Keg Carbing at Room Temp

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NK3740

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Hello to everyone!
I've been reading these forums for longer than I can remember and they have been a wealth of information for me, so my many thanks go out. Now that I'm registered (FINALLY!), I've got a question that I know one of you can shed some light on.

I just got done racking my Bell's Two Hearted Ale clone from secondary to corney. Sanitized, racked, blew-off head space, etc. Here's the rub. I want to carb this beer but it will be a few more weeks until I can get up the scratch to order a thermostat control unit to convert my chest freezer into a kegerator. That means I won't have the ability to bring the beer down in temperature to facilitate the carbing process.

I've consulted a few carbination charts on the web and it looks like at 75 degrees (room temp) to achieve a volume of 2.5 you would need 40 psi?!? Does that sound right to anyone? I'm from the school of setting it at your serving temp (10 to 12 psi), wait a few weeks and enjoy. Also, I'm leary about force carbing because of an incident where beer back flowed in a gas line and had a field day with my regulator. So right now my guess would be to set it at 40 psi and let it sit. Anyone have a different idea?

Thanks again in advance...
 

Bokonon

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You can either throw priming sugar in the keg or force carbonate. If your not able to get your temps any lower then you'll have to hook it up at whatever the chart says. If your worried about beer flowing back up the gas tube to your regulator make sure you pull the pressure relief before hooking up any keg that you dont know how much pressure there is.

I have force carbonated at room temp before when my kegerator and storage area was full, just hook up at whatever pressure works for that temp and let it sit.
 

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Hello to everyone!
I've been reading these forums for longer than I can remember and they have been a wealth of information for me, so my many thanks go out. Now that I'm registered (FINALLY!), I've got a question that I know one of you can shed some light on.

I just got done racking my Bell's Two Hearted Ale clone from secondary to corney. Sanitized, racked, blew-off head space, etc. Here's the rub. I want to carb this beer but it will be a few more weeks until I can get up the scratch to order a thermostat control unit to convert my chest freezer into a kegerator. That means I won't have the ability to bring the beer down in temperature to facilitate the carbing process.

I've consulted a few carbination charts on the web and it looks like at 75 degrees (room temp) to achieve a volume of 2.5 you would need 40 psi?!? Does that sound right to anyone? I'm from the school of setting it at your serving temp (10 to 12 psi), wait a few weeks and enjoy. Also, I'm leary about force carbing because of an incident where beer back flowed in a gas line and had a field day with my regulator. So right now my guess would be to set it at 40 psi and let it sit. Anyone have a different idea?

Thanks again in advance...

Yeah, that sounds about right. Remember that co2 dissolves much better in cold liquids, and not so well in warm liquids.

Why don't you just prime the keg with priming sugar (about 1/2 of what you would with bottling- like 2.5 ounces) and let it carbonate naturally? I've done that.
 
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NK3740

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Thanks for the speedy reply guys. My priming sugar went away with my bottles so that's not an option. So the consensus is to set at 40 psi and let it sit?
 
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NK3740

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Get a check valve so the beer can't go back up the gas line.

Way ahead of you on that on findthefish. However that will come sometime after the thermostat controller. Also, I have a premium series Micromatic dual guage regulator and the outlet valve on it looks exactly like a check valve. Am I being too hopeful in thinking there is a check valve already installed on my regulator?
 

Bokonon

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Thanks for the speedy reply guys. My priming sugar went away with my bottles so that's not an option. So the consensus is to set at 40 psi and let it sit?
I'd stick it at 40psi and let it sit. If you really don't want to hook it up to the gas just use table sugar (or honey) for priming
 
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NK3740

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I'd stick it at 40psi and let it sit. If you really don't want to hook it up to the gas just use table sugar (or honey) for priming
That's the thing, I really DO want to hook it to the gas and I DON'T want to prime it with anything.
 
