If you can fill a bottle, you can fill a keg.

bottle filled from keg

The process of kegging homebrew is the same as bottling. And sanitization is every bit as important.

Cleaning: Most of the component parts of Corny kegs will contact the beer, so it is extremely important that all parts--especially in used kegs--be properly cleaned and sanitized before use. After cleaning your keg leave it inverted in a clean container while you prepare for racking.

Priming: It is possible to prime your beer just as you would normally do for bottle-conditioning. You could then use a hand pump and picnic tap to dispense the beer. However, a CO2 system makes it easier to obtain a consistent level of forced carbonation and the carbonation can be adjusted at will.

Racking and purging: Some brewers prefer to purge the corny keg with CO2 before racking to avoid any possibility of oxidizing the beer, others simply rack into the keg as they normally would any carboy. If you choose not to purge the keg, make sure your racking tube is long enough to reach to the bottom of the keg when you begin. Ideally, it should be long enough to remain below the surface of the beer during the entire process to prevent aeration and premature staling of your finished beer.

After racking is complete, fit the sanitized keg lid into the top of the corny keg and seal it with the retaining bail. Whether or not you purge before racking, it is important to purge the headspace with CO2 before pressurizing. If your keg has a pressure-relief valve, open it by pulling on the valve ring and turning 90° to lock open. To purge the keg, set the tank regulator to about 25 psi and connect the gas to the IN side of the keg; let the gas flow into the keg for about 30 seconds or so then close the relief valve. If your keg doesn't have a relief valve in the lid, an alternative purging technique is to leave the lid unsealed to allow the keg to vent. You will need to reduce the purge pressure to about 5 psi to reduce splashing. Once the headspace has been purged (it should only take a minute or two), seal the lid. You are ready to force carbonate.

homebrewed beer with malted grains and hop flowers

Home Beer Brewing

Brewing beer is an American Tradition.