iKegger Manual - download a PDF that covers a lot of iKegger basics
Click here to download a printable PDF version of our user manual. It includes information about most of the components we sell, how to assemble and use them as well as some general information on how to keg homebrew and use our nitro kits.
Force Carbonating, Kegging, Transfers, General Instructions:
Click here for a good instructional PDF with an example of our premium system & links to many common usage questions
Or skip to some more carbonating info here
Cleaning and Sanitising Your iKegger
We recommend cleaning your mini keg just with boiling water if you use it every day and rinse as soon as it's empty. Before you refill it use some no rinse sanitiser (2ml per litre) and leave it for 2 mins before emptying. Do not worry about remaining bubbles they are flavourless and non-toxic. You should also clean it well before using it the first time.
If your keg has been left with beer in it, has yeast caked on or has visible dirt then use some sodium percarbonate cleaner. Dissolved in water this breaks down deposits and is safe to use on steel, aluminium and copper. It breaks down to a non toxic, flavorless liquid however it is best practise to clean using this then still rinse and sanitise as above.
Filling Your iKegger Mini Keg or Growler
Filling from bottles:
This is a great way to leave the rubbish at home and take your beer with you in a great looking, easy to carry keg or growler that lets you have beer on tap anywhere. It also weighs nearly half of the same volume of beer in glass bottles, takes up half as much space in the esky and is virtually unbreakable.
- Chill the keg or growler in the freezer for a few minutes first (take the lid off the growler as the insulation will keep it room temperature all day in the freezer). Having the keg cold stops the beer losing carbonation and foaming up as you fill it.
- Inject the keg/growler with CO2 for a couple of seconds (using the injector or regulator) this pushes out any oxygen and will keep your beer fresh for much longer)
- Tilt the keg or growler and pour the beer with as little disturbance as possible down the inside wall.
- Once filled screw the lid on and while holding open the bleed valve (on steel taps) or leaving the cap slightly unscrewed (on the picnic tap) inject more CO2 to clear out any remaining oxygen. Pressurise to about 7-10 psi if storing or 5 if drinking immediately. The picnic tap injector has no gauge to tell pressure so you will just need a bit of practise but a 1 second press will get about the right pressure for storage or serving.
Filling at a brewery or bar:
This is awesome for bringing home that delicious beer you just tasted at your local. There are hundreds of new venues providing this service opening every month so keep your eyes out and let us know of any you find! The facilities at each venue are different, some will clean and sanitise your keg for you, some have CO2 taps to flush your keg first, some have direct connections to their kegs for no-fuss filling. However for best practise:
- Make sure your keg is clean and sanitised before you arrive.
- Have you keg chilled or ask them to chill it for a few minutes first.
- Flush the chilled keg with CO2 or ask them to if they are able.
- If they have the facilities ask them to fill through the ball lock spear using a keg to keg transfer or direct connection to a tap, if they can do this you are set. No more steps for you!
- If they don't do that then they will most likely fill through the open mouth of the keg with a hose on the tap to prevent splashing / foaming and fill inside the "cushion" of CO2.
- Once filled screw the lid back on and flush with CO2 again for a second or two.
- Store at 10-12psi, you can remove the regulator once pressurised.
- Drink at 3-5psi unless you have a flow restrictor in which case leave it at 10-12psi and adjust the flow to suit.
Filling From Your Fermenter or Keg:
For the home-brewers you can fill the mini kegs the exact same way as you fill bottles, rack into cleaned and sanitised kegs and seal with cap or spear. If you have one of our pressurisable Fermentasaurus you can use the pressure in the chamber to push the brew through the ball lock connections to ensure zero chance of infection or contact with oxygen.
To do a keg to keg transfer put the regulator onto the beer filled keg and join the liquid out post of it to either the liquid or gas post on the iKegger (only when using the double ball lock spear) by releasing the pressure on the iKegger the brew will transfer across through the daisy chain link. You can also leave the 2 kegs connected inside you kegerator with the tap connected to the smaller keg. This way you can un-hook it and take it with you full at a moments notice.
What are the main differences between the Basic Picnic Tap and the Double Ball Lock Spear?
- The picnic tap is all plastic, the double ball lock spear is stainless steel.
- The picnic tap uses a manual injector as standard , the spear a high quality mini regulator (they can be swapped though).
- The spear has a over pressure release valve, the picnic tap does not which combined with the manual injector makes it much trickier to pour consistently.
- Only the plastic picnic tap can be used with the picnic tap system, the double ball lock spear can use any tap including the plastic picnic tap option.
I'm having problems with my regulator, what is wrong with it?
Does it not have enough pressure? It shows pressure building when just on the disconnect but as soon as it's attached to keg it drops off?
- Usually this is because the gas canister is screwed in too tight, please try slightly unscrewing your gas bulb or sodastream bottle.
Does gas rush out the tiny hole on the back near where the gas screws in?
- Did you remove the clear plastic disk from the adapter? This needs to stay in the adapter, it is what the bulb or bottle seals against.
The needle has got stuck off zero or the valve labelled 1.8k on the back of the regulator has gas rushing out of it, why?
- 99% of the time this is because a gas source has been screwed in with the regulator turned on. The "OFF" on the adjustment knob ALWAYS needs to line up with the gauge on the front of the regulator when inserting or removing gas. There is no fix for this once it has happened and there are multiple warnings about it so it is not covered by warranty.
I can't get a good seal between the disconnect and the regulator because of the brass swivel adapter.
As suggested above, do not let liquid get inside your regulator. We always suggest using the check valve disconnects which allow gas to flow but prevent liquid returning through the disconnect. This can often happen with the kegs lying down if you run out of gas or while force carbonating on the liquid post.
