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Old 03-25-2011, 12:26 PM   #1
SevenSeaScourge
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...so i filled my keg, purged the headspace, tossed into spare fridge, hooked up the gas and...

how the hell do i know when force carbing is "finished"? i'm referring to the slow-forced carb chart from kegerators but i've checked all the stickies and can't find my answer. do i just wait "three to five days" and it's magically delicious?

i set my psi to 12 but the regulator gauge seems to be fluctuating between 10-14 at the various times i've checked it. in hindsight, maybe i should have let the beer sit overnight in the fridge before putting carb pressure on it, but live and learn. would this explain the variance or should i continue to expect some sort of slight differences from what my psi is set at (i also noticed that when i pressurized an empty keg the needle would climb a little higher [1-2psi] when the co2 reached equilibrium)?.

and finally, how does one set a regulator to a lower pressure? this should seem obvious to me but it ain't. i tried backing the screw out and the needle just parks itself at the set psi..the only way i figured out how to do it is to vent the pressure until my needle reads right. this cannot be the correct way, is it? do i release all the headspace pressure before setting my serving psi?

all this craziness better be worth the carbed beer...i'd hate to be the only one to revert to bottling...



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Old 03-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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To set it to a lower pressure turn the set screw counter clockwise. With some systems you may need to purge the CO2 (pull the blow off on your keg like you are purging it again) and watch your needle.

As far a carbonation you will probably get several different answers because it depends on a lot of variables like temp, etc..

I have found for me to let them sit a couple of days and then try a pint. Then wait a day or so and try another until it fits YOUR taste. Take notes so you can duplicate or try new methods on the next keg.

Your set pressure seems about right. I try to stay around 11-12 serving pressure with 5-6 foot serving lines running from my keg to my tap.



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Old 03-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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The reason the regulator read that pressure even after turning the dial down is that the pressure is residual in the keg and in the lines. To dial the pressure down, I have to turn the dial down and vent the keg (or use the little vent on the regulator). So, in essence, that is the correct way. Its not like the regulator on my air compressor which auto-vents when dialing the pressure down.

As far as telling when its ready? Taste it! I usually check mine every few days, mostly to show myself how the flavors change over time and to check the carbonation. Mine usually take longer than 3-5 days when set at my serving pressure of ~10psi, more like a week or maybe even two.

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Old 03-25-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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So, I would like to preface this response with the following - I have only kegged once and I am still grappling with getting it right - i.e. it still isn't coming out properly.

I had some discussions with my LBS (local brew shop) folks and told him how I had done it:
1) rack beer into keg, 2) put 20 lbs pressure on it to seat the lid, bleed off, 3) put on 10 lbs and bleed (repeat 3 times) to purge oxygen, 4) let sit outside over night to chill, 5) put under 25 lbs pressure and roll for 10 minutes (fast carb method) and then bleed, put onto 10-12 lbs for serving.
He said that was fine, but he does it the "slow method" - do steps one thru four and then leave it to sit on the final serving pressure for a week or two, then test.

With regards to the reg, not so sure about that. I know that mine seems to stick a bit. I give it a couple of gentle thwacks it make sure I get the proper reading, but I have never seen it go up and down. Has the keg been holding pressure (i.e. is the lid seated good)? That needle climbing that you mention is why I started the "thwacking" - I would set it at 5 and notice that after a while it would go up to 6 or 7.

When I drop the pressure on the keg I just back it out fully (till I'm at 0), then bleed the keg and repressureize to the lower number. Given the short time it takes for all this to happen, I feel it is safe to say that the existing CO2 that is dissolved will not come out of suspension. I say this because I grilled the LBS folks about how to use my counter-pressure bottle filler and they said - assuming little physical agitation of the liquid and assuming the bottle is at the proper temp, I should have a minute or two before dissolved gases start to come out of suspension (not their exact words, but that was the jist of it).

Oh, and this is assuming that we are talking CO2 here.

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Old 03-25-2011, 01:34 PM   #5
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Wow! I don't make the big production that some of you do over carbing your beer! I keg it, put it on 30 lbs for "about" a day and a half. Then lower it to serving psi (8-10psi). I am drinking it after about a week and it is fine.

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Old 03-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipgate View Post
Wow! I don't make the big production that some of you do over carbing your beer! I keg it, put it on 30 lbs for "about" a day and a half. Then lower it to serving psi (8-10psi). I am drinking it after about a week and it is fine.
Yes but some like to know exactly the volumes of CO2 in their beer. With the "30 PSI" method you have no idea of the carbonation level from one keg to the next.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Yes but some like to know exactly the volumes of CO2 in their beer. With the "30 PSI" method you have no idea of the carbonation level from one keg to the next.
I disagree - the 30psi gets it going, and it remains at serving psi (I purge after lowering it from 30) for the rest of the keg life (1-2 months). I know the carbonation is "right", since I like the taste. And I do it the same way each time, so it is consistent between beers.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
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I disagree - the 30psi gets it going, and it remains at serving psi (I purge after lowering it from 30) for the rest of the keg life (1-2 months). I know the carbonation is "right", since I like the taste. And I do it the same way each time, so it is consistent between beers.
I understand what you are saying and I am glad it works for you. All I am saying is that you will never know your true exact carbonation levels using that method. Yes it will work and get the beer carbonated but it is not precise.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:07 PM   #9
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I like to let mine sit for at least a week just to crash cool any extra yeast I can out of suspension. After about a week you can pull a pint off the bottom that should contain most of that yeast, then you can pull another taste and see how far along you are.

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Old 03-25-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
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i do the 30 psi, then 10psi for a week. I pull a couple of pints during the week to test and get sediment out of the keg/line.

If you force carb immediatly does this mess up collecting sediment?



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