Keg Force Carbing Methods Illustrated

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Auger

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I also don't have to worry about leaks and losing all the CO2.
Wouldn't it be easier to just check your gas connections once with a starsan solution to make sure nothing's leaking? I'd go nuts if I had to connect then disconnect the gas lines to each keg every time I poured a beer.

Plus, if you're that worried about leaks, what is to prevent a bad seal on a poppet, leaking the CO2 out of the keg? I have a keg with a known bad gas poppet, if the keg is pressurized and I take the gas fitting off it will leak. So I leave the gas hooked up and it's not an issue. Any time I change a fitting I spray it with Starsan to check for leaks, and problem solved.
 

jbb3

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+1^^

I've seen several folks use this work-around due to loosing CO2. With proper installation, the system is designed to remain pressurized without leaks but like everything, things fail from time to time. However, by intermittently pressurizing, depressurizing and pressurizing the system over and over again, it may actually exacerbate the problem and it definitely accelerates stress and wear on the seals.

It is not that difficult to troubleshoot, find and fix a CO2 leak as there are a limited number of places to look. In most cases a simple squirt bottle of starsan will help you locate the leak. For those situations that are not so obvious, a systematic approach to isolate each branch of the system will identify the culprit.
 

applescrap

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So went against my norm today....got a brew book it said 30 psi for 30 seconds., sounded easy enough so i gave it a try. After 1 hour no bath releasing pressure so that was good. I'll see not perfect but ok. Warm beer btw.
 

applescrap

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Sorry....new try.. i have an old pin lock that has a devilish sense of humor. It gives the brewer a little "treat" when you push the poppet without enough rest after a 45 psi horizontal dance. Beer was two minutes out of primary. It didnt do enough carbing should have shaked longer.
 

boochuckles

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Sorry if this has been covered but after reading some 300+ posts in this thread, I decided I just see if I have this right. I got a kegging system for Christmas and I am ready to keg a SMaSH I made for it. I'd like it to be ready to drink in 11 days for the monthly brew club meeting. I believe the steps I'm going to be taking are as such:

1) After the beer is transferred into the keg, set the CO2 to 30 PSI and purge out the oxygen. From what it seems like works the best is to not really shake it but just leave it be?

2) Leave the CO2 attached to the keg at 30 PSI for 24-48 hours. At that point approximately 75% of the carbing should be done.

3) Purge out the extra pressure of the CO2 and set the pressure to the serving pressure. I believe this is going to be about 16-17PSI if my mini-fridge is going to be set around 50F (which is the temp it was when i checked it this morning before work.)
According to this chart: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php this is going to put the beer around the 2.4 level I am shooting for.

4) Then somewhere around 3-5 days later the beer should be ok to drink, however for full equilibrium it may be 14-21 days.

I believe this to be what I have read others have had success in doing. Any tips or corrections please lmk.

I have questions when it is going to come to serving:

I have read that some people lower the PSI when serving, but I am unclear as to why they do so. It seems like it may have something to do with the length and size of the serving line?

My kit came with 5′ of 3/16″ beer line tubing and 4′ of 5/16″ gas line tubing and a picnic tap. Is there going to be a need to lower the PSI with this setup? I have a feeling the answer is going to be see if it works at this PSI and if not purge and try a lower PSI to get less foam...

Thanks for any help to come. A HUGE Thanks to Bobby M for starting this and getting other homebrewers on the road to having less error in their trials of kegging
 

chuckcomm

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I carb mine roughly 2 days at 30psi then purge and set to 10 psi for serving. I have a 10' 3/16" beer line coiled at bottom of kegerator. Beer is pretty well carbed at that time but gets better with more time.
 

Bottoms_Up

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I have questions when it is going to come to serving:

I have read that some people lower the PSI when serving, but I am unclear as to why they do so. It seems like it may have something to do with the length and size of the serving line?

My kit came with 5′ of 3/16″ beer line tubing and 4′ of 5/16″ gas line tubing and a picnic tap. Is there going to be a need to lower the PSI with this setup? I have a feeling the answer is going to be see if it works at this PSI and if not purge and try a lower PSI to get less foam...

