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Old 04-01-2014, 02:56 PM   #1
chichum
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Default Force carbonation: leave it connected?

I'm new to the CO2 world (well, to force carbonation). I plan to do things the 'right way' and just put the pressure and forget about it for two weeks. My question is this: when I put the keg up to, say, 10psi, do I keep the CO2 attached for the full two weeks? Or do I pump it up to 10psi, throw the keg in the fridge, disconnect the CO2 and just leave it? I couldn't figure out if I need to keep the CO2 connected or not (let's just assume there are no leaks).

Thanks!



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Old 04-01-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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Keep it connected.



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Old 04-01-2014, 03:04 PM   #3
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Cool thanks. One more question: I plan to bottle all of my beers after force carbonating them (I like having bottles because it makes my friends drink slower) - How do you tell when the beer is ready? Is it just wait for two weeks, pour one from the kegerator and see? Or is there a method to actually figure out the CO2 levels?

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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There may be a more scientific method out there, but I prefer to use the "How does it taste and does the carbonation seem right?" method.

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:13 PM   #5
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So do what I mentioned and pour yourself some and if you like it, then throw it in the bottles?

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #6
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You got it.

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #7
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Set it and forget works well, but does take a week or two, which really does benefit the beer. I've noticed my kegged beers really start getting good after 2-3 weeks of cold carbonation.

BUT I like to take a slightly quicker approach which you may have seen, but maybe not so I'll explain.

I seal the lid under 30psi of pressure. Which you should do to even if doing the slow and low method. It just gives the lid a nice tight seal. I hook up the gas and set the PSI to 30.

24hrs at 30psi
24hrs at 20psi
24hrs at 10psi

By the 3rd day I'm tasting. It usually needs another day or two to dial it in, but you can be drinking carbed beer in three days. In between pressure drops you want to be sure to release the pressure before dropping down to the next level. This ensures you don't get beer backing up into your gas lines since the keg will be at higher pressure than your gas line.

I like this method because it's relatively easy and gets the beer carbed in 3-4 days tops. But like I said earlier, I've noticed my beer starts tasting very good after sitting for a few weeks, so the slow and low method does have advantages.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
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As LLBeanJ said, keep it connected. If you disconnect then the only CO2 to get into the beer will be what was originally in the headspace. As the CO2 absorbs into the beer, more CO2 comes into the headspace from the tank and the cycle continues until the CO2 in solution matches the CO2 pressure in the headspace.

It should be carbed in 2 to 3 weeks if you set it at the serving PSI in the kegerator/keezer and wait.

Keep in mind that it may be carbed but not at it's best taste potential.

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:24 PM   #9
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I don't use my kegs as a secondary. The beers I plan to do have been sitting anywhere from 3-9 months so I'm not sure about the taste issues... that is unless carbonation can change the taste profile? Thanks for all of the info. It's very confusing the first go around. I'm sure I'll have it figured out once I just dive in and do it.



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