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First Time Kegger

I finally got all the equipment I need to keg. I’ve never kegged before. Any advice before I screw up 10 gallons of beer?

Here are a few pointers:

  1. Put back-flow preventers between the kegs and the regulator.
  2. Remove the posts, pull the diptube out, then drop the posts and the diptube into the keg for a good PBW soak. Before re-assemblng, run a brush through the diptube.
  3. Replace all the keg o-rings if the seller didn’t do this for you.

It’s really pretty simple. I like to transfer into the keg by attaching my siphon to the “out” post connection. This way the beer enters at the bottom of the keg. Also, I like to pressurize the keg with sanitizer in it and run it out of all the posts and prv. Kegging is so much simpler. I haven’t primed and bottled since I started kegging.

Thanks guys! Anyone else???

I clean my kegs after each use with PBW (or oxyclean) and sanitize with starsan. And every other swap out of a keg in my kegerator, I’ll push some of the oxyclean and then starsan through the taps to clean the lines and taps out.

Also, not sure how many kegs you have, but get one or two more then you think you need.

Congrats! Kegging is awesome! Such a time save and what’s cooler then coming home and pouring a beer YOU made from YOUR tap.

:cheers:

Somewhat related question.

Once you tap a keg, how long does the beer stay fresh? I like the idea of siphoning a 5 gal batch into one large vessel vs 48-54 small ‘vessels’.

The thing I’m paranoid about is I’m the “lone drinker” in my house. I don’t want to brew a batch and have half of it go to waste because I didn’t finish it in time. Too many keg parties in my glory days tell me that.

Sorry if this is unrelated.

Your issues in the past with “fresh” beer is because you were dispensing the beer with a party pump. The oxygen that pushed the beer out made the beer go bad.

Using CO2 like the bars/restaurants do fixes this issue.

Another tip is to use starsan in a spray bottle to check for leaks. I spray everything and use a magnified glass to check for bubbles. I have to do this cuz i found out the hard way, full tank of co2…gone!

[quote=“Yesfan70”]Somewhat related question.

Once you tap a keg, how long does the beer stay fresh? I like the idea of siphoning a 5 gal batch into one large vessel vs 48-54 small ‘vessels’.

The thing I’m paranoid about is I’m the “lone drinker” in my house. I don’t want to brew a batch and have half of it go to waste because I didn’t finish it in time. Too many keg parties in my glory days tell me that.

Sorry if this is unrelated.[/quote]

I’m also the lone drinker, unless it’s a wit or hefe. Like Nighthawk, said you’re not using a hand pump. A keg will last me three to five weeks. That depends on how many I have full and the style. I unhooked one when we moved and didn’t retap for two months. Still tasted great.

And read up on “balancing” your system.

  1. Pick the temperature that you want to serve the beer (keep an eye on Craigs List for fridges)
  2. pick the carbonation level that you want in the beer
  3. check out a carbonation-temperature chart for the CO2 psi that will give you that carbonation level at that temperature. http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
  4. now you need to choose the length of 3/16" inner diameter vinyl serving line that will “balance” the serving pressure with the carbonation pressure (try 2 ft/psi for starters or even longer). If the line is too short, the beer will come shooting out and will end up flat after the head subsides.
  5. get forward-seal faucets, get stainless shanks, and get the longest shanks that will fit your kegerator (the shank mass helps keep the faucet cool)
  6. the beer will gradually carbonate over 1-2 weeks, or you can shake it while under CO2 pressure to speed it up (I lay the corny on its side and roll it back and forth with my foot)

The Brewers Association has an on-line manual that covers it all: http://www.draughtquality.org/w/page/18182201/FrontPage

RDWHAHB

PBW is my friend

start using star san if you don’t already…i dump a gallon or less into the previously PBW cleaned keg, shake it up and push out with CO2 before putting my beer in; sometimes I dump any extra foam but when I forget to, it doesn’t seem to matter…but i do push the foam out until it clears initially.

Getting rid of all the bottles goes in waves; still have my flip tops and duvel bottles though.

cheers and welcome to a reduced work load.

I clean the kegs and lines after each keg is finished. I use Beverage Line Cleaner (BLC). The guy that sold me the keg gave it to me so I will use it until it is gone. Don’t know how different from PBW or Oxi it is but it is working so far. I would recommend getting two CO2 tanks. I am still waiting for free time to drill a couple of holes in my kegerator to get my 20lb tank set up.

It’s so easy compared to bottling. Also with a kegerator you can start lagering if you didn’t have a spare fridge already. That’s if you can fit the third keg into your kegerator. I had to sawzall a handle off the soda keg to get it to fit but it will be worth it come Octoberfest time.

Thanks for all the advice everyone! I kegged two batches on Saturday. It was crazy to look at my clock and realize maybe a half hour had gone and I was done.

One note about leaking kegs - I have been paranoid about checking the kegs for leaks. I’ve doused them in StarSan looking for even microscopic bubbles and I don’t see any. I’m concerned, however, that I’m still losing CO2 more rapidly than I should. It was a brand new bottle, and the gauge indicates I’ve used about a quarter of the CO2 already. Is this right for two 5 gallon corny’s?

The gauge doesn’t tell you how much CO2 is in the tank. The pressure reading will drop like a rock when the tank nears empty.

Did you move the CO2 tank from room temp to the refrigerator?

If so, the pressure will drop because of the temp change. But the volume of CO2 is still the same. Normal and nothing to worry about.

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