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Old 02-18-2012, 01:37 AM   #1
JaimesBeam
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Default Can't get soda to force carbonate!!!

I've been trying to force carbonate some soda and hard cider.

All I get is a bunch of foam and a flat soda. I've tried six ways
to sunday! I've chilled everything , shaken it up, let it settle,
and I alway end up with flat soda/cider. I've tried several times
with a Counter-Pressure Bottler; a nice one, all stainless, with a
single two way valve, and a pressure-relief valve (I can't remember
where I bought it, xxxBrewer.com)

When I try bottling, sometimes the soda/cider foams up in the bottle,
sometimes it doesn't; when I open the flip-top bottles to drink, it's
flat!

This is with comparatively low CO2 pressure 10-20 psi, using a pinlock
soda keg in a cold room (? 40F) When I try to tap the soda out of the keg
it just foams up in the glass, and then it's flat!

One person said to carbonate the soda at a high pressure up to 40 PSI,
then to bottle it at a low pressure <10 PSI, just enough to move the
soda into the bottle. I don't understand how this is supposed to work.
The low pressure won't pressurize the bottles, or keep it from foaming
up in the bottles. It will be the high CO2 pressure in the soda pushing
the soda into the bottles, gradually exhausting the CO2 in the soda, and
the last bottles will be flat anyway.

Can anyone explain this to me, or should I give up on it!!!

Thanks, JaimesBeam

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimesBeam View Post
I've been trying to force carbonate some soda and hard cider.

All I get is a bunch of foam and a flat soda. I've tried six ways
to sunday! I've chilled everything , shaken it up, let it settle,
and I alway end up with flat soda/cider. I've tried several times
with a Counter-Pressure Bottler; a nice one, all stainless, with a
single two way valve, and a pressure-relief valve (I can't remember
where I bought it, xxxBrewer.com)

When I try bottling, sometimes the soda/cider foams up in the bottle,
sometimes it doesn't; when I open the flip-top bottles to drink, it's
flat!

This is with comparatively low CO2 pressure 10-20 psi, using a pinlock
soda keg in a cold room (? 40F) When I try to tap the soda out of the keg
it just foams up in the glass, and then it's flat!

One person said to carbonate the soda at a high pressure up to 40 PSI,
then to bottle it at a low pressure <10 PSI, just enough to move the
soda into the bottle. I don't understand how this is supposed to work.
The low pressure won't pressurize the bottles, or keep it from foaming
up in the bottles. It will be the high CO2 pressure in the soda pushing
the soda into the bottles, gradually exhausting the CO2 in the soda, and
the last bottles will be flat anyway.

Can anyone explain this to me, or should I give up on it!!!

Thanks, JaimesBeam
No don't give up.... there is just one missing component somewhere in your technique...we just have to find out what it is.

I am assuming that your flip top seals are good.

1st of all...Have had the keg carbonated completely....meaning...has it been hooked up to the co2 tank under pressure ( 30-40 psi )for a week or so? If not....you need to do so....(and keep it refrigerated this long too...which it sounds like you did.) Shaking will speed up the process of carbonation....I'm just being conservative on the time.

2nd...when you are ready to bottle.....because it is so highly carbonated....you will need to drop the pressure to 1 or 2 psi or so. just enough to push out the soda gently into your bottle....

(You must bleed off the pressure in the keg after you lower the pressure on the gauge)

The soda is already carbonated because it has been under pressure for a week, so when you lower the pressure the co2 will stay in solution...Now, when you set your co2 pressure to a couple psi and bleed off the excess pressure from the keg, those 1 or 2 psi will gently push the soda out.....AND the slower, gentler, colder you transfer the soda into your bottle, the less co2 will escape out of the solution...and it will stay carbonated once you seal the bottle.....If you blast it into the bottle...or if it's warm, it will foam like crazy and be flat....which you have experienced.

Keep messing with it...you will get it......Hope this helps.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:58 PM   #3
JaimesBeam
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Default Is my regulator broken?

I have one additional problem...

When I tried to set my regulator to a higher pressure to carbonate
my soda, say anything over 20 PSI, the relief valve on the regulator
lets go!

