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It's Kegging Time 2019

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On 9/20/2019 at 5:38 PM, Ben 10 said:

Is there any PROOF this occurs? Turn the gas right up and pull the purge valve a couple of times.
I don't see how, in 5 seconds, with that small surface are that any gas will be absorbed in the beer.
I kegged a NEIPA which is apparently more susceptible to oxidisation and did not have a problem.
Do you flush your keg with CO2 before filling? 
I do, because I run water through it prior to filling and empty it using gas.

@Ben 10 I have only kegged once so far. This is what I did: I put about 4-6L of Starsan in the keg, shook it around, then pushed it out using CO2, then used an auto siphon to transfer the beer. Obviously this was an open transfer, under gravity. 

Are you doing closed transfers Ben? Your method sounds similar to one mentioned in the article I linked to earlier. What type of FV do you use?

Regarding proof, I don't have any, but the author of the article I linked to earlier wrote another article about CO2:

http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/brewing-methods/carbon-dioxide-purity/

Apparently high quality CO2 is usually 99.9% CO2 and 0.1% O2, which is enough to add 30ppm of O2 to beer if you force carbonate it. A lot of home brewers are using CO2 that is more like 99.5% CO2 and 0.5% O2, which can add 50ppm O2 to beer. That is the reason LODO brewers are so fond of spunding / natural carbonation. He said forced carbonation actually forces O2 into the beer. 😯

Think I will be sticking to natural carbonation, either by bulk priming the serving keg or fermenting in a keg with a spunding valve....For the later I would need to figure out how to reduce my batch size to 17L, which might not be easy for a kit brewer. Hmm. 🤔 

Cheers,

Christina. 

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24 minutes ago, ChristinaS1 said:

@Ben 10 I have only kegged once so far. This is what I did: I put about 4-6L of Starsan in the keg, shook it around, then pushed it out using CO2, then used an auto siphon to transfer the beer. Obviously this was an open transfer, under gravity. 

Are you doing closed transfers Ben? Your method sounds similar to one mentioned in the article I linked to earlier. What type of FV do you use?

Regarding proof, I don't have any, but the author of the article I linked to earlier wrote another article about CO2:

http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/brewing-methods/carbon-dioxide-purity/

Apparently high quality CO2 is usually 99.9% CO2 and 0.1% O2, which is enough to add 30ppm of O2 to beer. A lot of home brewers are using CO2 that is more like 99.5% CO2 and 0.5% O2, which can add 50ppm O2 to beer. That is the reason LODO brewers are so fond of spunding / natural carbonation. He said forced carbonation actually forces O2 into the beer. 😯 

Think I will be sticking to natural carbonation, either by bulk priming the serving keg or fermenting in a keg with a spunding valve....For the later I would need to figure out how to reduce my batch size to 17L, which might not be easy for a kit brewer. Hmm. 🤔 

Cheers,

Christina. 

Interesting stuff but I find it hard to believe.

If that was the case than beers all over the world in Draught systems would be oxidized. Naturally carbing a keg would leave O2 in the headspace for an extended period of time and I am not convinced that the yeast would eat up all remaining O2 in the headspace as people say they would. The way I look at it is you will never remove all O2 in a keg but you can get very close. I'm sure when naturally carbing a keg you will have more then .01 - .05% O2 in the headspace.

Sure I'm not a professional beer taster, but I have never had oxidized flavours in my beers since force carbing and no one else has ever said anything about it either. Plus force carbing has other benefits like the time frame, no extra sediment in kegs and no need to add extra sugar to a brew for carbonation.

Mitch.

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In addition to that you still need the CO2 cylinder to dispense the beer and maintain the carbonation level even if the keg is naturally carbonated initially. 

I found an estimate of the weight of CO2 required to carbonate and serve a 19L keg, of about 150g, if you had 0.1% O2 in it then it would be 150mg over the course of drinking the keg, or about 8ppm, not 30. 

