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Kegging Systems

Kegging Systems
There are several advantages to kegging. The most notable being the ease in cleaning and filling a keg. A 5-gallon batch of beer requires that you deal with 50 or more 12-oz bottles. When kegging you clean and fill just one!
You can also use your kegging system to force carbonate your beer, which simply means carbonating by using the CO2 tank and not using priming sugar. Forced carbonation results in less sediment and a quicker clearing beer. It also guarantees that your beer WILL carbonate, which doesn't always work when bottling. Kegging is the only way to precisely control the level of carbonation in your beer.
There are drawbacks to kegging your beer. The biggest is cost. You also have to be able to cool your beer. Kegs are generally 25"-27" tall. Most homebrewers have a dedicated fridge to store their kegs.
When kegging beer, be sure to run sanitizer and then water through the system. Fill the keg with your newly fermented beer and place the cap on it. Attach the CO2and turn it on. Be sure to purge the oxygen by pulling a few times on the relief valve.
The easiest way to carbonate a keg is to leave the CO2 pressure on the beer. The chart below shows the equilibrium pressure for different temperatures and volumes of gas in beers. Find the serving temperature on the right and the volumes of CO2 you desire at the top; where they meet in the table shows the equilibrium pressure (in PSI). 2.1 to 2.3 are typical volumes of CO2 for most beer styles. Please note that it will take 1-2 weeks for the CO2 to reach the proper carbonation level.

Volumes of CO2

Temp. (F) 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.7
40 1.9 3.9 5.8 8.0 10.0 12.3 14.5
45 3.4 5.6 7.9 10.2 12.5 14.9 17.2
50 5.0 7.4 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.6 20.0
55 6.6 9.1 12.1 14.9 17.6 20.3 23.0
The goal when dispensing your beer is to have enough foam to to give it a nice head but not too much foam. Generally, we recommend 6 feet of 3/16" beer hose to ensure a perfect pour!
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