Force Carbonating

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I started force carbonating a keg of ale 3 days ago and seem to be having some issues. I had it at 25 psi for 3 days and was planning to leave it at 16-17 for another 3-4 days and then down to serving pressure (10 psi).

After 3 days, lots of foam shows up when pouring, but almost none in the beer, and once the head is gone, thats all she wrote.

Should I just wait longer for the carbonation to make its way into the beer?

Thanks for any assistance.
 

Sherpa FE

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Seems like it isnt getting enough time. However, I use the Biermuncher method, 30 PSI for 36 hours, and then down to serving pressure. Works like a champ for me.

Give it a try and see how you like it.
 

r2eng

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Sherpa's dead on... I follow this method (read it here, too!) and it is foolproof!

Eric
 

The Pol

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What pressure are you pouring it at? If you arent down to serving pressure, you are probably blowing alot of the CO2 out when you pull the tap. I have never had a beer on tap yet, but my Apfelwein ended up being a bit fizzy when poured, but few bubbles in it... now a week later I turned the pressure down a few pounds, it is carbonated, pours slower, less fizzy...

35F
5' of beer line
12PSI serving pressure
 

EdWort

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I just set mine to 12 psi and when I get around to serving it a couple of weeks later, life is good and so is my beer. Don't be in a rush.
 

BeerSmith

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I hate to ask, but are you storing it in a fridge?

I know the first time I tried I did not have the fridge drilled yet, and it was a mess.

You should be able to set 10-12 psi in the fridge and leave it alone. In a week or so it will be fully carbonated.

Cheers,
Brad
 

Brett0424

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You should have your setup balanced so that you don't need to go from a higher PSI during carbonation to a lower one while dispensing. Ideally these two pressures should be the same and if they aren't can easily be equalized with a couple feet of tubing. Everything depends on your desired level of carbonation and your fridge temp. Do a little research and everything should be all good. BUT if you are pouring beers that have co2 but it goes flat quickly you just aren't giving it enough time to fully dissolve into solution.
 

The Pol

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Even with a balanced system many keggers use a higher pressure to carbonate and lower it to serve... why? It carbs faster... and the serving pressure, say 12psi, is the corect PSI to keep the desired volumes of CO2 in solution. I cranked mine up to 30PSI to carb and then back down to serve at 12psi. Mine is balanced at 12psi and 12 psi keeps my 2.5 volumes of CO2 in solution, it just carbs much faster at 30PSI.
 
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Yeah, I am carbonating in a fridge. I guess the only reason to use a higher pressure is for speed. It sounds like a little more time and the change from higher to serving pressure for a day or so will be all that is needed.

Thanks for all the help guys.
 

TexLaw

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EdWort said:
I just set mine to 12 psi and when I get around to serving it a couple of weeks later, life is good and so is my beer. Don't be in a rush.
Agreed. I go ahead and shake mine for a while, at serving pressure, just to have it ready a little sooner (just in case), but I don't have to. No bleeding or futzing around required.


TL
 
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Alright, 30 psi for 36 hours and then bringing it down to 10-12psi worked like a charm. I think the real problem was not giving it some time to adjust when dropped to the serving temperature.

Thanks for everyones input.
 

BierMuncher

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McSwiggin' said:
try bleeding the keg with CO2 cut off. You may have residual pressure in the keg.
Right, to test your carbonation:

1) Shut the gas off.
2) Bleed the excess pressure off of the keg.
3) Bring the serving PSI up to just 5 or 6 for the taste test.

Too many people taste test with the pressure too high and the beer flattens out as it gushes into the glass. So the brewer lets the beer sit for another day or more and ends up with over-carb'd beer.

My beers all get a static 30PSI for 36 hours and my carbonation is consistent and the heads are thick and rocky.
 

anth

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Too many people taste test with the pressure too high and the beer flattens out as it gushes into the glass. So the brewer lets the beer sit for another day or more and ends up with over-carb'd beer.
Exactly what was happening to me until 5 minutes ago when I read this post and followed steps 1-3 above. Thanks, BM!
 

MN_Jay

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May be a dumb question but I ran into this last night. Many people say that 5-6 psi is a good serving pressure but don't the keg seal at 10 psi? I assume that I have to serve at 12 psi but it seems foamy when served at that pressure.
 

Yooper

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May be a dumb question but I ran into this last night. Many people say that 5-6 psi is a good serving pressure but don't the keg seal at 10 psi? I assume that I have to serve at 12 psi but it seems foamy when served at that pressure.
I'm a bit thick this morning- I'm not sure what you're asking.

When I seal up the keg, I give it a little blast of co2 to make sure the lid is seated. It usually is about 15 psi, and I use star-san around the lid and posts just to make sure I don't have a leak.

I use 12 psi for serving pressure- but I found that I need about 8 feet of beer line for that. I had some shorter line, and it was foamy. So, I used longer line. Take a look at this chart: http://www.northernbrewer.com/instructions/co2.htm

It's important to balance the system, so that you get good pours.

The information about beer line length is find about half way down, here: http://hbd.org/clubs/franklin/public_html/docs/balance.html
 

MN_Jay

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Thanks yooper. Sorry about the confusion in my post. Basically I was asking how someone can serve at 5-6 psi if the keg becomes unsealed at less than 10 psi. (My instructions in my keg setup says that it needs 10 psi to seal the keg, which I found to be exactly right.) If I set my regulator at 6 psi then co2 just leaks out the top of the keg.

I think my foam issue lies in the link you provided. Thanks.
 

BierMuncher

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Thanks yooper. Sorry about the confusion in my post. Basically I was asking how someone can serve at 5-6 psi if the keg becomes unsealed at less than 10 psi. (My instructions in my keg setup says that it needs 10 psi to seal the keg, which I found to be exactly right.) If I set my regulator at 6 psi then co2 just leaks out the top of the keg.

I think my foam issue lies in the link you provided. Thanks.
I just swapped out a 42" line with 8 feet. All my foamy/flat pour issues are gone.

This even after I upped the PSI from 5 to 12.

Longer liquid lines are the way to go.
 
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