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Can you keg without co2?

Just curious if anyone has done this…basically proceed as if you were going to bottle a batch but instead of individual bottles, rack it all to a keg.

reason I ask is I have 2 new kegs, 2 batches ready to rack but I dont have any of the co2 bits and pieces yet.

No tank, no disconnects or lines etc…

Not sure I totally understand your question. Do you mean, can you condition the beer in the keg with sugar as opposed to force carbing it with your CO2 gear?

If that is the case, then yes, you can do that. I never have, but it is pretty common procedure.

My only concerns would be on minor points:

  1. I use the CO2 to push sanitizer through the out post.

  2. I would usually want to purge the keg and and seal with preasure before I leave it to condition - Though the conditioning itself would likely seal the keg, you could lose some of carbonnation if it is not %100 air tight from the beginning.

Hi. Sorry if I wasnt very clear. Yes, condition in the keg like you mentioned.

any big downside to doing that?

I have a Hefeweizen and Denny’s BIVP ready to go.

These are brand new kegs? If so, they’ll likely seal fine. If they’re used/reconditioned, they may not seal that great and need high PSI to seal them. You could fill the kegs part way with sanitizer, turn them on their sides and depress the out poppit to get sanitizer in the tube, then empty them and siphon VERY carefully in with a little priming sugar (look up what you’d need) and condition/carbonate naturally until you get your other kegging parts.

Personally, I guess I’d just wait until I can get the parts I need, then keg. Unless that’s like months away for you.

I keg condition, but even then I need to hook my kegs up to CO2 and bring them all the way up to 30-40 PSI to get them to seal. Even if they are brand new and hypothetically seal perfectly without any assistance, I’d still be wary. How can you verify that they’re sealed if you can’t pressurize the keg in order to test for leaks?

If getting all your gas equipment collected is a long way way, I’d say just bottle. If you’re really averse to bottling and it’s only a month or two 'til you get CO2 equipment, the beer’s probably safest in a carboy.

As Beersk points out, any of the minor details I mentioned might not be a huge deal to get around, as long as the kegs seal OK.

One of the downsides to conditioning with sugar, is that you will get more sediment in the keg. This is not a huge deal though. You will blow most of this off into the first pint you pour. And you may have to toss the final pint of the keg. But it is not usually an issue the rest of the time.

You would have to wait a few weeks for conditioning to take place.

Regarding the specific beers, if you were to “natually” condition a keg of beer, hefewiezen seems like an appropriate choice.

If it’s just getting the keg carbed to be ready to serve then go for it. If you start to serve w/o CO2 hooked up, your beer will lose carbonation as it equalizes with the increasing headspace.

Thanks for the replies guys!

These are used pinlocks I picked up. Both were pressure tested by the LHBS I got them from and were under pressure when I bought them. I guess I didnt think about them resealing.

My assumption was they’d seal when you closed them up without adding pressure.

Now not so sure. reasoning for the questions are multiple.

Needing the buckets free for additional brewing.
Really not enjoying the bottling stage.
really anxious to begin using the kegs.
really running low on current Kolsch and IPA already bottled.

My suggestion would be to get your gas settup going right now.

If that is not an option (I know a lot of guys would be waiting until christmas to get new gear), why not talk to your LHBS guy and maybe borrow a CO2 tank for an hour, or if that does not work, you could just keg the beer and drive the kegs over to said LHBS and ask the guy to preasurize them for you.

At that point, how you carbonnate is up to you. Beer can stay uncarbed until you get your gear, or you can add sugar and let it condition prior to getting your gear.

[quote=“Kgetch”]Thanks for the replies guys!

These are used pinlocks I picked up. Both were pressure tested by the LHBS I got them from and were under pressure when I bought them. I guess I didnt think about them resealing.

My assumption was they’d seal when you closed them up without adding pressure.

Now not so sure. reasoning for the questions are multiple.

Needing the buckets free for additional brewing.
Really not enjoying the bottling stage.
really anxious to begin using the kegs.
really running low on current Kolsch and IPA already bottled.[/quote]
You could put some water or sanitizer in them, close the lid and hold them upside down to see if water doesn’t leak out. I’ve had this happen even on my brand new kegs when I don’t seat the lid properly while sanitizing.
I’d say just bottle these beers if getting the rest of the stuff you need isn’t an option right now. It won’t be that big of a deal. I know bottling can suck, but it’s an hour or two. That’s worth better than having your beer get oxidized because you couldn’t seal the keg.

I’m going to have to go devil’s advocate here and say I would never in a million years bottle a beer if I had empty kegs hanging around. Then again, I’m not sure if I would bottle a batch of beer ever again in a million years.
:twisted:

I was in your exact situation a few years ago, took the chance and hoped the kegs would seal tight enough for them to pressurize when I keg conditioned. It worked out for me but now that I have more kegs and more batches I certainly have kegs that seal tight from the start and others than need the pressure to seal up tight. If you’re super anxious and willing to risk it I’d do as suggested and add a bit of very hot water, some starsan, shake and flip it upside down to see if it seals tight (also happens to be my process for sanitizing a keg after it has been cleaned). If the keg doesn’t leak it may be worth giving keg conditioning a go even though you don’t have the CO2 there to ensure the seal is tight.

Good luck. :cheers:

Thanks for the info guys! I’ll try the hot water then invert tonight and see what happens.

I took a gravity reading on the hefe and its ready!

I may be able to swing pulling the trigger on all the other bits sooner than later. :cheers:

Seems they seal fine…

Put a gallon of hot water in each keg and sealed it up.

Tipped them upside down and let them sit.

No leaks so far…I’ll recheck when I get home this evening.

you can carb like that but will still need c02 to push the beer out.
With the tank you can flush the keg with c02 to get rid of 02 and make sure it is sealed good.
My advice would be just chalk up the 40 bucks for a tank

I cleaned and sanitized my new (used Cornelius kegs) replaced all the seals and coated with a very thin coat of keg lube. I left a small amount of Starsan in each one and pressurized to 30 PSI several times (purged) I have them sitting ready to fill. When I’'m ready to rack from the secondary I will simply drain the Starsan and fill, purge a few times and then either fore carb quickly or let sit for 10-14 days at 10 PSI

[quote=“grainbelt”]you can carb like that but will still need c02 to push the beer out.
With the tank you can flush the keg with c02 to get rid of 02 and make sure it is sealed good.
My advice would be just chalk up the 40 bucks for a tank[/quote]

I have yet to find a tank for less than twice that so far…

I did keg up my BVIP last night. When I checked the kegs the other night, the hot water had cooled but also created some residual pressure…the seals actually popped when I relaesed the lid.

I’m going to try to burp it when I get home since I did prime the beer to condition naturally until I can gather the other stuff.

That said, I’m curious about oxidation. I’ll have to read up because based on the surface area and limited headspace in the keg, it must not take much at all to be a concern.

[quote=“Kgetch”][quote=“grainbelt”]you can carb like that but will still need c02 to push the beer out.
With the tank you can flush the keg with c02 to get rid of 02 and make sure it is sealed good.
My advice would be just chalk up the 40 bucks for a tank[/quote]

I have yet to find a tank for less than twice that so far…

I did keg up my BVIP last night. When I checked the kegs the other night, the hot water had cooled but also created some residual pressure…the seals actually popped when I relaesed the lid.

I’m going to try to burp it when I get home since I did prime the beer to condition naturally until I can gather the other stuff.

That said, I’m curious about oxidation. I’ll have to read up because based on the surface area and limited headspace in the keg, it must not take much at all to be a concern.[/quote]

Don’t burp it your just letting more oxygen in.

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