Serving Pressure vs. Force Carb Pressure - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > Serving Pressure vs. Force Carb Pressure

02-15-2011, 05:38 AM   #1
jpm5171988
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May 2010
Cypress
Posts: 39

Hello all. I am new to kegging and just have a couple questions. How many psi do you use when serve your beer? Im assuming its low, like 2-5 lbs? If this is the case and you have lets say 10 lbs of pressure sitting on the beer (for force carbonation), do you lower the pressure when you are serving the beer and then turn the pressure back up to 10 lbs when you are done? Or when the beer is finished carbonating do you turn the pressure down and leave it down? Any advice helps, thanks!

02-15-2011, 05:56 AM   #2
jpm5171988
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May 2010
Cypress
Posts: 39

Hello all. I am new to kegging and just have a couple questions. How many psi do you use when serve your beer? Im assuming its low, like 2-5 lbs? If this is the case and you have lets say 10 lbs of pressure sitting on the beer (for force carbonation), do you lower the pressure when you are serving the beer and then turn the pressure back up to 10 lbs when you are done? Or when the beer is finished carbonating do you turn the pressure down and leave it down? Any advice helps, thanks!

02-15-2011, 06:00 AM   #3
Zen_Brew

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May 2009
Seattle
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Well, where you are going to carbonate and serve your beer depends a lot on what type of beer it is and what temperature you are going to serve at. Here is a link to general style carbonation levels vs temperature.
http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

Ideally you should try to serve at the same carbonation that is ideal for the beer. Then the beer is always at exactly the right carbonation level. What you need to do here is manipulate the length of your serving line so you don't get to fast a pour which causes excess foaming.

There are beer line calculators out there to figure correct beer line length based on inside diameter of the beer line and if the beer has to flow uphill for any significant portion of the trip, and if the line is chilled or not. If you don't want to run all the stuff through the line calculator here is a basic down and dirty estimate assuming you are using standard 3/16 inside diameter beer line and the line is inside your fridge or kegerator and chilled. The general rule of thumb is about 1 ft of length for every 1 psi of pressure. This will get you ballpark most of the time.

So long answer short. If you are carbing at 10psi use 10 ft of 3/16 line for that you keep chilled in the fridge or kegerator and you should be pretty close.
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02-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #4
Brewing Clamper

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Apr 2006
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Yeah, what he said... I keep my kegarator at 40F, about 12PSI on my kegs and the lines are just over 10'. Pours perfectly!
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02-15-2011, 09:29 AM   #5
statseeker
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Jun 2010
Sacramento
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I put it on 20 for the first couple of weeks or so and then serve at 3. I also release all of the pressure before upping to the serving point.

02-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
triangulum33
Whenever it feels right!

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Oct 2009
NorCal
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I have my beer at 13psi @ 43*. I usually just set it and forget it for a couple weeks and it carbs up fine.
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02-15-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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Kanatenah
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If you have the right beer line length, like around 10-12 feet, the beer line will be be your natural pressure drop from the keg at higher pressure to your tap at lower pressure.
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02-15-2011, 01:57 PM   #8
Seven
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Jan 2011
Pittsburgh, PA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jpm5171988 Hello all. I am new to kegging and just have a couple questions. How many psi do you use when serve your beer? Im assuming its low, like 2-5 lbs? If this is the case and you have lets say 10 lbs of pressure sitting on the beer (for force carbonation), do you lower the pressure when you are serving the beer and then turn the pressure back up to 10 lbs when you are done? Or when the beer is finished carbonating do you turn the pressure down and leave it down? Any advice helps, thanks!
Refer to this chart to find the correct carbonation values for the type of beer you are serving.

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

If you are serving Lagers, Ales, Ambers, (most beers) then you'll want to set the pressure to a setting that will put your carbonation level in the GREEN color. The exact setting will vary depending on your beer/keg temperature.

For example, say you are storing your beer at 38-degrees F. (as Micromatic recommends) then you'll want to set your C02 regulator between 8-11 PSI. Once you hook a new keg up, have the regulator set to the above setting and leave it alone for 1-2 weeks while it slowly carbonates to the carbonation level you have set on the regulator - which in this case is 8 to 11 PSI.

Once it fully carbonates, leave the regulator set at 8 to 11 PSI ... DO NOT change the regulator setting to a different "serving pressure" because if you do, the beer will carbonate or de-carbonate to match whatever you have now chosen as the new "serving pressure" if given enough time.

In other words, there is no separate "serving pressure" that you select after the beer is fully carbonated. Leave the regulator set at the target pressure that will keep you in the green according to the chart I linked to above.

Hope this helps.

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02-15-2011, 02:32 PM   #9
mlyday
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May 2010
Bay City, MI
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I find this page usefull. There are a lot of variable to consinder to balance your system, this info helped me understand it a little better.

http://www.iancrockett.com/brewing/i...gbalance.shtml

02-15-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
iron_city_ap
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Oct 2009
Valparaiso, Indiana
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+1 to the set it and forget it method. I'm new to kegging too and have used it very successfully. I only have 6' lines and so far, no foam issues. Typically I set it at between 8-12 psi and its good after about 2 weeks. Not sure what exactly I'm doing right, but its working great.