Author Topic: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?  (Read 676 times)

Offline howlinghound

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First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« on: January 16, 2014, 07:24:10 AM »
After screwing around with bottles for too long, I finally have a keg set-up ready to try.  I have read some of the other posts but would like to ask the same questions again.  Some seem to carbonate and serve at the same pressure and temp while others carbonate at higher pressure and/or temp.

So, two part question:  1.  It sounds like carbonation and serving at the same pressure (I've seen 12 psi at around degrees) works fine but it takes longer (5 days or more).  This would be fine once I have multiple kegs running.  Is this a preferred approach in general or is a higher pressure for a shorter time
better/worse?

2. Since this is my first keg and there are no others pouring beer for me yet, I have no issue pumping up pressure to potentially pour some pints this weekend.  If I carbonate at a higher pressure, what should that be and for how long.  If I do this, is 12 the right long term pressure?

Still staring at the Forced Carb pressure chart but your experiences would be most helpful.


Offline duboman

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 07:48:36 AM »
My kegerator is set at 38F, serve at 12psi and my lines are 10' long and it works quite well.

I like to force carbonate at serving pressure to avoid any risk of over carbonating at a higher pressure. I do this by racking cold beer into keg, purge with co2, then put on the gas until it stops flowing. Take off gas and roll on floor for 10-15 minutes and then repeat process a few times. After that I connect the gas and give the keg a day or two to settle and the beer is ready to go
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Online Steve in TX

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 08:01:06 AM »
There are a bunch of ways to fast carb, but each comes with the risk of over carbonating. Getting excess co2 out of the beer sucks an can take a few days on its own.

If I need something to be ready next day, I jack the pressure way up, 50 or so, and shake 75 times. I disconnect it and let it sit cold. Next day I slowly bleed the pressure and hookup at serving temp. It is usually a bit under, but after another day or two it is spot on.

If I need something in a few days, I set the pressure to 30 and give a few shakes every so often. After 2 days I dial the pressure back to serving pressure. Again, it is usually a little under carbed, but I am ok with that.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 08:22:44 AM »
I think this is something where you're going to have to experiment a bit and figure out what works best for you.

Serving pressure will depend on a number of factors including type of beer, length of line, ID of line, temp, and probably others.  You'll want to start with a longer line which gives you the option to cut it back if necessary to get a good pour.

I typically hook up the gas at 30 and shake the keg.  I'll shake for about a minute at a time and maybe give it two or three times.

Overcarbing can be a PITA but is not the end of the world.  The beauty of kegs is that you can adjust them.
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 08:56:07 AM »
I usually carb @ 40F, 12 psi and serve @ 12psi.  But if time is a factor I chill the beer then use 30psi for 48 hours, vent slowly, and drop to 12psi and leave it there. Ready in ~ 3 days this way.
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Offline BP79

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 09:28:08 AM »
I recently kegged my first brew after a dozen or so tedious batches of bottling and found this thread to be very helpful:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17247.0

Offline alestateyall

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First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 11:14:49 AM »
After screwing around with bottles for too long, I finally have a keg set-up ready to try.  I have read some of the other posts but would like to ask the same questions again.  Some seem to carbonate and serve at the same pressure and temp while others carbonate at higher pressure and/or temp.

So, two part question:  1.  It sounds like carbonation and serving at the same pressure (I've seen 12 psi at around degrees) works fine but it takes longer (5 days or more).  This would be fine once I have multiple kegs running.  Is this a preferred approach in general or is a higher pressure for a shorter time
better/worse?

2. Since this is my first keg and there are no others pouring beer for me yet, I have no issue pumping up pressure to potentially pour some pints this weekend.  If I carbonate at a higher pressure, what should that be and for how long.  If I do this, is 12 the right long term pressure?

Still staring at the Forced Carb pressure chart but your experiences would be most helpful.

I think 5 days is a bit too fast at serving pressure. I wait 1 week for drinkable carb. I think the carb keeps improving for another few days to a week.

Carbing slowly has a second advantage. While carbing, your beer is aging and yeast and other particulates are dropping out. I find most beers peek around 4-5 weeks in the keg. Of course it is very hard to wait that long.

