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Warm forced Carbonation

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Catullus

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Does anyone have any experience with warm keg carbonation? I normally keg me brew and then force carbonate at 45 F with a head pressure of 13 psi and five days later I have beer with about 2.5 volumes of CO2. My bar can hold five kegs so the 5 days is no big deal.

My question is: I need to take a 20-gallon batch to a festival this summer (the beer will not be cold conditioned before going to the festival). What is the best way to carbonate @ 65 F? Should I carbonate to 2.5 volumes at 65 F and then bleed the CO2 as the keg is cooling down to serving temp. Or should I carbonate at the level of the serving temp and then vigorously shake the keg (I think this would require a day or 3 to reach equilibrium).

Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated


Thanks---jason
 

tnlandsailor

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Carbonate to 29 PSI at 65 F. If you leave the keg hooked up and the pressure on at this pressure and temp for a week or so, the beer will be carbonated to 2.5 volumes of CO2. You might want to check it to make sure (bleed off the pressure, draw a sample, then repressurize). Then, make sure the regulator is set at 29 PSI and then disconnect the pressure from the keg (no connectors on it at all). Leave the keg in this state at 29 PSI. As long as you don't have any leaks in the keg, it will stay like this. Now, when the time comes, cool the keg down with nothing connected. As you cool it down, the pressure inside the keg will drop from 29 psi down to the equilibrium pressure at 2.5 volumes at whatever temperature you cool it to.

Prosit,
 

D-brewmeister

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tnlandsailor said:
You might want to check it to make sure (bleed off the pressure, draw a sample, then repressurize).
So what you be checking here? Wouldn't the beer be pretty foamy if it was at room temp? Does beer ever foam up out of a keg if you depressurize it too fast when it is warm (I know this happens all the time with bottled beer)? How can you tell that it has the requsite volumes of co2 in it?

Oh, and is there any way to carbonate at warmer temps without tieing up my regulator for a whole week at pressures unsuitable for serving? And if it is going to take a week to carbonate at those temps, is it really worth force carbonating, when priming the keg might work just as well (of course excluding the extra yeast debris that would end up at the bottom of the keg)?
 

bikebryan

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D-brewmeister said:
So what you be checking here? Wouldn't the beer be pretty foamy if it was at room temp? Does beer ever foam up out of a keg if you depressurize it too fast when it is warm (I know this happens all the time with bottled beer)? How can you tell that it has the requsite volumes of co2 in it?

Oh, and is there any way to carbonate at warmer temps without tieing up my regulator for a whole week at pressures unsuitable for serving? And if it is going to take a week to carbonate at those temps, is it really worth force carbonating, when priming the keg might work just as well (of course excluding the extra yeast debris that would end up at the bottom of the keg)?
Just priming the keg won't work. The lid won't seal unless you pressurize it with a good dose of CO2 first. If you are going to do that, you might as well just leave the CO2 attached and use some patience.

Also, it usually takes a week for the CO2 to reach the correct volume regardless of whether you are carbonating at warm or cold temps. It's just that at colder temps, the pressure you need to get the job done is much less as the gas can be absorbed into a cold solution a lot easier.
 

tnlandsailor

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Personally, I subscribe to the shake method of carbonation. It's quick and doesn't require that you tie up your regulator for a week. You can even do it warm. It does cloud your beer for a few days, but it will settle out. If you need to do it warm, crank up your regulator to 45 PSI. Sit down and lay your keg across your knees. Position the inlet port on the keg at 12 o'clock and connect the gas. Grab the keg at both ends and shake back and forth. You can even rock your knees back and forth if your arms get tired. The objective is agitation to drive the CO2 into solution. You will have to try this a few times to get the hang of how long to shake, but for a warm force carbonation like this, I would go at least 2 minutes. Just for reference, I chill my kegs down to about 45 F, turn the pressure to 30 PSI, and shake for a slow count to 100. Also, it takes at least another day or two for the carbontation to "set". That means immediately after shaking, you will get a head on your beer but there won't be many, or any, bubbles forming in the glass. The total time for me to typically carbonate a beer from racking from the carboy to the keg at 68 F to drawing a glass of properly carbonated beer at 45 F is about 48 - 72 hours.

Prosit,
 

boo boo

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Yeah, I force carb at 30psi and let cool to 4c. In a day my brew is ready but as was said not really for the small bubbles. I did one Sunday and it's filtered carb'ed and ready to drink.
 

bikebryan

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tnlandsailor said:
Personally, I subscribe to the shake method of carbonation. It's quick and doesn't require that you tie up your regulator for a week. You can even do it warm. It does cloud your beer for a few days, but it will settle out. If you need to do it warm, crank up your regulator to 45 PSI. Sit down and lay your keg across your knees. Position the inlet port on the keg at 12 o'clock and connect the gas. Grab the keg at both ends and shake back and forth. You can even rock your knees back and forth if your arms get tired. The objective is agitation to drive the CO2 into solution. You will have to try this a few times to get the hang of how long to shake, but for a warm force carbonation like this, I would go at least 2 minutes. Just for reference, I chill my kegs down to about 45 F, turn the pressure to 30 PSI, and shake for a slow count to 100. Also, it takes at least another day or two for the carbontation to "set". That means immediately after shaking, you will get a head on your beer but there won't be many, or any, bubbles forming in the glass. The total time for me to typically carbonate a beer from racking from the carboy to the keg at 68 F to drawing a glass of properly carbonated beer at 45 F is about 48 - 72 hours.

Prosit,
The overpressure and shake method may be quicker, but usually results in either an undercarbonated (rare) or VERY overcarbonated (common) beer. It is also very imprecise and you will find it difficult to achieve the same level of carbonation twice.

What's the all-fired hurry? I've never had to wait more than 5 days using the non-shake method (set it and forget it) and the beer is probably better for it, since it ages a little more.

Also, how am I tieing up my regulator? I've got to hook the regulator up to the keg for serving anyway!
 
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