Thanks for any help to come. A HUGE Thanks to Bobby M for starting this and getting other homebrewers on the road to having less error in their trials of kegging
I have 5 feet of 3/16" I.D. beer line with picnic taps on five separate kegs and always have to lower the pressure to serve. After serving, I increase the pressure again. Another trick with the 5 feet lines without having to reduce the pressure is to serve the drink holding the picnic tap end as high as you can - increasing the resistance of beer flowing through the tube. I have a foot-stool next to the keezer so that I can do this when I'm too lazy to reduce the pressure. A little awkward, but works much better than when serving it at waist high.

I plan to lengthen all my serving lines, but rather than let the 5 foot lines go to waste, I plan to join two of each of the 5 foot lines together using a brass 1/4" Male Barb to 1/4" Male Barb Splicer. Costs a lot less than throwing the pairs of 5 foot lines out and replacing them with 10 foot lines. I purchased the splicers at Loew's (very inexpensive), but I'm sure Home Depot also has them. They fit a little tight, but if you first soak the ends of the hoses in hot water, it's much easier to join.
 

boochuckles

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I have nothing hooked up yet, would it be worth it to just get the 10 feet of tubing? It's really not that expensive and I don't need it yet
 

The_Bishop

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I plan to lengthen all my serving lines, but rather than let the 5 foot lines go to waste, I plan to join two of each of the 5 foot lines together using a brass 1/4" Male Barb to 1/4" Male Barb Splicer. Costs a lot less than throwing the pairs of 5 foot lines out and replacing them with 10 foot lines. I purchased the splicers at Loew's (very inexpensive), but I'm sure Home Depot also has them. They fit a little tight, but if you first soak the ends of the hoses in hot water, it's much easier to join.
This is a terrible idea. When the beer flow hits the disturbance of the brass splicer, it will likely break out the dissolved CO2 and give you a glass full of foam.

New 10 foot beer lines will cost roughly the same as the couplers will, and will actually work.
 

Bottoms_Up

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This is a terrible idea. When the beer flow hits the disturbance of the brass splicer, it will likely break out the dissolved CO2 and give you a glass full of foam.

New 10 foot beer lines will cost roughly the same as the couplers will, and will actually work.
No - that's why I used the 1/4" splicer rather than the 3/16" splicer. The 1/4" splicer has a larger interior diameter of 3/16", matching the inside diameter of the beverage line exactly, so should not create any noticeable disturbance. Also, this is located half way down the line, so the disturbance - if any - should be very negligible. The cost of the splicer is 1/5 the cost of a 10 foot line (in $Canadian $1.99 for the splicer, and $9.99 for 10 feet of 3/16" beverage line - plus tax).
 

chuckcomm

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I have nothing hooked up yet, would it be worth it to just get the 10 feet of tubing? It's really not that expensive and I don't need it yet
I would go with the 10' line and save the 5' for something else. I always seem to have a project that calls for some tubing.
 

Bottoms_Up

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I would go with the 10' line and save the 5' for something else. I always seem to have a project that calls for some tubing.
There's not much use for the 3/16" lines. Siphon hoses range from 5/16" I.D. to 1/2" I.D, which are significantly larger.
 

boochuckles

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So the steps I'm planning on taking seem to be OK? since the only discussion is about the beer lines...
 

Bottoms_Up

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So the steps I'm planning on taking seem to be OK? since the only discussion is about the beer lines...
Yes - for the "fast" and more unpredictable way.

