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Old 04-14-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
ChristinaPfeiffer
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Default Forcing Carbonation in Corny Keg?

Hello,
I'm looking for tips on kegging my first attempt at brewing and forcing carbonation with my CO2 draft system. As I understand I just transfer, chill, apply 25-30 lbs pressure, shake (at what psi?) for a few minutes or let sit for a few days... Then enjoy! Could you guys please give me ANY tips on the pros/cons of this or any info you think a beginner would benefit from?

This is my FIRST batch ever so please take it easy on me if I sound like I have no idea what I'm talking about! (I don't...at all!)

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Old 04-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
chaydaw
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Well that is one way to carbonate and you do seem to have the basic steps correct; however, I did this method one time and I won't ever do it again (I shouldn't say never, but unless I am in a huge pinch I would not do it). The best way, in my opinion, is to set your regulator for serving pressure (12-15 psi) and leave it alone for at least a week. At one week you will get good carbonation but it will be perfect maybe 2 weeks down the line. This is the best option because you will always get consistent carbonation. With the method you mention, your carbonation levels will be all over the place from keg to keg.

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Agreed, you'll be happier if you put the keg on gas in the fridge at about 10-12psi and leave it for about 2-3 weeks. Not only will it carb up without shaking the crap out of it, it will get some much needed conditioning time in. I don't think I would ever try the shaking thing, that just seems mean

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:48 PM   #4
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Same method as above. Make sure to hit it with 30 psi to get a good seal on the keg and purge the headspace a few times to get any oxygen out.

Did the shake once...but I like this method better.

edit: Oh...and congrats on your first batch, and even better, going right to keg!

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:55 PM   #5
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Lots of recent threads on this lately and everyone has an opinion on to force or not and those in the not category seem to passionately hate it. I forced dozens of kegs with no issues other than getting the carbonation to level out which I don’t really mind but it is more work. I have however used the set it and forget it method on my last 4 kegs setting them at about 16psi and they carbed up just fine in about 2 weeks. So it made me reconsider all the extra work to force carb for just having my beer ready a week or so earlier. That being said I am now a set it and forget it but I definitely will still force from time to time in a time crunch. And if you do I wouldn’t bother shaking the 5 gallon kegs when forcing. 25-30 psi for a few days will do the job. If you want it carbonated that day then the shake shake will work but it will be foamy as hell for days and you back won’t be happy.

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Old 04-14-2011, 09:00 PM   #6
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"Force carbing" is using co2 to carbonate a beer, instead of "natural carbonation" (using priming sugar).

Setting at 30 psi or 10 psi doesn't matter- it's still force carbing!

"Quick carbing" or "Burst carbing" is a better term for turning it up to a higher psi and trying to carb it up faster than the "set it and forget it at 12 psi" method, but both are force carbing!

If you're using gas to carbonate the beer, it's force carbonation.

I'm mentioning that because sometimes people say "force carb" and are actually talking about a quick burst carbing method, so I wanted to make sure that it is clear what is meant by "force carbing".

I usually set mine at 12 psi at 39 degrees, and wait 10 days- 14 days. But if I'm in a huge, huge hurry, I"ll set it at 30 psi for 36 hours and then purge and reset at 12 psi. No shaking! Then, the beer is ready in about 48 hours instead of 10 days.

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Old 04-14-2011, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post

I usually set mine at 12 psi at 39 degrees, and wait 10 days- 14 days. But if I'm in a huge, huge hurry, I"ll set it at 30 psi for 36 hours and then purge and reset at 12 psi. No shaking! Then, the beer is ready in about 48 hours instead of 10 days.

Bolded = Nuh uh, ain't happening, I didn't drop all this cash to wait for bottle conditioning to happen with CO2 I had to pay for . (While I have no doubt Yooper and many others are right that this is the easiest way to go, knowing I don't HAVE to wait that long means I just won't.)

Underlined - As a new kegger, (literally just kegged my first ever 4 or 5 days ago) this worked for me really well. I racked into keg, hit the gas at 25 or so, it chilled over night on the gas, and then let sit for 3 days. I then disconnected the gas, purged the pressure, put the gas back on at 12 psi and wonderfully carbed beer, no foam, no issues. I never shook it, and had ready to drink beer in 3 days, to me, thats about as good as I need it to be.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckmanco View Post
Bolded = Nuh uh, ain't happening, I didn't drop all this cash to wait for bottle conditioning to happen with CO2 I had to pay for . (While I have no doubt Yooper and many others are right that this is the easiest way to go, knowing I don't HAVE to wait that long means I just won't.)

Underlined - As a new kegger, (literally just kegged my first ever 4 or 5 days ago) this worked for me really well. I racked into keg, hit the gas at 25 or so, it chilled over night on the gas, and then let sit for 3 days. I then disconnected the gas, purged the pressure, put the gas back on at 12 psi and wonderfully carbed beer, no foam, no issues. I never shook it, and had ready to drink beer in 3 days, to me, thats about as good as I need it to be.
I'm sorry but you are drinking very green beer. Waiting the 2 weeks to allow it to carb up is also conditioning the beer. You can do what you want but you "dropped all this cash" to alleviate the tediousness of bottling, not to drink green beer....hopefully. Not to mention the fact you will have absolutely no idea what your carbonation levels are from batch to batch. By setting and forgetting I know exactly what carbonation levels to expect and I can adjust from batch to batch to suit the style. I'm sorry but the 30 psi method(which I have been guilty of doing) is just rushing something that really should not be rushed.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckmanco

Bolded = Nuh uh, ain't happening, I didn't drop all this cash to wait for bottle conditioning to happen with CO2 I had to pay for . (While I have no doubt Yooper and many others are right that this is the easiest way to go, knowing I don't HAVE to wait that long means I just won't.)

Underlined - As a new kegger, (literally just kegged my first ever 4 or 5 days ago) this worked for me really well. I racked into keg, hit the gas at 25 or so, it chilled over night on the gas, and then let sit for 3 days. I then disconnected the gas, purged the pressure, put the gas back on at 12 psi and wonderfully carbed beer, no foam, no issues. I never shook it, and had ready to drink beer in 3 days, to me, thats about as good as I need it to be.
No!! Don't drink it so young! You're drinking subpar beer that way. The 3 weeks bottles take to condition and carb allow the beer to mature. Some beers don't hit their stride until 6 months (and others even longer!)

Granted, some are good young (wits) but most should be aged!

</rant>
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaydaw View Post
I'm sorry but you are drinking very green beer. Waiting the 2 weeks to allow it to carb up is also conditioning the beer. You can do what you want but you "dropped all this cash" to alleviate the tediousness of bottling, not to drink green beer....hopefully. Not to mention the fact you will have absolutely no idea what your carbonation levels are from batch to batch. By setting and forgetting I know exactly what carbonation levels to expect and I can adjust from batch to batch to suit the style. I'm sorry but the 30 psi method(which I have been guilty of doing) is just rushing something that really should not be rushed.
A well-brewed beer shouldn't taste green by the time it is kegged - that's what doing an extended primary is for. And for most normal-gravity beers that used proper amounts of healthy yeasts and a progressive fermentation temperature profile, 2-3 weeks are plenty of time to bring a beer from kettle to the glass.

As far as force carbing, I've never had a problem with the quick-carbonate methods and really don't understand why people think carbonation is difficult to control that way. When the keg is at the pressure I want it to be, I stop, vent it, and put it on serving pressure. The next morning, it pours perfectly fine, and after a couple of more days, the beer is as good as it is ever going to be.
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