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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Confused on keg carbing
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
drewN
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Default Confused on keg carbing

Hey guys, ive been looking at a few youtube video's of keg carbing and i tried to understand the sticky on this forum seciton about keg carbing but i just couldn't grasp it. Basically i need an instruction manual that's designed for a 12 year old - perhaps even a manual that an 8 year old can figure out (yeah, it's bad).

@ 1:40 it'll start talking about force carbing,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEMxBPxb1vE

I've watched another video that will put co2 into the keg for 5 minutes, take the co2 out and let the keg sit for a few days and he says it's carbonated.

Im just wondering which is the best method and how do i know how much psi/duration i keep the co2 onto the keg?

Does anyone have any recommendations for how big my co2 container should be for carbonating 5 gallon kegs?

Also; When carbonation is done, does the co2 still have to be connected to the keg and "on" while keg is idle and not being used with beer still in it


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Old 01-15-2013, 06:19 PM   #2
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The easiest way I have found is to set the regulator at desired serving co2 amount and let it sit in a fridge or other cold area for 2 weeks or so. Depending on the beer you could set it between 10 and 12 psi. Your beer could be carbed in under a week but I like to let it sit for conditioning. Once your beer is carbonated you do not have to keep the tank attached but you will need to attach it to serve at which you would set your regulator to serving psi. Force carbing is a different beast and I only did it once when I was in a rush. I found that the beer could have been better with more time. If you can wait slow carbing is best. Hope that helps. Cheers!


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Old 01-15-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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Oh and I use 5lbs tank for 2 kegs and it last a long time.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffersonjames View Post
The easiest way I have found is to set the regulator at desired serving co2 amount and let it sit in a fridge or other cold area for 2 weeks or so. Depending on the beer you could set it between 10 and 12 psi. Your beer could be carbed in under a week but I like to let it sit for conditioning. Once your beer is carbonated you do not have to keep the tank attached but you will need to attach it to serve at which you would set your regulator to serving psi. Force carbing is a different beast and I only did it once when I was in a rush. I found that the beer could have been better with more time. If you can wait slow carbing is best. Hope that helps. Cheers!
This helps alot! what is the variance between the serving psi setting and what is the difference between them?
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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It depends on preference. I have found that between 10 and 12psi is not overly carbonated with a good head. If you want more bubbles go higher..less lower. If you pour a glass and it is not enough you can adjust it. Let me know if that answered your question.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by drewN View Post
This helps alot! what is the variance between the serving psi setting and what is the difference between them?
Ideally you'll want to match your setup to the appropriate PSI in which you'll keep the kegs carbed up at.

For example, I have about 10 feet of 3/16" ID line and I keep my kegs at about 11PSI. That way once I put the keg in the keezer I just hook up the gas and forget about it until it's empty.

If you have to lower your serving pressure, eventually this is going ot have an adverse effect on the amount of carbonation your beer has.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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I just asked my two-year-old grandson to "help" with my kegs, so I think I can explain it pretty well!

"Force carbing" simply means to carb the beer with co2, instead of "natural" carbonation (priming sugar).

Some people do that by shaking/rocking the keg, or by giving more pressure to the keg than is needed. That often results in overcarbed or foamy beer, though, so I wouldn't do that.

The easiest way to carb your beer is to siphon it to the keg, give it a blast of co2, pull the pressure relief valve, and then give it another blast. That makes sure to purge out the 02, and also helps to ensure the lid is seated. I spray star-san over the lid/posts to make sure there are no leaks.

Then, put it in the kegerator (which is set at 40 degrees) at 12 psi for about 10 days. Pour a beer, and it should be carbed up.

There isn't really any such thing as a "serving" pressure and a "carbonation" pressure, as a properly balanced system stays the same all the time. I have 6 kegs hooked up. Can you imagine changing the pressures to drink/carbonate? It would drive me crazy! The beer would go flat over time at a lower pressure, but turning it up and down may cause foaming.

If you can't wait 7-10 days to drink the beer, then one way around that is to set the regulator for 30 psi for 36 hours, then purge and reset to 12 psi. That hurries the carbonation up, but doesn't shake/roll the keg and cause foaming or overcarbonation. Another risk with shaking/rolling is to have beer back up into the gas line and ruining the regulator!

It's really easy to force carb. The easiest way is to "set it and forget it" at 12 psi at 40 degrees, or whatever a carbonation chart says is right for the temperature of the beer. http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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There are charts that relate temperature and pressure to the dissolved CO2 volumes. Depending on the style of beer you want more or less CO2. At colder temperatures more CO2 will dissolve at the same temperature. It's not as simple as "set it at 10psi". I recently had a seriously undercarbed beer that sat for a month at serving pressure in the kegerator because I assumed that would be good enough.

To force carbonate, I look at a table (sorry, don't have links on my work PC to give you), set the regulator accordingly, connect the hose, and shake. You will hear the regulator hiss as it lets in more CO2 as it dissolves into the beer. Let it sit a minute. Shake again. Repeat until shaking doesn't result in the regulator injector a large amount of CO2. At this point the beer has absorbed most of the CO2 that it will for the given temperature/pressure relationship. You can either disconnect it, or preferred leave it connected. If more CO2 dissolves the pressure will go down and you run the risk of the main o-ring losing seal and letting it outgas (it sucks after all that time to have beer go flat again).
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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Once again the forum is an awesome asset to newbs!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:06 PM   #10
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The way I understood force carbing was to fully carbonate a beer in a shortned period of time. This is done by setting the regulator up to 30 psi and doing the shaking thing. By setting to serving psi, I meant to set to the psi you would like to be served then wait 2 weeks. The beer will have no chance of being over carbed. If it is set at 12 psi then you will be serving it at 12 psi.


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