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Old 06-22-2010, 04:32 AM   #1
sfrice80
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Default Basic force carbonating question

Okay, I'm a total newbie when it comes to kegging. I just kegged a Belgian wit. I'm assuming my temp will be around 45 degrees and I want around 3 parts CO2. I put it at 21 PSI but I'm wondering how long should it take to carb up? I want it ready by Thursday at the latest. Should I increase the pressure? Do I turn it down to serving pressure everytime I want to test it? I really appreciate some straight forward advice! Thanks

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Old 06-22-2010, 05:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sfrice80 View Post
Okay, I'm a total newbie when it comes to kegging. I just kegged a Belgian wit. I'm assuming my temp will be around 45 degrees and I want around 3 parts CO2. I put it at 21 PSI but I'm wondering how long should it take to carb up? I want it ready by Thursday at the latest. Should I increase the pressure? Do I turn it down to serving pressure everytime I want to test it? I really appreciate some straight forward advice! Thanks
It might not be ready by Thursday, but it should be drinkable. Step one will be to chill the beer down to 45ºF, and according to beer smith, 20psi will give you 3 volumes of CO2 at 45ºF. DO NOT TURN UP THE CO2 PAST 20PSI, yes I am yelling...this is simple physics P*V=nRT. If you turn up the CO2 then try and scale it back you will have no idea what your CO2 level will be. So stick with the fact that you can control two of the variables in this equation, pressure and temperature. Therefore you can control what your volume will be.

step two, attach the CO2 to the OUT line, this way the CO2 will bubble through the beer.

Step three, roll the keg back and forth sideways on your lap for a couple minuets and return to the fridge to cool back down to 45ºF. this gives the beer greater surface area to absorb the CO2.

Repeat step three a couple times, returning the keg to cool in the fridge.

Step four, wait till the beer reaches equilibrium...this might take a week or so...

Be Patient... Think about how long it took you to make the beer, ferment it, and keg it. take the time to carbonate it right...
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:45 AM   #3
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+1 to all above. However I have found great success with this method:

1.) make sure before you start carbonating that you've purged all the air out of your keg so it won't taste like cardboard. If you don't know how to do that just hook up your keg to the CO2 for a second, pull the purge valve on your keg for a few seconds. Easy.

2.) refrigerate at least overnight. Make sure that the beer is cold cold cold. I like to get going at around 38 degrees.

3.) crank your regulator up to around 30 psi, attach to keg, lay the keg across your knees and gently rock it back and forth for about two minutes... you'll hear the regulator kinda humming and gas bubbling into the keg.

4.) remove gas QD from keg. Bleed off the excess pressure in the keg. Crank it back down to about 8-10 psi depending on how your system balances, and pour off a sample. If it's got enough carb (it probably won't yet) you're good to go. If it's still a little too flat, continue this process a few times until you get it there...a word of advice is to start with 2 minutes of rocking, then dial that back to about 1 minute intervals.

5.) after you have the proper carbonation level, dial your regulator down to serving pressure (make sure your system is balanced: that is of the utmost importance), and leave it in the fridge for as long as you can, but around 12 hours minimum is best in my opinion to let it settle out (think about shaking up a can of soda, you gotta let it sit before you can safely open it).

A few notes: As I mentioned...make sure to balance your lines (google will help you). If you don't you'll get nothing but 3/4 glasses of foam. Not delicious beer.

After it's all carbed up, leave it connected to the gas at the pressure designated in any carbonation chart (google will help you), or if your serving pressure is close enough to that (this is what i do) leave it there. After time, usually a couple weeks, there keg will equalize. The amount of CO2 in solution will match the pressure in the headspace. That's why I like 38 degrees and about 10 psi, it usually balances out just about right for most beers I produce.

Quick. Easy. Delicious. You'll be fine by thursday.

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Last edited by kypher; 06-22-2010 at 05:48 AM. Reason: Didn't mean to contradict guy above me
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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Yes it is vary important to purge the keg before you start Carbonating. Thanks I missed that point.

Check out this table.http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

http://www.kegerators.com/articles/carbonation-table-pressure-chart.php

If you want to accurately carbonate your beer I would recommend not deviating too far from the pressure and temperature on the chart corresponding to your desired temp.

Your rate limiting step will be how fast you can get the CO2 into solution, and the colder your beer the faster it will go in, but you will need a lower pressure.

Also Check out Micromatic's web site on how to balance your system for proper dispensing. it's a great resource.

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer-edu/beer-questions-cid-2297.html

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