Forced Carbonation Question

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by Leyther, 8/12/16.

 

  1. Raturay

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    Posted 14/12/16
    I've only just gone to kegs after about 12 months of all grain brewing. Before I did I read as much as I could about forced carbonation and watched all the videos I could find so I was ready to go. When I bought my kegerator and equipment my home brew shop basically said to me to forget anything I had read or seen about forced carbonation. What?? all those hours of research wasted??

    The reason for the advice was mostly around the premise that the beer in the keg still needs to condition/mature the same as it would in a bottle so why bother mucking around with changing pressures on the CO2 (given I only have one CO2 bottle). So, I have the first two kegs operating now. They were chilled then connected to the gas at 11psi and not touched for a month (well apart from a small sample at three weeks). They are nicely carbed (to my taste) and pour really well. We did do a bit of a balancing exercise for the beer line length etc and it all seems to have worked okay.

    Having said this I wouldn't be opposed to force carbing the third keg (it's a two tap Keg King system) just to ensure it's ready to go when one empties. I'd like a second gas bottle for convenience for this and other things.........does it ever end with equipment!!!!!
     
  2. Leyther

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    Posted 14/12/16
    Thanks for all the replies, great stuff on here, lots of interesting viewpoints. I think the general consensus is slow is better but quick has its uses at times!

    My first keg is about a week old now and I've messed around a bit with 20PSI for a day then dropped it down to serving, its still a little under-carbonated but I don't mind that. 2nd brew is due out of the fermentor in the next few days and I have a keg waiting to receive that, I'll probably just hook that up at 11PSI and leave it for a week or two.

    My mate has just managed to score me a couple of 19L Asahi kegs for free (works in a warehouse and they were just lying around!!) so with 4 kegs in the rotation I shouldn't need to resort to the quick method ever!!
     
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  3. Coldspace

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    Posted 14/12/16
    I very very rarely force carbonate, unless it's a mini I need to carb up quick for some reason..

    I do about 40 psi for 20-24 hrs as well. Then leave for a couple of days, always perfect for me.

    This is at 0 degrees as well , as I like it cold and run a flooded font .

    I've also found the natural carbed beers out of my kegmenter are just sooo much better than even using my mangrove jacks stainless fermenters then artificially carbed than when I pressure transfer my natural carbed beer through to the cornies.

    I find the natural carbed beer bubbles finer and a creamier head. It takes weeks and weeks for the artificial carbed beers to get to the same level of quality. The co2 bubbles from the shake method are a lot bigger and more aggressive on the tongue than say doing over 24 hrs or natural.

    The bite you get from co2 in the taste is called Carbonic acid, that's why you should never use brass or copper with soda water, only stainless .

    Cheers
     
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  4. Grott

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    Posted 14/12/16
    Just make sure that if you carbonate slowly (set and forget) your gas set up is totally secure, that is, no leaks or potential for leaks as you could find the exercise very expensive.
     
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  5. pcqypcqy

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    Posted 14/12/16
    You could even consider naturally carbonating by adding sugar to your third keg. It'll carbonate over time and condition like a bottle would. After chilling, the first glass might be yeasty but the rest should be pretty good. Saves mucking around with a second bottle as well.

    That said, I have 2 bottles as well :D
     
  6. pcqypcqy

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    Posted 14/12/16
    You say that, but you'll find a way to need it. We all do :D
     
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  7. Mardoo

    Noob What Craps On A Bit

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    Posted 14/12/16
    Yeah, sooner or later your brewing schedule and drinking Schedule get out of whack :)
     
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  8. Grott

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    Posted 15/12/16
    From another thread this is how I do it and after 18 months have never had an over carbed keg. The key is roughly the same level of beer in each keg, and the same procedure each time.

    "Hi adoctr-dan, IMO carbonating a keg for 7-10 days at serving pressure ("set and forget") is fine if you can have multi kegs being chilled or have a slow consumption rate. Using a two outlet manifold attached to the outside of the fridge I have an external gas connect line from the regulator so I can purge and force carb kegs. The other line goes into the fridge and splits to a dispensing keg and another keg to just finish off and prepare the next keg (a forced carb keg).

    Try this, assuming you have 19l kegs chill down to 3-4 degrees, remove from fridge/kegerator, release any pressure and attach external gas disconnect to the gas in, set reg to 30psi, lay keg on its side and rock back and forth for 100 seconds (use stop watch on mobile) - you will hear gas bubbling through the beer. After 100 seconds turn gas off at bottle and continue to rock, the pressure gauge will go to zero and continue rocking until the pressure gauge drops to 20psi. If it goes past 20psi open tap on bottle, turn off again and repeat rocking. (do this only once). This keg will now be just slightly under carbonated, put in fridge and leave min. of 3 hours to allow beer to settle, then release pressure in keg, connect other gas line at dispensing pressure and it will be ready to drink when the other keg finishes."
     
