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Priming 5l Kegs vs bottles

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HeavensBrew

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Just got a couple of 5l kegs set up and will be filling them (and bottles) in about a weeks time. My recipe would normally use 100g of dextrose for priming for carbonation in bottles only, but what about kegs?

Do you do everything the same? Do you prime the kegs with half the dextrose and individually prime the bottles with 5g?

As always, your advice and experience is appreciated.
 

obscure

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To clarify by five litre keg do you mean the mini kegs often sold by breweries
BC5A27AC-5D3D-421D-BED0-712971E62694.jpeg
Or do You mean something like this:
1A78213C-4CAB-4980-85E7-C5D240D29427.jpeg

The first I haven't used so cannot comment, however from what I have heard of them they cannot take a huge amount of pressure.

The second are the ones I use, I put twenty grams of sugar in 5 litres, based on taste I would say it is a little above the 2 volumes of CO2 this gives according to brewers friend calculator, however I am also aware that my preference is for a low level of carbonation. I prime my bottles and mini kegs individualy just adding the sugar straight to the bottle.

 

HeavensBrew

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The second type. My preference is also for a lower level of carbonation, so I often drop to 75-80% of the recommended sugars.

Also, how do you decide when to stop filling your keg? Do you measure in 5 litres or is there a set amount of head space I should leave?
 

MickDundee

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The second type. My preference is also for a lower level of carbonation, so I often drop to 75-80% of the recommended sugars.

Also, how do you decide when to stop filling your keg? Do you measure in 5 litres or is there a set amount of head space I should leave?
When I used them I used a bottling wand to fill and stopped when it was about 2cm from the bung hole. I would also just measure out 15g sugar and bung it in, I never bothered with however much % of Breers Friend calc because those kegs can’t handle more than 20g sugar anyway.

 

obscure

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Filling can be a bit of a pain, I tend to pour until Inthink it’s about right, the. Use a to torch to look and see the fill level. probably get Slightly less than five litres in them, but it seems to work. I try to leave a bit of head room, typical about 5cm.
 

HeavensBrew

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Thanks guys. Bottling and kegging a Boston Lager from DarkRock this week, so I will know soon enough!
 

HeavensBrew

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Quick update. I used 20g of dextrose on a 23l batch. Result: 3 weeks later it was undercarbonated. Put it back in 22-24C for another week and it has improved, but is still undercarbonated.

However, I also used a Bouncer filter for the first time and wonder if that might have had an effect? There are 3 grades of mesh possible and I went in the middle.
 

MickDundee

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Quick update. I used 20g of dextrose on a 23l batch. Result: 3 weeks later it was undercarbonated. Put it back in 22-24C for another week and it has improved, but is still undercarbonated.

However, I also used a Bouncer filter for the first time and wonder if that might have had an effect? There are 3 grades of mesh possible and I went in the middle.
It depends what level of carbonation you are expecting from these kegs - they are more akin to cask ale carbonation than highly carbonated lagers etc.
 

HeavensBrew

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Was not the fault of the kegs. Half the batch was bottled and the carbonation was the same.

My 5L kegs are not the cheap party kegs, so I would hope they can get to a more standard level of carbonation. Intending to go with 100g on my next batch, but have posted a thread about the Bouncer filter to see what experiences people have had with those.
 

MickDundee

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Was not the fault of the kegs. Half the batch was bottled and the carbonation was the same.

My 5L kegs are not the cheap party kegs, so I would hope they can get to a more standard level of carbonation. Intending to go with 100g on my next batch, but have posted a thread about the Bouncer filter to see what experiences people have had with those.
Sorry, hadn’t realised you’d said further up that it’s the pressure rated ones. I have a 10L one with Sodastream set up, force carbonated at 12PSI for 2 weeks and it was perfect.
 

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Just an FYI since theres loads of these wee brewers kegs about in the shops etc, a local brewer told me that they are good for high pressures up about 4 bar integrity wise, but obviously the have a path of least resistance through the bung which is weakened slightly through multi use.

So aye, the kegs are good, but have to be aware of potential for a bung bullet
 

HeavensBrew

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Sorry, hadn’t realised you’d said further up that it’s the pressure rated ones. I have a 10L one with Sodastream set up, force carbonated at 12PSI for 2 weeks and it was perfect.
I have the soda stream kit (also from dark farm), but they sold it missing a part that I need to go and get from plumbers merchant.

Do you open the gas until you have 12PSI and then switch it off/unplug the gas? I have assumed it does not need to be connected during that process, but it felt like a good opportunity to ask.
 

