From the HBD Archive
From: T2R@ecl.psu.edu
Subject: Kegging my first batch.
Date: 1992-02-26 06:02:00 GMT

This last weekend I kegged and forced carbonated a batch for the first
time. The results were fantastic. Here's what I did:

1) Obtain a empty keg from distributor. I used a Rolling Rock 1/4 keg
with a ball lock (I think the same kind as A-B or Coors).

2) Remove lock-valve assembly. (release any internal pressure
first, unless you want a stinky beer shower) There is some kind of locking
spring that can be carefully removed with a small screwdriver and a pair of
needle nose pliers. Once this spring is removed the entire assembly lifts out.

3) Clean keg. I rinsed it a few times to get the worst of the stale
beer out then hit it with a baking soda solution to remove the worst of the
smell and such. I then sanitized it with a bleach soln. for 30 min. and
finally rinsed it twice with boiling water. (oh, washed the valve also)

4) Fill keg. First I purged the keg with C02 and then I carefully
siphoned the beer into it. (a amber ale) It was only a 5 gal. batch so there
was some room left at the top of the keg.

5) Replace the valve. This was a real pain in the butt. There is a
large O-ring, which seals between the valve and keg, that must be compressed
to get the locking spring back in place. I managed to do it with a hoseclamp-
gearpuller-1 1/8" socket combination. If there is a trick to replacing this
valve will someone please post it or send it to me!

6) Carbonate Beer. I guesstimated the temp. of the beer to be about
45'F and used the "Digest C02 Chart"tm to figure the proper C02 pressure.
I then inflated the beer to this pressure and let it sit for 10 min. at which
time I shook the keg quite vigorously. I left the pressure on for about three
hours, every quarter hour or so giving the keg a good shake. At the end of the
three hours I could hear no more C02 bubbling in so I shut off the gas and let
the whole thing sit over night. It did get down into the low 30's that night
and I think this may have helped the C02 to dissolve better. I hit it again
with some CO2 (and shook a little) about an hour before I served it (the next
day), it took in a little gas but not as much as the day before.

7) Drink. Though the keg did foam a bit at first, the beer was
excellent. The carbonation was just about right, maybe a hair under what I had
wanted but this was my first time. I have no complaints about the bubble size,
the beer held a creamy head to the end of the glass.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ricker (t2r@psuecl.psu.edu)


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