  9. Rocker1986

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    Posted 15/12/16
    That makes sense if you put the keg straight in the fridge and onto the gas after filling it. If you're in my situation of having all taps hooked up to kegs, then fermenting and filling the next lot while those ones are consumed, they sit around for a few weeks before being tapped and it's a non issue because they condition during that time anyway, so I figure they may as well be carbed up faster.


    That's still force carbonating, just because it isn't shaken and carbed up in a minute or two doesn't change the fact that you're forcing CO2 into the beer from an outside source. In any case, I do find this particular method works bloody brilliantly. :D
     
  10. Raturay

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    Posted 15/12/16
    pcqypcqy and Rocker 1986 - both good points. Thanks for the feedback.
     
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  11. Coldspace

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    Posted 15/12/16
    True, it's still forced carb, but the rock n roll method still takes like a couple of days to settle down, mainly because you are injecting room temp gas into the cold beer .

    I find 24 hr force carb is a great compromise of speed and quality,

    Natural carb is better again
     
  12. Rocker1986

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Yeah that's why I went to the 24 hour method, better results and with having kegs sit around for a few weeks or so before being carbed/tapped, it doesn't stir up all the settled yeast either. I haven't tried naturally carbing a keg as yet, but comparing the flavour of the force carbed kegged beer to naturally carbed bottled beer I prefer the force carbed beer. Not really a fair comparison being keg vs bottle but it's all I've got to go on so far.
     
  13. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Do you have any evidence for that?

    It seems unlikely; PV = nRT and all that jazz.
     
  14. Rocker1986

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Is it room temp gas though? Every time I've run CO2 through at higher pressure, the gas line always feels cold, and sometimes the regulator itself does too, and gets condensation on it. :unsure:
     
  15. Coldspace

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Could be cold injection after the pressure drop,

    When I worked for coca cola as a commercial refrigeration technician and licensed beverage tech for 15 yrs,every time we commissioned out new machines in pub etc, firing up the chilled recirc carb systems, fresh 80 psi gas we ran in the carbonators always took an hr or more to settle down at the depensing end .
    Once all the system settled and temps came into play, it always poured better.

    If the system was already settled in, and we injected only one carbonator fill then it was all good, but if the system was flat but ice cold, a big injection would nock it around for a bit.

    The big commercial refrig systems would pull down a lot faster than our pissy little ones at home, even with the big loads on them,

    I see this on a smaller scale on the home front , just my observations working in the industry most of my life.

    Natural carbonation.... Yeah bottles are nice I've got dozens stored away for special treats.

    But my natural pressure fermented beers pressure transfered to my cornies already carbed up are better, well initially they are, the forced carbed ones do come good after a few days after temps equalise properly through the large volume of liquid in the keg.

    Plus the fact , that even after siphoning a chilled cold crashed fermenter at 0 degrees into a hot cornie, then by the time you rock n roll carb it up, it's always going to be like 4-7 degrees temp. Not ideal, till the temp comes back down to 0-2 degrees to hold the gas in solution.

    I do like the rock n roll method, done it sometimes over the past 25 years, but I do like the slower approach or natural pressure fermenting soooo much better.

    Cheers
     
  16. peteru

    Here, taste this!

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Even if it was room temp gas, it will cool down in no time. You are mixing a few grams of CO2 in 20kg of liquid. Any heat will be sucked out of the gas pretty much straight away.
     
  17. Coldspace

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Fair enough,

    But the temp rise of the keg gets up very fast when outside a refrigerated space unless you are doing it inside a cold room . The heat increases fast due to the large stainless surface area plus shaking,
    Abit like a tinny of beers gets frothy and flat if you pull it out of a fridge and roll it around. Takes a couple of hrs to settle,
    A cornie is just a lot bigger tinny, just takes longer to settle in like 24-48 hrs in our weak arse domestic refrig systems,

    Not knocking the method, I use it occasionally, and have taught a few beginner mates to only carb this way as the tend to over carb using a slower but high pressure method over 24-48 hrs.



    I'll stick to my methods, works for me.

    Cheers
     
  18. peteru

    Here, taste this!

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    Posted 15/12/16
    Yep, you hit the nail on the head. All the theories don't matter. As long as you have a practical solution that works for you and gives you the results you are after, it's all good.
     
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  19. Rocker1986

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    Posted 15/12/16
    I tended to over carb sometimes with the shaking method; with the 24 hour method I find they're always under a little and then topped up with the serving pressure gas over another 24 hours or so. That's fast enough for me, I always have some bottles of surplus beer around to drink while I wait the enormous two days for my kegs to be ready.

    I never found it took that long for a keg to settle after using the shaking method though. Usually after waiting an hour or two before bleeding it and hooking it up at serving pressure, it was pouring well and nicely carbonated, other than the overcarbed ones of course. I did use the method detailed by Ross of connecting the gas line to the liquid post and rocking it side to side rather than rolling the keg around or shaking it like a British nanny. Maybe that's why they settled faster.
     
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  20. Brewnicorn

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    Posted 14/11/17 at 12:06 PM
    Deleted
     
    Last edited: 14/11/17 at 12:41 PM

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