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Keg Conditioned Beer – KeyKeg

We have been asked by a few other brewers how we keg our beers so here’s a little How-To.
I’ll be honest there is a little part of me that thinks, “why should I help anyone else” but then I think its good to stick to my ethic of the Internet being a sharing and helping place where people can learn from each other.

As with most brewery activities they start with thoroughly cleaning and sanitising all equipment that will come into contact with the beer you have lovingly created and cared for, but first something about the Equipment needed.

You will need:

  • Vessel to put a volume of beer into, we had a 150Litre tank fabricated by Elite Stainless for the job.
  • Magnetically coupled stainless steel pump from either BrewBuilder or TheMaltMiller.
  • Keg coupler filling kit, including a serving coupler from KeyKeg.
  • Get some food grade alcohol based sanitiser.
  • Various pipe fittings are needed, I managed to do most of this from the Homebrew shops.
  • Weighing Scales, Sugar, Kettle, Jug, Plastic Spoon.

Questions you need to know the answers to:

  • The Kegging Vessel, you need to know exactly how much beer you put in it so the correct amount of priming sugar can be added.
  • You need a means of getting the beer from its fermenting vessel to the kegging tank to limit oxygen pickup.
  • You need a means of knowing how much sugar to add to your beer to attain the correct carbonation level.
  • You will need somewhere warm to keep your filled kegs for 7-10 days.
  • You need to now how much beer is in your Keg after filling.

You will need to watch this Video:

And watching this one is also good education for the future:

https://youtu.be/Okbff9pT4kI

You can find the parts you need on these Websites:
www.brewbuilder.co.uk
www.themaltmiller.co.uk
www.keykegshop.eu/filling/keykeg-filling-head.html
www.esfabrications.co.uk

What we do to fill our unfined, unfiltered KeyKegs:

  • Beer should be at a stable terminal gravity.
  • Clean and sanitise all equipment, vessel, pipework, filling head etc.
  • Ensure beer in fermenter is roused with co2 to avoid any flavour stratification and distribute yeast in suspension (Roused via cleared Racking point on FV).
  • Weigh out priming sugar and dissolve in boiling water, I use a simple iPhone app to calculate amount of sugar.
  • Using gravity of transfer pump fill the kegging vessel from its base and add the dissolved sugar while filling.
  • I calculated a Dip-Table so I can measure down to a specific distance and ensure the correct amount of beer is added to the kegging vessel, stir well when full.
  • Fill kegs as per the first video above.
  • Weigh kegs to ensure you have an accurate fill with no fobbing.
  • Put in our purpose built warm room for 7-10 days, its useful to fill a plastic pop bottle so you can have an occasional squeeze to see how the pressure is building up /carbonation forming.
  • Clean all your equipment and put away in a cleaned and rinsed state.

You just made CAMRA-friendly Keg beer, give yourself a pat on the back and shout #EvilKegFilth 😉

I’ll give credit to Andy Parker of Elusive Brewing for his blog and showed me the way to the little Homebrew Pump www.graphedbeer.com

Going on from my opening statement, this isn’t even good business sense… teaching your competitors how to do things when all the time we are still finding our market for Keg beer.

Cheers 🙂 For other info on kegging see here.