best practices for kegging from bucket?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by lordofthelambics, Dec 4, 2014.

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  1. lordofthelambics

    lordofthelambics Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2014 Washington

    Hey guys --

    I'll be kegging (ball-lock) from a bucket in a week or so. Looking for some tips on minimizing oxygen during transfer. Lots of flexibility, including ordering equipment, if needed. Also planning on doing a dual-stage dry hop.

  2. ronobvious2

    ronobvious2 Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2010 Tennessee

    Does your bucket have a spigot I assume? Purge your keg completely with CO2. Some tubing from your spigot to the liquid-in line but have your gas line or purge valve open. Let gravity do the transfer. More details about your current setup?
  3. PortLargo

    PortLargo Pooh-Bah (1,665) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

  4. lordofthelambics

    lordofthelambics Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2014 Washington

    That could work. Some more details on purging?

    Would this be like a reverse picnic tap type of set up where instead of the beer coming out, I'd be expunging CO2 from the tank and sucking beer into the keg instead of forcing it out? Would I just need to fill the keg with CO2? How much pressure?

    If I want to dry hop, do I just add the hops in a hop bag prior to filling? How do I remove the hops?

    So many questions!

  5. fuzzbalz

    fuzzbalz Pundit (875) Apr 13, 2002 Georgia

    I keg from a bucket but I don't have a spigot on my bucket, just use a auto siphon into the keg out (liquid) post. Lift the keg purge to release the Co2, then connect your auto siphon to the out post and start the transfer.

    I commando the hops when I add to the keg, if you want to bag use dental floss (waxed unflavored) and then you can pull them out when you want too, although I hear it's a bit of a pain to get the lid to seal with the floss running under it. Others on here I'm sure can help if you choose that way.
  6. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    bucket with spigot, hose, purged keg with open lid, suspend hops in bag, Xfer, purge thrice, slow carb, enjoy :slight_smile:
  7. ronobvious2

    ronobvious2 Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2010 Tennessee

    This may be overkill in the eyes of some, but the way I purged my keg last time was this:
    1. Take a cleaned keg and fill it as full as you can get it with a no-rinse sanitizer like StarSan.
    2. Hook up a gas line and set your regulator pressure to something very low, like 2-3lbs. You can go higher though.
    3. Hook up a draft line and open it up to let the fluid be forced out by the gas. You'll want to save some of this StarSan for other stuff.
    4. When the keg kicks, you're done. A vessel with nothing but pure CO2 in it. Disconnect your lines.
    I did this on my last brew to do a keg-to-keg transfer. It does require you having an empty keg to transfer to. I dry hopped in one keg with a hop bag, then left the hop bag in the keg while I transferred over to the other. Looks like this:

    Purge excess pressure from the receiving (empty) keg. It is pictured on the bottom. The keg on 'top' has the hopped beer in it. You take a gas line with 2' - 3' ft of line with two liquid-out QDs on either end. Hook up one end to the liquid-out post of the full keg, then hook up the other to the liquid-out on the other keg. Turn on your gas to start the transfer. You'll have to purge gas from the receiving keg periodically as it fills to allow the beer to continue to flow from the full keg. When you see gas travel through the liquid line and feel the once full keg is now light, you know you're done. Shut your gas off and disconnect everything. Now start force carbing!

    Everything sanitized, of course.
    lordofthelambics likes this.
  8. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (1,036) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I have used my auto siphon from my bottling bucket directly to my kegs unpurged. After It's filled I hook up the co2 and purge. I have never had oxidation issues and have kept my kegs around six months before taping. Good luck.
  9. ronobvious2

    ronobvious2 Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2010 Tennessee

    Like I said previously, what I did this last time may be considered overkill by some. In another post, someone said "if you do the math, filling your keg to 30lbs then releasing will do the trick". I don't know the "math" for this, but I've done this too, although overdoing it and filling to 30lbs and releasing twice.

    What is the volume of our corny kegs at X lbs of pressure? Temperature is a factor, I'm sure. What is the pressure of ambient air? I guess it's 0, but that also is probably dependant on sea level.
  10. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (1,036) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    When I purge it's usually at 15#'s. I will burp it 4 times. Then I'll stick 30 lbs on it and take the hose off and let it sit till I am ready to drink.
  11. ronobvious2

    ronobvious2 Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2010 Tennessee

    How long are your burps? When you put 30lbs on it, I guess you're carbing at room temps?
  12. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (1,036) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    Probably 1.5-2 seconds. Keep in mind I am sticking the pressure on it and taking the hose off immediately. Some kegs sit in my basement others go in my lagering chamber. Good luck!
  13. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Cold crash in bucket, something like 34 F for 24+ hrs. The longer cold crash time, the more clear the beer. I'd just use auto siphon with gravity and at the end of the siphon hose, connect to your ball lock disconnect (out post) so it flows down the dip tube and fills from bottom. Make sure pressure release valve is open during transfer. After transfer, hook up your CO2 purge to the outpost as well and flush with CO2 and intermittently open the pressure release valve. If you do this correctly, after a few purges, some foamy beer will shoot out of the pressure release valve. At this point, you can be pretty confident that there's no O2 in the keg and that your beer is pretty clear.
  14. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    When you do this method, don't you have to take the bucket out of your ferm/lagering vessel? My chest freezer/keezer sits on the floor, so if I were to cold crash in a bucket, I'd still have to take the bucket out of the keezer and put up on a table to transfer to a keg via gravity. My feeling is that you would have to let the beer clear again once you move it again.
  15. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Right, just move the bucket to a table or something to transfer by gravity and let it sit for 15 minutes before you start transfer. The beer is 34 ish degrees still at this point and will only take minutes to drop any loose sediment that may have stirred up. Most all of the trub will be fairly compact after a cold crash, especially a cold crash of 72+ hrs. Anything that does kick up will drop brite once the keg sits cold for a day or two and you start pouring off beer to clear it.
  16. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    Not too much different from what's mentioned above...I cold crash for 24 hours. Fill the receiving keg with star san water, empty with CO2, quickly add my dry hop sack and fining agent, reseal, purge 2-3 times for good measure. Then empty out of the bucket through the spigot by gravity. I have a piece of tubing that fits my spigot on one end and has a liquid disconnect on the other. So the transfer from bucket to keg touches very little O2. After 3-4 day dry hop, I'll transfer again to a serving keg that has been purged with a keg to keg jumper. Works for me.
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