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Old 12-11-2012, 03:19 AM   #1
ScottWa
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Default 1st Time Kegger ?'s

I was given a 5 gallon soda/Corny keg and a 5lb CO2 tank. I believe this is a pin-lock setup. I am prepping to use this setup for the first time in the next couple weeks but feel I still have some questions on how to carbonate/serve. So after I sanitize and replace all the hoses and fittings I will transfer my most recent batch to the keg. I believe "Santa" - aka my wife - is getting me a dual gauge regulator but in the meantime I would still like to have the beer carbonated and ready to drink once I hook up. Can I carbonate the batch with sugar (1/3 of a cup of corn sugar) and let that go for a bit then hook up my regulator on low pressure and serve immediatly or is this a bad idea/practice. I want to share this beer with family coming for Christmas but don't feel I will have enough time between getting the regulator and allowing proper time to force carbonate. Any insight would be much appreciated.

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:55 AM   #2
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You probably could. One problem you might have though is sometimes keg lids dont' seal until there is a bit of pressure in the keg. When I force carb I usually have to put 10-15 psi in the keg first to seat the lid. Once it is sealed I back off the pressure to serving pressure to force carb and everything is fine. Replacing my o-rings, using keg lube and fixing the clamp so it's a bit tighter might eliminate that issue. So not sure what to tell you, might be a crap shoot. If the keg seals fine you should be okay, but if it doesnt, not sure if you would loose all the natural carbonation from a leaky seal. You could fill the keg with water turn upside down and see if the water leaks through the lid. Even if it doesn't, might not mean CO2 wouldn't push through.

Hate to be a downer, hopefully somebody who naturally carbs in kegs will give you a better answer.

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:58 AM   #3
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You could also force carb using higher pressure once you get the rest of your equipment. There are various methods to do this but it can be pretty easy to overcarbonate. If you're interested in this method it might be worth a shot. I have before and it is okay sometimes and sometimes not.

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:06 AM   #4
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If I get the meaning of your question, yes you can naturally carbonate in the keg.
No you won't have time between now and Christmas.
If you try and naturally carbonate, then when you get the regulator force carbonate it to speed things up, your beer will probably be sweet and you won't save much time.

Force carbonation can take between a few weeks sitting at serving pressure to overnight.
I remember reading instructions for "instant" carbonating.
pressurize to 60 pounds, unhook the gas and pick the keg up and shake it until your sack hits the ground.
Re pressurize and do it again. Repeat until you can't do it again.
The next day bleed off the pressure, the hook it up at serving pressure.
Give it an hour and serve.

Now if you try that method and it does work, you will have no control over the carbonation level.

Just like everything else in beer, time is the best way.

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:06 AM   #5
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I was in the same boat when I did kegging in June...regulator was on order so I sugared my keg with too much sugar so had to purge every day all of the excess CO2. then I had sweeter beer with a weaker mouthfeel. in additon, you're not purging O2 so you shouldn't slosh around the keg while carbonating with sugar because you are aerating your beer. Finally, It's very difficult to exactly know how much priming sugar to add for those 5 gallons or at least it was for me.

I'd just wait it out until the CO2 arrives..keep the kegs at fridge temp, don't slosh, disinfect and seal them up...hook up the regulator when it arrives, purge O2, set to higher PSI and force carbonate then you just have to wait 24 hours and you're serving beer!

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_70sharps View Post
I remember reading instructions for "instant" carbonating.
pressurize to 60 pounds, unhook the gas and pick the keg up and shake it until your sack hits the ground.
Re pressurize and do it again. Repeat until you can't do it again.
The next day bleed off the pressure, the hook it up at serving pressure.
Give it an hour and serve.

Now if you try that method and it does work, you will have no control over the carbonation level.

Just like everything else in beer, time is the best way.
That's how I do it. I get the kegs to fridge temp (put them in the kegerator a day before) since the lower temps absorb the CO2 much more efficiently. then hook up the regulator and set to high PSI and do the 5 minute "floor rolling" method.

Wait 24 hours, turn down PSI, purge excess CO2 and hook up to the taps..wait another hour and then serve.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:36 AM   #7
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I force carb by hitting it with 30 psi, let it sit for 1.5-2 days and serve. I have never had that fail and its usually done in a day. I don't even bleed it to serving pressure I just let it get there when I pull beer.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarter View Post
I force carb by hitting it with 30 psi, let it sit for 1.5-2 days and serve. I have never had that fail and its usually done in a day. I don't even bleed it to serving pressure I just let it get there when I pull beer.
I've done it that way also. Seems to work out well.
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