Like others, I find it a bit hard to believe as well only from my own experience of not tasting any oxidation caused flavours in any of my kegged beers since I started in 2015, and every single one has been force carbonated. 

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4 minutes ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

In addition to that you still need the CO2 cylinder to dispense the beer and maintain the carbonation level even if the keg is naturally carbonated initially. 

Very true... Didn't think about that.

Mitch.

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@MitchellScott Yes it is interesting. The second of those two articles made the point that all beer is becoming progressively more oxidized. You can't prevent it, you can just slow it down....I have to be careful when I read stuff like that not to fall down a rabbit hole, wanting to prevent it. 😄

@Otto Von Blotto Do you experience hop fade? I haven't got a noticeable problem with cardboard or sherry-like flavours, but I do notice hop fade. I would like to be able to have a longer window to enjoy the late hop additions in my brews. Bottle conditioning cuts into that, and bulk priming the keg would too. Maybe I should at least try force carbonating, to see for myself how it compares to bottle conditioning. Obviously a lot of people find it okay. 

Faster turn around is what appeals to me about fermenting in a keg with a spunding valve, as it is even faster than force carbonation. But on the other hand, you have to open the keg to add dry hops, which lets in O2. I read that many spunding valve users dry hop while fermentation is still in progress, to give the yeast a chance to scrub the O2....I could do that too, and still force carbonate. Much as I would like to try fermenting in a keg, and using a spunding valve, I don't think I can reduce my batch size to 17L and still use a pre-hopped kit as my base.

I posted this question earlier: I think it might be possible to purge the headspace of a keg you bulk prime, same as if you force carbonated, can't you? If they were both transferred to the serving keg using an open transfer, the headspaces would likely have similar amounts of O2, wouldn't they?...Some LODO brewers recommend adding priming sugar to the FV an hour before transferring to the keg, to get the yeast active. You could follow this with a closed transfer into a purged keg. 

I am still trying to figure out how do a closed transfer using auto siphon....How do you get the O2 out of the hose with a disconnect on it, to avoid pushing the O2 into your keg? Maybe submerge the disconnect in a bowl of Starsan, depress the pin in the centre, then pump the auto-siphon until beer started coming out?🤔 Sounds like a two person job! 

Kelsey, what method are you going to use to purge your serving keg of O2 prior to transfer? 

Cheers,

Christina. 

Edited by ChristinaS1

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There probably is a bit of hop fade but nothing drastic. You could always try keg hopping too. 

If or when I try a closed transfer, I'll probably just completely fill the keg with water and then use the CO2 to empty it into a bucket. Perhaps the disconnect and hose used to transfer the beer can also be used to empty the water out so there will be some CO2 in it prior to connecting to the FV tap. 

At the end of the day though, doing that sort of thing with the hose is probably unnecessary anyway because whatever air or whatever is in the hose before the beer pushes it out will be above the beer in the keg and be purged out as it fills. 

I don't think I'll ever ferment in the keg though. Smaller batches aren't really appealing to me 😜

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9 hours ago, ChristinaS1 said:

Are you doing closed transfers Ben?

No. And normal plastic FV. I also sometimes carb the beer by running the gas into the liquid out, thus dissolving more CO2 faster. I have not had an issue.
I'd say on a commercial scale with long term storage and transport these things may be an issue but I don't see it.

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8 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

I don't think I'll ever ferment in the keg though. Smaller batches aren't really appealing to me 😜

Yes, good point! That is definitely a down side of fermenting in keg. I will try to remember that. 😄

I have decided to put the notion of fermenting in the keg with a spunding valve, and not transferring to a serving keg, on the back burner for now.  This discussion has given me several ideas about how I might reduce oxygen pick up with my present equipment and batch size. I will see how it goes. If I am still unhappy, I can revisit the idea in future.

Thanks for the chat fellas. 😘

Cheers,

Christina.

