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Carboy vs Keg Conditioning

I’m brewing my very first batch (Caribou Slobber) and hopefully I pose this question correctly…

Is there a difference between conditioning in the secondary carboy vs conditioning in a keg? I transferred to the secondary carboy about 1.5 weeks ago (3.5 weeks total now) and have had it sitting at 68 F (give or take). My thought is to lower the temperature of the fermenting fridge after I’ve hit 2 weeks in the secondary and let the beer condition at cold temperatures in the carboy. The reason I want to hold off on transferring it is that I’ve only got one CO2 tank/regulator and force carbing the keg will mean I can’t pour from the keg I currently have hooked up.

Also, if cold conditioning in the carboy is acceptable, how cold should I go? I was thinking 40 F.

Thanks!

You can condition the beer in either vessel just fine. I’m not sure if there is a huge difference between the two when it comes to conditioning an ale. As long as when you transferred from primary to secondary you left most of that trub behind. I personally use my kegs for lagering , but for most ales I just use Carboys. Cold crashing in the carboy is perfectly fine. I try to cold crash around 38-40 F. Cheers !

Congrats on already having a kegging system to go along with your first brew !

Great, thanks!

[quote=“dsmithgator”]I’m brewing my very first batch (Caribou Slobber) and hopefully I pose this question correctly…

Is there a difference between conditioning in the secondary carboy vs conditioning in a keg? I transferred to the secondary carboy about 1.5 weeks ago (3.5 weeks total now) and have had it sitting at 68 F (give or take). My thought is to lower the temperature of the fermenting fridge after I’ve hit 2 weeks in the secondary and let the beer condition at cold temperatures in the carboy. The reason I want to hold off on transferring it is that I’ve only got one CO2 tank/regulator and force carbing the keg will mean I can’t pour from the keg I currently have hooked up.

Also, if cold conditioning in the carboy is acceptable, how cold should I go? I was thinking 40 F.

Thanks![/quote]

You can still pour from a keg that has been disconnected from the CO2. Every glass you pour will reduce the pressure, but only by a small amount. After a few glasses you may want to give the keg a shot of CO2 to restore the pressure to the exact pressure you prefer. I carb at 30 psi for a couple of days - unless I forget and go longer, in which case I just bleed off the excess CO2 as necessary to get the carbonation level I want.

I condition in a keg because I can purge it of oxygen and because a keg fits in my freezer better than a carboy. The ability to carbonate the beer as it ages is an added benefit. I condition, carbonate, and serve at 34 F. For beers that taste better at higher temperatures (most) I pour into a heavy, warm stein or glass.

I would condition in the keg only because you can purge the keg easier of o2. Secondary isn’t necessary in almost every case.

Cold conditioning in the keg while carbing is the way to go. Get one of these.

[attachment=0]Wye-245x245-500x500.jpg[/attachment]

Split the CO2 line so you can carb and pour at the same time. I used to do this all the time. I now have one tank in my kegerator with a dual gauge regulator so I can control the PSI on each keg independently. Absolutely love that I have that ability I can also serve 2 kegs at different pressures.

I have a second CO2 tank with a splitter like in the picture. I can precard 2 kegs warm before a spot opens in the kegerator. Again, another awesome addition to my kegging system. Less waiting time.

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