I just built an inline carbonator, it works great!

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I'm surprised to hear you over carbed the beer using this system, that should be impossible to do if you're at serving temperature and pressure. Unless you weren't using serving temp/pressure, in which case you should be.

Also your math is a little off. First, atmospheric pressure is about 14.7 psi, not % The pressure gauges we use shows relative pressure (or gauge pressure), which is zero referenced to atmospheric pressure. What this means if that if I pressurise a vessel to 14.7 psi, that has an absolute pressure of 29.4 psi. Absolute pressure measures from 0 psi (perfect vacuum).

So if you pressurise to 30 psi you're roughly tripling the moles of gas in the keg, not doubling them. This drops you to 9 purges to get rid of the oxygen, though only if you assume perfect mixing and distribution of the gases.

Well, I figured out why I over carbed it. The CO2 valve on my spare CO2 tank is a welding one from Harbor Freight. It has two scales, one for flow and the other for pressure (I think). The numbers on the outside, flow scale are half the values of the inside, pressure scale. I verified that the inside scale was the correct one using an air pressure gauge in line. I had done this when I first got the gauge, but forgot which one was correct (I have noted it on the gauge for the future). I was using the outside scale and setting it at 14lbs was actually priming it at about 30lbs. The last two times I have used it I have had much better results.

Well, I figured out why I over carbed it. The CO2 valve on my spare CO2 tank is a welding one from Harbor Freight. It has two scales, one for flow and the other for pressure (I think). The numbers on the outside, flow scale are half the values of the inside, pressure scale. I verified that the inside scale was the correct one using an air pressure gauge in line. I had done this when I first got the gauge, but forgot which one was correct (I have noted it on the gauge for the future). I was using the outside scale and setting it at 14lbs was actually priming it at about 30lbs. The last two times I have used it I have had much better results.

I am thinking of building one of these. I have done some research carbonation stones. There is something called wetting pressure which is the pressure needed for gas to even come out of the stone. You are supposed to add this to whatever your goal psi is. Also the b model says to add 1 to 2 psi additionally for “system losses”. So if wetting pressure is 2 psi, system loss of 2 and goal of 12 psi to carbonate to, one should really run this at a pressure of 16 psi to get 2.5 volumes of co2. I have a pump that is like a chugger pump that has a ss head on it. I was thinking of using it, and actually thinking the fast circulation would help bc that means the beer passes the stone more times getting more co2. There is no such thing as over carbing if you aim for an appropriate target, as it will reach equilibrium and no more co2 will enter the beer.

I run my pump full blast, if you have your regulator pressure set properly to your target CO2 volumes and beer temp you will be good.
There will be some foam if you don't get your head pressure to serving pressure.

Here is how I do it, for what it is worth. I can drink the beer 1-2 hours after I start carbing if the beer is at the right temp.

I have been using this on every batch we have made since I built the carbing system. It works wonderfully.

I purge the keg with sanitizer and Co2. I fill keg through a closed system that I purge the oxygen from with Co2, so no oxygen getting in that way from the fermenter.

After filling, I will burp the keg a few times then do my cold crashing in the keg and let trub settle, I'll usually put some pressure on it as well.
You don't have to chill the beer, but make sure to use the right carbing pressure according to chart.

When I am ready to carb, usually the next day, I will pressure up the keg a little and push whatever trub is in the bottom through a picnic tap.

Then I purge my sanitized system...System is set up like this....from beer out ball lock on keg, then into the pump (Steelhead 2.0), then into a stainless 1/2" "T". Carb stone in one port of the "T" and then beer in and beer out. From the beer out of the "T", it runs to the "gas in" ball lock on the keg.

I purge the system by hooking up CO2 to carbing stone and opening the ball lock keg connectors until I can smell the CO2. Both of them. I turn off CO2 and depressurize the system mostly as well. (there is still pressure in the keg)

Now with the pressure I have in the keg, when I connect just the "beer out" keg fitting, it pushes beer into the carbing system and primes the pump. Sometimes I will need to let some pressure off the "gas in" ball lock fitting to allow beer to feed into most of the system from the pressure in the keg. This just makes priming the pump easier.

