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I recently started brewing again as I was bought some new kit:

  • 5 gallon fermenting bucket
  • 5 gallon plastic keg with tap

This is the first time I've brewed without bottling.

I've just got my wort into secondary and I'm concerned that when secondary is complete my first few pints will be nice, and then as the pressure lowers in the keg they'll be flat! Am I right in thinking this will be the case? I've heard that I need something to keep the pressure up in the empty space of the keg when it comes to drinking it. I did add a bit of sugar as per instructions for secondary but I don't think it's going to be enough to keep the beer carbonated.

Cheers!

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can you add a link to the keg that you've got? –  mdma May 1 '13 at 10:35
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1 Answer

Yes, you are correct. Without some other source of C02, the beer will lose pressure as the level drops, and it will stop coming out of the keg altogether soon.

Can you post a link to the "5 gallon plastic keg with tap" in question? I can't imagine why anyone would sell a keg that can't be charged, and I've never heard of a 5gal plastic keg vessel either. I used to use a "Party Pig", but that was about 2.5gal, and it included a mechanism to push out the beer over its life.


Update - here's the description from the site:

A good first barrel or can be used to leave finished brews in for maturing. The pressure release valve will withstand around 10 p.s.i. and can easily be replaced with a gas injector valve cap at a later date if required. An easy pour tap is fitted at the bottom of the barrel.

So theoretically, you could prime this keg with sugar when you rack the beer in, let it carbonate, and then use the gas injector valve cap to add enough C02 to maintain about 10PSI, which would keep the beer dispensing properly.

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I'll have to take a photo.. it was a gift. It does have a strange looking screw on lid that has some kind of valve seal or something in it.. very hard to describe.. will get that photo :) –  John Hunt May 7 '13 at 15:09
    
homebrewcentre.co.uk/product.asp?pID=377&cID=158 I think this is the one (looks exactly the same) - I do have 5gal in mine though. –  John Hunt May 7 '13 at 15:12
    
That's not really a keg, and I don't think it's intended to be used as a serving vessel. @Graham is correct, you could theoretically add pressure to it with the right fitting, but I'd say that thing is really meant more for fermentation or bottling. –  ASTX813 May 7 '13 at 19:39
    
So is it ok for secondary fermentation? If this is the case, should it then be transferred to a proper keg w/CO2 for dispensing? –  John Hunt May 9 '13 at 9:19
    
Well, I still think calling it "a good first barrel" and saying it has an "easy pour tap" are indications that the manufacturer intents it to be a serving vessel. You certainly can just use it for a secondary if you want a normal keg, but you need to be able to disassemble that tap at the bottom completely, like the spigot in a bottling bucket, to ensure sanitation. –  Graham May 9 '13 at 12:04
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