Tag Archives: keg

Murphy Training Days 2018

We are happy to announce the dates and initial details of our training days for 2018!

Murphy Training Days take place between 9.30am and 4.30pm, cost £95 +VAT and include lunch, with a maximum of 15 places available on each. In addition to which, each delegate will receive a USB containing the presentations from the day and a certificate.

All our training takes place at our historic Prince of Wales Brewery site in Nottingham and offers the opportunity to discuss and learn more about a particular element of the brewing process with members of our technical team. Murphy Training Days are pitched at a beginner to intermediate level and designed for those looking to expand or refresh their brewing knowledge, with opportunity for questions and in-depth discussion throughout.

To check availability and reserve your place, please email events@murphyandson.co.uk and include the training date(s) you’re interested in, your email address, full name, brewery name and a contact number (as relevant).

Once booked you will receive a confirmation email and be contacted by a member of our Customer Service Team to organise payment. Closer to the date we will circulate a detailed agenda for the day and all the logistical information you might require, but please don’t hesitate to send a question our way should you have one in the meantime.


AVAILABLE DATES: Thursday 22nd February or Thursday 26th July 2018.
Led by Master Brewer and Technical Sales Representative Nick Brading.

This course will cover liquor composition and effect on stability, brewhouse control, carrageenan, isinglass and auxiliary finings. The training will also delve into the importance of stable beer in cask preparation and small pack production. Providing all the basics needed to brew quality beer with confidence.


AVAILABLE DATES: Thursday 22nd March or Thursday 30th August 2018.
Led by Technical Brewer and Technical Sales Representative Adam Johnson.

There is no beer without yeast! Our yeast training provides an introduction to this vital microorganism, options available to the modern brewer and a guide to using and handling yeast in the brewery. This will provide a general overview as well as a more in depth discussion of the fermentation process, handling live yeast, maintenance and microbiology and last but most certainly not least, brewery hygiene.


AVAILABLE DATES: Thursday 26th April or Thursday 27th September 2018.
Led by Master Brewer and Technical Manager Richard Haywood.

The day will include an examination of water analysis and its impact on beer quality, from core principles to specialist analysis and application. After this the team will focus on the application of chemistry and microbiological testing methods in the brewery, and finally, a demonstration of how to perform a finings optimisation. Come away with the skills to create consistent beer with confidence.

This training features practical activities in our lab, so is limited to a maximum of 10 attendees only.


AVAILABLE DATES: Thursday 24th May or Thursday 25th October 2018.
Led by Master Brewer and Technical Manager Richard Haywood.

This days training will provide an overview of a Quality Management System, thus arming the brewer ready for their initial foray with the subject. Also covered will be HACCP, due diligence programs and last but not least, SALSA and legal requirements. Come armed with your questions, as they’ll be lots of time to discuss and answer these throughout.


AVAILABLE DATES: Thursday 28th June or Thursday 29th November 2018.
Led by Technical Brewer and Technical Sales Representative Iain Kenny.

The day looks at the central role of stable beer in keg, can and bottle production and the practical techniques that you can apply to help ensure this. Also covered will be an introduction to the different carbonation, filtration and filling methods available, both as a starting point to begin or an aid to refine in-house production. Advice on selecting the right contract packager and further insight from the team at Applied Minerals will also feature.

If you require that we come to you and/or tailor the day to your particular requirements, then we recommend you request a Murphy Master Class. Our master classes range from a presentation to your staff at your brewery on any of the subjects featured in our training, right through to a full days walk through and detailed assessment of your process. Simply email events@murphyandson.co.uk to find out more.

Kegging, canning or bottling? Have you considered the benefits of Murphy’s Super F?

Since its launch,  Super F has proven invaluable to many of the top craft breweries worldwide, providing great results for beer produced for keg, can and bottle whether filtered or unfiltered.

What is it?

Super F is a rapid action fining, made using our own special formulation of silicate and polysaccharide for rapid sedimentation.  This unique blend makes Super F effective at fining out yeast as well as being an effective finings agent against potential haze forming colloids like proteins.

How’s it used?

Super F is best added when beer is moved from fermenting vessel to conditioning tank with care taken to ensure good mixing.  It is not a suitable addition for cask conditioned beer and should never be dosed directly to cask.  Action of this fining is quite rapid with excellent results achievable within 48 hours.  Super F packs a real punch so dose rates are low with typical doses 75ml-175ml per hl will achieve great clarity (often less than 1 EBC) and a compact sediment.


The rapid action of Super F will significantly reduce residency time in conditioning / maturation vessel.  When using this product, the load on centrifuges and filters will be significantly reduced due to brighter beer being presented for further processing.  This gives considerable time and money savings per run.

When kegging unfiltered beer, yeast counts and protein content in the product will be lower and more consistent, leading to a more stable product.

Super F is also vegan friendly and is easy to store (just don’t freeze it!) with a shelf-life of 6 months from manufacture date. Furthermore, Super F is also in accordance with German Purity Law (set into force by the German provisional beer law in its current version 9 [6]).

Finings trials

Introducing a new finings regime to any brewery is a big step.  At Murphy and Son, we pride ourselves on our technical support so before any brewer uses this product we ask that they send a representative two litre sample of their beer to our laboratory where our Research and Development Scientist Dr Ruth Newby and the rest of the lab team will set up optimisation trials.  This will give valuable information on haze and sediment levels for different dosages to provide a starting point for trials and additions in the brewery.  As always, our technical sales team will also be on hand to aid and advise on the products use.

