Nutrachef mini keg carbing question

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crosschk

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Hey everyone its been a few years. Just getting back into extract/mrbeer brewing.

I am getting my pipeline in good order. I recently bought the 1 gallon mini keg from nutrichef.

My question is when i put the co2 cartridge in, at first the gage was up to around 23psi, now its down to about 17psi

Is that normal for these little co2 cartridges?

How long will it take to carb at this psi before i put it in the frige?

Thanks in advance
 
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doug293cz

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What size are the CO2 cartridges (weight rating)? Compressed CO2 is a liquid, and the pressure is determined only by the temperature of the cartridge, until all of the liquid is gone and there is only gas in the cartridge (at which point the pressure is determined by how much CO2 is left in the cartridge.) One gallon of beer is going to require 0.4 to 0.53 oz (11 to 15 g) in order to carbonate.

Also, you want to chill the beer while it carbonates, as it takes less pressure to carbonate cold beer to the same "volumes" of CO2, compared to warm beer. Holding at room temperature is only for naturally carbonating via fermentation.

Finally, to get proper carbonation at the table pressure, you need to purge the headspace of air, otherwise you will be under carbonated. And, purging O2 from the headspace limits any oxidation of the beer after kegging. Do you have a way to purge the headspace? Purging also requires additional CO2, beyond what is required for carbonation.

Brew on :mug:
 

bracconiere

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wait to see what the psi stabilizes at, and cross reference on 'that' chart...the gallon will only absorb what it can? kinda like a light bulb?
 
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What size are the CO2 cartridges (weight rating)? Compressed CO2 is a liquid, and the pressure is determined only by the temperature of the cartridge, until all of the liquid is gone and there is only gas in the cartridge (at which point the pressure is determined by how much CO2 is left in the cartridge.) One gallon of beer is going to require 0.4 to 0.53 oz (11 to 15 g) in order to carbonate.

Also, you want to chill the beer while it carbonates, as it takes less pressure to carbonate cold beer to the same "volumes" of CO2, compared to warm beer. Holding at room temperature is only for naturally carbonating via fermentation.

Finally, to get proper carbonation at the table pressure, you need to purge the headspace of air, otherwise you will be under carbonated. And, purging O2 from the headspace limits any oxidation of the beer after kegging. Do you have a way to purge the headspace? Purging also requires additional CO2, beyond what is required for carbonation.

Brew on :mug:
There is a pressure releave valve and i did that after I filled it and closed it up.

The pressure did stay around 17 or 18 psi over night.

Following the suggestion I just put it in the fridge.

I attached a picture of the co2 box.

Now that its chilling in the fridge, how long until I can pour and serve?
 

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After putting the mini keg in the fridge for about 10 hours the psi went up to 20. So seems ok.

How long till i can drink it?
 
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Even after dropping the psi back down? I was trying to force carb
 

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You can accelerate the carbing process by shaking or rocking the mini keg around.

But once the pressure gauge stabilises which is a variable based on temperature and the shaking, because you have put a fixed volume of CO2 into the system there will be equilibrium between the CO2 in the beer and in the space above.
If it stabilises at 20 psi say at 6 celsius ( sorry to mix units)
Then your beer will be carbonated at using this


That will be around 3 vols of CO2 which is quite a high carbonation level.
Without a flow control tap this will be difficult to pour, using this tool will guide you on beer line length.


Say 4mm internal, assuming gravity of 1.050 and 0.5 metre for tap above keg middle you need 4.7 foot of line.

If you decided to use 1/4 inch line that figure jumps to nearly 43 feet ( that isn't a typo ).

So small diameter line is your friend with these things.

I have just got some 2.5mm internal beer line and that only needs 0.5 foot of line.

This may help as well but it's really for set and forget force carbing rather than hurried force carbing which you are using.
 
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crosschk

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Ok so this is my first time with this keg.

I get the feeling I'm doing it wrong
 
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Tomorrow I'll lower the psi regulator and release some pressure..maybe that'll work
 
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If i were to do it all over again (next batch) i clean sanitize, fill the keg. What should be the initial psi setting. Without the rolling the keg around stuff? And how long till i can sample it
 

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After putting the mini keg in the fridge for about 10 hours the psi went up to 20. So seems ok.

