Basic Kegging Instructions - Brewers Choice

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Basic Kegging
Instructions
Brewers Choice
- Helping you brew better (Browns Plains, Chapel Hill, Enoggera, Kedron, Wacol, Yamanto)
www.brewerschoice.com.au
© Brewers Choice Pty Ltd
The Basics
THE EQUIPMENT:
For a complete keg system, you will need the following equipment:
• 2 x 19 Litre ball lock kegs.
• 1 x Micromatic CO2 regulator.
• 1 x Plastic gas disconnect (Grey)
• 1 x Plastic liquid disconnect (Black)
• 4 metres of 5mm beer line
• 1 x Fridge tap or Beer Gun
• 3 x Hose clamps
• 1 x 450g Brewers Choice Keg Wash
• 1 x CO2 bottle. (Available from your local Brewers Choice store)
Optional Items
• Keg Lube 12gm
• Straight Connector hose joiner
• John Guest disconnects adapters for easy joining.
• 1 x Settling Cube
• Beer Filter Kit
• 1 x Drip Tray
You will also need a fridge or Kegmate.
TERMINOLOGY
Kegs:
The kegs used in this system are second hand post-mix kegs. They are made of stainless steel with
a hatch cover for ease of cleaning and filling. They include gas in and beer out valves as well as a
safety release valve. These kegs are 19 litres capacity and have been reconditioned prior to sale.
Disconnects:
The kegs supplied are fitted with ball lock (snap lock) fittings. The ball lock fitting is made from
hardened plastic and works on the same principal as your standard garden hose fittings - they click
on and off for easy connection and disconnection of the beer and gas lines from the keg. The Grey
disconnect is for the gas or "in" side of the keg and the Black one is for the dispensing or "out" side
of the keg.
Disconnects can also come with John Guest Adapters allowing the beer hose to be inserted and
removed easily, rather than cutting the hose and clamps.
CO2 Gas Bottle:
You will need a gas bottle. This is not supplied with your keg set. You can purchase an Australian
Standards-approved Gas Bottle from your local Brewers Choice store, ranging from 2.3kg to 6.8kg.
Brewers Choice runs two Filling Stations to refill your bottles.
Regulator:
A full CO2 bottle holds a pressure of approximately 5600 kpa (800 psi). You will need 250 to 300
kpa (35 - 47 psi) to pressurise your system. The regulator screws onto the gas bottle and reduces
the pressure from the bottle to suit your keg system. The regulator is adjusted by the central knob.
Wound fully out the regulator is closed. Pressure is increased by winding in the knob.
There are two gauges on the regulator - one displays the gas bottle pressure and the other displays
the pressure inside the keg. The pressure of the gas in the headspace of the bottle will be between
5000 - 5600 kpa (700 and 800 psi) depending on the temperature of the bottle.
The CO2 in the bottle starts out as a liquid. The pressure gauge on the regulator that shows the high
pressure from the gas in the bottle will only begin to fall when all the liquid is gone. The best way
to determine how much CO2 remains in the bottle is by weight not pressure. Weigh your full bottle
when you first get it. The weight of the empty bottle should be recorded on a tag around the neck
of the bottle. The difference will be the amount of gas in the bottle when it is full.
Pressure:
To convert kpa to psi, divide kpa by 7 (7 kpa = 1psi). Dispensing pressure is approximately 70 kpa.
Polyclar:
A suspension precipitation agent (a special sort of finings/conditioner) used when filtering beer.
Helps to stabilise the beer and prevent oxidation, as well as removing phenols.
STEP 1 – Preparing the Fridge:
The easiest method to store and serve your beer is by keeping the kegs in a standard household
fridge. With a standard 19L keg standing about 1 meter high, you will have to modify the inside of
your fridge to accommodate your kegs. You may need to remove some shelves and ensure the base
of the fridge is level. Use a piece of plywood, or similar, to make a solid shelf for the kegs to sit on.
You may also have to trim the shelves in the door, if more than one keg is to be used.
To set up your system, you will need to make a hole in the back/side of your fridge for the gas line
between the cylinder and the keg. Using a Straight Connector (a hose joiner) to split the hose
between regulator and disconnect, allows you to separate your cylinder and regulator from the
disconnect inside the fridge when required, instead of cutting the hose. If using a fridge tap, you
will also need a hole in the fridge for the tap shank to pass through. (See diagram)
NB: The wiring systems and cooling systems will vary from fridge to fridge so
take care when drilling any holes through the walls of your fridge. Check where
gas lines run and turn power off before drilling.
