recarbonating beer machine mini-keg
I've done a search of the forums for recarbonating, but didn't find anything that relates to my particular situation, so here's a new post.
A while back I saw an ad for a 'beer machine' on craigslist, and thought that it might be a nice alternative to bottling (as I'm not ready to invest in a kegging system just yet). I saw that other people have had success using the beer machine like this.
(For anyone who doesn't know, this is supposed to be an all-in-one brewing solution, but is basically a 10L mini keg with an attachment for CO2 cartridges).
So, I put 10L of rye IPA in there (exactly the kind of beer I'd like to have on tap in my fridge) with priming sugar, added some CO2 to try to prevent oxidation, and waited for it to carbonate.
After a few litres poured out (it is more than half full), the beer is now pretty flat. Darn. It doesn't taste bad, though (I don't think it has been exposed to air), so I think there is still some hope.
Here are the mistakes I think I made:
- Impatience. I only waited a week for the beer to prime up, thinking that the pressure from the added CO2 might speed things up.
- Since the first few glasses were extremely foamy (maybe I put too much CO2 initially), I was pretty frugal with the amount of CO2 I added after each pour (there is a button on the cartridge to add CO2 manually). In retrospect, the first glasses were foamy, but not particularly bubbly, if that makes sense.
So, now I am trying to decide what to do. I have put in some extra pressure from the CO2 cartridge, but am assuming that this thing won't be able to force carbonate the beer (this is a slightly older model, so doesn't have any pressure gauge on it).
It seems like my options are:
- take it out of the fridge and let it carb up on whatever sugars are left in there.
- take it out of the fridge and some more sugar (and CO2) let it carb up for a couple of weeks
- open it up and bottle it (with priming sugar).
What's the best thing to do? How will the yeast in there recover after being in the fridge for 4-5 days?
Also, regarding the 'beer machine' as a mini keg: Anyone have any tips/tricks to making it work well? Would it be possible to attach this thing to a CO2 tank, rather than the seltzer cartridges that it currently uses? I *am* eventually planning on setting up a kegging system, so am trying to decide if I should keep this thing (handy as a portable solution), or re-sell it on craigslist.