Force carbonating

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Hopfunk, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Hopfunk

    Hopfunk New Member

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    Just curious how you all force carbonate your beer? For my last 5 gallon batch I did 30 psi for 12 hours, then I dropped the psi to 10. It seemed to be at a good level of carbonation to me. I used to just do 20 for a couple days. Force carbonating at 38 degrees. Haven’t done a whole lot of research on this. Let me know your methods and what you think of mine.
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Most of my beers are best at 2.3 to 2.5 volumes. After purging the keg several times, I set to 30 psi for 24 to 36 hours and then drop to serving pressure. (~12 psi @ 38F) After 2 or 3 days they're very close to the goal. It's important to understand that your desired carbonation level is part of the equation. There's no one size fits all.
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I pressurize the keg to 25 psi and shake it for 5 minutes. One hour or so later I taste it. Most times the carbonation is spot on, if not I either drop the pressure to 5 psi if it’s over and leave it for 24 hours or raise it to 20 psi for 24 hours if it’s under. I guess at the volumes, but it works really well for me.
     
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  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I do 30psi 24hours then set to my serving pressure 10psi usually I find carbonation comes good after a week
     
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  5. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I do pretty much serving PSI so 10/12 and let it take as long as it wants. My beers seem to appreciate the conditioning time as well so it's usually one or two weeks, more like two, before they're at their best.
     
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  6. Please Delete!

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    might be silly question, but i'm still new and still bottle. But isn't idea of force carbination so you don't need any more pressure after its carbed? When you say serving pressure, is that pressure needed to get it thru the system and not actually added carbination?
    Not meaning to hijack threading, but was curious about it since i saw 5 liter kegs that you can serve from without tap. Assumed i would have to force carb it.
     
  7. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    My take is that whatever pressure I put on top of the beer the beer itself will absorb the C02 at that psi to try and equalise the pressure, that's force carbonation.

    My particular setup wants 10psi in order to serve well carbonated beer without too much head so that's what I do. If it's carbonated at serving psi I'm not going to run into too many fobbing problems. Takes a while but the results are predictable.

    Forcing carbonation is forcing the beer to absorb the gas rather than creating the gas and containing it within the vessel as you do when bottling. As I understand it that is, I have much to learn myself...
     
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  8. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Should just add that the serving pressure is still needed to push the beer from keg to pump and, as the keg is a sealed vessel, replace the lost volume so that we don't create a vacuum.

    I think
     
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  9. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    ... should further add

    If I've carbed at serving psi then as I serve and CO2 replaces what comes out of the keg that should (usually does) mean that I have a stable product right down the keg. That's what I'm looking for
     
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  10. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Adding to what Steve said:
    When you bottle, the carbonation level is determined by the amount of sugars you give the yeast to consume. The end result will be a finite amount of CO2 contained within the bottle. Some of this CO2 is absorbed into the beer and some remains in the head space. Theoretically, this state of equilibrium will remain the same until the bottle is opened. Once the bottle is opened, the CO2 in the head space will be lost. If you were to recap the bottle immediately, the beer would release some of the CO2 it has absorbed into the headspace in order to again reach equilibrium, resulting in a lower carbonation level.
    Five gallons of beer in a keg will yield 40, pint servings. Each time a pint is drawn, the head space in the keg is increased by the volume of a pint. Without a regulated supply of CO2, a process very like that in the bottle example above, would occur with each pour. Each serving would have a lower carbonation level than the previous one until the beer remaining in the keg was almost flat and there was no longer enough pressure to move the beer from the keg through the faucet and into the glass. Serving pressure is the pressure it takes to produce and maintain the desired carbonation level. With this pressure applied constantly the beer doesn't need to release any CO2, so the carbonation level theoretically remains the same from the first pint to the last.
     
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  11. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    ... and that’s the theory that I wrapped my head around when I started kegging and hasn’t changed since. Well put Bob!
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    And yet oddly when I get down to the last two or three pints I can tell as the they tend to be foamier.
     
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  13. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    True, and usually the best pints of the keg too
     
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  14. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Definitely an imperfect science!

    I'm told that 30/70 is better, particularly in variable temperatures, so intending to give that a try soon as well.
     
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  15. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    After racking to keg I set pressure to 30 psi for about 36 hours, then reduce to 10 psi. Works for me.
     
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  16. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    35 psi for 24 hrs, then set to 10 psi and serve
     
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  17. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    12psi (approx) for 5-6 days is my simple set-it-and-forget-it method.

    I would "force" carb if the need arises. Hasn't yet.
     
  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I just watched a video by clawhammer carbed up a keg in 30 minutes. Charged the keg with 50psi, agitated it for 5 minutes. Repeated this process 3 times and it was ready to aet at serving pressure.
     
  19. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Also replaces your daily upper body work out.
     
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  20. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I do like their videos
     
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