Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Cheap forced carbonation?

I saw from your other post (first batch) that you thought that force-carbonating would eliminate the yeast sediment. I don’t think that will be true unless you run it through a filter to get all of the yeast out, or leave it in the fermenter for a long time to settle out. The beer may look clear, but there is still a lot of yeast in suspension.

So my impression is that whatever the gizmo is that it will carbonate the beer but isn’t going to fix your main objection of the sediment. If you’re a wine guy you may have the wine filtering equipment, but the beer guys don’t typically have that stuff.

I’ve seen other homebrew contraptions where people make force-carb caps that screw onto 2L bottles that hook up to their CO2 tank. Maybe some of the guys that keg could weigh in on their experience with sediment.

[quote=“twdjr1”]I saw from your other post (first batch) that you thought that force-carbonating would eliminate the yeast sediment. I don’t think that will be true unless you run it through a filter to get all of the yeast out, or leave it in the fermenter for a long time to settle out. The beer may look clear, but there is still a lot of yeast in suspension.

So my impression is that whatever the gizmo is that it will carbonate the beer but isn’t going to fix your main objection of the sediment. If you’re a wine guy you may have the wine filtering equipment, but the beer guys don’t typically have that stuff.

I’ve seen other homebrew contraptions where people make force-carb caps that screw onto 2L bottles that hook up to their CO2 tank. Maybe some of the guys that keg could weigh in on their experience with sediment.[/quote]

Thank you for the reply. I agree that it will not totally eliminate the yeast sediment…but I was hoping that by not adding additional sugar, that it would possibly cut down on it quite a bit. This would also allow the beer to be consumed much quicker than waiting for the natural carbonation, but, I have read that just about all beers benefit from aging in the bottles anyway. I guess I was more concerned with with opening a bottle after natural carbonation and finding it flat as I have read one here sometimes happens. Of course, I am excited to see how the first batch turns out but, I do want to be in this for the long haul no matter what happens with it. Dry ice appears to be a little risky with the quantity required and this gizmo device has a built in regulator. It just seems like a cool idea. I guess, the best way to know is to try it right?

Thanks again for replying.

Bill

I’d recommend you giving it a go with priming sugar, especially for your first brew. I’ve brewed 30+ batches and haven’t had problems with carbonation. That thing will work, I just don’t think the risk of non-carbonated beers is so high that makes it worth the complications.

NB has a priming calculator, but a half-cup of corn sugar in 5 gallons of beer will work. Their calculator seems harder to find (I just bottled 2 batches last night and the link moved) but it is here: http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

The trick is that once you bottle you want to keep the beer in a WARM place (70-80 degrees) so that the yeast can eat up the new sugar and carbonate. It seems that the biggest problem people seem to have here on the forums is that they prime with sugar and then somehow the beer ends up in a cool spot (like the weather changes and the basement ends up too cold) and the yeast don’t finish. It may take a couple of weeks so don’t panic if at 1 week after bottling that the beer is only semi-carbonated. You’ll be fine.

There is the commercial carbonator caps. Or the homemade ones.

http://www.examiner.com/article/build-y ... onator-cap http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJD0bv9kLAQ

TWD:

Your advice is probably correct. I guess folks have been making beer this way for hundreds of years and it worked out ok for them. Thanks.

Nighthawk:

Thanks for the links. The gizmo guy from the link I posted also tells how to make your own. He will even send out a free cap to anyone…it already has the valve installed. Have you tried carbonating this way? Who ever knew brewing beer could be so much fun?

Bill

I use the carbonator caps to quickly carbonate a sample of my beer when I’m transferring it to a keg so that I can get an early taste of how the beer is turning out. Doing this will not solve your sediment problem, even when I cold crash the fermenter or several days I still get a fair amount of sediment on the bottom of my 2 liter bottle after it sits for a few days. Also your are correct that the conditioning doesn’t happen any faster in a force carbed 2 liter bottle, there is almost always considerable improvement when I let it sit a couple of weeks regardless of what container I use (keg, 2 liter, bottle, etc)

That said I still love being able to carbonate a beer using the Carbonator very quickly. While you can get carbed beer after just a few minutes I find it is better when you get it carbonated and then let it sit at cold temps for a day. When carbing my beer is already cold since I almost always cold crash my fermenter.

Not a bad little gadget, I think a Carbonator cap and one of the portable CO2 gadgets that comes with a ball lock fitting would be a more robust option but its somewhat more expensive too. My only concern would be how much beer you could carbonate with a 16g cartridge.

Flip:

That is a good idea. Sounds like what I need to do as I seem to be somewhat impatient, ha ha.

Tom, I am not sure about that either. They do also sell a refillable cartridge that can be serviced by a larger vessel. Amazon sells the food grade CO2 units for about $1 US each. I have no idea how many 2 liter bottles you can carbonate with each one though. Maybe someone else here knows?

Bill

If I were going to do that I’d make my own.