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Does temperature play a part in how quickly hops fade? Given a keg on tap is usually chilled the entire time it might delay the effects compared to it sitting at ambient for weeks like bottles do. Maybe why I don't notice much difference from the first glass to the last (or I just drink the kegs too quickly for it to occur 😂)

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@Otto Von Blotto  No doubt. In general oxidation happens twice as fast for every 10C warmer. A brew chilled to 4C would fade a lot slower than one bottle conditioning at ambient, and perhaps stored at ambient afterwards as well.

I kegged today, for the second time ever. I did not bulk prime this batch as I want to try force carbonation. My plan was to do a closed transfer under gravity, using my auto-siphon, along the lines of what you suggested Kelsey. I sanitized  everything and purged my keg. I was just about to attach the ball lock connector on the end of the my siphon hose to the keg when I realized that I had purchased the wrong kind of connector - a "gas in" instead of a "beer out." Damn! I ended up having to open the keg and do a regular transfer. To make the best of it, I decided to try adding a crushed Campden tablet to the beer, as BlackSands has been talking about in another thread on the topic, to reduce the transfer induced oxidation.

After kegging 19L, I still had some beer left. Since my small keg is in use, I had to bottle it. With so little beer in the FV, I had a terrible time getting the auto-siphon restarted. It sucked up a lot of the commando dry hops and trub from the bottom of the FV and immediately plugged my bottling wand.  🥴 Lesson learned! Next time I will bottle the first 4L and then fill the keg with what is left. Oh well, it is all a learning process.

Cheers,

Christina.

 

Edited by ChristinaS1
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I think it'll be fine campden tablet or not. I've been doing open transfers since I started and the main reason I haven't gone out of my way to move to closed transfer is because I haven't had any issues. 

My kegs sit at ambient for a little while after being filled but it's usually 4 weeks or less. Then they go into the kegerator and chill down to 0.5 degrees, if the inkbird in the test water keg is to be believed. 

😂😂 Yeah I always take the surplus first. It usually contains more yeast and whatnot due to the FV tap being near the bottom, so all that shit goes into the small keg while the main keg gets the clearest portion of the batch. 

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On 9/20/2019 at 5:38 PM, Ben 10 said:

Is there any PROOF this occurs? Turn the gas right up and pull the purge valve a couple of times.
I don't see how, in 5 seconds, with that small surface are that any gas will be absorbed in the beer.
I kegged a NEIPA which is apparently more susceptible to oxidisation and did not have a problem.
Do you flush your keg with CO2 before filling? 
I do, because I run water through it prior to filling and empty it using gas.

@Ben 10 I was just rereading that article I linked to earlier (this one: http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/brewing-methods/kegging-care-guide-purging-transferring-stabilizing-finished-beer/) and it appears that purging with 30 PSI is much more effective at getting O2 out of the headspace than 10 PSI, requiring fewer purges, although a lot more than I would have guess or have the patience for. Anyway, given the difficulty to get all of the O2 out of the headspace, I don't think I will be using the rolling around on the floor method of fast carbing.

BTW, I changed my mind again an ordered the parts to make a spunding valve. I want to try making fast lagers or pseudo lagers. This is an interesting video with Chris White of White Labs about a small experiment that was done fermenting under pressure. To summarize: like cold temperatures, fermenting under pressure (he recommends 15 PSI) is stressful to the yeast and they produce fewer esters / ferment more cleanly than they otherwise would at ale temperature. 

Cheers,

Christina. 

Edited by ChristinaS1
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1 hour ago, ChristinaS1 said:

 I was just rereading that article I linked to earlier

I just had a read through that myself and.....
I'll keep doing what I am doing. My beer is good.

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Well I poured half a glass of beer tonight cause I wanted to check the actual temp of the beer itself and I was shocked to see it was about 8C in the glass although a cup of water in the fridge says 3.5-4C. I think I have found my excess foaming (head) issue.