Now at the same time, I turn on the pump and connect the "gas in" ball lock fitting to the keg. Then the beer starts flowing...from the "beer out" post on keg, through the pump, over the carb stone, and back into the keg via the "gas in" post. When it is all flowing nicely, I turn on and crank up the CO2 to the desired setting through the carbing stone. I have some clear tubing in the beer flow after the carbing stone so I can see when the bubbles stop. When the bubbles stop, you have carbed the whole keg to whatever you CO2 pressure is set at. I usually let it run for 1 hour.

Now you have carbed beer...but the head pressure on the keg will be a lot more than serving pressure so you have to let that pressure off. The problem is when you start trying to release that pressure after not letting the beer settle, in a full keg the foam will start shooting out of the pressure release when you open it. Messy. So I take a picnic tap and hook it to the "gas out" on the keg and let all the foam and pressure bleed off into a cup or something. This is when I sample the beer and see if I like the carb level, if it needs more (it usually does) I hook it back up the carbing system and add a few more psi until I like what I have. The carbing system stays full of beer when you disconnect the keg fittings if done at the same time.

Once I get the CO2 level I like, I will bleed off head pressure with the picnic tap through the "gas in" post, put it in the keezer, tap and hook up to serving pressure and drink it. It can still be a little foamy until it settles, but I still drink it.

This is cool. I'm not set up for kegging yet but I think I can use this to oxygenate wort on the way into the fermenter, then down the road use it for carbonation as well.

I am thinking of building one of these. I have done some research carbonation stones. There is something called wetting pressure which is the pressure needed for gas to even come out of the stone. You are supposed to add this to whatever your goal psi is. Also the b model says to add 1 to 2 psi additionally for “system losses”. So if wetting pressure is 2 psi, system loss of 2 and goal of 12 psi to carbonate to, one should really run this at a pressure of 16 psi to get 2.5 volumes of co2. I have a pump that is like a chugger pump that has a ss head on it. I was thinking of using it, and actually thinking the fast circulation would help bc that means the beer passes the stone more times getting more co2. There is no such thing as over carbing if you aim for an appropriate target, as it will reach equilibrium and no more co2 will enter the beer.

There may be something to this. As you said the Blichmann system and their instructions (which you can download from their site) say to add a pound or two of pressure above carbing pressure. This may account for the losses pushing through the stone and line losses. I was carbonating a 3 gallon keg a few days back and I found at the beginning I had to add a few extra pounds of pressure just to get it going. I had to really kick up the CO2 pressure, to 25-30 lbs to get it going. I then backed it down to my carbing pressure after a few minutes. Without doing this I had beer back-flowing into the gas line. You may also need to take a look at the size of the carbonating holes in the stone and adjust this up or down. There would probably be differences between a 2, 5 or 10 micron stone.

Having used my a few times now, here are my latest steps:
1. I usually wash the system in hot soapy water (pump recirculate it through). I then pump clean water through it. I then recirculate sanitizer for 5-10 minutes.
2. I bleed any pressure off the fully purged keg (purged 14-15 times). I de-pressurize the keg.
3. I push sanitizer out of the CO2 Line with CO2. It also will push the sanitizer out of the return line.
4. I screw on the connector to the pump in line and put it on the liquid out post on the keg. I pump beer through the line into a container to push out any remaining sanitizer and CO2. I have the gas in connector on the other end and push down the pin in it with something while doing this (a battery works). I power down the pump, de-pressurize everything and connect the return line to the keg's - gas in post.
5. At this point with everything bled and purged but not pressurized I connect the gas in connector to the keg and crank up the CO2 to a high pressure (20-30 lbs), so when I turn the pump back on it won't push beer up the CO2 line.
5. I power on the pump and begin the carbonation process.
6. For the first couple of minutes I leave the pressure up to get the headspace and keg acclimated. I then back the pressure off to get to my carbing pressure. I watch the CO2 line to make sure beer isn't backing up into it. If it does I kick the pressure up a few lbs. After a few minutes the pressure equalizes and no beer is flowing up the CO2 line and you can see the gas flowing with the beer back into the keg.
7. After an hour or so the keg should be carbonated. Tap it with a picnic tap and see. If it needs more then run it a while longer.
8. After you are done and ready to put it on your kegging system, let it rest for a hour or two, then make sure you de-pressurize it before connecting your keezer's gas lines.

Just a little more info I'm adding to a 15 month old thread. I built one of these, and have used it, with varying success... on 3 kegs. I have tinkered incessantly with it. I am learning as I go, but have yet to experience the carbonation nirvana I was hoping for. Thus far, it has been trial and error... with too much effort for the results I'm getting. Frankly, I've been disappointed. But...