First get a tire inflater that uses the 16gram food grade Co2 cartriges, then you can use it for tires or anything else LOL
If using tire valve stems in a cap, that should work well, but wash them good and keep the liquid away from them, they are not food grade quality and who knows may even contain lead?
As long as the bottle is upright and the beverage does not contact the valve stem just blowing Co2 through should be fine, but I would not want to lay the bottle on it’s side and let it sit long term, know what I mean.

You should be able to squeeze a bottle and tell if it’s firm and hard, It says that device has a pressure gauge built in set for 55lbs, so you could use a tire gauge on a valve stem to see where your CO2 pressure is at easy enough. You might prefer 32psi or perhaps 65psi, they say the PET bottles are rated for 200PSI

I myself plan to use similar to the Tap a Draft system

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/tap- ... ystem.html

Although I think $70 is pretty expensive for that system, I have 4 of those kegs and taps free!
A friend drinks those mini Coors Light kegs and it looks like the exact same thing!
About $22 for the Mini keg of beer and when done with the beer you got the bottle and tap free for home brew!
Say with tax $25 for the mini keg of coors buy 3 for $75, drink the beer, then you got that system for same price but with 3 taps, not just 1 tap, and the beer was free! All depends how you look at things I guess. LOL
I don’t know how many 16gram cartriges it would take to force carbonate one of those mini-kegs yet, I hope only 1 and then 1 more to push out the beer as needed.
You can pretty well inflate a motorcycle tire with 1 16gram cartridge, enough to ride safely to get air though it’s not up to the full 40psi or higher with just one cartridge, so I guess 1 cartridge should carbonate the beer well as the mini-keg is smaller than a tire.

Wobbles:

Yes, the link I posted also shows how to make what you describe with the tire inflator for under $10.00. Kind of cool that he is selling his systems but also tells you how to make one a little cheaper as well. Of course, it is non-regulated but as you said, a decent tire gauge and there you go.

I had never seen the system that you posted the link to before. It is a lot of money but, I like your idea of just saving the empties…that is if they are indeed the same. A little research will tell us for sure. I am liking the idea of forced carbonation more and more. This is fun.

Bill

PS Also remember that the guy on the link I posted sells refillable 16 oz CO2 units so, one could get a larger food grade tank locally, and keep re-filling the little one from that.

Thanks for the mention about the refillable CO2 cartridge,
Looked at the link how to make them, I need to give that a try!

I have a lathe though never learned much how to use it other than making a few simple parts I needed. LOL

In that link it mentions tire valve cores will fail eventually under the pressure, I wonder about those valves in the disposable Propane tanks like for camping gear, stoves, heaters, lanterns, etc…
I have a few of those tanks around empty also, never throw anything away LOL
Actually I have a fitting to refill the throwaway tanks like those from a larger tanks like Bar-Q-Que type tanks.

Wobbles:

I am not sure how long the tire valves will last. Also on that site, he shows how to make a valve using one intended for footballs, basketballs, etc. You can recycle them from old balls or buy new for like $2 US. I have no idea how long these will last either.

I just really like the idea that when I bottle my beer from the fermenter, I can gas one up to get a sneak pre-view of how it might be like. I can also see me gassing all of the 2 liter bottles and packing them into the fridge. I am going to check on prices for a larger CO2 tank rental locally but I think the 16 oz units will work for me for a while anyway. It looks like the food grade ones are about $1 US on Amazon in packs of 30.

My first brew has been fermenting for exactly one week now. 2 more to go and by then I will have a CO2 source from somewhere to try.

Bill

Yes I have made my own carbonator caps with the SS tire stems.

IMO, you would be better off using a CO2 tank for paintball markers (guns) and a regulator. The CO2 tanks at the sporting good stores have the same CO2 in them that restaurant/bars/gas station have. No need to refill any tiny 16 gram cartridge when you can use a 9/12/20oz tank.

Hey, I forgot about those larger tanks for the guns. I was not aware that they had the “clean” CO2 or at least, had no oil in the tanks…that is a good thing. If I am not mistaken, those tanks, at least some of them, are refillable right? Could still probably get by without the regulator using the tire gauge method and sneaking up on it. I have nothing against using a reg. except the expense.

Where did you find S.S. tire stems? Were they very much money?

Thanks,

Bill

You should be able to find them at any automotive store. Autozone, PepBoys. I found mine at a regional farm store, Campbells Supply. They may have been chrome. But you are not having the beer contact the stem. So I don’t worry about it.

Here is a SS one for $6. http://www.debrix.com/Straight-Stainles … 215-m1.htm

I would not try to carbonate a bottle with out a regulator. The tanks are pressurize near 1000psi. You are asking for trouble if you try to “sneak” it in there.

ETA: you would need to find tubing that would handle that pressure. Other wise the tubing will burst before you even get close to getting the CO2 into a soda bottle.

Play it safe, Spend the $50 for a regulator. You eyes, or your life for worth it. :wink:

Nighthawk:

Thanks for the link and the advice. 1,000 psi you say? I did not know that. I will check into the regulators. I have seen videos on the tube of 2 liter bottles exploding…it is quite a bang, plus, I would hate to waste the beer.

Thanks again,

Bill

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com