Is it broken, or dirty or what? Can it be fixed, or do I need a new one?

Thanks, Jaimes.

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Old 02-18-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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I've noticed that the whole force carbing soda doesn't work as well as with beer for some reason, at least not as quickly. My process is as follows for when my kids and I do their root beer:

1. fill the keg with CO2 before putting in the soda (usually for 10-15 seconds, or using the smell test once I smell CO2 coming out the top).
2. pour in the soda
3. once lid is sealed, turn on the CO2 again around 18-20 psi and pull the release valve for a second, 6 or 7 times.
4. Put the keg on its side, with the CO2 entry closest to the floor.
5. Shake. My method of shaking with beer and soda is the same. Give it a few hard shakes, then listen for the bubbles to stop. I continue this until I don't hear anymore bubbles.

Then I let it sit in the kegerator for about a week, taking samples each day and this has worked great. The early tests are always flat with alot of bubbles on top as you were saying. It just takes time. Hang in there.

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Old 02-18-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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The sugar in the soda is what makes it more difficult to get the CO2 into solution. That's why I carbonate plain water ahead of time. Then I add the soda syrup and then put it back on the gas. I force carbonate and serve all my sodas at 35-40psi through 35' of 3/16" thick walled beverage tubing. I like my sodas to be carbonated to a level similar with commercial sodas, so I've found that 35-40psi at 36˚F does the trick. My pours were always pretty good, but still a little foamy even with 35' of line. Then I saw the thread on those epoxy mixing sticks. I stuffed three of them down the liquid out dip tube and now the pour is absolutely perfect!!!!

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Old 02-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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I may have missed it but I don't think anybody has asked the most important question:

How long are you leaving it on gas before you try to bottle it? You have to let it sit attached to gas to allow the CO2 to dissolve into solution. As mentioned before, shaking helps start it up, but you still need to let it sit for at least a week at serving PSI (10-20) or 2-4 days at a higher PSI (30-35.) Then and only then will you have proper carbonation (disclaimer: based on what temperature you keep it at while carbonating you could end up undercarbing, in which case you leave it on gas longer. The PSIs I've given are based on 40*F solution and are methods that have worked perfectly for me.)

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Old 02-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy View Post
I may have missed it but I don't think anybody has asked the most important question:

How long are you leaving it on gas before you try to bottle it? You have to let it sit attached to gas to allow the CO2 to dissolve into solution.
I did mention it...but looking back at my post...I did have a typo that may have made it a little confusing.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimesBeam View Post
I have one additional problem...

When I tried to set my regulator to a higher pressure to carbonate
my soda, say anything over 20 PSI, the relief valve on the regulator
lets go!

Is it broken, or dirty or what? Can it be fixed, or do I need a new one?

Thanks, Jaimes.
I have not seen many relief valve failures, but that's not to say that couldn't be the case. The common failure is usually the main seal of the regulator body....it just degrades and starts leaking...They do have repair kits for that.

Assuming that the gauge is reading pressure correctly....

Not sure what brand your regulator is...but most relief valves are replaceable. Some relief valves have a PSI stamp on the side. I would check for that.... For all I know, it could be a 20psi relief valve and working properly.

I have seen new regulators on ebay for 35... here is one. http://www.ebay.com/itm/220956786732...84.m1555.l2649
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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There are many good ideas here, I am still very new to this hobby but I have learned alot here on this board, and have been successful quickly: how I do it is carbonate water frist, as stated if you start adding anything to water it causes it to block the carbonation or at least slow down the absorption. I carb at between 60 and 80 lbs.......for a few days. I also slow the pour as described here with a long small hose........I haven't tried the sticks yet but will eventually........I am also going to try an air bubbling stone for my intake line inside my keg........

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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I'm new to soda making and need lots of advices. I've been having problem with flat and foamy pineapple soda after 15 day @ 40 psi. I would like to try to carb the water first.
What is the psi do you force carb the water? how long does it take and do you shake the kegs? How high is the temperature?
After adding the syrup how long does it take to get a good carb?

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