The following procedure should be performed by
someone experienced with your particular fridge:
a) Drill a small pilot hole from the inside just
through the lining. Poke a screwdriver into the hole.
Move the screwdriver side to side to move anything
that may be in the way, until you can feel the outer
skin. Then drill using a 9mm bit from the inside
through the outer skin. Push your gas pipe through
from the inside to your regulator.
Before sealing around the gas line, make sure there is
sufficient length of line to reach the gas bottle which
will be stored outside the fridge. Use a rubber grommet to ensure a tight fit.
Note - It may be possible to pass the gas line through the hole at the back of the fridge where the
refrigerant pipe enters the fridge. Ease the caulking away from the hole to determine whether the
hole is large enough to allow the gas pipe through.
b) If you are going to use a beer gun, cut the beer line to a length of 1.5 meters to ensure it pours
properly. Attach the gun to one end of the line and the beer (black) disconnect to the other. Coil the
unwanted hose length and secure to the underside of a shelf with cable ties.
c) If you have chosen a tap to use, you will need to drill another hole in the fridge, either in the
door or the side. Again, take care when drilling. The position of the tap depends on personal
choice. If you require the tap to be fitted onto the door of the fridge then make sure there is enough
beer line so that the door can be opened fully. Also take care that when the back nut on the tap is
tightened, it does not collapse the wall of the fridge door. Try pushing a small length of PVC pipe
over the shank of the tap. This will allow the tap to be tightened so that it is secure, without
damaging the wall of the door.
d) Attach a drip tray under the tap. Most taps will continue to drain after the tap is closed. A drip
tray will minimise the amount of spilt beer on the floor.
NB: Make sure all power is disconnected prior to drilling.
Gas line through
side of fridge
Door
Tap
KegGas
STEP 2 – Making your beer:
Most kit beers make up to 23L, but your kegs will only hold 19L. Make your beer kit up to only 20
litres. It will taste much better, and you won’t agonise over discarding 2L of beer. Alternatively,
bottle the remaining beer, making sure to add dextrose or carbonation drops to the bottles for
carbonation.
STEP 3 – Clearing your beer:
Ferment your beer in the normal manner. Do not rush this step. Use a hydrometer to ensure
fermentation is complete. An additional day or two in the fermenter will help ensure a clearer beer.
If you are able to place your fermenter into a fridge at this point for two days, more sediment will
drop out prior to removing your beer from the fermenter. We also recommend tilting your
fermenter backwards slightly, so sediment slides to the back of the fermenter, away from the tap.
Clarity of your kegged beer can be ensured either by using a Settling Cube before kegging or
filtering your beer after Kegging for a crystal clear, professional looking beer.
Using a Settling Cube
Transfer your beer to a Settling Cube. Connect a length of hose to your fermenter tap. Make sure
the hose is long enough to reach the bottom of the cube to avoid the beer splashing. Do not let the
sediment in the bottom of the fermenter run into the cube.
Dissolve a pack of beer finings in a cup of hot water and stir. Pour the finings into the cube and
seal. Leave the cube for a week, ideally in a refrigerator. The temperature of the cube should be
below the operating temperature of the beer yeast. The cold temperature will prevent the yeast from
re-starting and exploding your cube. However, it is a good practise to occasionally loosen the cap
on the cube to release any possible build up if gases. Storing your beer at a reduced temperature
will help to clear and cold-condition it.
STEP 4 – Cleaning and Sterilising Your Keg:
Before transferring the beer from the fermenter or blue cube into the keg, it will be necessary to
clean and sterilise the keg. You should thoroughly clean your kegs each time to avoid any
contamination. If you are short of time, a quick clean can suffice, but care must be taken ejecting
hot water from the keg.
For a thorough clean:
a) Release any pressure in the keg by operating the pressure relief valve and remove the lid.
b) Rinse out any remaining beer from the previous batch.
c) Add 4 teaspoons of Keg Wash and top up the keg with warm water. Shake keg then leave it to
stand for 15 minutes. Empty keg and scrub inside surface with a demijohn brush or plastic
scouring cloth.
d) Add another 4 teaspoons of Keg Wash, top up with warm water to within 25mm of the small
gas inlet tube. Fit the hatch cover and connect the gas connect to the IN post and the tap to the
OUT post.
e) Adjust the pressure to 70kpa (10psi) and open the tap to run steriliser through the beer line and
out the tap. Let stand for 5 minutes and repeat the process to sterilise the inside of the beer line.
f) Disconnect the gas inlet, release the pressure from inside the keg, drain the keg and refill with
clean water.
g) Reconnect the gas, set the pressure at 70kpa (10psi) and open the tap so that the water in the keg
washes out all the steriliser in the line.
h) Disconnect the gas, release the pressure and empty out any water from the keg.