I hadn't read this full thread until now, after my 3rd attempt at use. (I was 'sold' once I saw the video... and didn't pay attention to the thread and updates.) Now having read the entire thread, and seeing the comments on "wetting pressure" and "system loss," that info seems critically important. It also is a bit of a "well, duh" moment for me. After three uses... I can tell that the system works, but it has only gotten me partially carbonated. On my last try, I assumed I simply wasn't going long enough. SO, I ran for 90 minutes. Still inadequate. Bumping it up 2-4 PSI at the regulator might be all I need. (Duh.)

Here are some things I've learned through trial and error:

1. A .5 micron stone WON'T WORK. At least, it didn't for me. While it seems it theoretically 'could' be better (finer bubbles to diffuse more quickly)... it was non-functional in this setup. Just stick with the 2 micron, which seems to have an easier time forcing the gas into the beer. And my next info is related to this:

2. LINE LENGTH AND DIAMETER MATTERS... QUITE A LOT. I used 5/16" tubing per the video. Then, reading an article or post (somewhere), I extended my beer tubing length (after carb stone) to 8+ feet, coiling it up. I read that adding more line, and more resistance, would slow down the beer, and provide more time for the gas to interact with the beer while it flowed through the line. That's true... but you can overdo it. More resistance also means more pressure, and there was too much pressure in the beer line, preventing the stone (even the 2 micron) from introducing a substantial amount of gas. I could tell that gas was not flowing in, and I had a 'standstill' of backflowed beer visible in my gas tube on the wrong side of my carbonation stone. I would have to crank up the pressure to force that beer back out, but it would almost immediately return to a 'stagnant' blackflowed status (in the gas tube) once I returned the regulator to target pressure. THEN, I SHORTENED MY LINE and noticed immediate improvement. Then, I increased my line diameter to 3/8". Now, I am running about 5 ft of 3/8" ID tubing, and it works the best of my several attempts. It is now clear that a good amount of gas is flowing in, with the visible bubbling in the line. So, experiment. With the correct line lengths, you can eliminate any backflow/stagnation into the gas tube... and have gas that is visibly flowing into the beer, presumably until you reach equilibrium of pressure throughout. (Perhaps it would be possible to run a .5 micron stone if you reduced the post-T pressure enough... or increased system pressure enough to compensate... but at this point, I've lost patience trying to figure that out.)

3. The barbed fittings with thumb clamps are the best way to go. DON'T USE OVERSIZE BARBS. You'll want to disassemble this every time to clean it and flush the lines. If using 5/16" tubing, use the 1/4" barbs. I had stainless 3/8" barbs... which is part of the reason I went to 3/8 tubing. The thumbscrew clamps and small enough barbs (so they're not a total pain to get the tubing off of) is the way to go. I tried (\$10 worth of) stainless flare/nut fittings. Waste of money. They work, but are no easier than the barb/tube/thumbscrew as suggested.

SO, there are my updates to a 15 month old post. Perhaps there is better information elsewhere... but this is the post I built off of!

Cheers.

1. A .5 micron stone WON'T WORK. At least, it didn't for me. While it seems it theoretically 'could' be better (finer bubbles to diffuse more quickly)... it was non-functional in this setup. Just stick with the 2 micron, which seems to have an easier time forcing the gas into the beer. And my next info is related to this:

I have a.5 micron stone and I have found since this thread was last updated, that I need to add 5 lbs pressure to the carbonating chart pressure. I let it go for an hour and check it. It has worked great doing this.