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I had this exact issue last month. I put my Apfelwein and Apricot Blond into the Kegs, hit with 30 PSI, then set them in the basement (60F) when Freezer was ready, I let them chill down, then released the pressure to 12 psi. About 2 hours later I was back up to 20, but after releasing that it's held steady at 12. After a day in the cold...all was good. I think this will be my SOP for beer that does not fit in the Keezer. I have 3 taps and room for 5 kegs. Problem is I brew about twice or 3 times as fast as I drink.
 

findthefish

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Way ahead of you on that on findthefish. However that will come sometime after the thermostat controller. Also, I have a premium series Micromatic dual guage regulator and the outlet valve on it looks exactly like a check valve. Am I being too hopeful in thinking there is a check valve already installed on my regulator?
It can be hard to tell, usually they just come with shut-off valves unless you add on a shut-off/check valve.

If it looks like this one, they do not come with check valves installed.
 
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NK3740

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It can be hard to tell, usually they just come with shut-off valves unless you add on a shut-off/check valve.

If it looks like this one, they do not come with check valves installed.
Yep! That's the one. I'm planning on using the valve on the regulator to feed a 4 port distributor. How would I know if the valves on the distributor have check valves, or would I have to fit all the distributor's valves with new check valves?
 

findthefish

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Yep! That's the one. I'm planning on using the valve on the regulator to feed a 4 port distributor. How would I know if the valves on the distributor have check valves, or would I have to fit all the distributor's valves with new check valves?
Open the valve and blow through it backwards, if you can't it's a check valve.

Edit: Also it will usually specifically say "with check valve" on the description. If it doesn't it's probably because it isn't one.
 
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NK3740

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Open the valve and blow through it backwards, if you can't it's a check valve.

Edit: Also it will usually specifically say "with check valve" on the description. If it doesn't it's probably because it isn't one.
Ahhh...good ol' common sense!
 
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NK3740

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So I consulted the temp/psi chart from the sticky on this forum about carbonation and it warns me that the temp I entered (70 deg.) is too high for unpasturized beer and it warns that it will spoil quickly. Now I've been brewing for a few years, and I'm by no means an expert, but it seems like in a sanatized keg, under pressure, the beer should be fine.

Hell, isn't that how IPAs were born?!? Out of the necessity to travel in high temps, long distances without spoiling!
 

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Let's say you want 2.5 volumes of CO2 ultimately. You want to carb at 70F? The chart says set to 28.8 PSI (30psi is close enough). Let's say you let it sit for 2 weeks at that pressure and temperature. You're now at 2.5 volumes of CO2 (incidentally you can disconnect the gas at this point and it should hold carbonation if you have no leaks).

Say a day later, or 6 months later you decide now is the time to start serving. With the gas QD DISCONNECTED, put the keg into the fridge until it's fully cooled down to say 40F for serving. Look on the chart for 2.5 volumes at 40F........ it says 12.3 PSI. Set your regulator to 12.3 psi and reconnect the gas.

After 2 weeks at 30psi (at 70F) the headspace sits at 30psi with no gas connected. Once the beer and headspace is cooled to 40F, the NEW headspace pressure is 12.3psi. Yup, all by itself it adjusted to the correct pressure. Why? It's the law.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Gas_Law
 

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Also, I'm leary about force carbing because of an incident where beer back flowed in a gas line and had a field day with my regulator.
I've always wondered how people get beer backflowing into their gas lines. Assuming that you don't hook up the gas to the liquid out fitting (erroneously thinking that it will carb faster with the CO2 bubbling up through the liquid out dip tube), and that you don't fill the keg up too much so that the level reaches the short gas in dip tube, how does one get beer to flow into their regulator?

I do use check valves, but more to insure that each of my kegs is completely isolated from each other.
 

Drunkensatyr

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and that you don't fill the keg up too much so that the level reaches the short gas in dip tube, how does one get beer to flow into their regulator?

You just answered your own ?. You either fill the keg too full or if moving the keg around and the head space gets foamy. Also if you hook up without check valves and you have a keg that is at lower pressure, the higher pressure kegs will vent into that keg thus filling the lines with anything that can reach the gas out tubes.
 
