In this episode, we’ll discuss the process of getting started with kegging--ranging from post fermentation practices like clarification through carbonation. We'll even cover some bottling. We almost always recommend that our customers move to kegging as soon as they have the space for a temperature controlled chest freezer or a standing refrigerator. We know that it’s an investment, but there hasn’t been a brewer yet to tell us that they regretted their decision to replace bottle conditioning with keg serving and storage. In fact, it often opens up a whole new avenue in the hobby of homebrewing, by allowing homebrewers a coordinated setup to play with, where they can start collecting things like tap handles or maybe even turn their chest freezer into a piece of fine beer filled furniture that fits in any room of their home.

We obviously have a special place in our heart for bottle conditioning and that will be mentioned, but the positive benefits of kegging easily outshine the huge amount of effort bottling takes and completely eliminates having any bottles that are duds. Plus, depending on your brewing methods, you might be able to move your clarified prized liquids from the original primary fermenter straight to the keg. Meaning you never expose your beverage to further risk of something funky you don't want in there or an extra amount of oxygen you wouldn't be able to avoid as easily. And if you've experienced an infection, you know that not all funky is good funky. But of course, you have to keep up great sanitation practices, just like any other time you're brewing or transferring beer. You're doing that, right?

Getting started with a setup could be as easy as finding an old cheap fridge on Craigslist or a garage sale (you may need to build a small base that fits inside if the bottom isn't flat). Then you grab a 5 or 10 pound CO2 canister with a dual gauge regulator and a ball lock or pin lock keg or two. To those you attach a gas line (with or without a distributor) that end in a gas quick disconnect. And finish with another liquid quick disconnect and 5-6 feet of liquid beverage line that ends in a picnic tap (aka cobra tap). You can now serve perfectly carbonated cold beer from the fridge, whether you want to pour a taste, a half a glass, or a large growler. Maybe even 3-4 different kinds if there's enough room in the fridge. And if that becomes too limiting, then it's time to look into a larger chest freezer with a temperature controller. With that, you could have up to 12 different homebrew batches on tap. Maybe even some cider, wine, or mead.

Sound impossible? Nah. Though possibly a little tangled.

Thanks for listening! We'll be back around soon with a great discussion of recipe formulation with some special and surprise guests.

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