Author Topic: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?  (Read 581 times)

Offline trapae

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Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« on: December 02, 2017, 11:39:46 PM »
 I have two different taps on my keg for CO2 with the exact same keg type, line length, and tap handles. The same regulator goes to both tap lines and I have it set as 11 psi. My IPAs are always less carbonated than my other tap which is usually light easy drinking beers. Does it have to do with alcohol, hops, or something else?
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 03:33:12 PM »
We've kicked this topic around here a bit recently.  I think some of my hoppy beers and bigger beers take longer to carb.  My guess was that hop oils at the surface somehow inhibit the CO2 from entering the solution.  It seems like some people here have had a similar experience, while others have not.  It's weird though, isn't it?  I wonder if it could be a difference in perceived carbonation.  Maybe the lighter beers seem to be more highly carbed, while a beer with more body has less perceived carbonation. 

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 08:21:37 PM »
I wonder if it could be a difference in perceived carbonation.  Maybe the lighter beers seem to be more highly carbed, while a beer with more body has less perceived carbonation.
I suspect this is the cause.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 11:35:58 PM »
^^^^^
Yep.
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 12:25:07 AM »
The difference in perceived carbonation really hit home recently, when I was carbing a batch of Sahti.  The recipe included a lot of rye, with a high mash temp as well.  The beer was probably the heaviest-bodied beer I've brewed in about 200 batches.  It seemed to take forever to carb, even at higher pressures.  Finally, I determined that the heavy body was masking the carb level.  Great beer, btw. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 01:03:24 AM »
I agree on a full/heavy bodied beer sometimes masking perceived carbonation. Same levels in a pils or cream ale, pretty apparent.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 11:34:28 AM »
On the flip side, this is why a properly dry bitter or mild (FG 1.005, give or take a couple points) should never be carbed like a normal beer. I think we home brewers have messed up the style by turning it into something that's palatable at typical CO2 carbonation levels, judging by the kit recipes I've brewed for the style.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Do different beers carbonate in the keg differently?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 01:51:57 PM »
On the flip side, this is why a properly dry bitter or mild (FG 1.005, give or take a couple points) should never be carbed like a normal beer. I think we home brewers have messed up the style by turning it into something that's palatable at typical CO2 carbonation levels, judging by the kit recipes I've brewed for the style.

Not just us homebrewers.  Remember CAMRA was started in response to breweries in Britain tending towards "brewery conditioned" beers -- filtered, carbonated and kegged beer -- which was more stable and required less skilled cellarmanship.  Consumers' complaint was that these ales were too lager-like: sharp and fizzy.  On the other hand the same switch in the US a century earlier threw ales a lifeline in a country that preferred a bright crisp lager.
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