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BREWING TECHNIQUES: | All Grain | Partial Mash | Extract | Kits |
ALL TECHNIQUES: | Fermentation | Finishing |

Barrel It! Kegging and Secondary Fermentation

I rarely use bottles. It's too much like hard work for one thing, and I prefer draught beer anyway.


Running off brewing wort for priming




The barrelling process begins once primary fermentation is complete. I first run off about a pint of beer from the fermenter; I will add priming sugar and finings to this.







Running beer from fermenter to keg or barrel





Then I run the bulk of the beer into a pressure barrel. This is done through a piece of siphon tubing fitted to the fermenter tap, to exclude air and prevent the beer foaming up as it runs into the barrel.








Adding priming sugar to the beer



Meanwhile, I heat up the beer which I ran off earlier, and add 2oz of white sugar.....






Adding gelatine finings to the beer



..and a sachet of gelatine. The gelatine helps the yeast to settle into a firm deposit in the barrel, reducing the risk of clouding when the beer is run off during use.





Adding priming sugar and gelatine finings to the beer




The beer containing the sugar and gelatine is mixed into the beer in the barrel, which is then sealed.

During the first week or so, secondary fermentation converts the added sugar, producing enough carbon dioxide gas to create condition and promote head formation.


The beer will not be ready to drink straight away, though; first it needs to mature.





The maturation process takes at least 4 weeks, but I prefer to leave it for six weeks or more. The flavour improves during maturation, as some of the undesirable yeast by-products from primary fermentation break down over time.

Now here's the reward!

Pint of homebrewed beer


BREWING TECHNIQUES: | All Grain | Partial Mash | Extract | Kits |
ALL TECHNIQUES: | Fermentation | Finishing |
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