Have dialed the fridge down a few points and will test it again tomorrow.

Mitch.

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On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 9:54 AM, Greeny1525229549 said:

Yeah first pour is all yeast. After that clear as crystal. Just dont move the keg once its in place.

Hey Greeny and @ChristinaS1

I am bottling my AG Brews now but eventually want to go to kegs - and think small kegs to begin with.  And you guys seem to be discussing doing a yeast-driven-keg carb while @PB2 noted earlier that he had always done 'keg conditioning' - secondary ferment I thought)- in the keg.

I had thought the primary ferment would be done in the FV and then some to small keg (for me with some sugar or dex for secondary ferment) and the remain to bottles.

So are you guys now saying you do everything in the keg - Primary and Secondary?   …. and this spunding valve is just a pressure relief valve to allow ferment and exhale of C02 till whatever day you are ready to shut down and let the yeast naturally carb up the keg?

Am beginning my research into this kegging game so any help you may have would be appreciated... 

Cheers.

BB

 

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13 minutes ago, Bearded Burbler said:

 

So are you guys now saying you do everything in the keg - Primary and Secondary?   …. and this spunding valve is just a pressure relief valve to allow ferment and exhale of C02 till whatever day you are ready to shut down and let the yeast naturally carb up the keg?

Am beginning my research into this kegging game so any help you may have would be appreciated... 

Cheers.

BB

 

You can do everything in the keg if you wish to. A spunding valve setup allows you to do a primary only. Set it to 12 psi and it will ferment and carb at the same time. Supposed benefits are speed. No chance of oxidation and cleaner ferments. After 2 brews the speed is a definite. No Oxidation is a definite as well as no oxygen can get in though i tasted no oxidation in my normal brews anyway. Cleaner im not so sure but i havent done a lager yet. That will be the acid test. The only thing id say is only do it if you drink the keg quick. Leaving beer on yeast for months im not sure about.

If you go to kegging id try all and see what you like. Force carb. Natural carb and ferment in the keg. It was only a 30 dollar investment for me. I spent 30 bucks on 3 beers at dinner the other night which hurt me more.

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54 minutes ago, MitchellScott said:

Well I poured half a glass of beer tonight cause I wanted to check the actual temp of the beer itself and I was shocked to see it was about 8C in the glass although a cup of water in the fridge says 3.5-4C. I think I have found my excess foaming (head) issue.

Have dialed the fridge down a few points and will test it again tomorrow.

Mitch.

That's why I put a full keg of water in mine to test it. I'd done the glass of water in the old one and it stabilised at 2 degrees, even though a second pour beer into a frozen glass registered about 5 degrees, as did a keg of water that I put in after the beers ran out. 

If your test was a first pour into a room temp glass then it's no surprise that it measured that high. I've also found this to raise the beer temp by about 3-4 degrees, which is why they're sitting at basically zero in the kegs. Makes up for that increase through pouring, and prevents excessive foaming for the most part, especially when the font fan is on which it always is when I'm having a few. 

I think I'll have to dial down the gas pressure a bit more on the next two beers. I poured one tonight and it was quite volatile with the rising bubbles in the glass, although it did pour fine. 

Edited by Otto Von Blotto
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8 minutes ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

You can do everything in the keg if you wish to. A spunding valve setup allows you to do a primary only. Set it to 12 psi and it will ferment and carb at the same time. Supposed benefits are speed. No chance of oxidation and cleaner ferments. After 2 brews the speed is a definite. No Oxidation is a definite as well as no oxygen can get in though i tasted no oxidation in my normal brews anyway. Cleaner im not so sure but i havent done a lager yet. That will be the acid test. The only thing id say is only do it if you drink the keg quick. Leaving beer on yeast for months im not sure about.

If you go to kegging id try all and see what you like. Force carb. Natural carb and ferment in the keg. It was only a 30 dollar investment for me. I spent 30 bucks on 3 beers at dinner the other night which hurt me more.

