Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kegging up the Porter

Had some time tonight to keg up the porter. I've been doing this a while so it's an easy process and I have all my steps down pat so I can get it done within an hour. The color of this beer looks awesome, hopefully when we pour the first pint in a week or two it will taste as awesome as it looks. I'm posting a bunch of pictures to illustrate the kegging process for those who wonder how hard or easy it is. Also included are pictures of the keggerator with the triple tower I put on a few years back and the gas distribution system I use. I have three gas lines for kegs to match the tower and then I have a 4th hookup which is the gas hookup for a Blichmann Beer Gun.

To seal the keg of porter I pressurize the keg at about 30 psi and hit that for a minute or two. Then you burp the keg by lifting up the relief valve on top until the pressure relieves. The reasoning behind this is to purge all of the leftover oxygen that is in the keg from transferring the beer. Post-fermentation oxygen is a bad thing for beer and will give off flavors if not dealt with correctly. I do this burping process for 4 or 5 times until I feel the headspace has been vacated of oxygen and filled with CO2. I then change the psi back down to serving pressure. Every system is different in terms of serving pressure. Mine is best at 13 psi. The reasoning here is the length of the beer lines. A lot of people use shorter lines, some use longer lines. I use shorter lines so I need my pressure slightly higher. You do what works for your individual system. The beer will now sit for about 10-14 days slowly carbonating under pressure. I need to watch this tank as it felt pretty light. It may need a daily check to make sure I don't run out. Luckily the store is close where I exchange my tank.

I decided to brew up a Kolsch this weekend as I really think I am happy with the porter. Once I drink it and really get some sessions with it I will decide if the recipe needs tweaking or not. I have a killer Kolsch recipe that I've brewed many times before so that's going to next up for the fermenter. The big reason to do it now is temperatures. My basement sits around 60 degrees which is perfect for the Kolsch yeast. If you wait too long into the spring your temps rise and then it wouldn't be quite the same beer if you had to ferment at say 68 degrees. Now is the time to brew those beers that need the yeast on the lower end of the temperature spectrum. Ales come next in line as the temps rise.

Now onto the photos of the racking.....

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