Lagering in a keg

The ins and outs of putting your beer into kegs.

Lagering in a keg

Postby Chris2012 » Saturday May 05, 2012 11:56 pm

Gday! I'm planning to move into kegging as soon as I get the ok from the minister for war and finance and want to get some ideas on setup.

Is it possible to cold condition in a keg and just sit it in a temp controlled chest freezer that doubles as my kegerator ?

What sort of temps do you guys serve your beer at and will it have much affect on the lagering process ?

Cheers!
Finish your beer!! There are sober kids in Africa
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Re: Lagering in a keg

Postby drsmurto » Sunday May 06, 2012 9:08 pm

Short answer, yes.

I cold condition all my beers for a minimum of a week. Lagers get lagered for as long as possible, the lager I kegged yesterday had been lagering for nearly 4 months.

I generally rack to secondary which in most cases is a cube/jerry can. Occasionally I keg straight from primary and leave it to condition in the back of the keg fridge.

My tap beer is served at 8-10°c. Bottled beer (RIS, BW, old ales) served at room temp (ca. 16°C).
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Re: Lagering in a keg

Postby squirt in the turns » Sunday May 06, 2012 11:46 pm

It's worth noting that drsmurto's serving temperature preferences are a little on the warm side compared to those of the average drinker whose tastes have probably been shaped by years of drinking beer served a degree or 2 above freezing. While the doc's temps are traditionally and technically correct (especially for the styles that he brews), and suitable for fully showcasing flavour and aroma, you may find you wish to dial it down a few degrees. That said, 8-10 is ideal for fermenting lagers. If you don't mind the temperature of your serving kegs fluctuating a bit, you can ferment lagers in the same space that you serve from, then drop the temperature for the lagering phase.

Sources seem to differ on the best lagering temperature, rate at which to drop to that temperature and point during fermentation to start lagering. I've had success with the following process: cold pitch (at 8c) with a large starter (5 L), ferment for 3 weeks at about 9c, no diacetyl rest, drop the temp slowly to 1-2c and hold there for at least 4 weeks. The last time I did this it was in the keg fridge, and the whole process took place in the primary vessel and was only kegged for serving. Check out this link for some in-depth explanation: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fermenting_Lagers

You'll need to adjust your CO2 pressure as the temperature changes, in order to keep your carbonation levels the same. Unfortunately this may mean that the pressure that gives you a perfect pour at 3c gives you flat beer at 10c, and dialling up the pressure gives you a cup-of-foam, forcing you to re-balance your system by lengthening the line between the keg and tap. Taps with built-in adjustable flow restrictors will eliminate that particular problem (and are worth it IMHO to save you the trouble of cutting various lengths of beer line to suit your system in the first place).
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Re: Lagering in a keg

Postby barrelboy » Tuesday May 08, 2012 8:54 am

Bottled beer (RIS, BW, old ales) served at room temp (
.

What the doc hasn't mentioned is that at Mount Torrens in winter "room temp" in his bar with no heater on is about 2 degrees!! :shock: :lol:
Cheers BB
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Re: Lagering in a keg

Postby drsmurto » Tuesday May 08, 2012 12:27 pm

barrelboy wrote:
Bottled beer (RIS, BW, old ales) served at room temp (
.

What the doc hasn't mentioned is that at Mount Torrens in winter "room temp" in his bar with no heater on is about 2 degrees!! :shock: :lol:
Cheers BB


Fair point but the bottled beer mentioned lives inside next to the wine racks. 8)
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Re: Lagering in a keg

Postby Chris2012 » Tuesday May 08, 2012 9:50 pm

Cheers for that link squirt. Was a good read!
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