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Old 01-28-2006, 04:52 PM   #1
casebrew
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Default Force carbonation??? Dry Ice?

I'd figure you could weigh out a chunk the right size, then you would know exactly how much CO2 you were adding to your keg. Some beer would freeze to the CO2, slowing evaporation....detrimental to flavor? How fast would pressure rise?

Alternatively, thinking of the weight of CO2 neccessary for carbonation, weigh gas bottle before/after to see carbonation progress?

I remember weighing the tanks at McDonalds in the 70's to check quantity inside, for re-order, since the pressure would change with temp so gauge is not perfectly accurate measure of quantity...

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Old 01-28-2006, 05:05 PM   #2
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i really don't think that would to well. Havn't you ever made Dry Ice Bombs??

Dry Ice is consintrated CO2. It maybe a very small amount needed though.

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Old 01-28-2006, 06:18 PM   #3
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My girlfriend brings home dry ice to keep her icecream cakes from melting during transport. (she works at Baskin Robbins)

I have tried experementing with it. It usually ends up turning into a bomb of some sort one you seal the container. It's too difficult to have a specific metered dose. I wonder if a corny keg would be able to hold the pressure??? I'm too chicken to find out.


My friend told me he carbonated 20 gallons of home made root beer with dry ice in a garbage can. But he said it went flat really quick, even after bottling.

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Old 01-28-2006, 08:35 PM   #4
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Very difficult to get the amount right, plus the dry ice would convert to gas quickly. Probably much faster than it would dissolve into the ale. Over-pressure and ice bombs. You could use two kegs, one with the ale in it and one with the dry ice in it and cross-connect them.

Don't forget, you kegs will get brittle at -109F.

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Old 01-28-2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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Well, after scoping out a zillion web sites found by Google, it would take something like 1/4 of a pound, in addition to the .9 volumes already in the flat beer at bottling time. That would give about 3 volumes. SOoo, to carbonate by weight, you would need to weigh your co2 bottle pretty acurately to get the right carbonation. But it would probably assure proper carbonation, if you could.

Poly soda bottles explode at about 200 psi. Corny's are good for 125. I dunno how high pressure would build in a corny as dry ice sublimates though. the higher the pressure, the more gets soaked into the beer, and the colder the beer...

My point is a way to accurately figure quantity for force carbonating . The 2 cornies hooked together system might lower max pressure due to the head space....hmmmm

I think I'll go pressure test the relief valve on a corny...

ETA, the handiest corny has a relief that blows off at 100psi... now I need a postal scale...

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So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"


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Old 01-29-2006, 07:12 AM   #6
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A much safer method would be to add the dry ice to a keg 1/3 filled with water. It would keep the temperature up enough to prevent possible damage to seals and lines, and enough dry ice would produce plenty of CO2 to give you the right carbonation. With pressure gauges, this could be easy.

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Old 01-29-2006, 06:41 PM   #7
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I'd be too chicken to try it. If I did, I'd try it in a plastic bottle, and bury that sucker someplace where it wouldn't do too much damage if it explodes. Even after a successful test, I'd still be too scared to try it in a corny that was inside my house.

Plus, over time, would there be any savings over just buying a CO2 tank, regulator, and lines?

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Old 01-29-2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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Tossing a pecan sized piece of dry ice into to a secondary, may have some value in creating a nice thick CO2 blanket. Using it for carbonating sounds less appealing. At least to me....

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Old 01-29-2006, 09:14 PM   #9
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I've got everything it takes to force carbonate, I'm just discussing an accurate weigh to know how much co2 the brewer actually puts in. I've seen too many overcarbonated kegs. I know that the amount of carbonation in bottle conditioning is controlled by the amount of priming sugars- you could calculate it from how much co2 does yeast make from 2/3 cup?

Perhaps the systems that use co2 cartridges of..um..13 grams? would work, just blow in 4 cartridges per 5 gallons?

Did you ever give blood? They hang the bag on a scale. At 15 oz, the scale tips and pinches the hose that drains from your arm. Something like that should work for kegs...

I'd think that maybe the proper amount of dry ice (NOT just anydamnsize chunk) tossedd into a corny, then seal the keg. As the stuff melts, pressure rises, but beer cools, and absorbs more gas. It won't make zillions of psi, but how much? Would the 100psi limit hold in all the gas?

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So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

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Old 02-15-2006, 08:53 PM   #10
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I made a CO2 powered bong in college... the thing was a gas (literally); I used dry ice in the beginning and eventually borrowed a regulator and bottle from a homebrew buddy. When I did use solid CO2 I never had a mishap though I did keep tight control on the evaporator I created. I would say that you can start with a small amount and use the formula P2*V2/T2=P1*V1/T1 to increase or decrease the amount as needed... You can measure the pressure on your regulator and use a cheapo strip thermometer on your keg, the volumes are constant if you use the same volume of beer all the time... Most likely you will not be injured but I would set this up in a place where others cannot be hurt. I know that everyone is concerned about an explosion but most likely as the pressure increases the sublimation will slow or even stop. The polytropic gas law will be as helpful as the one above if you are using a scale that can measure down to thousands of a gram... again knowing the pressure and temp are important... only the first time should be dangerous and starting with a small amount of solid CO2 will make the experiment pretty safe...

Dan

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