Natural or Forced Carbonation?

Post #1 made 8 years ago
just curious what is the more popular way to keg your brew
in the joy of homebrewing Charlie says to prime with a 1/3 cup of sugar and let rest for 4 to 5 days, do ya force carb with Co2, or do ya have another method, and bottliers why do ya bottle instead of kegging :?: I would comment on my prefered method but seeing how my keg system is still in the mail i dont really have one yet :D

Post #2 made 8 years ago
I filter my beers so I prefer to carb up with CO2, otherwise my beer will get sediment in it again.

I prefer to chill the keg down first, then give it a 30 second burst of CO2 while shaking vigorously at 300kPa, then put it back on to serving pressure, and be drinking nicely carbed up beer in less than 5 days, but I also have 3 other kegs on the go at any one time, so I can afford to wait that long.

cheers,

Matt

Post #3 made 8 years ago
G'day, I force carbonate myself. I have a quick disconnect on my beer out fitting so I can put my gas line on it and force the gas through the beer from the bottom.
I then turn the reg up to 300 kpa and rock for about 30-40 seconds, then turn reg off and continue to rock. The gauge drops while rocking and I aim to get it to stop dropping at about 120-140 kpa. If it drops lower I I give it quick 5 second bursts @ 300kpa while rocking until it sets within the range.
After that I let it sit for half an hour diconnected, then bleed the pressure and reconnect as standard and set desired serving pressure and pour myself a beer.
It takes a couple of days for the brew to properly equilise, but at least you get to have a beer straight away :D (I can be a bit impatient :roll: )
There is a risk of overcarbonating, but if your careful it shouldn't be a problem.
Cheers Brad ;)
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Post #5 made 8 years ago
jmbingham wrote: bottliers why do ya bottle instead of kegging :?:
Not by choice, just too poor basically...

I do dread bottling days, it is almost the world's biggest PITA ...second only to brewing lagers! :shock:

I am fairly keen to change over, we have space and fridges coming out of the proverbial, so should have no problem with the cooling side of things, as for the the rest of the hardware is concerned I go through this cycle of nearly being able to afford the kegs, outright CO2 bottle, regulator etc, but something invariably comes up to empty the account and I'm just not going to put it all on plastic while I've got the bottling option. Never been enthusiastic to do it bit by bit, perhaps I should just do that. I'll survive though...

Oh and plus I get another easy 0.5% v/v alc out of each batch! :lol:
Last edited by Ralph on 19 May 2010, 20:45, edited 9 times in total.
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Post #6 made 8 years ago
I have kegged about 4 brews now, (2 AG and 2 K+K), i have always force carb'd same as mentioned above
however i find that my gas line blows off the barbs at about 200kpa, so what i have been doing is pumping it up to 200, then rocking for a minute or so, then turn off the gas and keep rocking till the gauge stops going down, then crank it back up to 200 and repeat. (until the gauge stops falling at 160kpa)
If i had some hose clamps or john guest push fit's maybe the hose blowing off wouldnt be a problem.. buut ill get there eventually!

(i crash chill for 24 hours then add gelatine to secondary for 24 hours, then keg after that, but i reckon if i was more patient i would crash chill for a bit longer.. as i build up my keg collection i will be able to be more patient!)

RL
"I like beer. On occasion, I will even drink beer to celebrate a major event such as the fall of Communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still working.”Dave Berry

Post #7 made 8 years ago
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.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #8 made 8 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.
Hey hashie,
do you think that naturally carbing tastes better than force?
I havent naturally carb'd yet

RL
Last edited by redlegger on 20 May 2010, 09:54, edited 9 times in total.
"I like beer. On occasion, I will even drink beer to celebrate a major event such as the fall of Communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still working.”Dave Berry

Post #9 made 8 years ago
Yes I think it does, but that is just my opinion.

I did force carb for a while, but went back to natural.

One of the other things I Like about naturally carbonating is that the beer is alive until it is drunk. If the beer is alive it will continue to mature. When you filter and force carbonate it is dead and needs to be drunk much sooner and quicker. In other words, it is at it's peak when force carbed and can only go down hill from there.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #10 made 8 years ago
how does force carbing kill (lack of a better word ) the beer :?: very intresting thou i didnt know this.
i think i will force carb my first keg just because i think my friends are more impatient than i am and dont think the keg is going to last
To have 9 kegs on rotation one can only dream :D

Post #11 made 8 years ago
Hi Jim.

