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Old 09-18-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
max-the-knife's Avatar
Aug 2006
Lexington, NE
Posts: 154
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I'm going to move my porter from the primary to the 2ndary this week end so I thought I's get some questions answered before I keg.. This is my first attempt at kegging and I have questions concerning CO2 pressures:

1) Beer Smith said that at 34 deg F, I should use approx. 8 1/2 PSI on the keg. Is this the serving pressure or the forced carbonation pressure?

2) When I force carbonate, do I chill it to serving temp or carbonate at room temp?

Thanks for your assistance.
PRIMARY: empty
SECONDARY #1: empty
KEGGED: American Lite Lager
COLOR] IPA, Bock , Black Lager

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Old 09-18-2009, 03:08 AM   #2
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 3,106
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I carbonate cold as it takes less pressure and the CO2 absorbs easier. If you want to carbonate at room temperature consider priming the keg with dextrose. I pressure at 15 for 7-8 days and drop it down to 10 or whatever I want to serve it at. I would think 8.5 lbs. is serving pressure.

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Old 09-18-2009, 03:35 AM   #3
Oct 2008
Foster City, CA
Posts: 112

I agree. Sounds like the 8.5psi is the serving pressure. I think force carbonating at the chilled temp is the way to go. I keep the keezer at 36-deg F and hit it with 16psi for at least 3 days, then drop it to 10psi to serve through ~8ft of beer line. This has worked beautifully so far. Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 09-18-2009, 07:50 AM   #4
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 1,447
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8.5 lbs is the carbing pressure at 34 degrees, assuming you're using the "set and forget" method and want about 2.4 volumes of carbonation. It will take 10 days or so to fully carb at that pressure and temperature, and it needs to stay at that pressure and temperature if you want to maintain that level of carbonation, so ideally it will be your serving pressure as well. That's the way the carbonation charts (and beersmith) works.

If you want to try and get it carbonated faster, you can try giving it more pressure for a couple of days and then dropping it down and maintaining the 8.5 lbs. It's called burst carbing, but it's somewhat inexact and everyone seems to have their own technique for it. Be careful, you can overcarbonate your beer if it's hooked up for too long at higher pressure.

Personally, I prime the keg and naturally carbonate (and age) at room temperature for 2-3 weeks, then chill and hook it up to the CO2 at the indicated pressure. But if you want to force carbonate it's best to do it chilled. At room temperature (70 degrees) you will need to keep it at 27 PSI to get the same carbonation level as you'll get with 8.5 PSI @ 34 degrees.
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

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Secondary 1: Blackened Soul RIS
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