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Old 12-14-2012, 12:26 AM   #1
blawjr
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Default Diffusion Stone help

I'm looking into ordering a diffusion stine to use in the keg to carbonate my beer. I just noticed that when I carbonate in the keg the carbonation seems different, and less pleasant than when i bottle condition. I'm hoping the stone will help by introducing finer bubbles? I need advice on wether to use the .5 micron stone, or the 2 micron. Any suggestions?

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:35 AM   #2
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I think that using a diffusion stone will help speed up carbonation, by increasing the surface area of contact between beer and co2. Im not sure that it will help with the pleasant issue...you may need to describe how it tastes/feels different than bottle co2
Are you waiting long enough for the co2 to fully be absorbed by the beer?

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:48 AM   #3
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yea it's fully carbonated...it just feels like a more coarse carbonation, where the bottle conditioned feels more like finer bubbles. It's difficult to explain.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:54 AM   #4
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I would think that how CO2 comes out of beer would be unaffected by how it got in there. I'm guessing that the characteristics of the beer itself define the mouthfeel of the carbonation.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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I have the same feeling sometimes like I get finner bubbles and better integrated carbonic with bottle conditioned beer don´t know why or if I´m loosing it

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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yea i have no idea whats causing it, but thought maybe the stone would be a decent place to start. Maybe someone will chime in who knows what the deal is.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blawjr
yea it's fully carbonated...it just feels like a more coarse carbonation, where the bottle conditioned feels more like finer bubbles. It's difficult to explain.
I gave up kegging for a while because I didn't like that harsh taste you're describing. Finer carbonation bubbles probably won't help - the CO2 is dissolving into the liquid and comes out when pressure/temperature changes. It will carb your beer faster though.

You're going to get a slightly more bitter, acidic carbonation by force carbing then by doing it organically. Force carbing creates some carbonic acid, which is that "manufactured" taste thats different then bottle conditioning. Additionally you may also be over carbed or your beer could be green still (just because it is carbonated doesn't make it ready to drink). For over carbed, take the keg off pressure in the kegorator, bleed off the CO2, let it sit for a few days, and check the difference after the carbonation equalizes. You may find the beer tastes better. If it's too flat, you can always put it back on CO2.

Finally, if you force the process less (e.g. carb more slowly/less pressure) you'll get less of that harshness. Check the BJCP standards for your beer style and use a carb chart to target the right levels.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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If you're doing the high pressure level (30psi) for a day then dropping it, or the shaky shake method, go for the 2-3 weeks at serving temperature and pressure method instead. Doing a rushed, forced carbonation, will give more carbonic bite IF you've not given the brew enough time to equalize. By that time, you would have been better off with the slow method. I've had zero flavor difference between the slow method and bottle carbonating. Which is why I use that method exclusively. I did try speeding up the process for a keg, or two, but didn't like the results, so I went back to the slower method.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:38 AM   #9
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I dont think its that, I let it age appropriately. I dont force carb, I set it at about 11 psi and leave it be for a few weeks. It just feels like a different type of carbonation or something. Like I said, very difficult to describe.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blawjr View Post
I dont think its that, I let it age appropriately. I dont force carb, I set it at about 11 psi and leave it be for a few weeks. It just feels like a different type of carbonation or something. Like I said, very difficult to describe.
Temperature of the beer? Tap make/model/style? Beer line length and ID? There are several variables to the system that could contribute to the 'issue'. Don't just assume a carbonation stone will fix it. Unless you only serve (and carbonate) from a single keg, it can create more problems than it solves. It would also help to know what you've been brewing and serving up on the system.

Also, what regulator are you using? I would test to make sure it's actually pushing out the CO2 pressure it says it is.
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