Author: Iain Kenny
Technical Sales Representative

For further information or to setup a trial please contact our technical team on

The Murphy’s guide to kegging

Brewing Auditkeg


Kegged beer is a product which has been chilled and filtered, usually carbonated then packaged into pressurised metal containers which have a spear or extraction device of some description to aid dispense. In this way it is a different beverage to cask beer although often starts out brewed in the same way. The ability of the brewer to keg enables him to exploit different sales channels compared to cask where his keg beer can tolerate longer shelf life requirements, dispense points with no cellar cooling or sporadic turnover. Typical shelf life for a keg beer for the UK market is 12 weeks whereas for export, anything over 9 months is required.


Raw materials, brewhouse and fermentation processes are the same as for cask beer. It is in the preparation of the beer for packaging that the major changes occur. The first step is in the maturation. Beer destined for kegging is usually chilled to as low a temperature as the brewer can get it. The lower the better as this precipitates chill haze so it helps to have used carrageenan in the brewhouse too. A beer kept at -2.0˚C can be filtered after 48hrs, -1.0˚C would be 4 days, but if a beer can only be kept at 4 or 5˚C, it may be better to keep it for several weeks.

The second step is a filtration stage. This is to remove all yeast and as much protein and other material that would otherwise promote the formation of haze and off-flavour. Filtration can be through cellulose sheets or cartridge filters of different porosity or by using a kieselghur (diatomaceous earth) filter. All these techniques achieve the same thing; the production of a star bright beer which maintains its chemical and physical stability for the length of shelf life required by the customer. In practice beer is pumped from the cold tank through the filter and collected in a bright beer tank. At all stages it is important to keep air, in particular oxygen from contacting the beer. Oxygen readily reacts with residual proteins and hop resins in the beer to form compounds that eventually lead to oxidised flavours and haze which detract from the flavour. Therefor the rough beer tank often has a top pressure of CO2 gas acting as a blanket as the tank empties and likewise the receiving bright beer tank has a CO2 atmosphere to do the same as it fills.

Keg beer has a higher carbonation than its cousin in cask and this is achieved by carbonating the beer. The most efficient way is to do this inline as the beer exits the filter and fills the bright beer tank. However it can be done by carbonating the bright beer tank directly although this risks stripping out hop aroma and causing floaters through collapsed fob. A typical keg beer carbonation could range between 1.4 to volumes (cask beers are rarely greater than 1.0vol).


Once in the bright beer tank, keg beer is packaged into kegs as soon as possible. The product although stabilised by filtration, is not sterile so most brewers fill their kegs after first flash pasteurising. Pasteurisation is the name given to heat treatment of a liquid to render it microbiologically safe. The amount of pasteurisation given is measured in pasteurisation units, PU’s, defined as the amount of heat delivered to kill microbes in a unit of time. 1 PU is the amount of microbial death achieved at 60˚C for 60 seconds. The scale is logarithmic and can be found from tables but keg beers are generally given around 20 PU’s equivalent to holding beer at 72˚C for a 15 – 20 seconds. The whole packaging process, including pasteurisation, is done under pressure to prevent the loss (fobbing) of CO2. The pasteuriser feeds the keg racker, usually via a buffer tank to cope with variable flows seen during keg filling. Kegs are washed on a specially designed washer as they need to be de-ullaged, cleaned, sterilised, rinsed and back-pressured prior to filling with the pasteurised beer.

Due to possible damage to the beer at the elevated temperatures of pasteurisation, beer can be sterile filtered instead. This usually involves passing the beer through a series of Filter Cartridges, the final cartridge being 0.45 micron.

After filling, kegs are check-weighed to comply with trading standards legislation, labelled and a tamper-proof keg cap placed over the filling/dispense point to protect the contents.


This is the basic process of kegging beer. It is obvious that a different process technique and different equipment is required to keg beer. The underlying principle is to bring a greater stability to the beer to deliver a longer shelf life.

Some further considerations about this process are given below:

  • Even longer shelf life can be achieved through chemical stabilisation in cold tank prior to filtration by using silica gels, PVPP or enzymes according to the raw materials used and shelf life desired by the brewer.
  • There are many different types of keg fitting to found in pubs, and some of the one trip kegs have their own fitting. Your market needs to be investigated when considering keg and fitting type.
  • The prevention of oxygen contact throughout the whole process is imperative to achieve the shelf life stated by the brewer. Oxidised beer is really unpleasant to drink and indicates a fault in the above process. It is difficult to prevent oxygen ingress but permitted anti-oxidants are available to minimise the inevitable contact, e.g. ascorbic acid, sulphur dioxide (max. permitted in beer before declaration is 20ppm).
  • It can be seen that much capital equipment is required to install the correct processing equipment. However keg beer can be made employing sterile filtration technology which precludes the need to pasteurise with its risk on flavour change and energy requirement. Sterile filtering is made immediately after the rough filtering step and produces a microbially stable beer that can be carbonated and kegged as described.
  • The introduction of another product stream to the brewery requires more management, knowledge and expertise. It is worth considering purchasing additional quality control equipment like CO2 and O2 analysers especially to assist with the control of these important parameters.