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Old 03-24-2007, 12:50 AM   #1
morbid53
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Default Kegging Vs. Bottling

I have a batch that is just about ready to be bottled or keged I have all the equipment to keg my beer but have yet to try this route just because of the portability issues with kegging but I think I am ready to try it my Question is this should I force carbonate the beer or should I corn sugar just as if I was bottling the beer is going to be stored for some time to age because it is a high ABV.
Thank
Don

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Old 03-24-2007, 01:00 AM   #2
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You get mixed opinions on this one On the one hand, some people say carbing it with corn sugar produces a better beer. Other people disagree. One thing that's definately true is that you'll get more sedimentation if you use sugar, since the yeast will multiple and then drop out of suspension. It'll be gone with the first few glasses though.

I've been force carbing but it's rather inconvenient. One nice thing about using corn sugar is that you can just leave the keg in your basement to age and carbonate until you're ready for it. That way when you're ready for it you just pop it in the fridge and you're ready to go, rather than having to hook it up to the gas and waiting a week.

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Old 03-24-2007, 01:15 AM   #3
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You can also force carbonate rather lazily - just put 20-60 psi on your keg and let it sit in a cool place for a few days. Re-pressurize if it isn't carbonated to your liking after 3-5 days. If you have a CO2 manifold, you can let your keg sit at serving pressure for a week before serving - it will accomplish the same thing. If you're impatient, put 30 psi on a cold keg and shake the hell out of it for 15 minutes.

I was a big proponent of natural carbonation when I first started kegging - I thought it produced finer bubbles and a better "feel" (with no basis for comparison). Then I tried force carbonating and noticed no difference. Now I solely force carbonate - clearer beer from the first to the last pour, no sediment to clean out, no measuring priming sugar, and I can be REALLY impatient if I want to.

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Old 03-24-2007, 01:25 AM   #4
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Best of both worlds, bottle a 12 pack and keg the rest. You could also keg it all and worry about transporting later. I take samples to brew club meetings by filling a 1 liter soda bottle and top the CO2 off with a homemade carbonator cap.

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Old 03-24-2007, 02:03 AM   #5
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would the head spce afect the carbonation of the beer any if I were to bottle say a 12 pack

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Old 03-24-2007, 04:04 PM   #6
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No, not at all. The keg receives the same pressure no matter how much beer is in there. Did you plan to force carb or natural? You just have to measure out 3/4 tspn of sugar for each 12oz bottle or use carb tabs.

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Old 03-24-2007, 06:08 PM   #7
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I like to prime with sugar and naturally carb. Even if you force carbonate you still have to let it age.. for me thats at least a month anyway. That way for half or more of the beer I dont even need to hook up the co2.

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Old 03-24-2007, 09:02 PM   #8
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Bobby M, would you share your homemade carbonator cap with us? Pleeeeeeeeease?

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Old 03-25-2007, 01:55 AM   #9
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I'm currently painting my office so the I have my digicam card reader packed away for a few days but I'll describe it.

Go to Pep Boys or a similar car parts/accessory place and get a pack of all metal tire fill valves (Schrader valves). Take a 1,2, or 3 liter soda bottle and drill a hole in the cap and screw the tire fill valve in. You'll need to grab a tire filling fitting and just clamp your CO2 hose onto it.

If I want to transport some already carbed beer out of my keg, I shove a 1 foot piece of racking cane tubing into my picnic tap and run that through a rubber stopper. Turn the gas off to your keg. Insert the cane into the soda bottle and press the stopper tightly to the top and open the faucet. Once it's full of beer, put the cap on and apply 10psi or so through the tire fill valve. Purge once to get any O2 out, then hit it again with pressure.

You can carb flat beer in this thing too if you apply 20 psi and shake a few times. Then let it sit overnight.

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Old 03-25-2007, 02:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialEd
I like to prime with sugar and naturally carb. Even if you force carbonate you still have to let it age.. for me thats at least a month anyway. That way for half or more of the beer I dont even need to hook up the co2.

Well you could let it age before or after force carbing. Messing with priming sugar is one of the things I was looking forward to avoid with kegging. Three batches in the kegs so far and I'm sticking with force carbing.
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