Beaut.  Thanks Greeny.  Mate I think I would like to try Natural Carb first up... and then Force Carb after that... maybe later ferment in the keg.

And had to laugh at your last sentence... I feel your pain mate...  hopefully they were really really nice beers... though unless you were sitting in a microbrewery of note, it seems hard to get beer in the outside world that tastes as good as AG HB done well.'

Cheers cobber.

BB

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3 minutes ago, Bearded Burbler said:

 

And had to laugh at your last sentence... I feel your pain mate...  hopefully they were really really nice beers... though unless you were sitting in a microbrewery of note, it seems hard to get beer in the outside world that tastes as good as AG HB done well.'

Cheers cobber.

BB

They were ok beers but when you brew your own and know you can make the same beer for 50 or 60 cents and its costing you 10 bucks well... that hurts.

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1 minute ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

They were ok beers but when you brew your own and know you can make the same beer for 50 or 60 cents and its costing you 10 bucks well... that hurts.

I just even reckon free megaswill needs to be avoided these days... and that's saying something  😝

But I do need to lose a few pounds meself ; )

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@Bearded Burbler I am new to kegging. I used PB2's method on my first kegged batch, will be force carbonating my second, to compare, and I have parts on order to make a spunding valve, which I also want to try. But I doubt it will become my main way of brewing, because of the smaller batch size.

Update: I found out yesterday from the owner of my LHBS that you can put a pressure kit on a Fermentasaurus. I can see huge benefits to this: it will hold a full size batch and the trub falls into the thingy at the bottom, making harvesting yeast easy. If you put a spunding valve on it, you can ferment under pressure (15 PSI) and it won't matter that you don't have temperature control because it will ferment cleanly anyway. Sounds like the perfect system for folks living in a hot climate!* After fermentation you can do a closed transfer to a purged keg and have cold beer 24 hours later.

I might have to get a Fermentasaurus, in which case fermenting under pressure will become my main way of brewing! But first I will try it in a keg.

Cheers,

Christina.

* I see it was invented in Australia. Go figure!

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23 hours ago, ChristinaS1 said:

@Bearded Burbler I am new to kegging. I used PB2's method on my first kegged batch, will be force carbonating my second, to compare, and I have parts on order to make a spunding valve, which I also want to try. But I doubt it will become my main way of brewing, because of the smaller batch size.

Hey Christina!

I am loving the AG thing right now and am madly bottling the outcome and 2ndary fermenting - but am thinking of trying some small kegs... just for ease and practicality... and @PB2 suggested natural carb in keg is cool well I thought that would be nice to try.... to mash up and mash on a full AG brew - and then post successful secondary ferment then pipe that into a say 5/9L keg and put the remaining 14L into Coopers Largies….

Do 2ndary ferment in the keg... but the rest remaining from keg... into bottles..  

image.png.e5cd97c5b1ccd40f3c4ea5eda33d8cf3.png

Edited by Bearded Burbler
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I'd just get full size kegs. If you're gonna get into kegging and are making 20 odd litre batches, you're better off using 19 litre kegs. They're probably the same price or sometimes even less than those piddly little 5 litre things, and you can have most of your beer on tap instead of in bottles, which is the whole point of it all. 

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Yeah if your serious about kegging i wouldn't muck around with the small ones. The 9L ones come in really handy though for both cleaning lines and i also use them on ocassion when i put a beer in my kegorator which i will only drink 1 or 2 a week of. Like an RIS or a quadruple etc

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The only smaller keg I would consider getting is a 9.5L for a mobile BBQ/party setup to take out with me if I head somewhere, but at the moment I just do 23L batches, keg 19L and bottle the rest. So when I go out for something I usually have a few bottles I can grab and take with me.

Other than that, go the full 19L. As Kelsey said, they are usually cheaper then those little 5L ones etc.

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