Quick Clean:
a) Rinse the keg out with hot tap water, use a plastic scourer to remove any solids or build up and
then rinse again.
b) To clean the outlet of the keg, which will still have beer in it from previous use, boil a jug of
water and tip this into your keg. Secure the lid and shake well. (This will also pressurise the
keg).
c) With the boiling water still in the keg, take it outdoors, lean the keg away from you and with a
long screw driver or similar object, depress the outlet valve. Using a party tap is a safer way to
do this.
Caution: A stream of HOT water will be ejected, so great care must be taken.
d) Use the Pressure Relief Valve to release remaining pressure in the keg and remove the lid.
e) Discard remaining water, and depress the outlet valve to drain water from the dip tube. The keg
is now ready for beer.
(Note - The beer will keep indefinitely in the keg as long as you have been careful with cleaning and
sterilising. As the beer is dispensed, it is replaced by sterile CO2, protecting the remaining beer. If
you are storing your kegs empty, always leave them pressurised with CO2.)
STEP 5 – Transferring your beer to the keg:
Fit a length of sterilised tubing to your fermenter/settling cube tap. Make sure the tubing is long
enough to reach the bottom of the keg so that you fill the keg from the bottom without splashing the
beer. If you plan to filter your beer (Step 7), first pour 200ml of beer into a sterilised jug, cover
with Gladwrap and put aside.
Open your keg and you will notice there is a tube in it running from the top of the keg to the centre
at the bottom. This is called the Dip Tube and is used to draw the beer from the keg. It is the “Out”
or “Liquid” side. There is also another short tube – the CO2 inlet, where the CO2 is injected into the
beer. Fill your keg to approximately 12-25 mm from the bottom of the CO2 tube and close the lid.
If you are filtering your beer, proceed to Step 7.
STEP 6 – Purging the keg
You need to purge the headspace of the keg of any oxygen to protect the beer from oxidisation.
Attach the gas disconnect to the keg and set your regulator to between 70 and 100 kpa (10-15 psi).
Release the pressure release valve on the top of the keg lid. This will allow the CO2 to flow into the
keg and the air in the keg will flow out through this valve. This is called burping the keg and is best
done in three short bursts. Once the keg is purged, disconnect the gas and place the keg in the
fridge to chill. CO2 will be absorbed more effectively, if your beer is chilled to fridge temperature.
Step 7 – Filtering Your Beer
Mix in 10gms (2 dsp) of Polyclar into the 200ml of beer you have put aside. Stir gently, do not
aerate. Pour the mixture into the keg, then rack the contents of the fermenter into it using a 1 meter
length of food-grade 12.5mm poly tubing. Close the keg, and burp it (see Step 6). Return the keg to
the refrigerator for a minimum of 24hrs (With gas in the keg, it can be stored for weeks).
Connect the gas cylinder directly to the filter “in” and turn on gas for a few seconds (this will purge
Oxygen from canister) then disconnect the gas from filter. Connect the “Liquid Out“ side of the
keg to the “In” side of the filter. Do not connect the output side of the filter to the second keg as yet.
Set the gas pressure to around 45kPa. Higher pressure may be faster but will not allow the filter to
work properly! Connect the second keg “Liquid Out“ to the “Out” side on the filter. Make sure that
the pressure release valve on the 2
nd keg is open to allow the beer to flow freely. Wait while the
beer transfers from keg 1 to keg 2. This will take about 7 minutes. After filtering is completed, burp
the keg again and return to the fridge for gassing.
STEP 7 – Carbonating:
The absorption of the CO2 into your beer can depend on many things, including the temperature of
the beer, the pressure at which it is applied and the length of time pressure is applied. The CO2 will
be absorbed at a faster rate when the beer is cold (the beer will not absorb gas at room temperature).
To ensure carbonation is successful, use the following steps:
a) Set the regulator at 250kpa (36 psi) for 40 hours under normal refrigeration temperature (4
o C).
b) Disconnect the gas line from the keg and open the keg pressure relief valve (PRV), releasing all
the gas inside.
c) Reduce the pressure in the regulator to 70kpa (10psi), reconnect the gas line to the keg and test
for carbonation.
NB: The pressure in the keg must be reduced to avoid liquid being forced back into the
regulator. This will usually damaged the regulator beyond repair.
When you are satisfied with the level of carbonation, leave the keg at the dispensing pressure (5070kpa) and it will not absorb any more gas, even under refrigeration.
