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Old 08-02-2006, 09:51 PM   #1
Orpheus's Avatar
Jul 2006
Maryland 'burbs of Washington, D.C.
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I searched this site and on google for a discussion of one way of carbonating versus the other.

From what I've found, there is no definitive answer. I read that many people prefer artificial CO2 because: a) you have the equipment you've already spent money on, and b) there's not as much sediment in the bottom of your kegs.

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the issue. If there really is no difference, I'll just force carbonate it. If there are taste/flavor considerations, I'd like to hear them as I haven't seen them addressed in the resources out there thus far.

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Old 08-02-2006, 10:03 PM   #2
Dec 2005
Glasgow, Scotland
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No sediment is the big plus of forced carbonation. Also, you've got a clearer beer because you're not producing extra yeast, which is a massive plus if you've invested a month lagering your beer.

IMHO, it tastes no different. The only real factor is if you want a 'real ale' (look up the CAMRA website). Like all homebrew related things, it's best to experiment.

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Old 08-02-2006, 11:54 PM   #3
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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Just remember, forced carbonation does not reduce the need for aging. Green beer is green beer.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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Old 08-03-2006, 04:49 AM   #4
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Jun 2006
Taunton, MA
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Force carbonation also allows for better control of your carbonation levels.

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Old 08-03-2006, 05:29 AM   #5
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Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
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Although I primarily force carbonate, I'm not going to rule out nautral carbonation for some batches. Like with most things brewing, both are skills that are important (and fun) to learn and try to master. I think most people come to an understand about which is better (for them) after trying both. Sometime you just pick one or the other because it's not always about the result but also the process.
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:08 AM   #6
Jun 2005
Surprise, AZ.
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Go to a pub that has a cask-ale and try it for yourself.

On Tap -
  1. 3 year old Oak Aged Bourbon Porter
  2. Irish Red Rye
  3. Robust Porter
  4. Russian Imperial Stout
  5. Mirror Pond Clone dry hopped with Citra
  6. Mirror Pond Clone dry hopped with Centennial
Primary - Nada
Secondary -
From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world. -- Saint Arnoldus

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Old 08-03-2006, 10:32 AM   #7
Dec 2005
Glasgow, Scotland
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Natural carbonation doesn't magically make a beer good, however. Bad beer is bad beer and I've tried plenty of awful cask conditioned ales. Luckily there's many more great ones

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Old 08-03-2006, 01:04 PM   #8
Feb 2006
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Naturally carbonated (cask-conditioned) ale is far superior to force carbed ale - if it is done correctly. And I agree with mysterio that a bad beer is always a bad beer regardless of conditioning methods.

Natural carbonation offers a mouthfeel that I don't get from force carbed beers.

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Old 08-03-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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Mar 2006
Sierra Vista, AZ
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question for you keg guys so I dont have to star t a new thread....

do you leave the tank opened, or just pressurize and check the pressure every now and then. Ive been doing the latter, and just repressurizing when needed
Desert Sky Brewing Co.
Sierra Vista, AZ

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Old 08-03-2006, 04:22 PM   #10
Nov 2005
I'm gone!
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Originally Posted by sonvolt
Natural carbonation offers a mouthfeel that I don't get from force carbed beers.
Science and experience (blind taste tests) state the opposite. CO2 is CO2. Same applies to Champagne.

Most commercial beers are force carbonated using CO2 that's captured during fermentation.

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