Author Topic: Force Carbing and Kegs  (Read 4601 times)

Offline JBrewing 315 Co.

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Force Carbing and Kegs
« on: June 25, 2016, 06:13:57 PM »
I want to experiment with kegging beer and force carbing mainly for the faster turn around.  Was talking with some micro breweries and this is how they do it.  I've been conditioning in bottles and waiting 6-8 weeksgets, that gets a little annoying.

How would I go about doing this or are the resources that I can be pointed to.  I just started researching this so I don't have a whole lot of knowledge in the area, just a vague concept of how it is done.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 06:31:11 PM »
This chart is handy. Use the temp of your beer to choose a CO2 pressure that leaves you in the green band for most beers. Leave connected for 2 weeks. There are other methods but this is foolproof and easy for a new kegger.

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

Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 06:32:35 PM »
Great question.  Here is what I've been doing lately with great results:

After cold crashing the keg to about 38F, I hit it C02 for 24 hrs at a pressure much higher than final serving pressure. 30-32 psi seems to work.  This will get the carbonation level to about 80% of the final target. Then I lower the pressure to the intended range (Google search "beer carbonation chart") and let it sit for another 1-2 days. For Ales at 38F this is 8-12 psi.

You can also shake the keg for a few minutes in the first step after the beer is cold and you hit it with gas pressure, but I avoid this with some styles as it may rouse yeast and hop matter (from dry hopping) that is still trying to settle out. If you're not greatly concerned about clarity this will cut down on the time to hit the final carbonation level. If you do shake, then skip the 24 rest at higher pressure and go right to the final range.

Offline JBrewing 315 Co.

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2016, 07:31:59 PM »
Awesome.  Thanks.

I just need to get the equipment.  I am looking at this page currently. https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/an-introduction-to-kegging-homebrew/

Any tips on equipment.  I was looking into a soda keg, but there are also a few different options of fasteners (ball-lock or pin-lock).  Suggestions?

Also, I don't have room for a kegerator at the moment so I was figuring keeping them at room temp for now and putting them on ice or getting a jokey tap or something that I can put in storage when necessary.  What is the bare minimum I would need?

Keg, Co2, tap & connectors?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2016, 08:26:54 PM »
I wouldn't bother kegging if you don't have a method of keeping it cold at all times. I don't think you will ever be happy.

Have you looked into smaller kegs that could maybe fit in your primary fridge? You could also couple it with a small paintball co2 system.

Offline JBrewing 315 Co.

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2016, 12:06:45 AM »
Actually, i have not thought of mini kegs.  Was researching and saw those popping up.  Antoher thought i had (nomidea if it would work) is to get the keg and Co2 and force carb the beer and then bottle from the keg.  Is that something to consider?

Offline JBrewing 315 Co.

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2016, 05:39:17 AM »
Found this regarding bottling from a keg. https://www.mainbrew.com/how%20_to_bottle_beer_from_a_keg-ExtraPages.html

If i can find a mini-keg that is strong enough to force carbinate without issues, that might be the way to go.  As of now I'm reading a lot about the mini-kegs having low PSI ratings and leakimg beer.

Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2016, 05:40:31 AM »
I would think that going to keg to bottle defeats the purpose of the beauty of kegging (simplify, speed up the process, reduce risk).  Every time you move the beer from vessel to vessel you risk creating a defect / infection. You will also lose some beer as you try and bottle up a full keg - unavoidable even with a good counter-pressure bottle filler.

I have the same challenge you have - limited brewing space, no kegerator.  I was able to move shelves around in my food refrigerator and fit 1 or 2 5 gal corny kegs inside and keep a simple picnic tap coiled up inside.  Most of the time, there is only one corny and that leaves a decent amount of fridge space for 1 person worth of weekly food, plus the keg. Have a wife, family sharing the fridge and this is definitely a deal breaker.  However, a 2.5 gal keg can probably work with minimal intrusion. Keeping the other keg at room temp, or in a cool basement after carbonation for a few weeks should not hurt quality.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2016, 06:23:01 AM »
Don't use a mini keg. Get a small ball lock keg.

I also agree with the above. No point in kegging just to bottle.

Offline JBrewing 315 Co.

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2016, 06:26:20 AM »
Is this something you would recommend instead of a mini-keg? https://www.morebeer.com/products/torpedo-ball-lock-kegs.html?variant=KEG425&gclid=CNGa1OGGxc0CFRMlgQodavsEdA
If I got enough of these for a 5 gal batch?

My only reason right now for kegging (since I don't have room for a proper kegerator) is to force carbonate the beer instead of conditioning in the bottle.

Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 06:42:57 AM »
Yep - 2 of those will work great for a 5 gal batch.  I would get a small 5 Lb C02 tank and regulator with that - don't mess around with the tiny C02 cartridges, unless you're taking the keg to a picnic.  With the C02 tank, you can also improve your beer quality by using the gas to purge your kegs and secondary fermenters (if you use them) when filling them. Oxygen is your enemy after primary fermentation.

Good Luck!

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 01:08:42 PM »
I have a small army of the Torpedo Kegs (5G and 2.5G). I highly recommend them.

The downside to used soda kegs is that the parts aren't uniform l. I had some sealing issues in the early days and leaked a bunch of CO2 before I figured out all of the quirks of the different types of soda kegs. Learning on new kegs that all have the same parts will be a better experience.

Offline JBrewing 315 Co.

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2016, 01:43:27 PM »
 How tall are the 2.5G kegs? I was thinking 4 of the 1.5G so that they would easily fit in the fridge and then a 5lbs CO2 and regulator.

Offline kgs

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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2016, 02:09:04 PM »
Yep - 2 of those will work great for a 5 gal batch.  I would get a small 5 Lb C02 tank and regulator with that - don't mess around with the tiny C02 cartridges, unless you're taking the keg to a picnic.  With the C02 tank, you can also improve your beer quality by using the gas to purge your kegs and secondary fermenters (if you use them) when filling them. Oxygen is your enemy after primary fermentation.

Good Luck!

If you're adding a full 5 lb tank and a standard regulator, figure out where they will go. If you plan to put them in the fridge they will require a few more inches more vertical space than a short keg (I tried uploading a pic to Flickr so you could see how the tank + regulator is taller than the small keg, but Flickr was having issues), and if you don't plan to put them in the fridge, you will need to get the gas line from the tank outside the fridge to the keg inside the fridge.

I started kegging with small kegs this year, but the tank issue was easy for me because our landlord had gifted us with an old fridge we don't use for anything else, so the tank goes inside.
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Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2016, 03:17:31 PM »
The best info I've seen in one place on how to set a regulator, number of kegs a CO2 cylinder will dispense, temp and psi info, etc, etc: http://d163axztg8am2h.cloudfront.net/static/doc/71/66/acef50e52d6bf4b196b71a0bf233.pdf


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