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Keg carbonation

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

 

  1. Clevohead

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    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

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    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/
     
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  3. Clevohead

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    Posted 30/7/18
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  7. Clevohead

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    Posted 31/7/18
  8. pcmfisher

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    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.
     
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  9. Clevohead

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    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

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    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.
     
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  11. ekymetal

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    Posted 31/7/18
    Great thread
    I also have just started Kegging.
    And will watch this for any tips.
    Cheers
     
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  12. nala

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    Posted 1/8/18
    Anybody using a Blickman carbonator ?
     
  13. Clevohead

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    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

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    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.
     
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  15. Dredd

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    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. ///

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    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.
     
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