For the more certain and predictable way, set the pressure at serving pressure, and leave it for about 3 weeks before serving. This also allows the beer to properly condition.
 

chuckcomm

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There's not much use for the 3/16" lines. Siphon hoses range from 5/16" I.D. to 1/2" I.D, which are significantly larger.
I'm not referring to just brewing for other uses Im just saying I save all my tubing and have found uses around the house for many different sizes while making temporary or permanent repairs in a pinch.
 

applescrap

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Sorry if this has been covered but after reading some 300+ posts in this thread, I decided I just see if I have this right. I got a kegging system for Christmas and I am ready to keg a SMaSH I made for it. I'd like it to be ready to drink in 11 days for the monthly brew club meeting. I believe the steps I'm going to be taking are as such:

1) After the beer is transferred into the keg, set the CO2 to 30 PSI and purge out the oxygen. From what it seems like works the best is to not really shake it but just leave it be?

2) Leave the CO2 attached to the keg at 30 PSI for 24-48 hours. At that point approximately 75% of the carbing should be done.

3) Purge out the extra pressure of the CO2 and set the pressure to the serving pressure. I believe this is going to be about 16-17PSI if my mini-fridge is going to be set around 50F (which is the temp it was when i checked it this morning before work.)
According to this chart: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php this is going to put the beer around the 2.4 level I am shooting for.

4) Then somewhere around 3-5 days later the beer should be ok to drink, however for full equilibrium it may be 14-21 days.

I believe this to be what I have read others have had success in doing. Any tips or corrections please lmk.

I have questions when it is going to come to serving:

I have read that some people lower the PSI when serving, but I am unclear as to why they do so. It seems like it may have something to do with the length and size of the serving line?

My kit came with 5′ of 3/16″ beer line tubing and 4′ of 5/16″ gas line tubing and a picnic tap. Is there going to be a need to lower the PSI with this setup? I have a feeling the answer is going to be see if it works at this PSI and if not purge and try a lower PSI to get less foam...

Thanks for any help to come. A HUGE Thanks to Bobby M for starting this and getting other homebrewers on the road to having less error in their trials of kegging
Yes this seems like a good plan. Im not sure you need 16psi after 30psi. Im thinking 30psi for 2 days then 10 psi till day 11 will be perfect. After 8 days if you put in to little it will be perfect and if you put in too much it will be perfect
 

MarkKF

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I just consult the chart. See was psi I need for Vols. I desire at the temp. of my basement then set it and forget it. I use the picnic tap at less than 10 psi to serve.
 

boochuckles

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I managed to get the cooler down to the mid-30s F last night. It's hard to get an exact reading with the thermometer I have now. Should I back off the 30psi sooner? I was going to do 3 days if it was at 50F...

I know I need a better setup, but I'm working with what I have, what my wife will allow, and what we can afford with our 6 month old daughter
 

applescrap

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I managed to get the cooler down to the mid-30s F last night. It's hard to get an exact reading with the thermometer I have now. Should I back off the 30psi sooner? I was going to do 3 days if it was at 50F...

I know I need a better setup, but I'm working with what I have, what my wife will allow, and what we can afford with our 6 month old daughter
The carb perfection you seek I think is fleeting. I'd be worried ALOT more about how it tastes if I was going to give it to somebody who is seriously going to judge it. 2 days of 30 PSI another 8 at 10 you'll be money. After the two days of 30 PSI and 3 days at ten taste it I bet it'll be perfect if not you still have plenty of time to carb it. Depending on the day I'm drinking beer an Hour or two after it was in the fermenter. You have plenty of time if you catch my drift. Hell I bet if you just set it at 10 and gave it a little wiggle once a day for about a minute it would be fine. I've seen those charts but I've never used one.
 

boochuckles

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I'm not seeking "perfection", just really a carbonated beer. I drank a glass of it right out of the secondary yesterday and it tasted good enough to me, so my only thought is its going to get better. If it sucks the club will give me suggestions and pointers, and I'll have to drink the whole keg. If it's really good they'll give me praise and suggestions and pointers and I'll have to drink the whole keg. Anyway I look at it, I have a keg of beer I must drink :rockin:
 

boochuckles

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I just found I have 20 feet of 1/4 inch ID tubing. Is that too large a diameter? I'd guess the length is too long also? 10 feet 3/16 ID is the standard. I'm going to Home Depot today for other things in the house so I can get smaller if need be but would prefer not to have to buy more
 

day_trippr

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20 feet of 1/4" ID line will not work well at all.
Go with the 3/16" tubing...

