Draft

Uses 5 Gallon Ball Lock Cornelius Kegs
$64
 

Chrome Beer Faucet

$21

 Chrome Faucet Shank  $19
   Portable CO2 charger (comes with 2 CO2 refills)  $18
Sanke Keg Coupler $41
Ball Lock Liquid and Gas Disconnects   $6.50 each
Pin Lock Liquid and Gas Disconnects     $7 each
Double Gauge CO2 Regulator   $68
Poppet Valves, Shut-Off Check valves, Beer Nut Sets, Hose Clamps, O-Ring Sets, and MUCH MORE!!!! 
 

NORTH CORNER BREWING SUPPLY

 

**Important news regarding the supply of used soda kegs**

If you haven't already heard the news, the general supply of used ball lock kegs is dwindling rapidly.  Check the shop for current stock.

 

 

 

 

SYSTEM COMPONENTS:  5 Gallon soda keg (Cronelius keg) System

 

5-gallon soda keg (typically a ball-lock style “Pepsi” keg) though pin lock  styles are fine 

  1. Co2 Tank (typically 5#-20# in size) readily available at welding gas supply stores 

  2. Gas quick disconnect with 3-5’ of gas tubing 

  3. C02 regulator with check valve shut-off, single or double gauge (0-30 or 0-60 psi gauge preferred) 

  4. Liquid quick disconnect with 5-6’ of 3/16” ID beer line and picnic style faucet.  The small diameter and minimum 5’ length are important factors in getting a good, controlled pour.

  5. Hose clamps for all connections

  6. Sanitizer 


Other supporting items: 

 

  • Small screwdriver for adjusting co2 regulator pressure

  • Spare O-rings for soda tanks and co2 regular 

  • Silicon lubricant or olive oil to wipe down o-ring surfaces and post fittings 

 

  
USING SODA KEGS
  
Your soda keg will carbonate and dispense beer at varying flows depending on how you use the regulator.  Remember that carbonating and dispensing are two different processes.  Here’s a quick run-down of what to do: 
  

Clean and sanitize the keg and rack your beer into it, you can dry-hop with a hop-bag at this time. 

Attach the co2 tank regulator and gas line-in fitting to the keg. 

Turn on cylinder main valve on 

Give the beer time to carbonate up to 8 days at 12-14psi, or force carbonate(see below). 

Once the beer is temperature stable and drinkably aged, and carbonated, use the regulator to dispense beer out the tap handle.  This uses very little pressure, typically around 10-13psi. 

Your first pint or two may have a little cloudy haze from particles settling out in the keg.  You may choose to cut off the last .5” or so of the liquid pick-up tube if you want the clearest possible beer. 

Keep the keg attached and the gas on, or for less frequent users, shut off the co2 and periodically charge the beverage tank depending on use.  The keg should hold pressures indefinitely assuming all the seals are in good condition (more on this later). 

  
In Detail: 
  
Thoroughly clean and sanitize the keg (StarSan or Iodophor or a similar easily rinsed rinse sanitizer is suggested), you can also sanitize the tap line (liquid out) at this time by running sanitizer under pressure through the tap.  Holding the keg on its side or upside down and momentarily depressing the gas poppit valve in ejecting sanitizer out can sanitize the gas-in post.  Be certain that all interior and I.D. surfaces have been sanitized including the gas post and liquid pick-up tube. 
  
Rack your beer into the soda keg and replace lid, put some CO2 in, than purge out 2 times by pulling up on the split ring relief valve.  This saturates the keg with a high concentration of CO2, instead of a mix of CO2 and O2. 
  
Now increase the CO2 pressure to about 30-40 psi by adjusting the regulator and hold while you check for any bubbling leaks around the lid and disconnects.  Occasionally the gaskets take a while to seat properly.  Try increasing pressure to seat gaskets in place.  
  
Your beer is now under pressure and contained, but it isn’t yet carbonated.  To fine-tune your carbonation you have 2 basic options; force carbonating, or slower diffusion carbonating.  Diffusion carbonation means setting the regulator to your desired target pr  essure (10-14psi) and letting the co2 diffuse over time to equilibrium.  This will take about a week.  I prefer force carbonating. 
  
Force carbonation takes less time and tends to seal the keg even tighter resulting in less low-pressure leaks.  Force carbonating basically involves infusing CO2 at a high pressure for a short time, then allowing the keg to rest for 2-5 hours and reach a saturation equilibrium close to your desired (10-14psi) target range. To force carbonate the beer should be close to serving temperature or you may have to “re-force” more carbonation as the temperature drops.  Start around 40psi.  Violently shake the keg as much as possible to get the CO2 into solution.  You’ll be able to hear the regulator dispense CO2 as you continue shaking.  About 5-10 minutes should do it.    Allow the keg to rest and check the pour pressure in about 2-5 hours. Your target PSI should be around 10-14 PSI.  The beer should be close to the final, drinkable level of carbonation, but still needs about a day or so to settle down and reach a stable temperature.  If you intend to refrigerate your keg, you might re-carbonate after it has reached its lower, refrigerated temperature.  At this point you can opt to leave the CO2 connected to the beer, or you can disconnect.  Assuming all you gaskets are functioning, disconnecting should be fine.  
  
