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Old 01-26-2010, 03:42 AM   #1
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Default Kegging my first beer

I brewed a Schwarzbier some time back, and I'm getting ready to carb it up in my corny. How much/how long should I carb it?

I was looking at this chart
http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
It's chilling at 40C, so I was thinking about 10 or 11 PSI. How long should I leave it at that PSI before I drink it? When should I turn the CO2 off, or should I leave it on?

Is 10 or 11 PSI considered the "set it and forget it" method or the force carb method? Which is better?

As you can tell, I'm a complete kegging noob. Any help would be great.

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:54 AM   #2
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Everyone has their own opinions on what method is best, but I highly suggest using the "set it and forget it" method. Force carbing involves cranking the psi up to 30, shaking the keg to dissolve CO2, and then turning it back down to 10-11psi. You could save yourself a few days by doing this, but it's pretty tricky to get it down pat. Most of the time, you'll end up overcarbonating your beer and having to start all over again.

I didn't look at the chart, but if it tells you to carb at 10-11psi, then yes, it's "set it and forget it". Just hook the keg up, purge it by letting it fill and then pulling the pressure relief valve. Do this a few times and then forget about it for 2-3 weeks. It will be fine to drink after about 5 days, but the flavor will improve 10x if you wait 2-3 weeks for the carbonation to balance out. Either method you decide on (force carbonate or "SIAFI") will still wind up taking 2-3 weeks to fully balance out and taste great, so why bother with rushing it?

Leave the CO2 on at all times...even after it's carbonated. If you don't, it'll go flat.

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Old 01-26-2010, 04:52 AM   #3
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Your method will work just fine. Just a couple corrections for Suthrncomfrt1884, "force carbonating" is the method of using pure co2 to carbonate beer, "natural carbonation" is carbonating beer using the co2 produced by yeast.

You can turn off the co2 once the beer is carbonated and you are not serving beer out of it. I do this when I will not be drinking a keg for a long time to make sure I do not spring a leak while I am out of town.

Set it and forget it chart: http://ebrew.com/primarynews/ct_carbonation_chart.htm

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Old 01-26-2010, 07:46 AM   #4
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Not to Jack the thread but I'm in the same boat. Will be finished dry hopping and this will be my first kegged batch. I would like it carved by the superbowl feb7th and it won't e done dry hopping until the first. Can I just turn up the psi to like 30 for 8 hr. Then bring it down to the recommended chart pressure until gameday and have it carbed? Or am I looking at a shorter/longer time at 30 psi to acheive the desired volumes by the 7th?

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netjunk1e View Post
Your method will work just fine. Just a couple corrections for Suthrncomfrt1884, "force carbonating" is the method of using pure co2 to carbonate beer, "natural carbonation" is carbonating beer using the co2 produced by yeast.

You can turn off the co2 once the beer is carbonated and you are not serving beer out of it. I do this when I will not be drinking a keg for a long time to make sure I do not spring a leak while I am out of town.

Set it and forget it chart: http://ebrew.com/primarynews/ct_carbonation_chart.htm
I realize force carbonation is the use of CO2, but I believe the use of the word "force" is appropriate for a beer using 30psi to carbonate it.

As for turning off CO2...it's not good for the beer. If you're just turning it off for one or two days, I guess it's fine...but leave it for a few weeks and see how the beer tastes. The CO2 should always be on to constantly balance out the CO2/beer as you pull pints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilldeath View Post
Not to Jack the thread but I'm in the same boat. Will be finished dry hopping and this will be my first kegged batch. I would like it carved by the superbowl feb7th and it won't e done dry hopping until the first. Can I just turn up the psi to like 30 for 8 hr. Then bring it down to the recommended chart pressure until gameday and have it carbed? Or am I looking at a shorter/longer time at 30 psi to acheive the desired volumes by the 7th?
If there's one thing I've learned while homebrewing, it's that patience is key. I realize you want it for superbowl, but don't try to rush things to get it done. I'm serious when I say it will take 2-3 weeks to taste great. If you keg on the first, just "set it and forget it" and it'll be carbonated in about 5 days. I don't recommend 30psi because what happens if you overcarb it? You'll be drinking foamy, bitter beer....or you'll have to start all over again and waste another week.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilldeath View Post
Not to Jack the thread but I'm in the same boat. Will be finished dry hopping and this will be my first kegged batch. I would like it carved by the superbowl feb7th and it won't e done dry hopping until the first. Can I just turn up the psi to like 30 for 8 hr. Then bring it down to the recommended chart pressure until gameday and have it carbed? Or am I looking at a shorter/longer time at 30 psi to acheive the desired volumes by the 7th?
Here's my $0.02 from a n00b that just finished carbing his first batch. Since I desired a C02 of about 2.5 and the beer was still room temperature I initially set my pressure to 30 PSI when I put it into my keezer.

About six hours later I dropped the pressure to 12 PSI and purged the keg to release the extra pressure. I guess I probably could have just let the beer absorb the extra pressure and it would have equalized on it's own. I then tried rocking the keg for about 10 minutes. This got boring quickly.

I put it back in the freezer to sit and have been "testing" it daily. By about the third day after kegging it was beginning to be drinkable, and every day after that it's been getting better.

I will definitely be using the SIAFI method from now on. If you really want to rush one (Super Bowl, being a valid reason I think), then I would recommend getting your beer down to serving temp, then set your pressure to 10-12 PSI, lie the keg on it's side, put a good movie on your laptop, and start rocking. I'd rock for no more than an hour before putting it back in your freezer to cool for a couple hours, then rock again. Using this method there should be no harm in over-carbing your keg, but will encourage faster CO2 absorption.

P.S. I got the formula for calculating pressure, temp and CO volume from Beer Math Plus For those using Excel, drop the below formula in cell C5 and then put your Beer Temp (F) in cell C3, and your desired CO2 volume in cell C4 and this will tell you what pressure to set.

=-16.6999-0.0101059*C3+0.00116512*C3^2+0.173354*C3*C4+4.2426 7*C4-0.0684226*C4^2
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilldeath View Post
Not to Jack the thread but I'm in the same boat. Will be finished dry hopping and this will be my first kegged batch. I would like it carved by the superbowl feb7th and it won't e done dry hopping until the first. Can I just turn up the psi to like 30 for 8 hr. Then bring it down to the recommended chart pressure until gameday and have it carbed? Or am I looking at a shorter/longer time at 30 psi to acheive the desired volumes by the 7th?
When you are done dry hopping, bring it down to temperature, hit it with 30 psi and shake the piss out of it, After a few rounds of 30 psi and shaking, test the carbonation, you want a little under what you are looking for, since you should have about 5 days now, set it to the correct pressure and leave the co2 hooked up. It should be perfect by game day.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
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Thx for all the advice it really helps. So by hitting it with 30psi do you mean turn it to 30psi and wait until I don't hear anything, then shake for a few min. And set it up again, shake and check? I think prolly doing this I won't run a huge risk of over carbing as long as I only do it for say 2 min. At 30 psi 2x, right??? Then I'll set it for the 2 volumes per the calculator.

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Old 01-26-2010, 04:01 PM   #9
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It took me about 5 or 6 times doing that to have a fully carbed beer. I would pressure the keg to 30 psi until I no longer heard gas flowing, disconnected it and shook it for a while, and repeated. I would say do it four times, then check for the carbonation level. Maybe do it after two also just to get a feel for how the method works.

Also, if you ever to end up over carbing a beer, it is easy to fix, just release the pressure in the keg every few hours until you are back to the level you desire.

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Old 01-26-2010, 04:11 PM   #10
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I'll laugh when your pouring foam for the superbowl.

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