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I am thinking about brewing ginger beer for a bar I work at. This means it would be in a keg on a tap. I would like to ferment the ginger beer instead of pumping in CO2 but am unsure how to go about it. I've done quite a bit of research but the main question I can't find an answer to is how can I safely store my ginger beer in a keg after fermentation has provided enough carbonation without it continuing to ferment?

Being that we haven't done this yet we are not sure how quickly it will move so I would like to avoid any bursting, leakage, or getting too dry.

Is there a way to completely halt fermentation? Not just pause or slow down but entirely stop? I've also read about fermenting ginger beer using the probiotics already present in ginger but not a lot of info on how it may differ in this regard. May this technique provide better results?

Thanks for the help. All suggestions or information is greatly appreciated.

  • Potassium sorbate? – im1dermike Oct 24 '14 at 18:56
  • @im1dermike I will definitely look into that, thanks. – user8365 Oct 24 '14 at 19:00
  • You'll need to clarify: Are you looking to make a beer, with ginger, or a ginger-beer (the soda; the type you'd put in a dark and stormy?). The answer below seems to assume a regular beer with a primary/secondary fermentation. But your question implies you don't want to produce an alcoholic beverage. – Crisfole Oct 28 '14 at 17:15
  • I'm making ginger-beer the soda but it will be slightly alcoholic since i am fermenting it. – user8365 Oct 28 '14 at 23:29
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If primary fermentation is complete, adding priming sugar only allows the wort to consume the newly added sugar; it doesn't continue to ferment afterward.

In a 5gal corny keg, 4 oz of corn sugar will be sufficient. You must leave it at room temp (just like a bottle) for a couple of weeks. It should carbonate just fine. (Akin to cask conditioning). You can then add CO2 to maintain carb (like a serving pressure of 5 - 10psi). Unless you add some huge amount of sugar, the keg will be fine (they can handle more psi than a bottle). Ideally, if you carbonate at your house, then move it to the bar, let it sit for a couple of days, but that's primarily since the move will kick up trub from keg-carbing. It's a bit easier to control a force carb, but carbing with priming sugar works just fine in a keg, though you typically need a little less (4oz instead of 5oz for a 5 gallon batch, should scale).

If you trying to stop a fermentation early, where it would normally continue to ferment if left alone, then cooling it or using potassium sulfite combined with potassium sorbate accomplishes this, but with postassium sulfite/metabisulfite alone, if returned to room temp, the yeast could overcome it and start to ferment. However, just cooling it will halt most yeasts.

  • Mead and wine "brewers" usually use chemicals to stop fermentation/kill yeast. Not sure what they use, but it is a good place to start. – Atron Seige Oct 26 '14 at 16:20
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    @Atron Mazers and vintners use potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to halt fermentation. Usage and dosage information is widely available online. – rjbergen Oct 27 '14 at 15:15
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Rough filtration followed by sterile filtration, add back sugar, then force carb. This wouldn't be cheap or easy (or even practical at your volume). I would suggest you just purchase a ginger beer for something like this.

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