- This adapter is important as it allows you to orientate the regulator vertically to prevent liquid CO2 getting inside it. Always screw the brass swivel adapter to the disconnect first and then screw the regulator onto it. Doing it the other way is very difficult to get a tight connection.
Carbonating Home Brew or Refreshing Commercial Brews
Can I naturally carbonate / secondary ferment in iKeggers?
In short, absolutely. We have 2 caps that have pressure relief valves in them, the double ball lock spear and the keg carbonation cap. Alternatively make sure to accurately calculate the amount of sugar you use and just use the cap that comes with the kegs. While our kegs and growlers have a large margin for error, you can imagine the mess an exploding keg makes compared to a bottle.
Can I force carbonate in iKeggers?
Absolutely! One of the greatest thing about kegging over bottling is the ability to carbonate your beer as soon as primary fermentation finishes. There are 2 things you need, a source of compressed CO2 and cold liquid. Without the liquid being chilled it is very difficult for it to absorb the CO2 needed for carbonation.
Until now this has meant that in order to carbonate your keg you needed a dedicated fridge for it and it would need to fit at least a 10L or more likely a 19L keg in it.
With the iKegger range you can store your brew flat at room temp in a 19L keg or the conical fermenter and keep the smaller kegs in the fridge for carbonating. This generally takes about 18-24hrs at 25psi so you can fill it before bed and have it ready for the next evening.
You can even speed that up, if you chill a keg of beer, attach the regulator at 25psi and gently rock or swirl the keg you can have frothy suds in less than 10 minutes! (you will need to wait for the beer to settle for an hour or more before you can pour it though)
Warning: If you intend on leaving beer for a longer period of time to force carbonate then do it at 10-12 psi (this is normal drinking level of carbonation) if you set it to a higher psi and leave it too long your beer will be over carbonated.
Can I use larger CO2 bottles with my iKeggers?
Yes! Our professional quality regulator comes with adaptors that fit both 16g and 74g threaded CO2 canisters, these are ideal for taking beer with you out and about as they are small and lightweight. If you plan on force carbonating a lot of beer though they can become expensive (the cheapest you'll find them is about $1.10 each if you buy in large bulk numbers, we buy them in the thousands)
To combat this we have another adaptor custom made for us. The sodastream adapter allows you to fit a 400g Sodastream bottle to it, these are the equivalent of 25 x 16g bulbs and are easy to swap for full ones at thousands of retailers around Australia. These are great as they are still portable and fairly lightweight but about 1/2 the price and hold enough gas to carbonate and dispense about 50L of beer or two whole home-brew batches. (see this map to find a place near you that swaps them: http://www.sodastream.com.au/locator/)
- We also have available a different mini regulator that is for using 2.2L disposable CO2 and Nitrogen bottles. These are great for home-brewers who use a larger amount of gas or anyone who wants the option of doing stouts, coffee, cocktails etc on nitro!
How much gas does it take to carbonate and dispense a mini keg?
- One 16g CO2 bulb should dispense approx 6L of carbonated drink
- In terms of carbonation there are a lot of variations between styles of beer and personal preference however 1 x 16g bulb should be enough to carbonate a 4L mini keg.
Do all your products maintain beer being cold for 12 hours or more?
Only the Double Wall Insulated Growler does. The other kegs will keep the beer cold for an hour or so, long enough to drink it for sure...
Does the same tap fit on both the Growler as well as Mini Kegs?
Our tapping system fits our kegs however the growler needs an adapter that we have designed specially for use with our tapping systems.
- Do the Kegs come with a lid if they are purchased separately or as a package?
Yes all our kegs come with a stainless steel flat screw on top that can be used for bottle conditioning. The growlers come with an insulated plastic screw on lid.
What gas do the systems use?
Our tapping systems use 16g Food Grade CO2 cartridges with a screw thread (soda bulbs) or you can use a larger refillable CO2 bottle or sodastream bottle if you buy the corresponding adapters from us. Our systems have standard ball lock posts which are the same as most homebrew corny kegs so if you already have a kegging system then these are a perfect match!
Do the the packages include C02 bulbs?
Yes, We send a starter 5 Pack of CO2 canisters out to you to get you started with, otherwise it would be like getting a remote control car and no batteries for Christmas ;-)
Where can I get more CO2 canisters?
We sell them via our website in packs of 10 at a discounted price compared to most. Otherwise you can buy them individually in most bicycle and home brewing shops.
How long does one cartridge last?
A single 16g co2 cartridge will be enough to dispense approximately 4L of beer plus have enough gas left to flush water through the tap system (to clean it).
- How many cartridges are used to forced carbonate?
It varies on the type of beer and your preferences for carbonation level but approximately 2 cartridges will carbonate, dispense and run water through to clean 1 x 4l keg.
If you are regularly homebrewing and force carbing we have a tapping system with a standard ball lock disconnect so you can use a full size bottle of CO2 or Sodastream cylinder for carbonating and dispensing at home and the cartridges for dispensing on the go.
Can you disconnect the tap & put the keg / growler back in the fridge & not lose pressure?
Yes - The Double Ball Lock Top allows the Tap and gas regulator to be disconnected like garden hose fittings. Valves inside the Double Ball Lock Top keep the keg sealed under pressure with the tap and regulator removed.
For the Flexi Tap/Top model - this needs to stay in place at all times.
Can the Kegs support the extra acidity of Ciders or Kombucha or even Coffee?
Yep! No problem with acidity, they are 304 passivated stainless steel !