Once you have reached proper carbonation you should still consider some aging.  Almost all beers benefit from some conditioning and aging.  This allows flavors to harmonize, final sediments to drop and integrates volatile flavors like hops or spices.  This is more critical for high alcohol and hoppy styles.  So unless you are in a hurry try giving kegged beers 5-7 days of cold conditioning and I think you’ll see a positive change. 
  
For long-term casual use, I prefer to leave the gas connected to the keg but shut off at the regulator just in case.   In the event that a minute leak causes the tank to lose pressure, say over a period of a weeks, you won’t end up with flat beer and an empty gas cylinder. One or two quick spikes a week from the regulator will keep the keg maintained.  If you have problems maintaining pressure, check your O-ring fittings and seals, you may need replacements.  Of course, for parties or heavy use, just leave the regulator hooked up and on for consistent pouring. 
  
CONTROLLING DISPENSE PRESSURE: 
  
Remember that carbonation and dispensing are two different concepts.  The problem with dispensing is that it works under very low pressures (10-14psi), which may be difficult to fine tune.  If you are having problems with too much pressure or foaming you have 3 options: 1) lengthen your beer line or 2) reduce the diameter of the beer line or 3) your regulator or line pressure gauge is not operating properly.  The recommended liquid out line is 5-6’ of 3/16” ID tubing.  Even if you don’t need 6 feet, you do need some internal resistance in the line for good pours. 
  
TO REFRIGERATE OR NOT? 
  
For stability year around you should consider a dedicated beer fridge. A working second hand unit can be acquired for cheap or free if you look around. You can store your leftover hops in the freezer and keep kegs at a proper temperature.  You might even have room for a carboy and try some real lagering!  For temperatures I’d recommend 38-40 degrees for crisp ales and lagers and 40-48 degrees for most ales, though British Real Ale advocates might go even warmer.  It’s pretty subjective.  The C02 tank and regulator do not need to be stored in the refrigerator.  You may opt to simply connect and disconnect the gas line sporadically through the open door or drill a small hole low on the hinge side of the door and thread gas line through the door.  DO NOT DRILL THROUGH SIDE OR REAR PANELS UNLESS YOU ARE SURE NO COPPER COOLING LINES ARE AT RISK! 
  
FINAL NOTES ON KEGGING: 
  
Once you have kegged beer you may never want to go back to bottling.  In the event that you want some bottled product pulled off a keg you have some options. 
Low-tech option #1:  Obtain 10” of ¼” ID- 5/16” OD vinyl tubing.  Jam this into the spout of the poly pinic tap and use this to fill bottles from the bottom up minimizing splashing.  Use swing top bottles, which you have placed in the freezer to chill, thus further minimizing foaming.  Quickly fill and cap, you will lose a bit of carbonation. 
  
Low-tech option #2:  Purchase a Carbonator cap which screws onto P.E.T. pop bottles.  Fill up the poly bottle off your tap head and screw on the carbonator cap.  The Carbonator cap is molded in a gas post configuration.  Simply hook up your CO2 gas with your soda keg disconnect and “charge” up the pop bottle with an additional 15psi +/- for decent carbonation.  The 1 liter pop bottles are good way to transport your product to friends or parties. 
  
High-tech option:  Obtain or rent a counter-pressure bottle filler.  This unit connects the keg to a filling wand in a sealed closed loop.  The beer is moved and displaced by CO2, allowing good carbonation and displacement of oxygen.  This is the best option for those entering beer in judged competitions or simply desiring fully carbonated sediment-free bottles.  This is a somewhat tedious process which requires proper set up and staging and is not recommend for quick casual use. 


DRY HOPPING/SPICE ADDITIONS: 
Hops, spices, or other flavorings may be added directly to the keg.  I recommend dry hopping with loose hops (1/2 to 1 oz) in a muslin sock.  You will want to sanitize the sock in boiling water, add hops then knot or tie off the bag.  Other loose ingredients can be added via this method.  Alternatively a flavored “tea” can be made, and poured through a filter/strainer into the keg.  
  
DON’T: 
  
* Don’t lay the regulator/tank assembly on its side. 
* Don’t induce excessive pressure; you should never need pressures above 40 psi for beverage 
   use. 
* Don’t forcibly remove the soda keg lid until all of the internal pressure is completely purged. 
* Don’t vent out Co2 gas in small contained spaces.  
* Don’t let chlorine bleach sit in the keg, corrosion may occur.  Chlorine must be thoroughly 
   rinsed.  Star San or Iodine sanitizers are recommended.  Always follow dilution guidelines on any 
   cleaning/sanitizing chemicals!              
  
Refilling Co2 Cylinders: 
  
Most welding gas stores “swap” out your CO2 tank, meaning they take your tank and give you another used, filled tank. 
If you really want to maintain possession of your current tank this may be difficult in Bellingham.  Call a welding gas store for more information. 
  
PRAXAIR: 733-0971 (420 Ohio Street) 
CENTRAL WELDING SUPPLY:  714-9353 (4282 Pacific HWY)

 




Sign In