How long till i can drink it?

Even after dropping the psi back down? I was trying to force carb
There is very little experience within the community using your particular keg. Carbonation rates depend on the beer volume, the CO2 pressure, beer temperature, area of beer exposed to the CO2, depth of the beer. The items in bold are different from what homebrewers usually work with, so our experience will not be directly applicable.

The best way for you to proceed is to set the pressure based on the chart for your keg temp and desired level of carbonation (probably between 2.3 and 2.7 volumes, depending on your personal preference for amount of carbonation.) People have developed methods for using pressures above the chart pressure for limited times in order to speed up carbonation. But these are based on full, 5 gal kegs. and would probably over carbonate your beer. You cannot over carbonate if you are using the appropriate chart pressure based on temp and desired carb level. You can set at chart pressure and agitate the keg to speed up carbonation. Shaking every 15 minutes should work well. You will probably want to let the beer settle for a day after a day of shaking.

Here's the "chart"

Carbonation Chart.png


Brew on :mug:
 

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Tomorrow I'll lower the psi regulator and release some pressure..maybe that'll work


i'd still test it with pour time, the difference between 3 and 10 seconds should be big enough to know....

1664326547548.png




and i'm guilty of not knowing how to balance lines and doing the carb and lower pressure to like 4-5psi thing, before i learned....

i'd wonder if this keg is intended to be served with a sanke kind of party pump?
 

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If i were to do it all over again (next batch) i clean sanitize, fill the keg. What should be the initial psi setting. Without the rolling the keg around stuff? And how long till i can sample it
As I said in my previous post, you are in uncharted territory. No one can tell you what elevated pressure to start with, and for how long, in order to achieve acceptable carbonation in a reduced time period, without just guessing. If you just want to "set and forget" pressure per the chart, it will probably take 1.5 - 2 weeks to achieve "full" carbonation. By setting the chart pressure and shaking, you can reduce the time to about a day.

Brew on :mug:
 
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crosschk

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Oy...a lot more complicated than i had hoped. I think I'm going to try a different size keg.

I make small 2 gallon mrbeer batches right now and I'm getting tired of bottling. Lol.

Thanks for all the answers.
 
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As I said in my previous post, you are in uncharted territory. No one can tell you what elevated pressure to start with, and for how long, in order to achieve acceptable carbonation in a reduced time period, without just guessing. If you just want to "set and forget" pressure per the chart, it will probably take 1.5 - 2 weeks to achieve "full" carbonation. By setting the chart pressure and shaking, you can reduce the time to about a day.

Brew on :mug:
I'll shoot for set and forget next time and just let it sit for 2 weeks like the bottles but in a fridge
 

doug293cz

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Oy...a lot more complicated than i had hoped. I think I'm going to try a different size keg.

I make small 2 gallon mrbeer batches right now and I'm getting tired of bottling. Lol.

Thanks for all the answers.
There is definitely a learning curve to successful kegging, but it's worth the effort to figure it out.

Brew on :mug:
 

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Lot of helpful advice here, but as said above, you've got your compass and the winds blowing but you are slightly in uncharted waters. But you are still afloat!
You get the impression that there's an element of witchcraft involved in force carbing in a hurry.
 
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crosschk

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After sleeping on it, and reading a good post pinned to the top of the forum. I am starting to understand.

If I keep my beer at 34° to 36° i should set the pressure to the psi that corresponds to level of carbination i want. (I like my beer cold, some could argue I dont like beer and we'll agree to disagree)

That chart is for long term 1-2 week wait time. Which I am ok with right now. I have 3 or 4 two gallon batches conditioning in bottles now in a 70° fermentation chamber

For the current batch I have released the pressure and dropped the psi to 5. Reading another post, I should be able to release some pressure every few hours to get it down to servable levels. Or it might come out perfect. I might try it at lunch but I'm afraid it may become a habbit lol

I understand no one uses this particular keg, and depending on how it turns out, i may return to amazon as its still in the return window (which will be the 3rd time i return it, once I changed my mind and 2nd time was missing all the parts)

I do want to keg, but I am 1 guy so 2 gallon batches are all I'm making right now. I see 2.5 gallon kegs out there and if i understand correctly I can still use them just wasting an amount of co2 to fill the extra space.

