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Kegging Tips and Tricks - BrewChatter LIVE July 23rd, 2020

Check out our Kegging Tips and Tricks LIVE and read through the show notes below!
Kegging Tips and Tricks LIVE Show Notes
  • Welcome everyone and thank them for joining
  • Brief overview of Kegging
    • We’ll be kegging Simple Elderberry Cider
    • Talking about how to transfer
    • Talking about carbonation techniques
    • Touching on draft system setup
  • What is everyone drinking / what are we drinking
  • BrewChatter Rentals
    • Presses and crushers coming end of the month
    • Canner is super fun, check online for availability
    • Added a Fancy Italian Corker for sours, cork and cage and all wine
  • Quick congrats to the winners of the NVBC, medals coming soon!
    • Talk about the In Store plaque and how it will make you famous

Kegging

  • Why keg?
    • It’s the reason homebrewing is still around
    • It’s fast, easy, clean and fun
    • Nothing like having your fermentation on tap!
  • Types of kegs Cornelius (Corny) and Sanke
    • We use Ball lock - Show Couplers
      • Ball lock has better and more secure coupler
      • Taller and skinnier than Pin Lock
      • Easier to work with because you don’t NEED special tools to remove posts and the lid has a PRV
      • Come in both new, used and multiple sizes.  Very versatile
    • Pin Lock - Show Couplers
      • Better than not having a keg
      • Can be converted to ball lock if you find them cheap
      • We don’t like them as much because we’ve found the pin lock system to be harder to work with and doesn’t connect as well or securely as the ball lock system
    • Sanke - Have one of our lightsaber snake spears to show how the system works and Coupler
      • Commercial kegs are Sanke style, usually ‘D’ if it’s an American brand, but there are other types
      • The coupling system is easier and more streamlined in one piece, which is why commercial breweries use them
      • MUCH harder to work with as homebrewers
        • Harder to clean
        • Harder to remove the spear
        • Harder to fill
          • You have to have a separate coupler with the check ball removed to fill it
      • If you’re set up with all of the tools, they aren’t as bad to work with, but still more work than cornelius kegs
  • Transferring
    • Always purge your keg!!
    • Either get hose all the way to the bottom, or use the closed transfer with a coupler 
    • Purge the top of the fermenter or feed CO2
    • All of this is to cut down DO
    • DO, or dissolved oxygen, can mess with your finished product over time and make it taste like wet leaves or wet cardboard
  • Sealing and Final Purge
    • Some older kegs require a big burst of pressure to seal the keg - we do all of them at about 20 psi
    • Make sure that it’s sealed, then purge the head space 2 or 3 times to make sure you’re getting out any potential oxygen
  • Carbonation Techniques
    • Technique 1 - Shake Carbonation
      • This only works if what you’re kegging has been crash chilled!
      • Put it at 20 psi and shake it for about 10 minutes - it’s drinkable right now!
      • Pour a pint!  It won’t be perfect for a week or so, but will be drinkable and give you an idea of what to expect what it tastes like when it’s carbonated
    • Technique 2 - Force Carbonation
      • 2 step carbonation method
      • First, put your CO2 on and let it sit for 2 - 3 days at 20 0 30 psi (this will be a bit different for everyone, so do some testing and stick with what works best for you)
      • After a couple of days, pull off the coupler and reduce the regulator to your serving pressure (more on that later) and purge the excess gas
      • Purge the excess out of your keg
      • Put the coupler back on and let it sit for 5 more days at serving pressure
      • Drink it!  
    • Technique 3 - Slow and Low
      • Seal and purge your keg
      • Attach gas at serving pressure
      • Wait 5 to 7 days
      • Drink it!
  • Troubleshooting Draft Systems
    • Draft system set up
      • All of our kits come with a standard 10 feet of beer line.  This is so that you create enough back pressure or resistance in the line to pour a beer that isn’t foamy
      • Gas line length is more about convenience than length.  Once it’s pressurized, length won’t matter
      • Everyone’s standard serving pressure will be a little bit different, but it’s usually 8 - 12 for homebrew and 8 - 15 for commercial beer, depending on the beer (Coor’s Lt and like beers are higher)
      • Everybody is different because of elevation, preferred carbonation levels and temperature
    • What to do if you’re pouring foam
      • First, start by purging your keg.  You keg could be overcarbonated
      • Lower gas pressure and reconnect the CO2
      • Make sure that the beer is cold!  Your kegerator should be 36 to 42 ° F
      • If lowering the gas pressure doesn’t even it out, raise it the same amount from your serving pressure
      • Expand on some examples of this - we will definitely have questions