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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: george on December 29, 2009, 10:13:08 PM

Title: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: george on December 29, 2009, 10:13:08 PM
Greetings All,
I am a novice brewer on my 3rd batch.
Got creative and converted my kegarator to accept Cornelius kegs as well as commercial kegs.
I kegged my double hop IPA (a first) about a week ago.
I have had about 11 lbs of pressure on the 5 gal keg.
It pours nicely and tastes great but it has not picked up any carbonation yet.
How long should it take for the brew to pick up the C02?
Should have I went through the secondary fermentation to pick up the C02?
Seem like it should have picked up quite a bit of carbonation on a weeks time.

Any advise is appreciated!
Thanks!
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: joelambic on December 29, 2009, 11:02:59 PM
It can take a while to carbonate a keg with just head pressure (i.e. hooking the CO2 line up to the gas in fitting) unless you also provide some agitation to aid absorption.  Most methods I'm familiar with suggest hooking the CO2 tank up to the liquid out fitting so CO2 bubbles up through the beer.  One can then either set the regulator to the desired carbonation level (for the temp the beer is at) and wait a week or so; or for the impatient method, jack up the pressure to 30psi, shake the keg several minutes, rest, and repeat to speed up carbonation before bleeding out the excess CO2 to the desired pressure.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 30, 2009, 01:20:18 AM
It takes about 3 weeks to carbonate 5 gal keg under dispensing pressure.

CO2 absorption in beer is dependent on Temp and pressure:
http://www.kegerators.com/articles/carbonation-table-pressure-chart.php

Also you can check this article about "Balancing Your Keg System":
http://www.iancrockett.com/brewing/info/kegbalance.shtml
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: george on December 30, 2009, 04:04:19 PM
Thanks for the input all!
Guess I was just a little impatient.
The keg is so much easier then bottling!
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: beerrat on December 30, 2009, 04:28:19 PM
One can then either set the regulator to the desired carbonation level (for the temp the beer is at) and wait a week or so; or for the impatient method, jack up the pressure to 30psi, shake the keg several minutes, rest, and repeat to speed up carbonation before bleeding out the excess CO2 to the desired pressure.

I'm a keg newbie also, would this method affect head retention?
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: denny on December 30, 2009, 04:29:24 PM
Nope.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: deepsouth on December 30, 2009, 04:33:37 PM
i've only kegged a couple times, but i usually set the pressure to about 12 and shake it three or four times a day for three or four days.  after a couple days it's carbonated enough for me to drink and after that i drop the pressure to about 6 or 8 until i empty the keg.

Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: bruck on January 03, 2010, 02:11:41 AM
I set it to the right pressure according to the temp and shake it 100 times. It is usually close to ready the next day.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: beersk on January 04, 2010, 04:49:55 PM
I set it to the right pressure according to the temp and shake it 100 times. It is usually close to ready the next day.

Yeah but flavor-wise it won't be near to ready for another 2 or 3 weeks.  With my keg fridge, set at 38-40F it takes about a week to fully carbonate at 8-10 psi.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: bruck on January 04, 2010, 11:24:48 PM
Cold conditioning will only help it. Totally agre with you there.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: roffenburger on February 09, 2010, 05:36:31 PM
It seems like it should have at least a little carbonation after a week. This might be a stupid question, but did you check to make sure all your valves are open? ::)
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: bluesman on February 09, 2010, 05:50:57 PM
I usually have several batches of beer in the lineup and since I'm in no hurry I use the "set it and forget it" method. This also allows for some cold conditioning/aging and clarification.

As was said, set the pressure to the recommended level based on the prescribed style volume and temperature of the beer, wait three weeks and voila!
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: toastedman on February 14, 2010, 07:17:15 AM
 have you checked for leaks, a very small leak anywhere an it won't carbonate, a Starsan solution (sanitizer) put into a spray-bottle is great for finding leaks, it'll bubble like soapey water does and you can see the smallest of leaks, if you find a leak, use 3-4 wraps of teflon tape on threads. i'd disconnect the line to the keg an turn pressue up around 30psi to check for leaks. if there are no leaks at the regulator or lines, then i'd check the the keg for leaks. you need to use keg-lube on all rubber parts to insure a good seal.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: popester on May 03, 2010, 12:48:41 AM
Greetings All,
I am a novice brewer on my 3rd batch.
Got creative and converted my kegarator to accept Cornelius kegs as well as commercial kegs.
I kegged my double hop IPA (a first) about a week ago.
I have had about 11 lbs of pressure on the 5 gal keg.
It pours nicely and tastes great but it has not picked up any carbonation yet.
How long should it take for the brew to pick up the C02?
Should have I went through the secondary fermentation to pick up the C02?
Seem like it should have picked up quite a bit of carbonation on a weeks time.

Any advise is appreciated!
Thanks!
I would just turn the pressure up to about 40psi and leave it alone for about a week in the fregerator, releace the pressure and pour it with about 5psi ( my lines are pretty short ) and it will be perfect.  Other wise, if you try to rush it the beer will have a head but the body will be flat. I have tried all the other methods and found this to give me the best results, fully carbinated great homebrew beer.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: sifulff89 on May 08, 2010, 03:13:32 PM
The little "Bestwhip" cylinders used in a handheld contain about 8 grams of CO2. So you would need 100 grams of C02, or TWENTY "whippets" just carbonate the liquid, not even considering headspace. It takes CO2 hours at a given pressure to dissolve into the liquid. For example you need 10 - 15 psi for several days to force carbonate 5 gallons of beer.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: euge on May 08, 2010, 05:11:32 PM
Lately I've been sugar-priming my kegs. Let them sit for a couple weeks just like bottles. Works great and no worries.

Used to hook up keg every day and put about 40 psi on it. After about a week it should be carbonated depending on the head-space. Less head-space equals longer time to carbonate with that approach.
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: micsager on May 10, 2010, 05:10:42 PM
I set it to 40psi, and shake every once in a while for two days, then go to style dependant psi, on the fourth day, I'm ususally good. 
Title: Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: maxieboy on May 19, 2010, 04:30:39 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: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
Post by: micsager on May 19, 2010, 10:27:20 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."

Palmer and JZ also say this.  I still do it.  And nary a problem with head retention/creation.  Most times I can float a bottle cap onthe head.