Help Support Aussie Homebrewer by donating using the link above.
  1. Brewer's Friend is having an open giveaway, ends soon, so enter now!

    Click Here to Enter Now!
    Dismiss Notice

Keg carbonation

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Clevohead, 30/7/18.

 

  1. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 30/7/18
    This seems to be one of those "can of worms" topics, and I respect everyone who kegs has an opinion.

    I have recently started kegging, yet to pour a beer off the keg yet, just getting brews on and setting up my Keezer (may possibly do a thread on that as well) I now have 2x Coopers Draughts in keg, made the same way I have my kits for the last 7 years, I figured I am going to use a "control" for my first keg beers as I know what I am getting.

    I have read and watched countless posts and you tube videos on carbonation. The method I settled on was a serving pressure carbonation over several days.

    Now after reading some more posts in here today it has me second guessing my method I have adopted:

    1. I cleaned (sodium percarbonate) rinsed, and sterilised my keg, then used my gas to run the sterilising solution off the keg, hence priming my keg with Co2 at the same time. Let keg sit until ready to pour from fermenter.
    2. Equalised keg to atmosphere, removed lid, and lowered my fill hose into the Co2, filled keg without disrupting Co2 as much as possible, refit lid, then charge keg to 12psi, purge oxygen/air, and recharge to 12psi.
    3. Each night I would return to shed hook Co2 up, check keg pressure and top back up to 12psi. As each day passed I have noticed the keg holding higher pressure as the beer is not taking as much Co2, and now the kegs have stabilised at 12psi, needing next to no more Co2. This from what I read now means my beer can be stored like this until I am ready.

    Some of the posts I have read since being here there are blokes who keep their gas on 24/7, I didn't think this was particularly necessary as the beer is just sitting in the keg absorbing gas, and topping that gas up each night would be satisfactory until I am ready to tap.

    SO I guess my question is, am I doing anything blatantly wrong?
     
  2. soreba

    BeardedDogz

    Joined:
    23/10/13
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sydney
    Posted 30/7/18
    Not sure why you need to disconnect during the carbonation period, your essentially performing a "set and forget" carbonation but with more work.. Is there a limit on the number of gas lines you have to attach 100% of the time? The beer will only carb up to 12psi and no more hence why most people would keep the co2 line on 24/7.

    See here for some different methods of carbing up. http://brulosophy.com/methods/carbonation-methods/
     
    Clevohead likes this.
  3. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 30/7/18
    Well at the moment I only have 1x gas coupling, keezer not set up yet, and multiple kegs ( I got a second hand set of kegs and some various bits and pieces, the most basic of setups, but it had the kegs to get me going). So I just switch between the kegs when checking their pressures, and recharging them. This letting me monitor what is happening in them and get a feel for what I am doing.

    The coupling is on a short line with some clamps as a temp measure until I have all my keezer plumbed. My Keezer has space for 4x 19L and 2x 9.5L kegs, so with manifold and lines set up I will eventually be set and forget, but in the mean time I am just storing the beer until I am setup.

    With the condensation of opinions and techniques I just started second guessing myself.
     
  4. Mat B

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22/4/10
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    65
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensborough
    Posted 30/7/18
    I keep mine on 24/7. Less effort, same amount of gas being absorbed. As long as you're keeping the beer under constant 12psi pressure and the beer is cold, it will eventually carb to 12psi. I do 12psi for my carbing and serving pressure. It usually takes a week to get to the right pressure. It's odd, because on about day 5 the beer will still seem flat, then day 6 or 7 it's fully carbonated.

    Warm beer won't absorb gas so easily, so make sure the kegs are chilled to serving temp already. Sorry if that's obvious.

    Have you got your beer lines calculated?
     
  5. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 30/7/18
    As I said as soon as the keezer is set up I will probably leave hooked up 24/7.

    As for chilling the the kegs, here at the moment we are lucky to get into double digits for our high of the day, let alone in my shed, would be lucky to get above 8-9 degrees through the day, so having the kegs racked on my shelf at the moment should be fine for carbonating.
    As for calculating beer lines, I haven't as yet, have a bulk order I am waiting to submit to kegland as soon as tax hits my bank ;) Then I can start setting up and working all that jazz out :)
     
  6. Mat B

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22/4/10
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    65
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greensborough
    Posted 30/7/18
    Clevohead likes this.
  7. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 31/7/18
  8. pcmfisher

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21/11/07
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    222
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 31/7/18
    They will partially carbonate at 8 degrees and 12psi, but not enough to drink (unless you like low bubble English beer). When you put them in the fridge you will need to let them sit for a couple more days at 12psi to fully carbonate.
     
    Clevohead likes this.
  9. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 31/7/18
    8-9 is our high for a couple of hours, average temp will be more like 4-6 with lows down to 1. But yep I get where you are coming from, I figured I would leave the keg in the keezer for at a minimum 24hrs with gas on to let it chill down to serving temp thoroughly any way. So it shouldn't be too far off drinking after that from what you are saying.
     
  10. bigmunchez

    Member

    Joined:
    29/9/12
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth
    Posted 31/7/18
    If you are going to the trouble of doing essentially a full CO2 purge by pushing out the sanitiser with CO2, have you considered closed transfers to the keg? You could fill the keg via the 'beer out' post with the lid still on and have a line from the 'gas in' post either to a container of water or even better, back to the top of the fermenter. Seems a shame to waste all that good work by letting oxygen back into the keg.

    To your other question, I also am in the camp that leaves their CO2 on 24/7.
     
    Clevohead likes this.
  11. ekymetal

    Member

    Joined:
    7/10/17
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Carpenter/joiner
    Location:
    Van Diemens Land
    Posted 31/7/18
    Great thread
    I also have just started Kegging.
    And will watch this for any tips.
    Cheers
     
    Clevohead likes this.
  12. nala

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16/2/10
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 1/8/18
    Anybody using a Blickman carbonator ?
     
