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Author Topic: Carbonating  (Read 2678 times)

Offline DandyMason

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Carbonating
« on: September 04, 2011, 01:17:19 PM »
Ive been reading up quite a bit on carbonating beer in kegs, and force carbonation ... Just wondering what process you guys go through carbonating your beer.

Offline JohnQ

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Re: Carbonating
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 01:32:58 PM »
I'm in the KISS plan club, this process will carb it, but not to perfection, and the BJCP gods will frown with very serious faces as they puff on their pipes whilst carefully ensuring the head on their Porter is appropriate to the style guidelines all the time tut, tutting....

1. Chill
2. Crank it up to 40 psi
3. Shake Keg for 5 mins (you'll hear the regulator releasing the gas into the keg as the beer absorbs the CO2)
4. Reduced the reg pressure
5. Release the head pressure using the pressure relief valve (have towel ready to stop spraying of foam out of valve)
6. Put 5ish lbs pressure on reg
7. Serve (it will be foamy at first, it will get better)

Many folks let it set for a few hours after doing this, but I just deal with imperfection of it all.  You won't be able to get precise volumes of CO2 doing this, it will however be drinkable.

Having said this, my current experiment of fermenting under pressure is pre-carbing my product naturally and the first keg is getting very interesting, and is being crash cooled right now.

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Offline Dave Savoie

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Re: Carbonating
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 01:43:40 PM »
I set for 30PSI for 48h exactly and it comes out perfect everytime
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Offline Richard

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Re: Carbonating
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 04:04:10 PM »
To actually line it up with a specific number of volumes you have two options, one faster than the other but requiring a keener perception.

Basically if you use JW's method but in incremental steps, and taste the result for the perceived number of volumes, you can reach a fairly accurate number of volumes. I've seen this documented better elsewhere, but that's the jist of it.

Otherwise you need to just set a specific PSI based on your temperature + desired carb level, and wait. Agitation still helps to reach equilibrium, though. This takes longer but the results are far more accurate.

The levels can be read off here, including a more accurate description of what I just described:

http://www.kegerators.com/articles/carb ... -chart.php
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Offline Jake

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Re: Carbonating
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 05:17:35 PM »
Hey Dan. I usually do the 30psi for a couple days and then reduce to serving pressure ... but what should be the serving pressure? For each style of beer, there will be a suggested volume of CO2 that you'd want, which would be determined by what you have your regulator set to. For a wheat beer you'd want very high carbonation, whereas a stout you could almost drink with no carbonation, so you'd set your reg to just enough to pretty well push the beer through.

Before, regardless of the beer I was drinking, would always set the regulator to 8-12psi. You could take this approach, but this will lead to the same volume of CO2. I found that when I'd be drinking a stout or IPA served at 8-12psi, this would lead to too much carbonation. So I'd bring the CO2 down to 4-6psi (which is approximately where a stout or IPA should be) but it wasn't enough pressure to push the beer up to the tap. On the other hand, a wheat beer should be highly carbonated (upwards of 30psi), but when I try this it would shoot out faster than a peter north cumshot ... therefore what needs to be adjusted is the hose length. The link I posted explains this. When you get a beer tower, I believe they typically come with 5 feet of hose. So for a stout you may want to use 3 feet of hose, where a wheat beer you'd want closer to 15-20 feet coiled up in the fridge. This much hose would allow you to serve at 30psi and allow it to come out more at a 5 foot hose pace. I'm not saying you need to do it this way, but just food for thought.

I'm just starting to experiment with adjusting the beer line length. This is a helpful link:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/07/18/getting-a-good-pour-kegged-beer-co2-line-length-and-pressure/
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Offline DandyMason

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Re: Carbonating
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 08:51:51 PM »
Okay, all great info...

i think ill be lazy and chill the beer then set at 30 psi for 2 days then drop to serving pressure

Offline fakr

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Re: Carbonating
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 10:48:39 PM »
I was recently talking with a local brewmaster about the wide range of opinions and techniques around kegging and carbonating beer.  We discussed two techniques in particular, one being a quick carbonation and the other more of an aged carbonation.  

The aged one involved simple math.  Pick the CO2 volume you want, check your beer temp, and set the regulator accordinly.  Leave it for 1 week and it's perfect.

The quick carbonation method, which I still have to try (will try in a couple of days) involves kegging your beer, dropping the temp in the fridge, then hooking up the gas line to the "out" valve of the keg (this means attaching the beer or liquid fitting to the gas line). Set regulator to 2-3psi and let it slowly trickle CO2 up through the beer. Every 10 minutes, gently and slowly release the keg pressure from the pressure release valve.  Too fast will decarbonate the beer. Continue this every 10-15 minutes for 2 hours.  Disconnect the gas from the "out" valve and hook it up properly on the gas "in" valve.  Hit the beer with the correct serving pressure, and let it sit for 1 hour.
So a total of 3 hours later, you have drinkable carbed beer.

Definitely going to try this on the next keg.
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