Force Carbonation

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blefferd

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Im new to kegging and in a week or so will be Kegging Ed's hard cider, and eventually an IPA when its done. my first question is when i put them in the keg can i just rack it from the fermenter to the keg using gravity or is there a diffrent way you have to do it? second how long does it take to "force carbonate" the beer in the keg? once i keg can i drink right away or do i need to wait a few weeks? Does the actual CO2 you pump in the keg carbonate the beer? from what ive read the CO2 is basically just used to move the beer from point A (keg) to point B (glass) i am i understanding this right? if that is the case then how does it carbonate your beer?

Also what about conditioning? right now my beers taste totally diffrent after a few weeks in the bottle. should i just leave them in the fermenter longer or let them condition in the keg before drinking?

ive searched wiki but there is very limited info on kegging, and from the books ive read they are very vague about the subject also!
 

JimC

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- You can just rack it like normal.
- A few days unless you shake the crap out of it or use some other tricks to make it carb faster.
- You can drink it right away, but a beer you just put in a bottle it will be flat and green.
- Yes, the CO2 you are decanting in will carb the beer given time.
- The CO2 is responsible for moving the beer as well as carbonating (if you are force carbing it)
- It carbonates the beer by applying a pressure differential between the dissolved CO2 in the liquid (beer) and the ambient CO2 pressure (the CO2 you are decanting from the tank into the keg). Basically the C02 will dissolve into solution with the beer until it is balanced with the pressure you are putting on it from the regulator on your C02 tank.
- You can condition in the keg just like you do in a bottle, but you will get some sediment in the bottom. I would use a secondary clarifying carboy for most of my conditioning and then put it in the keg.
 
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blefferd

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sweet, thanks i had most of it down but those where the grey areas lol
 

joshpooh

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It only takes about 2 days to carbonate beer in a keg, but the beer still needs to condition. your options are to leave your beer in secondary longer or keg it and wait for it to condition before drinking it. If conditioning in the kegs its not neccesary to hook up to the CO2 until a couple days before it will be ready to drink, but if you do hook it up to the gas and put it in the keggorator it won't hurt anything either. I base whether I condition in secondary or a keg on which one I need more. If I don't need the carboy I'm using for secondary for another batch anytime soon I just leave it in there. If I need the carboy, but have an empty keg I condition in the keg. Works the same either way.

(Edit) Didn't notice someone else already answered your questions as I was typing. and basically said the same thing I typed.
 

Bobby_M

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I used to just siphon into the keg through the lid opening but I decided I like the idea of putting the hose on the beer out post with a spare disconnect because then the dip tube acts as a racking cane to minimize aerating. It also means you don't have to worry about sanitizing the outside of your tubing becuase it's never touching the inside of the keg. Just put a spare gas disconnect on the other post to vent or you'll have to leave the lid loose or pull the vent valve.
 

killian

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when force carbonating what psi do you use for how long?
My keg is going to be about 60 degrees while carbonating and
until I am ready to serve.
 

Desert_Sky

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I used to crank up the PSI and shake the hell out of it. I was never really happy with the end results of that.

Now I hit it with serving pressure (6-8psi) and let it sit for 10-12 days. It ages and carbs a bit slower, but the end result is much more to my liking.
 

Catfish

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killian said:
when force carbonating what psi do you use for how long?
My keg is going to be about 60 degrees while carbonating and
until I am ready to serve.
Carbonating cold is easier. Look for a CO2 balance chart.
 

eager_brewer

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I just kegged my first one last night. I had it at 20 psi with just the CO2 hooked up. I then thought it would be a good idea toput the OUT valve on all by itself with no line. Little did I know I had a nice stream of beer that shot about 10ft. opps. The beer at the time was at 60 degrees. I just put it in the fridge at 34 degrees. and have lowered it to 16psi. I am hoping to serve it this Saturday. Is it really ok to shake the beer. what if the liquid goes back up the IN valve. Or maybe it won't because the CO2 pressure is coming out?
 
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blefferd

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i just kegged Ed's Hard Cider today and i set it at 10psi my freezer temp is right at 30 F (for lagering purposes) i have a carbonation chart but im to lazy to go look at it right now because im getting drunk haha
 

Thalon

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I've heard it's possible to force carbonate in a few days. First make sure your output hose is disconnected because it can only handle ~15-20psi. Set it for 40psi, let it sit 24 hours (with the tank hooked up of course). Release all the pressure. Set it again for 20psi, let sit another 24 hours. Release all the pressure again and set it for serving pressure, anywhere between 5-15psi (I like 8). Leave it like that for a day or so and then enjoy.

Haven't had a chance to try this method myself yet, but I will this weekend.
 