Cheers!
 

xico

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Very very helpful. I overshot my carb goal and had to purge. Much to my dismay I lost all that mango from my dry hopping as a result.

Thanks a bunch for taking the time to share!
 

ruascott

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I'm in the midst of carbing my first keg. I had an old CO2 tank and regulator...I hooked up new lines, disconnects, etc.....my regulator had a nut on it that won't allow me to go higher than 18PSI. It's rusted on there pretty good...with some work I could get it off, but not going to mess with it right now.

Anyway, I set to 18PSI, about 24 hrs later, checked it, and could tell something wasn't right....as the PSI was falling. Tank was empty. Double checked my lines for leaks, think I'm ok.

Not sure if it was almost empty to start with, or I had a small leak, or some combo. Got a new tank and just set it to 12 and have left it there for a couple more days.

Also, is there any concern with losing aroma from purging the tank too much? This is a super hopped IIPA, and the smell is incredible when I purge the tank.
 

doug293cz

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You shouldn't lose too much aroma from multiple purges. You will lose the highest number of aroma molecules on the first purge, and each one after that will lose significantly less, as long as you do the purges in quick succession, so that the aroma molecules in the headspace don't have time to come back into equilibrium with the beer between purges.

Brew on :mug:
 

geejay

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Sorry if this has been covered but after reading some 300+ posts in this thread, I decided I just see if I have this right. I got a kegging system for Christmas and I am ready to keg a SMaSH I made for it. I'd like it to be ready to drink in 11 days for the monthly brew club meeting. I believe the steps I'm going to be taking are as such:

1) After the beer is transferred into the keg, set the CO2 to 30 PSI and purge out the oxygen.
No, purge the oxygen out of the keg BEFORE you transfer the beer into it. Otherwise, the whole time you're filling the keg you are mixing it with oxygen.
I hook a gas line up to the liquid post on the keg, so the keg fills with CO2 from the bottom and pushes the air out of the open top. Then keg as normal, with either a hose running to the bottom of the keg, or a hose running to the liquid post on the keg.
 

geejay

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There's something about this approach that doesn't seem to make sense to me. If you start carbing with the higher pressure (~30 psi) and roll until the gas slows, and then immediately back the pressure off to a LOWER pressure of ~20 psi, how, then is it possible to roll it at the LOWER pressure and still hear gas coming in? The higher pressure has already allowed as much gas as possible to dissolve in the beer, so a lower pressure in theory should NOT allow any more gas to enter (unless it had rested for many hours)?
Ah, quite true. After the gas slows, I disconnect the gas and rock the keg a bit more. Although it was temporarily saturated with CO2, it continues taking up the gas rapidly, and the pressure drops proportionally. So by the time I reconnect the CO2 at 20psi, the pressure inside the keg has dropped to thereabout.
Recently I put a pressure gauge on a keg disconnect, so the next time I force carbonate I'll take some reading of how fast the pressure drops.
Something else I want to experiment with is carbonating by weight. With a rough calculation I think I can reasonably estimate the amount of CO2 needed in grams, and by weighing the keg periodically I could have a useful estimate of how close to carbonation I was. Just theory, but I have a digital gram scale that will handle up to 40 kilograms, so I should be able to harvest some data and see if it is a useful approach...
I just got flow control faucets, so I just have the most recent keg at some random high pressure and will lower it whenever it's carbonated correctly. With the flow control faucet I can sample it without dropping the pressure. It's at 50F, so it's not too enthusiastic about dissolving the CO2.
 

doug293cz

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No, purge the oxygen out of the keg BEFORE you transfer the beer into it. Otherwise, the whole time you're filling the keg you are mixing it with oxygen.
I hook a gas line up to the liquid post on the keg, so the keg fills with CO2 from the bottom and pushes the air out of the open top. Then keg as normal, with either a hose running to the bottom of the keg, or a hose running to the liquid post on the keg.
Your suggested CO2 pre-purge method does not work anywhere near as well as you think it does. The CO2 coming out of the liquid dip tube will create significant turbulence in the keg, mixing the CO2 with the air (and O2.) Even in perfectly still conditions, the CO2 doesn't remain at the bottom of the keg for more than a few minutes. The existence of a persistent "CO2 blanket" is a myth, and proof has been provided all over this forum. You could get most of the O2 out of a keg (temporarily) with your method, but it will require a very large, undeterminable amount of CO2.

