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Old 03-21-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
mrkstel
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Default Can you over carb Rootbeer?

So, I'll likely discover the answer to this question myself when I get home tonight. But I thought I would post it here to see what the community thinks and to preserve the info for others.

Anyway, here's the skinny. I'm making 15 gallons of root beer for a friend's wedding this weekend (Saturday). (He's a celiac and instead of cake, they are doing root beer floats.) Due to keezer availability issues, we were not able to start carbing until last night (Sunday). So we were worried about getting it ready in time. To speed up the process, upon the advice of Hoptech, we chilled it down to 35* applied 50 psi and shook the hell out of the kegs for 5 minutes each. Then we put them in the keezer, set to 35* at 60 psi and left them overnight.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. But now I find myself second guessing this method. Some of what I have read on here says to set it to 30-40 psi and shake it. But no one has mentioned going as high as 50/60 psi. I've had beer over carb and it is a pain in the @$$ to get it purged back down to proper levels. I would rather not deal with that with my current time constraints.

I will be serving this out of a picnic tap on 26 ft length of 3/16" beer line at ~30 psi. So hopefully line balancing won't be an issue. What do you think HBT soda makers? Am I going to arrive home to a fizzy, frothy treat or a mug full of foam? I'll post back tonight with the results. But, I would like to know what you think in the meantime.

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Old 03-21-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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I typically just carb mine at 30psi with around 25ft of hose. I've never had it take more than 2-3 days to carbonate. I would be concerned about overcarbing at that pressure also.

The good thing about rootbeer is it will go flat fast, so you shouldn't worry. If it's overcarbed, just bleed it and set it at 30psi. You'll be fine by saturday.

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Old 03-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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I pulled the relief valves this morning before leaving for work, just to make sure everything was still pressurized properly. There was no foam at that point. However, that was 9 hours ago. . . .

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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Usually, the recommendation to set to 30 and shake is for beer where the target psi is about 15.
I believe that's why it's much higher, because for rootbeer and other sodas, you're aiming around 30 psi at the end.
If you have a spunding valve for any reason, you could use it to test the pressure in the keg.

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:39 PM   #5
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Just poured a test glass. It was just slightly under carbed. I reset the reg to 30 psi and purged the kegs. By Saturday it should be just about right.

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Old 03-22-2011, 04:59 PM   #6
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You get so much foam out of a commercial rootbeer that I don't think it's possible to overcarb a homebrew version. It sounds like you have plenty of line, and as long as you're testing along the way, you should have no problems on serving day.

Keep it chilled low enough and you should be fine.
If you had more time, and more brew, I'd say do some tests to see the lowest temperature you can go. You have enough sugar in there that it shouldn't freeze right at 32*, but with the pressure drop as it's being dispensed, you'll get a bit of a temperature drop, but now I'm just rambling. You got me thinking, though...

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