  13. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 1/8/18
    I won't be, I am used to waiting 6-8 weeks for beer to condition in bottle, waiting a week or so with a keg hooked up at serving temp/pressure will be like 5min to me :) My keezer is having space for back up kegs that can be carbing while we drink the ready kegs, so in theory I shouldn't be without beer.
     
  14. Holden4th

    Active Member

    Joined:
    7/5/17
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    9
    Posted 3/8/18
    I am also new to kegging and have only done my first keg. The second brew is sitting in the fridge at 3 degrees with a layer of CO2 on top.

    Looking at all the Youtube videos there seems to be three carbonation processes. There is the quick one where you pump up the pressure and roll the keg around. There is also the one suggested above where you leave it in your fridge at normal carbonation pressure. On top of that there is one that pumps CO2 in via the beer line.

    My local homebrew shop has an alternative. You connect your gas line and put the pressure up to between 40 -43 psi and leave it like that for at least 20 hours and no more than 24. I tried it and it worked. Of course the beer was still green. The Red IPA FWK I've just brewed has been sitting at 3 degrees for the last week and with a head of CO2. If I carbonate it next weekend I hope it will be very drinkable. That's two weeks to start maturing.
     
    Clevohead likes this.
  15. Dredd

    New Member

    Joined:
    5/7/16
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Posted 4/8/18
    I prefer to crank the pressure up to about 30 PSI for the first 2-3 days, then I turn the gas off to equalise a bit and then start pouring on about day 6-7 at about 10-12 PSI. Kegging is a bit of a black art, I wish i had have bought some intertap taps with the flow restrictor! Factors like the temperature of the beer going in will impact the carbonation time since it takes a while to get a keg down to 5-6 degrees which impacts the absorbtion rate of CO2.

    Last tip, check, double check, triple check your setup for leaks. Nothing sucks more than a leaking o-ring that sucks your CO2 bottle dry.
     
  16. ///

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5/9/04
    Messages:
    3,980
    Likes Received:
    607
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 4/8/18
    Put cold beer in keg, turn gas to 300. Rock on its end 70 odd times with a Labrador looking on. Let sit for 5 mins. Test, repeat again with 20-30 reps. Test ...

    Used to prime 60hl in 45-60 mins using a scintered stone at 1.1 bar pressure similarly. Used to test with a gerhultermeter to 5gm/l. Never had an issue.

    Not sure why so hard? Out of fv beer would have 2.5-3gms of dissolved CO2 anyways. Would be less in a hb fermenter.
     
    razz likes this.
  17. Clevohead

    Active Member

    Joined:
    18/7/18
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 22/8/18
    I got my Keezer together last week. Build log to follow.

    Anyways, as you guys said, I wasted time and effort pumping 12psi in them daily, when I hooked the kegs up and left them 24hrs too chill thoroughly, the beer was flat, so I may as well have just purged the kegs to 12psi once filled and left them till time to go in the keezer. Just wasted time, effort, and some gas :rolleyes:

    Since Friday the beer has carbed up nicely, and getting better each day.
     
  18. Fro-Daddy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23/4/17
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    24
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Draftsperson
    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD
    Posted 22/8/18
    Wouldn't have been a waste of gas unless you had a leak.
     
  19. Rocker1986

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/4/12
    Messages:
    2,496
    Likes Received:
    1,034
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD
    Posted 22/8/18
    I use a couple of different methods for carbonating my kegs, which one I use depends on how long a particular keg will be sitting in the fridge before I tap it. The first method is just leaving them sitting on serving pressure, I use this method when I put kegs in that won't be tapped for 2-3-4 weeks after going into the kegerator and are usually the ones positioned at the back, obviously by that time they're well and truly ready. The other method I use gets them carbonated in a day. They go in and are put on gas at 45PSI or thereabouts for 22-24 hours, gas is then turned off and the keg left to rest for 7 or 8 hours before I release the leftover pressure and turn the gas back on at serving pressure. Sometimes they're fully carbed, other times they're almost done (but enough to enjoy a glass). I use this for kegs at the front that I want to start drinking pretty well straight away, as they've usually already had 2-3 weeks conditioning time before going in.

    Note, my serving pressure is about 10-11psi and the kegerator is set to between -1 and 1 degree, I don't know if it is really that cold in there but those settings work best to give me what I want in the glass. YMMV.
     
    Clevohead and ekymetal like this.
  20. peterlonz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    6/12/11
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    8
    Posted 23/8/18
    I lost about 60@ of 6Kg CO2 cylinder, due to a minute leak that I had failed to detect. I had to immerse the pressurised keg in my swimming pool to find the leak!
    So that's why I never leave the gas on.
    BTW, I have only one keg connection available
    When I first keg a new brew, I purge the small headspace 3 times at a pressure of 8 to 10 psi.
    Then into fridge which hold temp in range 1.5 to 2.5 deg C.
    Leave 24 hours for keg to reach fridge temp.
    Apply gas at 50 to 60 psi (Yes I know that's way higher than is generally used).
    Recheck after 24 hours & again pressurise to about 50 psi.
    Recheck in 24 hours & set to about 12 psi.
    Recheck after 48 hours or so & reset pressure to about 10 psi for pouring.
    Sometimes I need to again reset to 10 for pouring.
    You get the drift, low risk, quick carb, early test drinking.

    If I had a manifold arrangement & could forget my loss experience I would change this procedure, but it works for me now. One downside is that when drawing off a few drinks, the pressure quickly falls & the beer head characteristics change. For session drinking obviously turn the gas ON during the session.
     

Share This Page