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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: danetrain on April 30, 2010, 02:48:17 am

Title: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: danetrain on April 30, 2010, 02:48:17 am
I've been kegging for probably about a year now, but my methods are haphazard at best.  I usually pump up the pressure in the keg to 20-30 psi let it sit for a week and give it a try to gauge if its done or not.  Now that I'm a bit more serious, I want to avoid those over/under carbonated beers, and I've been wondering about ways to be a bit more precise with my carbonation levels.  I've read an article here and there about carbonation and "volumes CO2" but to be honest the phrase means very little to me.   It seems like understanding this concept would be a great way to really control carbonation levels, and I'd love to learn more.  As an fyi I run 2 kegs from a split line on a single pressure source.  Any information or recommended resources on the topic would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: dbeechum on April 30, 2010, 03:12:27 am
Think of it this way..

http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/co2-priming-rate-guide

You can use that first chart to kinda think styles to volumes of CO2.

What I do for carbonation is get my beers cold in the keg. Set the regulator and rock it back and forth until I stop getting active burbling of CO2. (You'll hear it)
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: mrdrysdale64 on April 30, 2010, 03:42:49 pm
I built a little pressure gauge to help monitor my kegs during carbonation. I chill the beer down then hit the keg with CO2. I generally crank the pressure up as high as it will go. This makes sure the keg seals as well. I then check the pressure gauge every 12 hours. I hit the keg with CO2 if needed. I stop adding CO2 when the pressure stabilizes at my desired PSI for the specific temperature. I generally only have to add CO2 twice over a 24 hour period if the keg is sealed well. The beer always comes out carbonated perfectly.

Here is the gauge I made.

(http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn282/mrdrysdale64/DSC02104.jpg)
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: maxieboy on May 01, 2010, 06:55:56 pm
I prefer "set it and forget it". Use this chart: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php  7-14 days later, perfectly carbonated beer... 8)
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: The Professor on May 01, 2010, 11:48:05 pm
I built a little pressure gauge to help monitor my kegs during carbonation. I chill the beer down then hit the keg with CO2. I generally crank the pressure up as high as it will go. This makes sure the keg seals as well. I then check the pressure gauge every 12 hours. I hit the keg with CO2 if needed. I stop adding CO2 when the pressure stabilizes at my desired PSI for the specific temperature. I generally only have to add CO2 twice over a 24 hour period if the keg is sealed well. The beer always comes out carbonated perfectly.

Here is the gauge I made.

(http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn282/mrdrysdale64/DSC02104.jpg)


This.^
Yes, a great solution. Very nice indeed.

I always am concerned with over-carbonation rather than under...I hate overly fizzy beer (and overly chilled beer)  in general.  I'll generally connect a finished brew at 30 PSI for a few days and start monitoring after that until it gets to the tickle I like. 

If I decide to bottle some off, I'll get it to just under freezing,  and goose it with a bit more bubble than I usually prefer to allow for what may be lost in the bottling process  going into freezer stored bottles.  That way I manage to deliver slightly higher carbonated bottles to give to friends who might expect a bit more bubble in their brew.  If I need to, I'll bleed off the excess afterwards and atabilize it to the levels I like.

Gotta say though...may have to build me one of these...
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: MDixon on May 02, 2010, 01:16:20 am
http://www.hbd.org/carboy/kegpresstester.htm
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: mrdrysdale64 on May 03, 2010, 03:58:14 pm
http://www.hbd.org/carboy/kegpresstester.htm

Sweet set-up. My intention was to build a much better gauge than I have but I just keep procrastinating! Northern Brewer sells basically the same thing for about $25. I built mine out of parts I already had.

Using a gauge while force carbonating really helps!
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: maxieboy on May 19, 2010, 04:31:32 pm
One reason not to shake carbonate your beer(I don't); from a BYO article:
 "Lastly, homebrewers who keg their beer should be aware that foam positive molecules can get “used up” when foam is created. Thus, if you shake your keg to carbonate it, you may be dipping into your pool of foam makers for your beer."
Title: Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
Post by: bluesman on May 19, 2010, 04:50:44 pm
I prefer "set it and forget it". Use this chart: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php  7-14 days later, perfectly carbonated beer... 8)

This is my method of choice. I like to use it because I can achieve perfect carbonation each and every time. The only hurdle with this method is that one must exercise patience.