Sunday, May 29, 2011

Racking To Kegs And Forced Carbonation

I've been asked in the past what my process is for getting the beer into kegs and carbonating. As usual I like to make things as simple as possible on myself and that includes kegging. In the following video I try to show how easy it is to get from the fermentor to a fully carbonated keg in no time and with little effort.

Keep in mind that I don't ferment in carboys anymore and I also don't use a secondary which really reduces the amount of work I have to go through to get to the drinking stage of homebrewing. Enjoy this short video and let me know what you think (good or bad) or what I can do to improve the process.


For the directors cut of this facinating video, leave a comment below.

11 comments:

Mark N said...

So you rack straight from the primary? I have real trouble with my beers clearing in a cornie keg. I usually rack into a secondary vessel until it drops brighter before kegging. 2 questions; 1. are you using finings in the fermenter/keg? 2. How long would you usually wait to dispense after kegging (so that any yeast has a chance to fall out of suspension)? Cheers.

Beer Diary... said...

Hi Mark,
Even though I rack from the primary, my beers are quite clear. I do use finings in the boil (Irish moss for 15min.) but not in the keg and the soonest I will dispense from the keg is after the beer has been in the keg for a week at least. But usually the beer ages in the keg for several weeks before it gets its turn in the kegerator. I usually have 4 to 6 kegs setting in storage. I also use Safale US05 yeast which floculates well in cold conditions. Frankly, my beers are as clear as when I use to got to a secondary.

Mark N said...

Thanks for that. I used WLP051 on my last brew and that appeared to clear down quickly (all bottled). I'm brewing with that yeast again this week and will keg some and see how it goes. If it's no good, I'll give US05 a go.

Beer Diary... said...

Hi Mark,
I don't have any experience with the wlp051 (California V ale yeast) but have used the wlp001 (California) which is supposedly more neutral in flavor and better attenuation. This is very much like the US05 although US05 can attn. up to over 80% so if you want less attn. you should consider mashing hotter or adding some dextrin. This is my experience fermenting at 65f. I have ended up with some extremely dry pale ales. Note to my liking.

Beer Diary... said...

Mark,
By the way, where are you located? I've enjoyed reading up on some of your farming (and brewing of course) activities.

Mark N said...

Hi, I'm in the UK, in a town called Swindon in the county of Wiltshire. About an hour from London on the train.

Jessie said...

Hey Mark, I enjoyed the post and am in the process of trying to simplify my brew procedures. I was interested in your use of the food bags. I looked back quite a ways through the blog and couldn't find any specifics. Are you pushing the valve on the bottom of your fermenter through the bag and then sealing it with the nut and washer? Does the bag ever get sucked into the valve while poring off the beer?

Beer Diary... said...

Hi Jessie,
When I ferment in a bag, I am using a fermentor that does not have a spigot. I line the fermentor and when fermentation is complete I use a racking cane to siphon to my kegs. Hope this helps.

Jessie said...

In the same spirit of simplicity, I am trying something new and wanted your opinion. I just started my first 10G batch using my keggle for the first time. I thought I had 2 buckets 2 ferment in and found out at I was wrong. So, I decided 'what the hell. If Mark ferments with an open top, why not just ferment right here in the keggle?' Am I setting up for disaster?

Beer Diary... said...

Hi Jessie,
I don't see why not. You will need to figure out a way to oxygenate the wort. I have a o2 tank and stone that I would put directly into the keggle. If you have one then it's easy. If not, you may have to run the wort out into that one bucket you have and aerating as you go and then pour it back into the keggle. You are also tying up you keggle for a 10 days or so until fermentation is complete. Otherwise, go for it!

Jessie said...

Yep, that's what I did after I was done with the immersion chilling. Thanks, Mark. I will return with a follow up in 3 weeks.

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