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Old 10-08-2011, 06:59 AM   #1
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Default Force carbonation vs bottle conditioning?

So do you like your keg carbed beers more than your bottle carbed beers? I find the carbonation and head retention so much better with bottle carbed beers no matter what beer. Thoughts, personal results?

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:09 PM   #2
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I really can't tell the difference. If you force carb slow and steady, or use the proper amount of priming sugar when you bottle condition, then the carbonation should be the same. Personally I think my kegged beers taste better because I know I won't have to clean bottles...lol.

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrostar View Post
So do you like your keg carbed beers more than your bottle carbed beers? I find the carbonation and head retention so much better with bottle carbed beers no matter what beer. Thoughts, personal results?
Is there a possibility that your keg system may not be fine-tuned in terms of balance? If you knock out too much CO2 in the beer line it'll taste flat, and when you entrain too much gas in the head, it'll just collapse.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:59 AM   #4
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Haven't noticed a difference, except now that I get to drink mostly carbed beer in two days instead of 2 weeks However, the best thing about kegging, other than the time savings, is keg dry hopping. I was never able to get much out of dry hopping as I have with keg dry hopping. The difference was and still is mind blowing. I like bottle conditioning big malty beers, anything else gets kegged.

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #5
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I've followed all of the force carbonation charts i've seen, running 5 ft of line with an external tap. I've tried quickly carbonating and doing it over a week. I'm taking notice of my beer temp also usually at 40 degrees. It seems I get a different flavor also. Noticed that on my hefeweizen I did where I tried to bump up the co2 level. Somebody told me it could be carbon acid? Appreciate the responses so far.

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:54 PM   #6
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Carbonic acid, sorry.

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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I like my forced carbed beer better than bottle conditioned. I used to love my bottle conditioned beers, but after kegging for a while, now I detect a different flavor in my pirmed bottles and I don't like it.

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Old 10-09-2011, 08:32 PM   #8
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What differences have you noted between "force carb slow and steady" versus vigorous shaking? I've gone the full route from leaving it alone for a day, rocking gently, and even violent, harsh agitation, and not noticed any difference. (Carbonation pressures are those recommended by BeerSmith for various temperatures, which I presume is based on the co2 tables mentioned.)

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Old 10-10-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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As I mentioned before, there is an off flavor, like an odd flavor. Almost like it's contaminated. This has been called Carbonic acid by others. My equipment is clean, my regulator is clean, I've tried three co2 tanks now also. Same results. I don't know, I'm frustrated.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:01 PM   #10
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Petro, carbonic acid has somewhat seltzer-ish flavor. If that's the case, the solution is simple: Reduce your carbonation pressure. Carbonic acid is chemically indistinguishable from aqueous carbon dioxide. It is always present with dissolved CO2, and always at a lower concentration than the CO2. If you have a bad batch, just vent the keg and let it go a bit flat, then re-pressurize to carbonate.

Some numbers and details of your process will help us not have to guess which or what. For 2.3 CO2 volumes, I carbonate 76^F beer at about 27 psi; 15 psi at 50^F; 10 psi at 40^F. With the keg no more than 3/4 full, a few violent shakes makes it ready to serve in about a minute.

If you have no way to restrict the beer line (epoxy mixer or spring clips, for example), try serving at 3 psi. This means venting down to near ambient before tapping, and then recarbonate periodically when the beer goes flat. All this venting and re-pressurizing is less than ideal, but doesn't hurt the beer. It just costs a bunch in CO2 until you can throttle the beer line.

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