Natural or Forced Carbonation?

Assumes carbonation of flat beer is done using a forced or gradual injection of CO2.
User avatar

wizard78
Gold
Gold
Posts: 489
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Somerville, Vic, Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by wizard78 » 6 years ago

Hashie, I'm pretty sure corn sugar is glucose/dextrose which you can get at lhbs.
"All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer."
[/i]
Homer Simpson
K.I.S.S., B.I.A.B.
[/b]


JerryMan
Draft
Draft
Posts: 32
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Everett , WA. Northwestern USA
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by JerryMan » 6 years ago

Thanks for the info. I have beersmith 2 but have not used it yet. I will look into it more. Jerry


stux
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1284
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Lower Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by stux » 6 years ago

Isn't "corn sugar" dextrose?
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

User avatar

mordantly
Draft
Draft
Posts: 49
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: CenCAL - USA
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by mordantly » 6 years ago

yes, dextrose. 100% fermentable. it's a specific form of glucose that comes from beets, corn, rice, wheat, potats.
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

User avatar

hashie
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1451
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Bendigo, Victoria
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by hashie » 6 years ago

Thanks all, learn something new every day :)
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."


JerryMan
Draft
Draft
Posts: 32
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Everett , WA. Northwestern USA
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by JerryMan » 6 years ago

Here is a question for Hashie or any other expert here. If I choose to naturally carbonate as Hashie does, what if I have a batch less than five gallons? The headspace would be much larger. It is my assumption that natural would not work due to this and I would have to go with forced carbonation or bottle. I have done over 20 batches but never kegged. My 3 Corny kegs are five gallon kegs. Does my volume to this keg have to be 5 gallons in order to get the correct headspace to naturally carbonate? May seem obvious but it is not to me. If this is correct it would seem that one would need to be very proficient at calculating volumes in order to naturally carbonate. Is this correct? I have Beersmith 2 and there are calculators available here as well. I have a short batch now due to an error with my first BIAB having too coarse of a mesh. Does headspace have any effect on forced carbonation? Thanks, Jerry :think:

User avatar

thughes
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 1206
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Western NY
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City: Rochester

Post by thughes » 6 years ago

Good question. I know that head space in a bottle can adversely affect natural carbonation so I would have to assume the same correlates to kegs. Perhaps someone with a knowledge of fluid dynamics can weigh in here?

As to head space when force-carbing or carbing at serving pressure, my experience shows that it does not matter as the pressure will eventually equalize regardless of head space due to the unlimited supply of gas (as opposed to the finite amount produced by natural carbing).
WWBBD?

User avatar

hashie
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1451
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Bendigo, Victoria
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by hashie » 6 years ago

JerryMan, I've never considered that point as my kegs are, generally, always filled.

My thoughts would be that it would affect the carbonation level, but probably not enough as to be noticeable.

I am not a scientist or anything like it, so the following are just my thoughts.

When we carbonate beer, we carbonate to a level, say 2.4 volumes CO2 in the beer. That would suggest to me that if I have 10 litres of beer, I have managed to dissolve 24 litres of CO2 into the beer. So if I put that 10 litres of beer into a 23 litre keg and try for the same carbonation level, I will have a head space of 13 litres. So will only end up with 1.1 volumes of CO2 in the beer. Therefore, it should be a relatively simple calculation to adjust your priming rate to ensure correct carbonation.

I hope that makes sense.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."


JerryMan
Draft
Draft
Posts: 32
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Everett , WA. Northwestern USA
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by JerryMan » 6 years ago

Hashie,
It appears that headspace does not affect forced carbing but does affect natural carbing with sugar.
In other words adjust your sugar to match the volume of liquid in the keg if I understand correctly. Is this correct? Thanks, Jerry

User avatar

mordantly
Draft
Draft
Posts: 49
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: CenCAL - USA
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by mordantly » 6 years ago

if batch into keg is ~2.5gal try the 3/4oz? default for bottling 5gal and see what happens... carbonation is a function of beer temp and co2 head pressure. in a keg assuming you DO NOT exceed ~125psi, you can purge some excess pressure off untij you get close. not hooked up to a coC tank and regulator wont be the most ideal... volume reduction and temp swings will vary the carbonation level (dissolved co2 in the liquid in question).
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]


stux
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1284
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Lower Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by stux » 6 years ago

mordantly wrote:yes, dextrose. 100% fermentable. it's a specific form of glucose that comes from beets, corn, rice, wheat, potats.
Which is why I've been able to point out to SWMBO before that that packet of "corn sugar" she bought is made out of 100% wheat!!!!
Last edited by stux on 19 Sep 2011, 09:15, edited 9 times in total.
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

User avatar

swampy
Draft
Draft
Posts: 7
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Tasmania
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by swampy » 6 years ago

I find that the corn sugar tends to give less carbonation effect than dextrose (or white sugar). I always thought corn sugar was maltodextrin??
I always bulk prime my kegs - I actuall add the sugar to a saucepan with a bit of water - boil with lid on for a few mins to sanitise prior to adding to keg. Can anyone tell me if this is necessary - If I could just add sugar direct to the keg it would sure be easier.
The main reason that I bulk prime is consistency. I always used to force carbonate with the gas - tried all 3 methods - the quick, the 3 day, and the 1 week methods. ....Results were always a bit hit an miss for my liking, but I probably never perfected the art either.


