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Old 09-08-2012, 04:38 AM   #1
JLivermore
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Default keg carbonation question

I keg it and fridge it at say 15 psi for 1 - 3 weeks.

Lower to 5 - 10 to serve.

This is my first brew and if it's even remotely drinkable I'm going to finish it off in no time but out of curiosity let's say I go into a coma or something and am out for 6 months -- how does the beer know to stop carbonating?

Whatever the psi/time ratio, does the beer eventually naturally reach a point where it "evens out" with the co2 pressure and stops carbonating? Or it is always slightly carbonating more as long as the co2 is on?

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:42 AM   #2
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BobbyM has a great thread that should help you out.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/keg-...strated-73328/

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:43 AM   #3
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It will reach equilibrium at whatever the pressure is set to. There are charts you can use to see what pressure and temperature get you what number of CO2 volumes in your beer. So whatever pressure suits you for your beer, if you set that pressure then your beer will equalize to that pressure forever, granted you have no leaks.

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:44 AM   #4
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That is awesome and answers my question. Thanks a ton.

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:51 AM   #5
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Am I correct in thinking I can get away with

- keg, set PSI around 15, wait one week
- begin drinking beer, not as perfectly carbonated as it could be
- beer continues grinding towards equilibrium
- i continue drinking it and it gets better

the downside to me is I have a bit that is not quite at peak carbonation

Is there any other downside I'm missing, a reason to wait a full 2 - 3 weeks before diving in?

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:55 AM   #6
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I feel it takes about 7-10 days for my beer to carb at the pressure I set. Once it's at that pressure, it's at that pressure. So if it's carbed to your liking, then it's all good

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
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I was surprised how much a beer can change in short period of time, even in a refrigerated keg. They're usually drinkable and delicious at 1 week.

I have had a several beers that I began drinking at one week, that then changed over the next couple of weeks. One was a Scottish ale that I liked a lot, but after the second week it mellowed out and everything kinda blended together and it got even better. I have a brown ale that did the same, as well as a belgian wit.

I've only kegged 4 beers, so my experience is that they improve with time.

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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I agree with DanH on the fact that the beer does get better with some age in the keg but I think that is more of a conditioning factor more so than the carbonation. When it's carbed, it's carbed. That won't change unless you change the pressure. But the beer will get better with age, at least up to a certain point.

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:49 AM   #9
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Be careful with tweaking carbonation. I bumped my psi a few poinrs because my pours were a little slow and the result was overcarbonation within a week. A few psi can make a pretty significant difference.. Go slow.

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