storing filled kegs

Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:17 pm

So I have 2 ball lock kegs currently. both of which are full and in my extra fridge. One is getting near empty and I'd like to brew again.

I'm new to kegging but have been reading like crazy. What I'd like to know is if I brew and ferment a batch. Can I move it to a keg and store it in my basement after ferment. Do I need to carb it or refrigerate it to get it to keep. Will it keep fermenting in there. I know there will be a good amount of yeast still in it even after I pull it out of my carboy.


Someone educate me. Thanks in advance.
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Re: storing filled kegs

Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:27 pm

1) Don't keg it until it has finished fermenting.
2) It's fine to leave the keg outside the fridge, though in the fridge is better.
3) You should carbonate it so that you get a good seal on the lid & poppet valves. This prevents crap from getting in and also prevents your keg from getting misshapen due to lack of internal pressure. This can and does happen if you store cornies empty and with no pressure.
4) You'll need to crank the pressure up when carbonating warm. More gas will dissolve in a cold liquid than a warm liquid. Figure at least 30 psi if its around 70F. Check a carbonation pressure/temp chart to be sure.


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Re: storing filled kegs

Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:09 am

+1 on everything BDawg said, except *maybe* the note about the fridge being 'better'. Think about a keg as a really big bottle. Instead of capping it, you need positive CO2 pressure to seal it - you don't necessarily need to carb it perfect, but there must be some pressure. I err on the heavy side and just 'burp' it back down a day or two before putting it on tap.

Some styles can improve with some age and that can be done, bottle or keg, either in the fridge or at cellaring temps, which in most cases are going to be slightly warmer than a typical fridge. If you've got a place to store it, such as your basement that doesn't have too much temp swing & stays cool, you'll be fine without refrigeration. I have 2 different places in the house that I use to age beers, depending on the time of year, and just watch my ambient temp & move them accordingly. I have plenty more kegs than fridge space and adjust my brewing schedule to keep them all full.

That being said (& what BDawg had in mind) a fridge is better than a 90 degree garage for example. Keep in mind those warmer temps age beer faster & I wouldn't be storing an IPA or Kolsch like a barleywine or sour.

Keep it cool, keep the temp swing to a minimum and you'll be fine. Better than fine, since you'll never run out of homebrew that's ready to drink.
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Re: storing filled kegs

Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:59 am

If you are planning on storing warm (not hot), you could naturally carbonate your keg as well yes? I seem to recall the sugar ratio being less than what it is when going into bottles, but that would also take care of making sure seals are seated and the like, as well as requiring more work to carbonate...
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Re: storing filled kegs

Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:25 am

My "Beer room" as my wife has dubbed it is a nice little 8 x 15 under the stairs in the basement. It stays at 66* down there with our central air set to cool the main floor. There is only like 1-2 degree swing.


So finish fermenting the beer.

Put in keg and apply pressure.

Then store. That about it?

The reason I ask is I want to brew more often but can only fit 2 kegs in my fridge as mentioned. How long should I leave the gas on it? Just purge the head space and pressurize it up to 20-30 psi then disconnect?

Thanks.
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Re: storing filled kegs

Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:54 am

You got it! Rack to your keg, seal the lid and purge it to seat the lid fully. Leave the gas on for a few minutes at 25-30 PSI while you finish cleaning up from the racking/kegging and you should be good to go. When you have an empty spot in your fridge for your next keg, release the pressure from the keg and carbonate it to your appropriate volume.
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Re: storing filled kegs

Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:43 am

spiderwrangler wrote:If you are planning on storing warm (not hot), you could naturally carbonate your keg as well yes? I seem to recall the sugar ratio being less than what it is when going into bottles, but that would also take care of making sure seals are seated and the like, as well as requiring more work to carbonate...


IIRC the priming sugar ratio shouldn't be any different, but I could easily be mistaken on that. Never tried it, but the general physics of it suggest so. Also you'd still need to apply enough CO2 to seat the seals, but too much could have an effect on the yeast eating the primer. It always seemed like too much of a hassle, not to mention I partly got into kegging so I wouldn't have to deal with that.

Munimula wrote:My "Beer room" as my wife has dubbed it is a nice little 8 x 15 under the stairs in the basement. It stays at 66* down there with our central air set to cool the main floor. There is only like 1-2 degree swing.


That's on the warm side of what most would call cellaring temp, but you shouldn't have any problems short-term. With the more sensitive styles, I'd personally be starting to get concerned past 6-8 weeks. The sooner the better. On a big barleywine, I'd hide that puppy in the back until I forgot about it - a year plus would be fine. The minimal swing is a huge bonus as well.

Munimula wrote:How long should I leave the gas on it? Just purge the head space and pressurize it up to 20-30 psi then disconnect?


By just pressurizing the keg at room temp, the overall pressure will slowly drop as the CO2 finds its way into solution. To avoid risking it drop too low, I would suggest following the basic techniques we use to force carb the quick way. Pressurize til you hear the gas stop flowing, disconnect the CO2, shake it up a bit to speed up the absorption of gas into solution, hit it again with the gas. That should be plenty, but it wouldn't hurt to repeat it again. I've found it's easier & quicker to drop an over-carbed beer, than to raise the CO2 volume. I do it with almost every keg. When it's time to serve (after the beer's been chilled), I release all pressure through the relief valve - the seals are seated well at this point - and immediately hit it with serving pressure. If it's still too over carbonated take off your gas, shake the keg & bleed the excess pressure out as many times as necessary to hit your desired CO2 volume in solution. Just like shaking up a 2 liter until the bottle gets firm & cracking the cap just enough to be able to squeeze it again.
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Re: storing filled kegs

Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:58 pm

Ozwald wrote:
spiderwrangler wrote:If you are planning on storing warm (not hot), you could naturally carbonate your keg as well yes? I seem to recall the sugar ratio being less than what it is when going into bottles, but that would also take care of making sure seals are seated and the like, as well as requiring more work to carbonate...


IIRC the priming sugar ratio shouldn't be any different, but I could easily be mistaken on that. Never tried it, but the general physics of it suggest so. Also you'd still need to apply enough CO2 to seat the seals, but too much could have an effect on the yeast eating the primer. It always seemed like too much of a hassle, not to mention I partly got into kegging so I wouldn't have to deal with that.



Mr. Wizard wrote:keg-conditioned ales must go through several key steps before they can be refrigerated and enjoyed. The first step is to estimate the volume of beer and to add an appropriate amount of priming sugar for carbonation. Most brewers use less sugar to prime an equivalent volume of beer in a keg compared with bottles.


From http://byo.com/stories/wizard/article/section/121-mr-wizard/557-does-it-matter-if-my-beer-is-primed-carbonated-and-aged-in-a-keg-at-room-temperature-and-then-put-in-the-fridge-when-ready-for-dispensing , but I recalled reading it from Papazian. Does that make it 5 times?
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