Lylo
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1218
Joined: 6 years ago
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by Lylo » 6 years ago

Swampy,I have only just started using table sugar as opposed to corn sugar.I happened to run out of cane sugar just after I read a post here by yeasty or hashie or one of the eees.
I haven't noticed any difference in carbonation yet.I did however find that if I just dumped dry sugar into my kegs I had a mini vocano happen, and have since hydrated the sugar on the stove.
I expect many will admonish me for not giving it a 15 minute boil in reverse osmosis Queensland spring water :shock: but WTF I'm make'n beer. :yum:
AWOL


stux
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1284
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Lower Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by stux » 6 years ago

I would expect it to be hard to disolve the sugar if you just added it directly

adding the sugar to boiling water should make it easier to disolve, and will also sanitize it
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12


stux
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1284
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Lower Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by stux » 6 years ago

My method for carbonating a keg...

1) work out your carb pressure, this is based on your keg storage temperature and the number of vols of C02 you want, for me, I use 80kpa, which is about right for 2.5Vols at 4C

2) connect keg up at 300kpa. My keg is already chilled as I crash chill my primary fermenter before kegging

3) 24 hours later, turn off reg, release pressure, and re-adjust reg to 80kpa

4) start drinking... keg will come to the right carb level in a day or two


It helps if you have your beerlines balanced so that your carb pressure is your dispense pressure. Alternatively, if you dispense pressure is less than your carb pressure, then you can use a flow controller (inline, in front of tap, or on tap) to control the flow and thus get a great pour.
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

User avatar

hashie
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1451
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Bendigo, Victoria
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by hashie » 6 years ago

@Lylo & swampy, I use dry white sugar when carbonating kegs.

I use around 76 grams per keg, which gives me around 2.4 volumes of dissolved CO2 after a couple of weeks of conditioning.

My method; measure the sugar and place into sanitised keg, transfer beer into keg. When full replace the lid and give a good shake. This does 2 things, firstly it mixes and helps dissolve the sugar into the beer. Secondly it gives immediate pressure, so you will see if the lid is not sealed properly. You can also vent a bit of gas if you are worried about oxygen, I don't bother.

Then, sit back relax and have a home brew while the yeast does it's thing.

Quick edit; Of course everything works better with Queensland spring water :drink:
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."


Lylo
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1218
Joined: 6 years ago
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by Lylo » 6 years ago

Yeah now I remember.The time I had the gusher was on my first keg try.I had the keg about 1/4 full when I realized my sugar was sitting on the countertop so I quickly dumped it in.I think I lost about 2 liters on the floor but I had more than 19 to start with so all was okay.
AWOL


bigmike
Draft
Draft
Posts: 7
Joined: 5 years ago
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by bigmike » 5 years ago

I've been doing a gentle carbonation with my kegs (ie put the keg in the keezer for 24 hours then hook up the gas to the gas connection and leave it sit for 3 or 4 days and it carbs up fine).

Saying that I've decided to try out natural carbonation with my last two brews so I've naturally carbonated 2 kegs (4g Dextrose per litre) and the other 3 kegs I'm going to do the tried and tested method then compare the two and decide which path I'm going to take in the future.

From what I've read it appears that naturally carbonated kegs have a longer shelf lifethat force carbonated ones,


Brendandrage
Draft
Draft
Posts: 51
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Echuca VIC Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by Brendandrage » 5 years ago

hashie wrote:I naturally carb my kegs.

Generally I will use 76 grams of sugar, which gives me ~2.4 volumes of CO2.

I do this because I have 9 kegs on rotation, so they have plenty of time to carb before drinking and I prefer to drink "natural" beers.
Last edited by Brendandrage on 10 Jul 2012, 17:26, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar

hashie
Gold
Gold
Posts: 1451
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Bendigo, Victoria
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by hashie » 5 years ago

Yes mate, standard white table sugar.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."


Brendandrage
Draft
Draft
Posts: 51
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Echuca VIC Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by Brendandrage » 5 years ago

Sincere apologies guys i didnt read the thread in full :headhit: as usual with me !


BDD
Draft
Draft
Posts: 3
Joined: 4 years ago
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by BDD » 4 years ago

Only just joined the forum and haven't done a BIAB brew yet but have been kegging for the last year. I naturally carbonate with 76-80g dextrose. Ive never force carbed a beer but my mate does and loves it. Not sure what is the better option but naturally carbing seems cheaper to me and also allows you to age beers.


pist
Draft
Draft
Posts: 40
Joined: 4 years ago
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by pist » 2 years ago

I've found that I prefer natural carbonation. I've given force carbing a go recently, and for some reason it seems beers that have been force carbed don't have the same level of head retention as the exact same beer that has been naturally carbed. I recently split an American amber double batch and fermented both using same yeast, same period etc. One went into keg and force carbed, the other was primed with sugar. The naturally carbed beer had a more creamy long lasting head which is what I was chasing with that beer. I'll definitely be sticking to natural carbonation. Will save me some gas too, as I'm currently using a sodastream cylinder to dispense. Long term goal to get a bigger bottle as budget allows

User avatar

Bellybuster
Draft
Draft
Posts: 51
Joined: 2 years ago
Location: Wasaga Beach ON Canada
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Post by Bellybuster » 2 years ago

guess I'm always different. I have done both and prefer the force carb. I can taste a naturally carb'd beer and don't like it. Maybe I'm just really sensitive to something with sugar Carb'd beers.

For me, best force carbing is at serving pressure, takes a while though. I too am blessed with quite a few kegs so time isn't usually an issue. Force carbing at serving pressure can take upwards of 2 weeks to reach that perfect level and bubble size

Post Reply

Return to “Kegging”

Brewers Online

Brewers browsing this forum: No members and 3 guests