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Old 07-22-2008, 07:00 AM   #1
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Default Carbonating Beer in a Keg..what is the process?

I am about to purchase a kegerator and have a question. I have notcied people are carbonating in kegs differently. Can somebody tell me the process of carbonating a batch to be kegged? Thanks

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so barley is a leaves of hops? or barley is a different plant? and blend with hops? I need that to be cleared thanks..
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:21 AM   #2
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Two options:

Prime it with sugar - I put 160 gms dextrose dissolved into 1/2 litre boilng water into my bottling bucket, fill the bucket from the fermenter, and fill the keg from there. Then seal the keg with pressure, and let it sit at room temp for 2 weeks or so. ABV is .5% higher, and there is more sediment, but you will lose most of this in the first 2 pints.

Force carbing: Most of us have different way in which we accomplish this. Some just set the pressure at around 12psi and leave it for 2 weeks, some force carb it by setting the pressure at 30psi and rocking it back and forth for 15 minutes or so. I prefer to zap it up to 45-50 PSI and leave it for 3-4 days, giving it a shake every day, then when it's done, I relieve all the pressure, leave it sit for 1/2 hour with the relief valve open, then gas it to serving temp.

Keep in mind that when you force carb, the lower the temp of the beer the better.

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Old 07-22-2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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I use a bit of a hybrid method and I know a few others here that do it similarly.

Chill, pressurize to 30psi and leave 24 hours. Drop the pressure to your desired equilibrium pressure (use the charts) and purge the keg to remove any pressure in excess of that new pressure. Leave it for about a week then start pulling a pint once every other day to "check on the progress".

Some folks will go directly to the equilibrium pressure which is around 8-13 PSI depending on your temp and desired carb level. One good reason to do this is that it takes at least 2 full weeks to reach that carb level and it hopefully discourages you from drinking a beer that is too young (unless it has been aging in a secondary somewhere).

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Old 07-22-2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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Here's an article from BYO:
http://byo.com/mrwizard/1306.html

here's one with a table and the typical volume for various beer:
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/ForceCarbonation.html

It makes no sense to use priming sugar if you have CO2 in my opinion.

One thing to keep in mind however is just because you can carbonate beer in a week or less it doesn't mean the beer is ready to drink. Carbonated green beer is still green beer so you'll still need to let your beer age at an appropriate temp and for an appropriate time depending on the style you are brewing. Assuming you are brewing ale 4-6% alcohol 3-5 weeks aging at fermentation temp works out well.

Most ale generally benefits from a week at serving temp too.

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Old 07-22-2008, 03:29 PM   #5
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Lots of ways and like so many aspects of brewing, they all work. If I am brewing a kit that came with priming sugar I use it, why not? My own recipes, I carbonate after conditioning by putting them on at serving pressure for a week. I don't shake kegs, because every time I do I wreck my back (thanks dad).

Some people (Yooper and others) report a slight acidic flavor from the shaking method that fades in a few days.

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Old 07-22-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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I chill it, hook it up to gas at 12 psi and let it sit for a week or two. Works fine. Patience is key to good beer. A large supply is key to good patience.

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:18 PM   #7
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Along the same vein .. I plan to have several batches of beer ready to keg in a few weeks, but not all will be going directly in the fridge. I only have enough gas lines to support the 2 taps, so I'll be pressurizing and then removing the kegs.

What kind of pressure should I go for? I don't mind leaving them in the fridge for a while when I'm ready to serve if I need to bump up the carbonation level. Can I hit them with gas once and keep them for a while, or do I need to reconnect occasionally?

Thanks,

Wayne

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:26 PM   #8
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I hope that we tend to over think this.
I have 2 full kegs hit to 30PSI, sitting in the basement at 60 degrees. IF and when my temp controller ever shows up from AHS (Intergalactic Backorder). I will be setting the temp, sticking them in the freezer, and by the time it is cold, I'll reduce to 12PSI and have a nice frosty draft beer....and APFELWEIN.

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Old 07-22-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowew View Post
Along the same vein .. I plan to have several batches of beer ready to keg in a few weeks, but not all will be going directly in the fridge. I only have enough gas lines to support the 2 taps, so I'll be pressurizing and then removing the kegs.

What kind of pressure should I go for? I don't mind leaving them in the fridge for a while when I'm ready to serve if I need to bump up the carbonation level. Can I hit them with gas once and keep them for a while, or do I need to reconnect occasionally?

Thanks,

Wayne
If you want to carb the beer you really need to either keep the CO2 connected or reconnect the CO2 at least a couple of times everyday because the pressure inside the cornie will drop as the CO2 is absorbed. (unless you use the shaker method)

Once your beer is carbed to the level you want then you can remove the CO2 and store the tank.

Look on this chart for your carbonating pressure:
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/ForceCarbonation.html

example if you want a CO2 volume of 2 and your beer is at 70*F you'll need 26 PSI
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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I use priming sugar for my beer for two reasons. I saves my C02 bottle, and it kicks the ABV up a tiny bit. I buy bulk dextrose so it costs me less than 80¢ a pound, so it costs me like 20¢ to prime the entire keg and 5-6 X750ml bottles.

I still hit the keg with around 40psi once to seal the lid, pop off a little bit of pressure, and then leave tehm sit for 2 weeks or more. Sometimes it's a bit overcarbed, but realeasing teh relief valve and leaving it sit for 1/2 hour leaves it ready to serve.

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