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Old 05-10-2005, 08:47 PM   #1
roverz
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Default Forced or Natural carbonation

In the process of putting together a keg system for our beer and was wondering if it is advisable to force carbonate even if you do not have a keg fridge to reduce temp. Mainly we will be using kegs for 4th of July and other larger parties instead of bottles.

should we naturally carbonate in the keg or force carbonate at room temp and then chill keg prior to tapping ?

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Old 05-10-2005, 09:15 PM   #2
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An interesting question. I would say that if you don't plan to refrigerate then natural carb is the way to go. Force carbonation is quite dependent on cold temps so it could take quite awhile to carb at room temp. Also, considering you don't plan to consume it right away I would think that it would actually be a bit easier to store it away and ice it down when needed rather than have it hooked to a CO2 bottle and not drink it. Bear in mind, of course, you will have the sediment at the bottom of the keg and you'll have to run a bit out before it starts to run clear. Just think of it as a very large bottle that you don't have to cap.

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Old 05-10-2005, 10:22 PM   #3
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here comes the stupid question 9hey i'm full of em) you can naturally carbonate to a system such as this? :

minus the co2 bottle of course.

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Old 05-10-2005, 11:10 PM   #4
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Yes but you will need the co2 bottle to serve the beer that is in the corny or you will need to provide exit pressure by another device. The beer can be stored in the corny and either force carbonated (with co2) or natural with priming sugar or DME.

Everything that I have read indicates that force carbonating requires lower temperatures which I can't achieve right now until I buy my wife a new SS fridge. I have been trying to convince here that the SS fridge should be for beer and she can keep the 30 year old handy down that we have

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Old 05-11-2005, 12:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverz
In the process of putting together a keg system for our beer and was wondering if it is advisable to force carbonate even if you do not have a keg fridge to reduce temp. Mainly we will be using kegs for 4th of July and other larger parties instead of bottles.

should we naturally carbonate in the keg or force carbonate at room temp and then chill keg prior to tapping ?
You are going to need a CO2 source regardless, if you are planning on using cornies - even if you are planning on naturally carbonating in the keg. Why? Because the lids of the kegs won't seal until you hit them with pressure. If you just prime and keg, then seal the lid and not use a bottle to pressurize, the lid won't seal and all the CO2 your beer produces from priming will go right out through that unsealed lid.

Since you'll need the CO2 source anyway, to seal the lid, why not just use it to force-carbonate?
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:03 AM   #6
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If you don't have a fridge, natural carbonation is the way to go. Just hit the keg w/ CO2 to seal the lid, then let it carbonate. I'd say you could use those little CO2 cartridges, but I don't know if they develop enough pressure to seal the keg. Also, you want to vent the CO2 a bunch of times to clear out the O2 after you hook up the gas. This would probably use up most of a cartridge. After you get the keg sealed and carbonated, you can definitely use those cartridges to serve the beer.

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Old 05-11-2005, 02:26 AM   #7
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I also want to force carbonate a corny and have no refrigeration . I checked a Carbonnation Chart and for 70F @ 32 psi the volume of CO2 is 2.7

But how long would it take carbonate the keg? How long could the beer be stored @70F?

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Old 05-11-2005, 01:46 PM   #8
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it will just take longer for the warm beer to absorb the co2. that's why they recommend to chill the keg a few days prior to force carbonating. i've been force carbonating kegs for years, and had to use corn sugar to prime this past weekend for a coffee porter i brewed. why? because i am entering three bottles in a competition. IT SUCKS HAVING TO WAIT 2-3 WEEKS TO DRINK A BREW!!!!!!!! i'm spoiled...........so i just bottled 4, then racked the rest to my keg, and will let it sit at room temp for 2-3 weeks.

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Old 05-13-2005, 01:07 PM   #9
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Priming sucks. The act of priming a keg is almost sacrilegious. Heresy!

Seriously, you will save a lot of trub in the bottom of your keg if you crank the pressure up to 30 PSI or so at room temp and wait it out. It will also take less time than priming. Just don't try to serve it at that pressure. If you use a picnic tap, bleed the pressure in the keg down to 1 or 2 psi, but then you'll have to crank it back up to store so it won't go flat on you. If you don't have a CO2 tank, then you are stuck with priming and must travel to the "dark side". You can use one of these little gizmos to dispense your beer once it's carbonated:
, but I would recommend a CO2 tank (and a refrigerator) if you will be kegging regularly.

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Old 05-13-2005, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikebryan
You are going to need a CO2 source regardless, if you are planning on using cornies - even if you are planning on naturally carbonating in the keg. Why? Because the lids of the kegs won't seal until you hit them with pressure. If you just prime and keg, then seal the lid and not use a bottle to pressurize, the lid won't seal and all the CO2 your beer produces from priming will go right out through that unsealed lid.

Since you'll need the CO2 source anyway, to seal the lid, why not just use it to force-carbonate?
Not to mention to actually dispense the beer. You'll never generate enough CO2 in a keg through natural conditioning to actually serve the whole keg.

If you want to keg, you really need to bite the bullet and get a fridge, a CO2 tank, and set up a sane dispensing system. It's not that expensive to do it right, and the benefits are huge. Any half-measures will just be a PITA and won't do your beer justice IMHO.

Cheers!
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