How to Keg Home brew
I’m sure that most of us home brewers are sick and tired of all the scrubbing, cleaning, and sanitising of bottles that we go through for every batch of beer. That’s not to mention the racking, priming, filling, and capping of the bottles that takes a couple of hours for every batch.
While there are multiple reasons for kegging, the predominant one is that it simplifies everything! It’s easier and faster than bottling your beer. Kegs offer us the convenience of having your own draught beer on tap anytime you want it.
Let me also mention that kegging does have some downsides. It’s not very easy to carry a keg around when you are visiting friends – kegs are heavy and cumbersome! However, it is possible to use a counter pressure filler if you need to carry a bottle somewhere.
So what’s needed?
Don’t get put off by the initial investment, since it is just a one time thing. Once you have your gear, you are pretty much set for life.
Listed below are the various equipment required:
Since most of us already own a brew fridge, we have the space needed to add a couple of kegs in there along with a fermenter. Or, if you want to do it in style, buy a new fridge for about Rs 9000, and convert that to a proper “keg-erator” with beer faucets on the outside, and your kegs stored inside! (You can even store a keg in here if you have a brew that needs lagering)
Carbon Dioxide, or CO2 is used to dispense beer instead of air because CO2 will not spoil the beer like introducing oxygen would.
Also known as Corny kegs, these are made of stainless steel, have a wide mouth which makes them a breeze to clean, and are quite useful if you want to store your beer for longer periods. The most common size is a 19L or 5 Gallon keg though 9.5L or 2.5 Gallon kegs are also available.
CO2 is stored at around 800 psi, but the beer needs to be flow from the tap at about 8 to 12 psi. This is where the regulator comes in. It lets you adjust the output pressure, and many also have a valve to cut off the flow of gas as well. Most home brewers prefer a dual gauge system where one gauge shows the output pressure and the other shows the pressure in the tank.
A clear plastic tube that runs from the CO2 tank to the gas input on the Cornelius keg.
Another plastic tube that runs from the output of the Cornelius keg to the faucet. The recommended dimensions for this tube is 3/16″ inner diameter, and about 4 feet in length.
These are simple plastic or stainless steel fittings that connect the keg’s tubing to the keg. There are available in two varieties – pin and ball connectors that correspond to the pin type and ball type kegs.
Faucets vary from simple plastic taps to specialty stainless steel taps.
This is part 1 of the How to Keg Home brew article. I will be posting the another one soon that will talk about how to connect, check, and clean your setup.
Part 2 of this article is here.