Offline howlinghound

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 07:14:39 AM »
My keg has been sitting at 38 degrees for 8 days now.  Showing some but not full carb.  I have another keg connected and have been enjoying this one (unfortunately a commercial keg because I wasn't ready with my own).  The commercial keg pours with a bit of foam so I don't want to bump the pressure (at 8-9 psi now) but the homebrew seems slow to carb.

Will the corny come to full carb with a bit more time or should I do something different?


Online Steve in TX

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First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 07:35:06 AM »
Sometimes it takes time. You can try to fast carb it. I wouldn't recommend that many shakes since you already have some gas in there. You could raise the pressure to 20 or so and shake a few dozen times. Be sure to let it sit overnight.

Kegging is one of those things where the same goal can be met 100 different ways. You have to find what works for you.

Did you use lube on the lid o-ring? Did you seat the lid with 30+ psi? If not, the lid may be leaking. Spritz some starsan around the lid and look for leaks.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 07:36:43 AM by Steve in TX »

Offline duboman

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 08:26:08 AM »
My keg has been sitting at 38 degrees for 8 days now.  Showing some but not full carb.  I have another keg connected and have been enjoying this one (unfortunately a commercial keg because I wasn't ready with my own).  The commercial keg pours with a bit of foam so I don't want to bump the pressure (at 8-9 psi now) but the homebrew seems slow to carb.

Will the corny come to full carb with a bit more time or should I do something different?

With time, just like bottling and assuming there are no leaks in your set up the keg will carb up. If you want to get there a bit quicker without worrying about over carbonating you can take the keg off gas, roll it on the floor for 10-15 minutes, hook the gas up again at serving pressure and listen for the gas to enter. When it stops you can repeat the process again once or twice and the keg should be pretty close to ready. Keep in mind that you will still need to give the keg a day or two to clear up again since you agitated everything again.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 08:43:38 AM »
I just leave the gas hooked up at 30 and shake for a bit while the keg is upright.  You can hear the gas continuously pushing in.

If you've been hooked up for awhile and you're not getting the carbonation you want or expect, I would definitely check for leaks.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline alestateyall

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 02:45:53 PM »

My keg has been sitting at 38 degrees for 8 days now.  Showing some but not full carb.  I have another keg connected and have been enjoying this one (unfortunately a commercial keg because I wasn't ready with my own).  The commercial keg pours with a bit of foam so I don't want to bump the pressure (at 8-9 psi now) but the homebrew seems slow to carb.

Will the corny come to full carb with a bit more time or should I do something different?

8-9 psi is a bit low at 38F.  I use 11PSI at 37F.  I think you may never be happy at that pressure. You can do a fast/boost/force carb to get the carbonation where you like it and then have a 8-9PSI serving pressure.

For me 8 days carb is 75% done. Good not great. At two weeks carb is complete. 

If the commercial keg is foamy at higher PSI you may need a longer serving line from that keg.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 05:38:59 PM »
Proper CO2 and dropping of yeast is vital to the overall beer. I think it's a shame to rush things. Most people wait till the weekend to brew, then wait for fermentation to finish, why not wait just a little more and be rewarded?

Offline alestateyall

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First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 05:42:36 PM »
Proper CO2 and dropping of yeast is vital to the overall beer. I think it's a shame to rush things. Most people wait till the weekend to brew, then wait for fermentation to finish, why not wait just a little more and be rewarded?

My post was strictly related to carbonation being done. My beers are conditioned and drinkable after  3-5 weeks in the keg. That being said I serve a pint at 1 wk, 2 wks, 3 wks, ... until the beer is ready. Mine usually taste yeasty for several weeks. Then the goodness comes.

Offline restlesnativ

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Re: First Kegging Attempt - Pressures?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2014, 10:14:45 AM »
I have found these two sites to be very helpful with my carbonation settings. I use these and let it go for 5-7 days at a minimum. Good luck and congratulations on you're kegging system. I have gotten so much use out of mine.

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

http://www.brewersfriend.com/keg-carbonation-calculator/