So on Thursday I spent the evening over Garrett’s house learning the basics of kegging. The good news is that it appeared as easy as I was hoping and made bottling look like even more of a pain in the ass. I’m actually quite excited about giving this a shot.


Basically when I had arrived at Garrett’s he already had things in motion. First, the kegs need to be cleaned and rinsed before anything else can happen, and that’s the part he took care of before I arrived. He said that basically you take a strong hot solution of Powdered Brewers Wash (PBW) and water and clean the keg with that. The most ‘difficult’ part is making sure all the poppets, the relief valve, and the dip tube are all cleaned properly. After the cleaning with the PBW you need to rinse well with hot water also.

So this is the condition the kegs were in when I arrived. At this point the kegs still need to be sanitized, flushed with CO2, filled with beer, and carbonated. For the sanitation process we used StarSan which I was initially surprised about because of its history of being a notorious foaming agent, but Garrett reassured me that it was a non-issue. After the keg was done being sanitized, he showed me an intelligent move to kill a few birds with one stone, basically he hooked up the CO2 and pushed the sanitizer out of the keg and into a bucket. This removed the sanitizer from the keg in an efficient manner, filled the keg with CO2 (which we wanted), and gave us a bucket of sanitizer solution to sanitize the racking cane and anything else we may need. Next we transfered the beer, which is essentially what I do when I bottle moving it from carboy to bottling bucket then to bottles, but this time it was just carboy to keg, period. After the beer was transfered we threw the CO2 on it and essentially it is a walk-away and leave it alone kind of thing for about three days.

Pretty cool. I know I’ll be nervous when I first do it by myself, wondering if I’m doing it all right or not. Fortunately he said he was going to e-mail me a cheat sheet to help me remember everything, and as he repeatedly reminded me, “It’s not rocket science.” Thanks, Garrett.

One Response to “Kegs”

  1. Fool Circle - Artisanal Ales » Blog Archive » First Kegging Experience Says:

    […] night was my first true kegging experience. Yeah, I got to watch/help Garrett when he gave me my kegging demo, but this was my first time alone, without a net. Sure I could have used the phone-a-friend option […]

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