Kegging homebrew is a simple task if you keep in mind the basic principles of kegging and follow precautionary measures. For the amateur brewer, a comprehensive list of precautions that should be observed while kegging beer is given below:
• Keep the beer kegs clean: sanitation is of prime importance when it comes to brewing. Lack of sanitation may lead to the growth of micro organisms which can result in health hazards. Cleaning the kegging equipment at periodic intervals with soapy water and a brush is recommended so that all the keg parts, especially the poppet valves, are free from any residue or dirt. Also, clean the inside of the beverage and gas tubes every now and then.
• Always remember to inspect and sanitize kegs before each use. One great product for this is Star San Sanitizer. Its a great sanitizer for the outside of the keg. For the inside, BLC Beverage System Cleaner works well as a strong sanitizer.
• It is always recommended that you go for lower carbonation levels initially and then escalate it to your desired levels. Removing excess carbonation is far harder.
• Protect your seals: lubricate your O-rings at regular intervals because without lubrication they tend to wear out and get torn easily. As petroleum based lubricants are unsuitable for most rubber materials, using a keg lube would be a great idea. It is safe for O-rings and food contact surfaces.
• For avoiding any gas leaks from keg lids while kegging homebrew, change your O-rings. Purchase softer and fatter O-rings as they have comparatively better sealing effect. They are a better choice because in order to keep the keg lids tight, these soft and fat O-rings are not dependent on keg pressure. To stop gas leaks immediately, increase the keg pressure. Then slowly decrease the pressure.
• Corney kegs are also well suited for a secondary fermentation, but the use them for a primary fermentation. This is because the excessive sediment and activity can create a big clean up job. You can take a look at the blog post, “Some Interesting Facts About The Corney Keg“, to learn more about them.
This are some basic tips for kegging homebrew. The overall arching message here is: take care of your kegging equipment; always keep it sanitary and never neglect to fix or replace parts as needed. Take proper care while kegging your beer.