2. LINE LENGTH AND DIAMETER MATTERS... QUITE A LOT. I used 5/16" tubing per the video. Then, reading an article or post (somewhere), I extended my beer tubing length (after carb stone) to 8+ feet, coiling it up. I read that adding more line, and more resistance, would slow down the beer, and provide more time for the gas to interact with the beer while it flowed through the line. That's true... but you can overdo it. More resistance also means more pressure, and there was too much pressure in the beer line, preventing the stone (even the 2 micron) from introducing a substantial amount of gas. I could tell that gas was not flowing in, and I had a 'standstill' of backflowed beer visible in my gas tube on the wrong side of my carbonation stone. I would have to crank up the pressure to force that beer back out, but it would almost immediately return to a 'stagnant' blackflowed status (in the gas tube) once I returned the regulator to target pressure. THEN, I SHORTENED MY LINE and noticed immediate improvement. Then, I increased my line diameter to 3/8". Now, I am running about 5 ft of 3/8" ID tubing, and it works the best of my several attempts. It is now clear that a good amount of gas is flowing in, with the visible bubbling in the line. So, experiment. With the correct line lengths, you can eliminate any backflow/stagnation into the gas tube... and have gas that is visibly flowing into the beer, presumably until you reach equilibrium of pressure throughout. (Perhaps it would be possible to run a .5 micron stone if you reduced the post-T pressure enough... or increased system pressure enough to compensate... but at this point, I've lost patience trying to figure that out.)

This is interesting to think about. I don't know why this would matter carbonating, as it is picking up the CO2 as it passes and carries it into the keg. If anything I think I would go the other way, with shorter hose. I do think the key is the stone's wetting pressure. Once the gas is out of the tank it is in the beer. Breweries that do this don't have huge lines rolled up on the floor or in their bright tanks.

I only use the system maybe one out of every 4 or 5 brews. I am usually not is a hurry and that makes it not worth the setup and cleanup. But, it is great to have this in my bag of tools to use when I do need it.

Cheers.

Looking over this system it seems to be a glorified force carbonation system as well. It's not as much as adding in something like a beverage carbonater but it is heading that way. What home brewers call force carbonation is really the most simple way of carbonating in a hurry. This seems to be along those lines as well. I once had the idea of using a paint shaker to carbonate my beer. One of my friends and I undertook this project and by Saturday evening we had a devise that would hold and shake a corny keg. We then stepped into the trial and error stage and shook a newly kegged beer for 35 min with 30psi of co2 attached and we were over carbed. The next try was 30psi for 30 min and it was over carbed. The 3rd try was 30psi for 15 min and it was just about perfect. Keep in mind a paint shaker really throws whatever liquid it's shaking around so much more than when we do a force carbonation that I guess that's why it worked like it did.

Anyway these days I just run 30psi for around 10 min while rocking the keg every few minutes. Then I turn the regulator back to around 12psi and leave it. It's good by the next day when I get to it. But if in a real hurry get a paint shaker and you can have beer ready before it can get cold....

I was just wondering...how many times would beer need to go through the inline carbonator to be fully carbonated? E.g. in a setup with multiple kegs and in-line carbonators connected in series, where it becomes more carobanted as it proceeds into each keg, how many would you need? Based on the spec of the Blichmann QuickCarb I think it would be 4 times but I was wondering if anyone has a better estimate or has tried?

I was just wondering...how many times would beer need to go through the inline carbonator to be fully carbonated? E.g. in a setup with multiple kegs and in-line carbonators connected in series, where it becomes more carobanted as it proceeds into each keg, how many would you need? Based on the spec of the Blichmann QuickCarb I think it would be 4 times but I was wondering if anyone has a better estimate or has tried?
It's not about how many times it goes thorugh, but about how long it spends being infused with CO2.
I noticed this is the second thread you've posted in involving carbonating short-cuts.... You remind me of myself when I started kegging: Impatient. I do understand; I tried all the fast techniques and even considered a product called 'the Beer Buddha' which was a little Buddha statue that hung on the side of your keg and repeatedly tapped it to cause ripples.
Carbonation is a matter of surface area contact, time and pressure, and while there are various shortcuts, I personally found them to be wasted labour creating extra problems and cleanup time not to mention extra lost CO2..if you don't fully purge your pump, lines and stones, you'll be churning air into your beer.
The very simple double or higher pressure and leave the keg sit near freezing for 24-36 hours never fails to perfectly carbonate. You just have to get over the hurdle of impatience. I had trouble with that myself and have wasted so much \$ and time.
Just sayin'

You remind me of myself when I started kegging: Impatient.
A great way to become more patient is to build up a pipeline. If you do a really good job of that, you'll have more filled kegs than you can fit in your kegerator and will start searching the threads for the best way to store uncarabonated beer.

A great way to become more patient is to build up a pipeline. If you do a really good job of that, you'll have more filled kegs than you can fit in your kegerator and will start searching the threads for the best way to store uncarabonated beer.
Exactly the logical approach I chose! ....now if I can just keep up with it

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