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Old 08-05-2010, 09:03 PM   #1
sniemeyer
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Default Are these force carbonating instructions B.S.?

On Midwest Supplies' site, they have these instructions for using a 0.5 micron carbonating stone:

Using a carbonation stone will cut down the time needed to carbonate the beer to about 1/2 hour.

•The beer needs to be cold, between 34 and 40 °F.
•Attach the stone so that it is at or near the bottom of the keg.
•Start with no pressure on the regulator and increase to 1-2 psi and let sit for about 4-5 minutes. You should hear the bubbles in the keg.
•Repeat the pressure increase in 1-2 psi increments waiting 4-5 minutes between increases until you are about 14-16 psi.
•Try a sample glass. If this is the desired carbonation level, you can either remove or leave in the stone and back pressure down to serving psi. If not, keep increasing the psi in 1-2 psi increments till you get your desired level.

Now I attached my 0.5 micron stone as suggested in the instructions, gradually increased the psi as instructed, but the beer did not carbonate in 1/2 hour. In fact, the beer has been sitting for several days at about 17 psi at 32 F, and it is still not at the desired level of carbonation. Has anyone successfully used the instructions above? Is it truly possible to carbonate a beer in 30 minutes (or even several hours) using a carbonating stone as suggested above?


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Old 08-05-2010, 09:45 PM   #2
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Never used a stone to carbonate. Most people will crank up the psi, shake the keg violently until it absorbs no more CO2 (the line doesn't hiss when you shake anymore, several minutes), set the psi to wherever you like, and put it in the fridge for a few days. It really takes this long for the CO2 to dissolve.

Also, I just looked at the description of that product..."Carbonates your beer overnight" eh? Also, just thought of something: these stones are meant to be placed at the bottom of the keg so that CO2 bubbles up through the beer. Did you replace the CO2 dip tube with one that goes to the bottom of the keg?




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Old 08-06-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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I attached vinyl tubing to extend the dip tube to the bottom. I suppose the stone could be floating up a bit, but given the excess tubing I used, I doubt that it could float any higher than then middle of the keg. But even if it is not at the very bottom, I would expect that, if Midwest's claim is accurate, that the beer would still carbonate in a couple of days. The beer has been sitting at 32 F for four days now, and it has some carbonation, but still not enough to bottle. I even replaced my CO2 gauge to be sure that my reading of 17 psi was correct -- and it is.

I think I read somewhere (I think Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide) that when professional breweries carbonate, they release gas from the top of the tank at the same time that they are adding it at the bottom, and for some reason this is supposed to result in quicker carbonation, although it results in some wasted CO2.

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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No idea if the stone works or not, but here is my 2 cents: chill the keg overnight, hit the gas the next morning at 30 psi for 36 hours (after purging O2), purge, drop to 10-12 psi for serving and beer is ready to go. No shaking or anything else.


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Old 09-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
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So, I just want to clearly lay this out just so I can be sure I am force carbing correctly:

1. Transfer from primary to keg, seal and chill to 35-40 degrees
2. Hook up CO2, and pump it up to 30psi for about 36 hours
3. Purge after 36 hours and before dropping to 12-14psi for serving
4. Beer is ready to serve

I have a question from these steps that haven't been cleared up by other posts. When purging the keg, do I purge ALL of the CO2 from the tank? Do I do a timed purge?

Last, do these steps seem accurate? I'm looking for a very clearly written out step-by-step system. I don't feel like overcarbonated beer for 2 weeks?

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Old 09-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrewed88 View Post
[...]I have a question from these steps that haven't been cleared up by other posts. When purging the keg, do I purge ALL of the CO2 from the tank? Do I do a timed purge?
You just need to purge the head space, to make sure you only have "serving pressure" in the keg. If you still had 30 psi up top, it's going to blast the beer out and unless you had a LOT of beer line it's going to blast out of the faucet.

The procedure as you've outlined seems reasonable, but as I just use the "set and forget" method I can't actually validate it...

Cheers!


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