(The amount of carbonation and dispensing pressure your beer needs is dependent on several factors
– dispensing temperature, beer style, personal preference and type of tap used. Trial and error will
result in the best arrangement for you)
If you have over-carbonated your keg in error, then gas can be removed from the keg as follows:
a) Turn off the gas bottle and vent the gas from the headspace by releasing the pressure relief valve.
b) Let the keg stand for 1 hour while you repeatedly release any further gas. This will release some
of the gas that is dissolved in the beer. You may also have to agitate the keg to release more gas.
c) When you have removed enough gas from the keg, turn on the gas again and test. Repeat if
necessary.
You can turn off your gas bottle when not dispensing regularly, to protect against any gas leaks.
STEP 8 – Dispensing:
Dispensing pressure is usually quoted as being around 70kpa (10 psi). However, this can depend on
the exact set-up you have installed. After installation, for your first few kegs, it is better to gradually
set the dispensing pressure, to get a feel for your system.
a) After the keg has been carbonated, remove the gas disconnect from the keg and release all the
pressure using the PRV.
b) Turn your regulator to zero and re-connect the gas disconnect. Connect the liquid disconnect and
open the tap/gun fully. (Nothing much should happen at this stage as there is no excess pressure
in the system).
c) With the gun/tap fully open and a jug at the ready, slowly start to wind your regulator knob until
the beer is pouring at a good rate. Once you have poured a couple of beers, you will start to get
to know how your system reacts and the best pressure to use.
Even though the beer you kegged may have been clear, you will still get some settlement at the
bottom of the keg. The first glass may therefore be a little cloudy. Pull a couple of glasses through
until it clears.
Whether using a gun or a tap, always dispense with it fully open. If the tap or gun is only partly
opened, you will end up with a glass of froth and no beer.
Points to Note:
1. Beer matures in kegs quicker than in bottles.
2. As long as your kegged beer has CO2 in it, it will keep un-gassed, non-refrigerated for at least
one month without ill effects. However, the keg must be stored in a cool place. If your keg has
been properly sanitised, and the keg is sealed and pressurised with CO2, the beer will keep
indefinitely.
3. Always place your kegs in the fridge the same way (gas/in posts on the same side). This will
help you avoid putting the disconnects on the wrong post, when you are in a hurry. Forcing the
gas line onto the liquid post can result in your gauges being destroyed, so take care.
Enjoy your beer!
You will find all the equipment and advice you need at your local
Brewers Choice Home Brew store. Your local Brewers Choice store is:
For all your beer, wine and spirit making needs, talk to us.
Brewers Choice
- Helping you brew better
© Brewers Choice Pty Ltd
Brewers Choice - Browns Plains
Cnr Beaudesert Rd and Johnson Rd
Browns Plains
Ph: (07) 3800 9633
Email: brownsplains@brewerschoice.com.au
Brewers Choice - Chapel Hill
Cnr Moordale St & Moggill Rd, Chapel Hill
Ph: (07) 3878 4198
Email: chapelhill@brewerschoice.com.au
Brewers Choice - Enoggera
394 Samford Rd, QLD 4051
Ph: (07) 3855 8800
Email: enoggera@brewerschoice.com.au
Brewers Choice - Wacol
1236 Boundary Rd, Wacol
Ph: (07) 3271 1373
Email: wacol@brewerschoice.com.au
Brewers Choice - Yamanto
505 Warwick Rd, Yamanto
Ph: (07) 3294 3690
Email: yamanto@brewerschoice.com.au
Brewers Choice - Head Office
P.O. Box 143
Salisbury, QLD 4107
Ph: (07) 3879 3882
Email: davidk@brewerschoice.com.au
Think brewing your own is great?
Why not get a friend brewing as well?
Bring in your mate and the voucher below when your friend wants to
purchase a any starter kit or keg set from any of the Brewers Choice Home
Brew Stores, and because you have introduced them, we’ll make sure they
get a special deal at
Mate’s Rates!
And as our way of saying thank you for making the introduction, we’ll
also offer you the same deal off anything you want to buy.
That’s a deal for your mate and a deal for you as well!
So what’s holding you up? Introduce a friend today.
That’s what a real mate would do!!
Please arrange for my mate,
Name: …………………………………………………….
To receive a special Mates Rate deal on his purchase of any starter kit or
keg set from Brewers Choice Home Brew Stores.
Name: ……………………………………………………………..
Rewards Card Number: ……… Phone Number: ………………
***Valid for purchases of Beer and Spirits Starter Kits and Keg Sets
(Can not be converted to cash)

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