Author Topic: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?  (Read 28330 times)

Offline george

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How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« on: December 29, 2009, 03:13:08 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!

Offline joelambic

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009, 04:02:59 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.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 06:20:18 PM »
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
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Offline george

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2009, 09:04:19 AM »
Thanks for the input all!
Guess I was just a little impatient.
The keg is so much easier then bottling!

Offline beerrat

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2009, 09:28:19 AM »
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?

Offline denny

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 09:29:24 AM »
Nope.
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Offline deepsouth

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2009, 09:33:37 AM »
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.

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Offline bruck

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 07:11:41 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.

Offline beersk

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2010, 09:49:55 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.

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.
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Offline bruck

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2010, 04:24:48 PM »
Cold conditioning will only help it. Totally agre with you there.

Offline roffenburger

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 10:36:31 AM »
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? ::)
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 10:50:57 AM »
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!
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Offline toastedman

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2010, 12:17:15 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.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 12:30:36 AM by toastedman »

Offline popester

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 05:48:41 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!
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.

Offline sifulff89

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Re: How long does it take to carbonate a 5gal cornelius keg of beer?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2010, 08:13:32 AM »
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.