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NK3740

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Let's say you want 2.5 volumes of CO2 ultimately. You want to carb at 70F? The chart says set to 28.8 PSI (30psi is close enough). Let's say you let it sit for 2 weeks at that pressure and temperature. You're now at 2.5 volumes of CO2 (incidentally you can disconnect the gas at this point and it should hold carbonation if you have no leaks).

Say a day later, or 6 months later you decide now is the time to start serving. With the gas QD DISCONNECTED, put the keg into the fridge until it's fully cooled down to say 40F for serving. Look on the chart for 2.5 volumes at 40F........ it says 12.3 PSI. Set your regulator to 12.3 psi and reconnect the gas.

After 2 weeks at 30psi (at 70F) the headspace sits at 30psi with no gas connected. Once the beer and headspace is cooled to 40F, the NEW headspace pressure is 12.3psi. Yup, all by itself it adjusted to the correct pressure. Why? It's the law.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Gas_Law


Thank you Bobby, that is exactly the information I was looking for. It's at 30 psi right now in the unplugged chest freezer. I'll just disconnect after 2 weeks and cellar until the kegerator is complete.
 

johnsma22

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You just answered your own ?.
Sorry, I guess I should have used the little :rolleyes: guy so that others would have known that I was being sarcastic. ;) I was just trying to make the point that IF you don't try and carb from the liquid out fitting, and IF you don't overfill your keg, it's not likely that you will get beer into your regulator. Obviously, check valves will eliminate the chances of doing that even if you make those mistakes.

I've always got root beer on tap at 30 psi coming off the primary regulator. The other feed from the primary regulator goes to the input of the secondary regulator that has an Imperial Stout at 10 psi and a Hefe at 18 psi, so I'm well aware of the necessity to keep the differing pressures in each keg isolated from each other. :D

 

findthefish

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It isn't good for the gas to go back into the regulator backwards, even if there is no beer in there.
 

PolarisSnT

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Let's say you want 2.5 volumes of CO2 ultimately. You want to carb at 70F? The chart says set to 28.8 PSI (30psi is close enough). Let's say you let it sit for 2 weeks at that pressure and temperature. You're now at 2.5 volumes of CO2 (incidentally you can disconnect the gas at this point and it should hold carbonation if you have no leaks).

Say a day later, or 6 months later you decide now is the time to start serving. With the gas QD DISCONNECTED, put the keg into the fridge until it's fully cooled down to say 40F for serving. Look on the chart for 2.5 volumes at 40F........ it says 12.3 PSI. Set your regulator to 12.3 psi and reconnect the gas.

After 2 weeks at 30psi (at 70F) the headspace sits at 30psi with no gas connected. Once the beer and headspace is cooled to 40F, the NEW headspace pressure is 12.3psi. Yup, all by itself it adjusted to the correct pressure. Why? It's the law.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Gas_Law
Isn't it funny that all the information that a person knows can quickly be forgotten once panic/the unknown is introduced. From my early engineer days I should know gas law, but at the moment I am clueless about pressure in my keg and I need some reassurance.

I have a keg that I want to serve at a friends party that will be carbonating at room temperature(25psi) until I can get it chilled down at the party. All I have to do is get it cooled, set my regulator to serving pressure, and dispense? No ridiculous amounts of foam? No beer shooting out like a fire nozzle?

It can't be that simple, it just can't!
 

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I have a keg that I want to serve at a friends party that will be carbonating at room temperature(25psi) until I can get it chilled down at the party. All I have to do is get it cooled, set my regulator to serving pressure, and dispense? No ridiculous amounts of foam? No beer shooting out like a fire nozzle?

It can't be that simple, it just can't!
It will take a little time for the CO2 in the headspace to absorb into the beer after it cools, but other than that it is that simple. If you can get it chilled and let it sit at the colder temp for at least a few hours before the party you should be good to go.

FWIW when I transport kegs I like to either get them to the destination a day early and let them settle for 24 hrs, or counter pressure transfer to a clean keg first. Otherwise the little bit of sediment at the bottom of the keg can get stirred up during moving and result in slightly cloudy beer.
 
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