Kegging Your Beer

Clearing Your Beer for Kegging

Before you kegging , clearing your beer will keep sediment out of your lines and keg. It also gives you a professional looking and tasting brew. Brew beer as normal. After fermentation is completed, add one sachet of beer finings and 3 teaspoons of white sugar to 250-300ml of boiling water. Add this to the top of the brew and stir gently over the surface. Leave for a minimum of 3 days to clear. For even better results, siphon the beer into a second fermenter prior to adding finings. This leaves the majority of the finings in the first fermenter.

Cleaning and Sterilising:

Just treat your bottle like one big bottle-rinse out with fresh water and rinse out with pink detergent. Pour some pink detergent down the stem. (Avoid using sodium metabisulphite to sterilize as you can rust the keg in the long run). Leave upside down to drain and dry, then rinse again and you’re ready to go. I recommend cleaning your lines with keg/line cleaner every 6-8 weeks if your constantly using the system, and more frequently if its left sitting for a time.

Pressure Testing:

Fill your keg to around the level of the top weld and purge the oxygen out by pressurizing to 100kpa and releasing 2 or 3 times. Now; leak test your system by pressurizing to 300kpa and spraying all joins and fittings, including the release valve, with soapy water-if there is a leak it will foam up. If you don’t do this and there is a leak, you could lose a bottle of gas in a couple of hours.

Carbonating:

Beer absorbs gas the colder it is, so if your beer has been in the fridge for a day or more it will take less time to gas up. You can usually do it when it’s warm and gas up to 300kpa and leave for 48 hours, if cold gas on 260kpa over 48 hours. You will soon learn what suits your system best.

In a hurry?

Shaking the beer will make the beer absorb the gas quicker. Once the keg is cold, attach the gas at 300kpa and rock the keg fairly vigorously for around 4 mins. Take the gas off and let the keg settle for around an hour. If it’s not gassy enough, simply re-attach the gas and shake for another 30 seconds. But also remember to let it settle again. If it should be over gassed simply release all the gas and rock the keg gently for 15-20 seconds and then release the gas again. Repeat this process until your beer pours ok.

What’s Next when Kegging:

Now comes the best bit, trying it out. Turn the regulator adjusting dial all the way out and release the gas form the keg. Connect the beer fitting and open the tap (or gun) and slowly adjust the gas pressure until the beer is pouring nicely. Don’t worry if the first few glasses are a bit heady, the release of the high pressure gas can tend to do that.

When you’re finished for the night:

Having a part empty keg in the fridge is like having a part empty bottle of coke in there-the gas will come out of the liquid because of the empty space above it, so all you do is fill that space with 60kpa and your beer stays carbonated. Try and get in the habit of the keg on 60kpa when you’re finished with it. Remember to release the gas before poring otherwise you’ll have beer everywhere.

Aging; does it help in kegs?

Not too sure if it does or it doesn’t, but it doesn’t hurt. You can store your kegs either before or after gassing them, but make sure to purge them well if you don’t gas them, and release the gas at around 100kpa before you take them out of the fridge if you are gassing them.

Problem Shooting:

There should be only two problems you should face:

1.    The beer is too heady and tastes to flat:

The beer is over gassed and you are losing all the gas in your head when you pour the beer. A common sign of this is that the line from the keg will turn straight to bubbles when you stop pouring. Simply degas the keg as explained in “in a hurry”, OR you are trying to pour the beer to quick, turn the gas pressure down.

2.    The beer look’s dead and tastes flat. Easy, the beer is under gassed:

Take the beer line off, turn the gas up to 300kpa and shake the keg for 30 seconds, leave the keg to settle for a while and try again. If this doesn’t work leave the gas on 300 for 4-6 hours.

Golden Rule of Kegging

The beer wont carbonate as well if it’s not cold and it must be cold to pour a beer. If you have any other inquiries call or drop in to us at The Brew Shop