A better method to pre-purge the keg is to fill it completely with sterile water or StarSan solution, and then push the liquid out with CO2. After purging, fill the keg thru the liquid out post with the PRV open (or unattached QD on the gas post for a pin lock.) This method uses a fixed amount of CO2, and the residual O2 can be fairly accurately calculated.

Brew on :mug:
 

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I don't think I have been force carbonating right. Wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or post here; trying the latter. This is what I currently do (2.5 gallon batches if that matters):

1. Cold crash carboy in kegerator for 4-5 days
2. Rack into purged keg
3. Set to 30 psi with keg inside kegerator for ~36-48 hours
4. Drop down to 11 psi by shutting gas off and bleeding CO2 from PRV

I get tons of foam but the beer does not seem to be overcarbonated, if anything it tastes more flat. Do I need to wait after my fourth step before trying a beer? I poured a very foamy beer right after, then a similar one the next two days.
 

jbb3

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I don't think I have been force carbonating right. Wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or post here; trying the latter. This is what I currently do (2.5 gallon batches if that matters):

1. Cold crash carboy in kegerator for 4-5 days
2. Rack into purged keg
3. Set to 30 psi with keg inside kegerator for ~36-48 hours
4. Drop down to 11 psi by shutting gas off and bleeding CO2 from PRV

I get tons of foam but the beer does not seem to be overcarbonated, if anything it tastes more flat. Do I need to wait after my fourth step before trying a beer? I poured a very foamy beer right after, then a similar one the next two days.
The down side of burst carbing is;
  1. Not enough time for beer to condition/blend/stablize.
  2. Not enough time for CO2 to completely dissolve into solution.
Give it some time.
 

ruascott

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I don't think I have been force carbonating right. Wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or post here; trying the latter. This is what I currently do (2.5 gallon batches if that matters):

1. Cold crash carboy in kegerator for 4-5 days
2. Rack into purged keg
3. Set to 30 psi with keg inside kegerator for ~36-48 hours
4. Drop down to 11 psi by shutting gas off and bleeding CO2 from PRV

I get tons of foam but the beer does not seem to be overcarbonated, if anything it tastes more flat. Do I need to wait after my fourth step before trying a beer? I poured a very foamy beer right after, then a similar one the next two days.
I've been doing basically the same thing. 48 hours it's kinda carbed, and definitely a lot of foam. After set to serving temp it's better after another 2 or 3 days.


I'm hoping to get to the point with enough beer pipeline I can just set and forget it. But everyone keeps drinking all my dang beer.
 

doug293cz

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I don't think I have been force carbonating right. Wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or post here; trying the latter. This is what I currently do (2.5 gallon batches if that matters):

1. Cold crash carboy in kegerator for 4-5 days
2. Rack into purged keg
3. Set to 30 psi with keg inside kegerator for ~36-48 hours
4. Drop down to 11 psi by shutting gas off and bleeding CO2 from PRV

I get tons of foam but the beer does not seem to be overcarbonated, if anything it tastes more flat. Do I need to wait after my fourth step before trying a beer? I poured a very foamy beer right after, then a similar one the next two days.
36 - 48 hrs at 30 psi is too long for 2.5 gal of beer. 36 hrs works pretty well for me with 5 gal. Because the lower volume of beer only needs to absorb half the total amount of CO2, you should only hold at 30 psi for 18 hrs. Waiting a day or two after dropping the pressure will improve the beer taste and perception of carbonation.

Overcarbed beer foams excessively, and then seems undercarbed or flat. Sounds like what you are observing.

Brew on :mug:
 
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