About to keg my first batch in a keg and wanted recommendations on what psi to let it sit at for a couple days and then to lower it to. It is a Grapefruit Pulpin IPA and I planned to force carbonate at 25 psi and then lower it to 8. Advice for a newbie?
The first thing you will hear is to “set it and forget it” meaning set it to 12lbs and wait two weeks. I used to set mine at about 20lbs and give the keg a shake a couple times a day for a few days. It was hit or miss. Now it gets 12 and I wait. It becomes easier after you go to a few kegs so one is always ready.
Having the beer cold will carb it faster so if you can chill it first. 8lbs is a little low for serving but it depends on your system. You will figure it out by the pour and adjust.
The carbonating psi is determined by temperature. In my lager chamber 9psi at 30deg ales and lagers. In my serving fridge 12-14 psi at 40 deg. I use the set it and forget it. Its best after 3 weeks but usually drinkable in one.
I know it’s probably going to create a fire storm when I say this, but I set the pressure to the “set it and forget it” pressure at the proper temperature. Then I sit on a chair with the keg on my lap and the CO2 input at the high point. Then I just gently rock it back and forth for a minute or so until I stop hearing CO2 flowing in. I put it back in the fridge and let it sit overnight and the next day it’s perfect. I have tried it many other ways, and I find no difference in the beer by doing it this way, except that it’s ready in one day. I am a fan of the keg to bottle method. SO I keg, quick carbonate, let it sit for a week while I drink a few from the keg, just to make sure any settling needs to happen can happen. Then I bottle the rest. I get bottles that are sediment free. You can drink straight from the bottle, or friends can pour the bottle into a glass with no instructions on how to pour it. It’s a win all around.
I set my gas to 30 psi and rock it back and forth till I can’t hear anymore gas entering the keg… then put in serving fridge over night with 30 psi… fridge temp is 40 degrees. Next day set gas to serving pressure and it’s carbed pretty well… I think it gets llittle better after a couple more days but it’s definitely pretty darn good after one day.