That sound about right?

Sorry for the long post and thanks to all for the responses
 

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I have a keg like this but only use it as a means of transporting and serving already carbonated beer. Essentially a fancy growler. I don't think it's meant to be used for carbonating beer.
 
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I have a keg like this but only use it as a means of transporting and serving already carbonated beer. Essentially a fancy growler. I don't think it's meant to be used for carbonating beer.
I am starting to head in that direction. I read on another forum that others have used this. Unfortunately that forum is on facebook and i don't usually go on there if i can help it lol
 

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The pressure to force carbonate beer is always higher than the pressure you want to serve it at. You should always have beer chilled down the 38 F or below when you hit it with CO2 externally to carbonate. There's no set pressure to force carbonate: it depends on the amount of head space in the keg (how full it is) if you're not connected to a continuous stream of gas. If you are connected to a source of CO2 the table that was provided earlier is the best way to figure it out. But serving pressure is always going to be about 8 to 12 PSI.
 
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crosschk

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So this was my first pour after 2 days on co2. I'm pretty happy with it. Took maybe 5 seconds to pour. I'm going to put it back in fridge now till ready to drink more.

I did have to up the psi from 5 to about 7 or 8 to get it to come out.
 

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crosschk

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And this isbwhat the keg looks like with all the stuff in it. The tap and co2 thingys are disconnect-able under pressure..

So a lot of my worry was for nothing lol
 

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Glad it worked out. The pour looks great. It was my experience with the small kegs (which I used for my first couple years) it would use at least one co2 cartridge to carbonate the beer. I went pretty exclusively to using corn sugar added directly to the beer before it went in the keg. Did take longer to carbonate this way but It worked well.
 

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The pressure to force carbonate beer is always higher than the pressure you want to serve it at. You should always have beer chilled down the 38 F or below when you hit it with CO2 externally to carbonate. There's no set pressure to force carbonate: it depends on the amount of head space in the keg (how full it is) if you're not connected to a continuous stream of gas. If you are connected to a source of CO2 the table that was provided earlier is the best way to figure it out. But serving pressure is always going to be about 8 to 12 PSI.
Um, no.

Serving pressure should be the equilibrium pressure for the beer temp and desired carbonation level. Otherwise, the beer will lose (or gain) carbonation over time. If you get foamy pours when serving at equilibrium pressure, your system is not set up correctly. Usually, it's serving lines that are too short for the pressure (find correct line lengths here), or the lines/taps are too warm (this problem usually gets better as you serve more beers in quick succession.) Lowering the pressure to serve is a bandaid that can work until you get your system balanced correctly.

"Forced" carbonation is using CO2 from a cylinder/cartridge to carbonate, rather than letting fermentation generate the CO2 within the beer ("natural" carbonation.) Forced carbonation can be at the equilibrium pressure, or at a higher pressure to accelerate the carbonation. Using higher pressures risks over carbonation if you don't manage the time at excess pressure correctly, but it is manageable with experience. Using excess pressure and/or agitation to speed up carbonation is better referred to as "accelerated" or "burst" carbonation.

It is also possible to carbonate beer while warm. It just requires higher pressures to get the same level of carbonation compared to carbonating while cold.

Brew on :mug:
 

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I have a keg like this but only use it as a means of transporting and serving already carbonated beer. Essentially a fancy growler. I don't think it's meant to be used for carbonating beer.
There is no reason that this mini-keg can't be used for carbonation. It has all the features needed (CO2 source, pressure regulator, pressure release valve.)

Brew on :mug:
 
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There is no reason that this mini-keg can't be used for carbonation. It has all the features needed (CO2 source, pressure regulator, pressure release valve.)

Brew on :mug:
I just did it lol. I was worried but you guys talked me through it. I'll have to see if i am that lucky next time lol
 

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I just did it lol.
🥰 (that's the way i always feel, my 4th grade self ain't as stupid as they say! ✌️
I'll have to see if i am that lucky next time lol


i think you'll just set it to 10-12psi and let it carb in the fridge next time? or if fridge space is limited ~25 psi?

at least you don't need to worry about co2 leaks and losing 20lbs of co2!!! just 16 grams at stake per keg :mug:
 
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