keg with priming sugar???

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by goatee, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. goatee

    goatee New Member

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    i have 5 gallons of a wit ale in secondary right now. ready for bottling on sunday. i also have a bunch of equipment on its way to me too. keg. lines, reg, co2 tank.
    i have been watching videos on proper carbonating and the different techniques they use. just waiting... or rolling it on the floor to speed it up.. my question is...............can i use priming sugar in a keg? just let it sit at room temp for a week or two? then stick it into the fridge after?
    the reason why i ask is 1- even if the equip comes in on time the co2 needs to be filled. so far local places i have spoke to do not fill on site. they sell, then when empty to drop off and pick up full tank, (like propane)
    2- this ale was a kit and this is how it came. i know that probably doesnt hold any weight as im sure beer is beer and there are multiple ways to do it. and priming sugar is more for bottling??? i assume...
     
  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    You certainly can. Haven't got around to it myself, but @Bubba Wade has been using this approach for a while.
     
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  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I have been brewing for about 30 years and finally decided a couple of years ago to naturally carbonate in the keg. A couple of reasons:
    1. It is precise. A certain amount of sugar will produce a fixed amount of carbonation.
    2. It’s easy.
    3. It’s cheap. I use common household table sugar.

    I don’t have any issue with cloudy beer after the first half pint. Just chill for 24 hours after carbonation is complete. I go about two weeks which also serves as a secondary fermentation.
     
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  4. goatee

    goatee New Member

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    happy to hear this.. even if it does mean i have to wait a bit longer. do you guys have any idea how thirsty i am right now?!?!
     
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  5. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    A few details:
    - For a 2.5 gallon keg, I use between 2.0 and 2.5 ounces of sucrose (white table sugar). While this is not one of your better sugars for general fermentation, this small amount produces no odd flavors or even a detectable flavor when using it to carbonate
    - I use down in the 2.0 ounce range for more lightly carbonated British styles, and around 2.5 ounces for more highly carbonated styles like some of the Belgians. Everything else is somewhere in between.
    - Prior to adding to the keg, I add the sugar to boiling water, about 1/2 cup per ounce of sugar. It helps to dissolve the sugar and also sanitizes it.
    - Vent your keg after chilling and before tapping. Connect the CO2 hose at around 10 psi. If you don't vent, there's a bit too much keg pressure and you will come out very foamy.

    Double these amounts for a 5 gallon batch.

    Depending on your specific setup, you may need to make adjustments, but I find it more reliable than force carbonation.
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    There's a calculator on this site that will tell you how much sugar you need to add to carbonate to a specific level. You need to be sure the beer is completely fermented and know the maximum temperature it reached before priming. Dissolve the sugar, you can choose which sugar you want to use, in 2 cups (about 500 ml) water, bring to a boil for a few minutes - ten is recommended but less works - then mix the sugar in with the beer. You'll hear beer lore about "stratification", can't happen, sugar is too soluble in water. Fill your bottles with the beer-syrup mix, cap, and let stand in a warm place for ten days. Your beer will be carbonated.
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I gotta try that Bubba, I got a saison fermenting right now I should try it with.
     
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  8. goatee

    goatee New Member

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    Been watching video after video after video on YouTube and everything said here is exactly what I am seeing on there, so that’s good. Very consistent.
    As far as the sugars go, this was a kit that supplied it for the 5gallon batch. So it should be perfect amount
    And honestly, moving forward I’ll probably be doing all grain and force carbonating. I like how these guys are shaking it and getting good results in 30 min.
     
  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Only thing I would say with youtube videos is don't assume they are 100% gospel, I intimidated myself when starting because I found videos that were all "If your mash varies by more then 1F you might as well dump it".

    Force carbing is a damned site easier than the alternatives but I am curious about trying the other way. You need to shake the shit out of a keg to get results in 30 minutes, but you can set it and forget it overnight and be drinkable the next day if necessary.
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Assuming that you don't have a temperature controlled ferment chamber, you may want to consider kviek yeast strains they are happy to ferment at higher temperatures.
     
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  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    They'll ferment at lower ones fine too. Might not be spot on to a style but it'll be good beer.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I guess one good thing about priming with sugar in the keg is that you could put a relief valve on and be safe if you added too much sugar...
     
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  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    The kegs are rated to 115 or so PSI so no real risk even if you do add to much, but yeah nice to be able to bleed it off.
     
  14. goatee

    goatee New Member

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    next day isnt bad!!!
     
  15. goatee

    goatee New Member

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    if you brew a larger batch you can fill keg and still bottle the rest. so theres that too
     
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  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    True, bottling is just no fun at all:D
     
  17. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Which I believe is basically a spunding valve (although all of the kegs have a high pressure relief device in the lid). I've looked at those for helping with carbonation. I just haven't found one yet that I liked quite well enough to buy.

    Keg carbonation with priming sugar is not much different than cask conditioning or doing a secondary fermentation under pressure.
     
  18. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    How long and at what range of temperatures can "sugar in the keg" carbing stay drinkable? I want to brew in a few days but I really dont have room in my kegerator or spare fridge. I dread bottling again.
     
  19. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I carbonate for about a week at room temps, around 75 degrees.
     
  20. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Would the beer be OK if I left it for say 2 or 3 weeks like that?
     

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