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Old 05-27-2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Newb ? - When to make the beer cold

Hey all, first post. Been bottling for 5 months and just built the kegerator (very nice), and I prepared 2 batches three + weeks agos. These two batches, one amber and one honey brown, went through the normal process: primary, secondary (first batch finished in a keg while the second batch was housed in the secondary).

Once the kegerator was built, I hooked up both kegs to the CO2 and dropped both kegs in the fridge (converted chest freezer), and plugged it all in. Do I need to worry about the timing of carbonation and cooling the beer? Does CO2 allow for carbonation in cold temperatures? it just seems like with bottling and sugar water, the temperature had to be warmer for longer (sittin in the closet, etc).

Thoughts?

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Old 05-27-2007, 02:31 PM   #2
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Actually, the colder the beer the better it will absorb Co2. I actually put my carboy in the fridge for at least a week before kegging but you could rack it into the keg, put pressure on it, and let it cool to serving temperature. It will take a bit longer but no big deal.
If you look at carbonation charts, the lower the temperature, the lower the pressure you will use for a given carbonation level.

Here's a chart from Northern Brewer:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/instructions/co2.htm

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Old 05-27-2007, 02:33 PM   #3
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Yeah, the issue with bottle-carbing is that the yeast need to be working, i.e. they've got to be ~70° to carb up. With force carbing, that's a non-issue, and as Rich noted the cold beer absorbs CO2 better than warm.

Welcome to the forum! Where in VT are you located?

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Old 05-27-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
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Virginia Boy, Virginia Tech alum. My finacee got me the nice brew set up stuff for christmas, and I work with a fellow brewer. So we trade off our brewing nights and drink alot. None-the-less, the finacee and I both got tired of bottles all over the house, so here I am weeks away from my birthday, waiting on a home brew keg party.

I am off to read the carbonation charts. My samplings indicate the honey brown is gonna be great, a little sweet, but great. The amber is a proven recipe, but it seems as if the sampling for that was similar to my only "taking longer than normal to get good" issue. I know, patience, right? patience....

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Old 05-27-2007, 02:43 PM   #5
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HA! Welcome anyway

(I always do a double-take when I see Virginia Tech playing on TV, abbreviated as "VT")

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Old 05-27-2007, 02:54 PM   #6
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funny, i do the same thing when vermont plays. Why are we dumping the Raspberry maple? I have yet to add flavors, but Black Dog Ale (Montana Brew) makes a Honey Raspberry Ale that has made me think twice about making a summer batch for those hot summer days a coming.

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Old 05-27-2007, 03:04 PM   #7
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Raspberry-maple fermented hot, and the fruit makes it too tart. Early batch, just didn't come out right. Haven't dumped it yet because I'm not kegging and I don't need the bottles!

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Old 05-27-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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Rich,
What am I looking at when determining the volumns of CO2 desired? I understand temperature, I understand PSI, no worries with those two variables.

Basically, I am at day 3 (hooked all up on Thursday evening) at 40 degrees, 2 5 gal corny's, at 15 PSI. The chart tells me 2.75 volums of CO2 desired. What does this mean?

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Old 05-27-2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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you need to find a style chart as well.

2.75 is in range of most 'standard' beers. i use a bit less, around 2.3 or so.

different beers have different levels of carbonation. wheat beers are around 3.5 or more, stouts are only around 2 or less or so, etc.

people have different preferences on carbonation and serving temperatures. the main reason why this is important is that you need to adjust your beerline based on all of your preferences.

for example, i use 10psi at 40F, which should be 2.3 volumes, which is what i prefer as far as carbonation goes right now. i need to balance the pressure in the keg with beerline. if my beerline was too short, it would rocket out of my faucet, and just foam into the glass. if it was too long, there would be very little foam, and it would flow slowly. if it was just right, i would have the proper level of head, as well as a decent flow. right now i use about 5-6 ft per faucet. this is given the generalization that 3/16'' ID, 7/16'' OD smooth bore beverage line has about a 2psi/ft restriction (it is actually a variable resistance, but i find that 2psi is good enough).

so if you like the level of carbonation that 15 psi gives you, i woudl recommend starting with at least 8 ft of beverage line.

i plan on replacing all of my beerline with 10 ft sections, so that i can accomodate beers with higher levels of carbonation. i have a number of secondary regulators in my kegerator that i would like to finally make use of.

i hope that helps and doesn't confuse you more.

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Old 05-27-2007, 03:49 PM   #10
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Rich, Thanks, that helps. i love the science in all of this and i feel like high school chemistry might actually have a use in life now that i am further along in life.

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