I read it on the internet somewhere, so it must be true!

I would have to research it again and see if I can post up the details.

It could be that Filtering and force carbonating is what Kills the beer because all of the living yeast cells are filtered out.

Leave me with it, when I get a bit of free time I'll see if I can get more info.

But the fact remains that beer that has been force carbed begins to degrade from that point while naturally conditioned beer can continue to improve for 12 months and beyond, depending on style, ABV etc.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #12 made 8 years ago
just guessing but probaly has something to due with the fact that your not adding any priming sugar when you force , and when u force and filter twice as bad .
Oh yea got my keg today had to go buy all new lines think the guy used it a couple of times and stuck it in the closet with the lines full they were really nasty . I was going to try and clean but the wife seen them and said she wasnt going to drink out of them!
:idea: maybe i shouldn't have changed them :lol:

Post #14 made 7 years ago
Question for hashie....or other natural keg carbonator
I have recently taken the jump to kegging, found it both frustrating and rewarding. but under advice have tried naturally carbonating.

My question is how long do you leave to carbonate the keg when naturally carbonating?
2 weeks in (bottle mindset) - I have very sweet hoppy beer. Taken back out of the fridge to carbonate, but I'm unsure how long to leave it - 2 kegs at this stage - got some friends to empty the first one that I carbonated at serving pressure and pfaffed with endlessly.

Now I've got my next brew in the bag and I'm trying to decide what route to go. Forced or natural?

Thanks

Lemon
-In love with kegs
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #15 made 7 years ago
Lemon, if you are going to naturally carb in the kegs you can't put them in the fridge immediately after adding the sugar. It's just like with carbing in the bottle, you have to let the kegs sit at room temp (or higher) for a couple of weeks and let the yeast do their job.

I both keg and bottle. Stuff that benefits from long conditioning times (high gravity brews like RIS, Belgian Strongs, etc) goes into bottles and gets cellared for a few months. Session beers (ESB, Pale Ales, etc) go into the kegs.

As to carbing the kegs, my preferred method is the "set and forget" method. Drop the keg in the keezer, hook up the gas at serving pressure, and wait a couple of weeks for it to carb up properly.

Just my .02.
WWBBD?
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Post #16 made 7 years ago
Hey Lemon, kegs are definitely the way to go :)

I have drunk naturally carbonated beers after 2 weeks in the keg, no problem. I am however in the fortunate position of owning 9 kegs. So they generally sit for 2 - 3 months before drinking.

thughes is correct in saying they need to be at room temperature for that first 2 weeks.

I use 76g of white table sugar per keg. Once they go into the fridge the gas is set at 75kpa serving pressure with 1.5m of beer line. Works for me with perfect beer every time.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #17 made 7 years ago
hashie wrote:Hey Lemon, kegs are definitely the way to go :)

I have drunk naturally carbonated beers after 2 weeks in the keg, no problem. I am however in the fortunate position of owning 9 kegs. So they generally sit for 2 - 3 months before drinking.

thughes is correct in saying they need to be at room temperature for that first 2 weeks.

I use 76g of white table sugar per keg. Once they go into the fridge the gas is set at 75kpa serving pressure with 1.5m of beer line. Works for me with perfect beer every time.
Perfect post....
Last edited by Yeasty on 11 Sep 2011, 07:02, edited 9 times in total.
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Post #18 made 7 years ago
Guys thanks for your quick replies.

Like most of my questions, this raises extra questions.

Hashie, et al. why white table sugar? I was encouraged (given) dextrose for the carbing as a given. i.e. "naturally carbonating in the keg - use the dextrose" why would this be?

Also, the amount. I have read, since, that you use half the normal amount i.e. if bottle you would use 140g but for the keg only 76g. Again, I sound like my six year old, why is this?

And, hypothetically what would happen if, say a friend of mine, used 140g of dextrose to carbonate a keg? and how would I, sorry he, fix it?

Thanks fellas.