BierMuncher

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eager_brewer said:
I just kegged my first one last night. I had it at 20 psi with just the CO2 hooked up. I then thought it would be a good idea toput the OUT valve on all by itself with no line. Little did I know I had a nice stream of beer that shot about 10ft. opps. The beer at the time was at 60 degrees. I just put it in the fridge at 34 degrees. and have lowered it to 16psi. I am hoping to serve it this Saturday. Is it really ok to shake the beer. what if the liquid goes back up the IN valve. Or maybe it won't because the CO2 pressure is coming out?
LOL - The out valve is really not a valve at all. It's ALWAYS OPEN....

If your serving this Saturday, you'll need to force the carbonation in by shaking. (A
good method but not the conservative "best" method of set and forget).

If the beer is cold now, take the keg out and set the pressure back up to 25 PSI. Lay the keg across your lap and shake it back and forth for 60-75 seconds. You'll hear bubbling and gas being released. The bubbling and gas sound will subside. Repeat the shaking and it will pick back up again. Do this about 3-4 times and then set back in the fridge with the gas back down to around 10-12 PSI.

Let it sit until serving time and you should be fine.
FYI
GasChart.jpg
 

eager_brewer

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OK but won't the liquid run back up the gas line? I am terrible afraid of ruinng this brand new system. Thank you so much!




BierMuncher said:
LOL - The out valve is really not a valve at all. It's ALWAYS OPEN....

If your serving this Saturday, you'll need to force the carbonation in by shaking. (A
good method but not the conservative "best" method of set and forget).

If the beer is cold now, take the keg out and set the pressure back up to 25 PSI. Lay the keg across your lap and shake it back and forth for 60-75 seconds. You'll hear bubbling and gas being released. The bubbling and gas sound will subside. Repeat the shaking and it will pick back up again. Do this about 3-4 times and then set back in the fridge with the gas back down to around 10-12 PSI.

Let it sit until serving time and you should be fine.
FYI
View attachment 1701
 

The Pol

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How many brews can I carb and dispense with a 5lb CO2 tank??
 

The Pol

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Any idea what AIRGAS or such places charge for an exchange deal on a 5lb cylinder?
 

rcdirtbuggy

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I don't know about exchange but i get my 5 pounder filled for about 7 bucks.
 

gnef

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the charge changes from location to location.

ALWAYS have a check valve on your gas. if you do, then you don't have to worry so much about beer getting into the regulator and destroying it.

easiest way to quickly carb is with a diffusion stone. best way to carb is to set it and forget it - reason being that it will condition in that time as well, making for better beer. with a diffusion stone, your beer can carbonate to the proper drinking level within hours, if the beer is cold.

something to remember about carbing warm. it takes higher pressure, and at a higher temperature, the gas doesn't go as readily into solution, so it will take even longer to get the carb level you desire. if you are able to chill the keg, regardless of the method you choose, it will carbonate more quickly.

if you can, get a backup co2 tank as well. you won't regret it.
 

Drunkagain

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I'm still a bit confused about ageing a beer in the keg. I've got an imperial stout that 's spent a week in primary adn now almost another two in secondary fermentation. Now the recipe calls for letting it age six to twelve months. If I was going to bottle it I would prime it and put it away and forget about it until ready. Is it the same process in a keg? Prime the keg, rack the beer adn then hit it with about 10psi which I would then bleed off to remove O2 from keg, adn then put away to age? Should I keep any CO2 pressure on it or just let it be?

Sorry if this is obvious. And thanks.
 

gnef

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it is up to you entirely.

you don't even have to prime the keg if you don't want to.

there is some debate on how to age in a keg, whether with co2 or not, some say it ages better with pressure and carbonated, others say the exact opposite.

i would definitely give it some pressure, at least to make sure there aren't any leaks and anywhere for oxygen to come through.

personally, i would also just put it on gas to carbonate it, that way if/when i wanted to take a sample, it would be properly carbonated. that's me though. you may find something that works better for you.

also, i would purge the keg before you rack to it, so pressurize it, check for leaks, then release the co2 from the keg, this should also push any remaining oxygen from the keg as well, this way it is even less likely to have contact with oxygen.
 

myc1034

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weird question. has any one "carbonized" thier keg with anything other than CO2 or pure N2 and not beergas. heaven forbid Oxygen?
 

gnef

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do NOT do oxygen. unless you like completely oxidized beer. that would be undrinkable entirely.

i do have beergas that i use for stouts and pouring through my stout faucet with a restrictor.

i also plan on getting a full nitrogen setup in the future so i can pour meads and possibly wine through my kegerator still and not carbonated. i also plan on using the nitrogen to seal the still beverages in kegs because i wouldn't want the beverages to absorb any of the co2 i put in the headspace.

nitrogen doesn't readily absorb into solution. i've heard that it is about 80x less soluble in solution than co2 is. i don't know how accurate that is, but that is just what i have heard. this is why it is used for beergas, as well as for wine transferring.
 
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