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Force carbing...different levels for different beers

Given that not all beer styles should be carbed to the same level, if i force carb them to different levels depending on style, can I still serve them at the same pressure level.

For example, my english pale should be carbed at about 2 vols. But my dunkleweizen gets more CO2 at 3.5 vols. If after force carbed and I set my co2 at 10-12 psi, will each maintain the desired carb level?

:cheers:

No, the lower carbed beers with increase and the higher carbed beers will decrease.

You need multiple regulators to maintain the different levels.

Arrrrrggggghhhhhh!

You could do it w/o a 2nd regulator if you don’t mind some manual futzing.

Just ‘Tee’ a pressure gauge in the line to the lower pressure keg, and you’ll need a shut-off valve between the higher pressure side and the keg/gauge. Set the reg for the higher pressure you need. Then open the valve to the lower pressure keg and shut it when you reach the pressure you need. You can hit it with the higher pressure for a while to get it carbed, and back off as it is hitting the desired level (shut the valve until the pressure drops below your target as the beer absorbs the CO2, then give it another ‘shot’ until it has equalized).

You’ll need to ‘top off’ the CO2 after you draw a pint or two. But once there is some head space in there, the pressure won’t drop so fast.

Not something you’d want to do regularly, but if it’s an occasional thing you can get by.

-kenc

Couldn’t I accomplish my goal but just turning the gas off after each is force kegged properly, then only turning it back on for dispensing? Either at the tank or on each individual line.

I mean, it’s not like the tanks need to be under “dispensing” pressure while I’m sleeping or working, right?

:cheers:

Yes, the separate secondary regulators just make this more convenient.

I’m assuming you have a ‘balanced system’, where your dispensing pressure is the same as your final carbonation pressure. So you don’t want to hit it with anything much higher while dispensing, you really just want to bring it back to where it was prior to dispensing. Otherwise, you could end up over-carbed on the low volume one.

I’ve been using some mini-kegs, and even with this small volume it’s pretty easy to draw a pint, then just ‘top off’ the CO2 to bring me back to the desired pressure. I don’t keep the CO2 connected otherwise. When the keg is mostly full, pressure drops off faster as there is little head space. As the keg empties, you’ve got more head space so more ‘reserve’ pressure in there, so the pressure changes are much less. This will be far less critical in a 5 gallon keg. After the first few, I bet you can draw quite a few pints before you see enough of a drop that you feel you need to add some CO2. It would take some time (days?) for the beer to give up its CO2 to that head space if it is only a pound or two lower. It’ll equalize somewhere in-between.

So while you may want to save some $ and space on a second regulator, I’d highly recc you add a pressure gauge to that lower pressure line, so you can easily monitor it. Bringing the pressure to where you want with the valve will be easy. If you over-shoot, just bleed it off.

-kenc

Good info. Thanks for the recs.

cheers.

Since hopefully the OP has an answer, maybe I can ask a slightly different question. How is this handled in a commercial setting? Does a bar with 50 beers on tap have 50 regulators or do they just pick one pressure and live with it?

Good question, bistro. I’ve often wondered the same thing. Even if they have separate regulators, you’d think they’d also need to balance the lines for different pressures.

If they do not have seperate regulators, you’d think the first pours out of a high-co2-volume beer (like a wheat) would be more foamy than others, until it equalized out. You’d think they need to have some kind of flow control/restricter mechanism to really dial it it? Not necessarily a flow-control faucet, but something inline?

Yea, I’m good to go. Great question…what do the commercial guys do? 50 beers with 50 regulators seems like over kill.

:cheers:

Most likely the local Old Chicago and such may serve everything at the same pressure. I don’t know, was in a cooler once to get some swingtops but didn’t pay attention.

The Beer Bar in town has a regulator for each of their beers to keep them at the proper level.

To dispense long distances they can use Nitrogen (which doesn’t go into solution) or a beer pump that adds CO2 post keg to push the beer the longer distances needed.

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-bee ... P-093.html

[quote=“StormyBrew”] Great question…what do the commercial guys do? 50 beers with 50 regulators seems like over kill.

:cheers: [/quote]

Even with 50 different beers on tap, I imagine that 6 regulators would be plenty. Just tap into lines set at 2.0, 2.3, 2.6, 2.9, 3.2, 3.5 as needed. That’s pretty fine resolution.

-kenc

[quote=“kenc_zymurgy”]Even with 50 different beers on tap, I imagine that 6 regulators would be plenty. Just tap into lines set at 2.0, 2.3, 2.6, 2.9, 3.2, 3.5 as needed. That’s pretty fine resolution.

-kenc[/quote]

Exactly. That may even be more resolution than you really need.

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