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Quick update. I used 20g of dextrose on a 23l batch. Result: 3 weeks later it was undercarbonated. Put it back in 22-24C for another week and it has improved, but is still undercarbonated.

However, I also used a Bouncer filter for the first time and wonder if that might have had an effect? There are 3 grades of mesh possible and I went in the middle.
20g dextrose for the entire 23L batch? That would explain the under-carbonation!
Even for the lower end (1.5 volumes), for a 23L batch, according to this calculator, you'd need 64g of dextrose (packaging at 20C). But I see you're doing a lager, so according to the calculator, even at the lower 2.2 CO2 volumes, that would need 181g for the 23L batch.
 

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I am trialling using 5litre kegs that have previously held beer. I used about 13g sugar to prime the first one and nearly got to the bottom before it ran out of puff. The second and third about 2-3 g more. However one of the latter leaked from the tap insert into the keg when I moved it so I had to half empty the keg to reduce the pressure to stop the leak.
I haven't made my mind up about these kegs yet. The method of dispensing from primed and pressurised beer is a bit crude, and people are saying that they develop a metallic taste in the beer after a few uses, probably because the lining has failed. And there seems to be some doubt about how you clean and sanitise them given the fraility of the lining. Nor am I convinced that spending several £10s or more on the 'professional' version with a top mounted dispensing tap is a good idea for me.
 

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I’m in two minds about buying new 5 litre mini kegs @terrym too, like you I thought I’d try a recycled one first without the party tap and see how many uses I can get out of them.

I have a campervan and these MK’s would be great to take away with us.

Be interesting to hear your thoughts after a few uses.
 

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I bought a couple of new 5L easy kegs, and one of them is imparting a metalic taste after a couple of brews. I know it is easy to blame inadequate cleaning etc, but I am not buying any more. I've gone for a stainless steel minikeg now as I generally don't like to spend money on equipment that is not designed to last (the same reason I went very swiftly PB --> Corny after a bad experience, but we all know that that's another topic). I also appreciate that not everyone wants to stump up for what could be considered a not-strictly-necessary purchase. The stainless steel minikegs are not cheap, especially once you start serving using CO2 and the like.
 

An Ankoù

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I’m in two minds about buying new 5 litre mini kegs @terrym too, like you I thought I’d try a recycled one first without the party tap and see how many uses I can get out of them.

I have a campervan and these MK’s would be great to take away with us.

Be interesting to hear your thoughts after a few uses.
I use them from time to time and find them OK. To fill them, I put them on a kitchen scale, reset the tare to 0 and fill until about 4.9 kg, by which time the foam is just beginning to come out of the bung hole. I prime with 5 x 3 g sugar cubes (round ones) or 15 g sugar. I know others on the forum recommend using only 12 g, but I tend to let my beer ferment out fully in secondary.
One the whole, they seem to condition in 2-3 weeks when a bottle might take 6 weeks. They don't taste exactly the same as the bottled stuff bacause the tap acts like a sparkler and I don't vent the can before pouring.
 

Falco

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I use them from time to time and find them OK. To fill them, I put them on a kitchen scale, reset the tare to 0 and fill until about 4.9 kg, by which time the foam is just beginning to come out of the bung hole. I prime with 5 x 3 g sugar cubes (round ones) or 15 g sugar. I know others on the forum recommend using only 12 g, but I tend to let my beer ferment out fully in secondary.
One the whole, they seem to condition in 2-3 weeks when a bottle might take 6 weeks. They don't taste exactly the same as the bottled stuff bacause the tap acts like a sparkler and I don't vent the can before pouring.
Very useful info there @An Ankoù cheers :smallcheers:
 

terrym

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I use them from time to time and find them OK. To fill them, I put them on a kitchen scale, reset the tare to 0 and fill until about 4.9 kg, by which time the foam is just beginning to come out of the bung hole. I prime with 5 x 3 g sugar cubes (round ones) or 15 g sugar. I know others on the forum recommend using only 12 g, but I tend to let my beer ferment out fully in secondary.
One the whole, they seem to condition in 2-3 weeks when a bottle might take 6 weeks. They don't taste exactly the same as the bottled stuff bacause the tap acts like a sparkler and I don't vent the can before pouring.
So how do you clean and sanitise your kegs ready for re-use?
And are the French ones the same as the UK ones. Five of the six I have are by Fass Frisch (German). Euro minikegs ?!
 

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