong bitter, but didn't get the gravity high enough, so I've got the gravity of an ordinary bitter with the hops of a strong bitter. I know it'll mellow with a litte time into a nice beer, but not what I was seeking. The porter on the other hand... oh my, my, my... a big robust mouthfeel of maltiness with a subtle coffee flavor and more pronounced coffee aroma (I put some crushed beans into the mash during the last 10-15 minutes). Add to that a very nice hop balance and I think I may have created a small little chunk of heaven. That's just in the secondary fermentor. I'll be kegging it later this week and then we'll know for sure. From initial tastes though, I might have to check around for a competition and give it a shot.

So I wait... barley able to contain myself ;-)
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New Link

Postby BillyBock » Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:55 pm

This one should work:

http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages/in ... =Soda-Kegs

Don't know what happened on the other one. Sorry.
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There must be a conspiracy...

Postby BarleyMan » Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:22 pm

Someone doesn't want me learning something you are trying to show me... I followed the bodensatz.com link you sent and got a "file not found" error. I'll try it again later, but I'm starting to question my point-and-click ability. Thanks again.
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