Natural Conditioning verses Forced carbonation ?

The ins and outs of putting your beer into kegs.

Natural Conditioning verses Forced carbonation ?

Postby bilgerat » Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 11:49 am

I have been brewing into kegs for about 9 months or so with reasonable results for a newbie.I have always gassed my kegs with CO2 over several days till it pours, tastes and looks about right.
I was looking through the coopers website last night and found an article on natural conditioning a keg, see below

Natural Conditioning
Clean and sanitise the keg thoroughly.
Prime with sugar at the rate of 4g per litre.
Rack via a piece of sanitised, flexible tubing so that the beer runs to the bottom of the keg. Leave 5 – 10 cm of headspace at the top.
Seal the keg then invert and give it a shake to mix the sugar and check that the seal is good.
Store at 18°C or above for a week, then allow the beer to condition for at least two weeks.
Refrigerate for a day or two, momentarily release the keg pressure, then connect the gas at required pouring pressure 35 – 100 kPa, depending on your system. (Fifty litre kegs through a temprite or miracle box may require up to 300 kPa).


Im just interested to know if anyone has tried this method and what results they got???
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Re: Natural Conditioning verses Forced carbonation ?

Postby warra48 » Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 3:34 pm

It's essentially the process I use, up to the point of the last two lines of Coopers advice, but my kegs are glass and only 750 ml.
In other words, I bottle my brews.

As I don't keg, I can't help you directly. However, it seems to me that if you naturally carbonate your kegs, you must have a saving on the gas you use and buy. Seems like an economical method, if you can wait the required couple of weeks or so after kegging your brews.

Further advice will have to come from those actually using kegs.
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Re: Natural Conditioning verses Forced carbonation ?

Postby Tipsy » Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 3:46 pm

I've done it a couple of times.
You get more sediment in the keg (1st couple are cloudy) so be careful moving kegs around.

I find it easier just to hook it up at pouring pressure and wait.
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Re: Natural Conditioning verses Forced carbonation ?

Postby squirt in the turns » Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 5:06 pm

I keg but have never bothered with natural carbonation. To add to what's already been said and the Coopers advice: I would purge the keg with CO2 before filling (and probably quickly again after) to ensure the headspace is as oxygen free as possible.

Also, I've read of (and occasionally experienced) an issue where a keg won't seal properly at low pressures, so even if you're carbonating naturally, you might want to hit the keg with a quick blast at a couple of hundred kPa to make sure the lid is pushed right into the top of the keg. A smear of lube on the o-ring helps to get a good seal too.
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Re: Natural Conditioning verses Forced carbonation ?

Postby bilgerat » Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 6:47 pm

OK Thanks for the replies I will keep on gassing my kegs, at least that way I can be drinking beer within a few days of kegging.
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