Am I looking into it too much?

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Nptallon

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Hey legends!

Brand spanking rookie to the kegerator world. I am not home brewing yet as fortunately my mate own a brewery and is filling my keg.

I am running a 19ltr corny keg full of pale ale at -1dg C in a series 4 2 tap kegerator (only running one keg at present)

I may be looking into it too much but my question is this.

I filled my keg the other day and whilst waiting enjoyed a schooner of said pale ale. Observing such, the carbonation (bubbles) in the schooner seemed healthy (photo 1 attached).

When I took my keg home I let it settle, pressurised to 6-8psi and then began to pour and enjoy, It appeared that compared to brewery schooner mine seems considerably ‘under carbonated’ or to have ‘less bubbles’ (photo 2 attached). It tastes okay but somewhat flat at the same time (or maybe just a placebo effect)

Is this normal given the system running at a brewery is vastly different to my home kegerator or is there something I’m not quite getting?

Cheers legends?

 

MHB

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I suspect you are running your fridge too cold!
Normally around 4-6oC would be closer to ideal. When beer is too cold it suppresses the taste and aroma. It also holds the CO2 a lot more so you get less fizz (fizz plays a role in taste and mouth feel).
Your pressure at around 50 kPa (1/2 a bar) is about right to give you close to the recommended dissolved CO2 (~4.8g/L) the range for APA being 4.4-5.4g/L.
If you warm the beer up to say 4oC you will need around 75kPa to keep the present 4.8g/L of gas in the beer.
Mark
 

mynameisrodney

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Firstly I would check the temp of the beer you are pouring with an accurate thermometer. It could be a few degrees off the set point (mine is). Make sure to use the actual temp, not the set point when figuring out your carb levels using a carbonation chart.

Second, if you filled your keg with already carbonated beer, there is a decent chance some carbonation was lost in the process. This will not correct itself instantly, it will take a couple of days at the correct pressure to come back up.

If/when you adjust the regulator, do it in small increments and give it a few days before touching it again. As above, carbonation changes are slow and it is easy to overcorrect and then be asking how to reduce carbonation. Slow steps.

Lastly, the bottom video has less bubbles but more head. The gas could be getting knocked out at serving time. This could be for many reasons; taps are warm (second schooner should pour better), beer lines are too short, technique is poor (taps are on or off, never half open) etc.
 

Nptallon

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Firstly I would check the temp of the beer you are pouring with an accurate thermometer. It could be a few degrees off the set point (mine is). Make sure to use the actual temp, not the set point when figuring out your carb levels using a carbonation chart.

Second, if you filled your keg with already carbonated beer, there is a decent chance some carbonation was lost in the process. This will not correct itself instantly, it will take a couple of days at the correct pressure to come back up.

If/when you adjust the regulator, do it in small increments and give it a few days before touching it again. As above, carbonation changes are slow and it is easy to overcorrect and then be asking how to reduce carbonation. Slow steps.

Lastly, the bottom video has less bubbles but more head. The gas could be getting knocked out at serving time. This could be for many reasons; taps are warm (second schooner should pour better), beer lines are too short, technique is poor (taps are on or off, never half open) etc.
Thank you MHB & Rob, so I have measured the temp of the beer itself and it was a bit cold. So I have set about increasing it to about 4-5dg C.

My beers pours with an good head and there is a prickle feeling in mouth but not like normal, there is minimal visible CO2 release in the glass (bubbles).

I have no leaks, am comfortable with pouring technique and glass cleanliness.

After the beer sits in lines a little while there are some small pockets of small bubbles.

I’m thinking I lose CO2 along the way.
If the the beer lines are ‘to short’ how does this occur?
I thought longer lines would drag more CO2 out but I am a complete rookie.

My lines came with the keg and measure approx 1.4mtrs with 4mm ID. It pours 300mls in about 8 seconds @ 6-8psi? Anything higher in PSI and it is a froth fest.

Alternatively, I am also probably being a bit impatient, I feel that after buying the keg from brewer I should be able to plug in and go but perhaps I do have to wait a couple of days?

Thanks Gents,
Appreciate support
 
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MHB

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All good, be worth reading up on "Balancing a Draft Syster" here is a good link BYO
Unfortunatly its all in the imperial un-system but it covers the basics that you need to understand.
Mark
 

fifis101

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-1degC! Damn that's chilly! That make my teeth hurt just thinking about it. You'd miss a lot of the flavour too at such cold temps. 3-4degC is pretty common.

You shouldn't have to wait. Beer from the brewery sounds like it carbed up and ready to go.

CO2 are very easily missed believe me. Check everything with soapy water and do it every so often too. You will have an empty CO2 cylinder in no time.

Short beer lines will make your beer release CO2 during the poor and you will have a frothy beer that will go flat quicker. 1.4m of 4mm sounds ok to me though.
 

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