Lemon
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #19 made 7 years ago
I use white table sugar because it is only for carbonation. The sugar is adding a very small amount of alcohol, but small enough as to be negligible. Also in the conversion of the sugar to CO2, given the small amount, you wont notice any change in flavour between sugar, dex or LME.

Given the above, sugar is cheap and easily attainable so why not use it.

As for your your friend, and his keg. First pour a beer and try it, if it is way over carbonated I'd, after disconnecting the gas line, pull the release valve and empty the gas from the head. Maybe do this a couple of times in 12 -24 hours. The gas in the beer will be released to form a new head of gas. Unfortunately this is at best trial and error. It may well take a few days to a week to get it right. With gas, there is no quick fix. Pull a beer or 2 from the keg each day, you will soon see how it is going and it will still be beer.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #20 made 7 years ago
hashie wrote:I use white table sugar because it is only for carbonation. The sugar is adding a very small amount of alcohol, but small enough as to be negligible. Also in the conversion of the sugar to CO2, given the small amount, you wont notice any change in flavour between sugar, dex or LME.

Given the above, sugar is cheap and easily attainable so why not use it.

As for your your friend, and his keg. First pour a beer and try it, if it is way over carbonated I'd, after disconnecting the gas line, pull the release valve and empty the gas from the head. Maybe do this a couple of times in 12 -24 hours. The gas in the beer will be released to form a new head of gas. Unfortunately this is at best trial and error. It may well take a few days to a week to get it right. With gas, there is no quick fix. Pull a beer or 2 from the keg each day, you will soon see how it is going and it will still be beer.
I remember I did this with a keg, solved it in the exact manner as described. Only thing is, make sure its only half a pint per test. If you pour a pint or six each test, by the time I figured out the carb was PERFECT, I was already blowing the keg :lol:
I did discover that week or two that BIAB is delicious!
Last edited by Squared on 11 Sep 2011, 17:12, edited 9 times in total.

Post #22 made 7 years ago
never bottled any batches. have made total of 24 bottles from kegs to give away. just let it sit at 10psi during drinking the current kegs (my fridge holds 6).
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

Post #23 made 7 years ago
hashie wrote:Hey Lemon, kegs are definitely the way to go :)

I have drunk naturally carbonated beers after 2 weeks in the keg, no problem. I am however in the fortunate position of owning 9 kegs. So they generally sit for 2 - 3 months before drinking.

thughes is correct in saying they need to be at room temperature for that first 2 weeks.

I use 76g of white table sugar per keg. Once they go into the fridge the gas is set at 75kpa serving pressure with 1.5m of beer line. Works for me with perfect beer every time.
Hashie, Thanks for all of the info. I have purchased 3 corny kegs and am geting ready to start kegging with no experience. Have brewed 20 or so batches mainly kits and just recently did a BIAB. Had a few errors that are easily fixed mainly not a fine enough mesh bag. Getting all of this info on kegging is a real help to me. Having read these posts, I also think I will naturally carbonate my kegs. I will use corn sugar and assume the amount would be the same as table sugar. Please correct me if I am wrong. Regards, Jerry
Last edited by JerryMan on 14 Sep 2011, 22:54, edited 9 times in total.

Post #24 made 7 years ago
Thanks for your kind words JerryMan. Firstly let me say I am no expert on kegging, all of my advice is from personal experience only. Yet I am very grateful for the appreciation of my posts by yourself and others in this thread :)

Too answer your question, I have only ever used white table sugar. I'm not even sure if we can get corn sugar here in OZ??? I started brewing and kegging with Beersmith and Beersmith only had corn sugar as an option, so that is what I entered for my beers. BS says for 2.4 volumes of CO2 I need 76g corn sugar, so I've always used 76g white sugar.
I just had a look in BS2 and it has both options (white & corn), for 2.4 volumes CO2 it says I need 76g corn sugar or 70g white sugar. So the answer to your question is you need slightly more corn sugar than white.

My advice would be to try an amount and see how it works for your beer. You will soon know what works for you.

Cheers.
Last edited by hashie on 15 Sep 2011, 06:18, edited 9 times in total.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #25 made 7 years ago
when carbing a keg naturally, the common practice is to use half or 3/4 the sugar to prevent overcarbonation in the decreased headspace volume.
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]
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