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Naturally carbing a belgian blond

i have a belgian blond ready to go, but most carb volume information i have been able to find seems too low (2.9). i would think a blond in the style of leffe would be at 3.5 to 4 vols.

if i use a calculator, it tells me for 3.5 i would use 7.7oz of corn sugar, which seems like a lot. but i have read you are supposed to use 50% of the amount that you would for bottling. is this correct? that would give me about 3.8 oz of corn sugar.

what makes this extra complicated is i am bringing the keg from sea level to an elevation of 4000 feet where it will be consumed in about 3 weeks. will the elevation affect the carbonation at all?

thanks!
~christine

[quote=“eponai”]i have a belgian blond ready to go, but most carb volume information i have been able to find seems too low (2.9). i would think a blond in the style of leffe would be at 3.5 to 4 vols.

if i use a calculator, it tells me for 3.5 i would use 7.7oz of corn sugar, which seems like a lot. but i have read you are supposed to use 50% of the amount that you would for bottling. is this correct? that would give me about 3.8 oz of corn sugar.

what makes this extra complicated is i am bringing the keg from sea level to an elevation of 4000 feet where it will be consumed in about 3 weeks. will the elevation affect the carbonation at all?

thanks!
~christine[/quote]

Couple of things here.

–3.5-4 volumes is an s-load of carbonation. Like seltzer water. I would think that would make any beer taste really carbonic (too dry) and blocky. I shoot for 2.5-3 on my saisons and they are (usually) spritzy and awesome. Practically, it also may make serving the beer a nightmare of foam.

–I don’t think the sea level thing would affect carbonation to the point where you would notice it, but I may be wrong.

–I have never heard of the cutting the priming sugar in half thing for natural carb/refermentation in a keg, but as above, I may be wrong as I don’t do this a lot, whiiiich leads me to my next point…

–I would just blast the thing with CO2 from a tank and be done with it :mrgreen:

Good luck, sounds like a great beer for late summer :cheers:

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“eponai”]
–I would just blast the thing with CO2 from a tank and be done with it :mrgreen:

Good luck, sounds like a great beer for late summer :cheers: [/quote][/quote]

+1

hi!

perhaps a more reserved level of carbing would be judicious. i’ll shoot for 2.5 naturally,and make up for the rest if needed with CO2.

ther eare a bunch of reasons why i prefer naturally carbonating kegs. one, naturally carbonating is a neat way of tricking myself into letting that beer rest, condition, and improve before i drink it all. :wink: i could be nuts but i swear that there’s an added layer of complexity to a beer that’s gone through a secondary fermentation. the extra trub doesn’t bother me so much because the first pint’s a dumper anyways.

the real bummer is when you have a lid with a tiny leak and you lose that gas.

I’ve naturally carbed several kegs. It’s not for me for various reasons. I typically use between 1/3 and 1/4 cup of sugar boiled in a cup of water to prime the keg.

I usually bottle my Belgians so I can get the correct carbonation levels. Still, I usually get a pitcher of foam when I serve them at club meetings. My friends just remind me to pour a few minutes before we are ready to drink the bottle. This is one reason I don’t keg my Belgian’s. I get a lot of foam.

I know you want to keg this for a party so I would just add a couple of ounces of sugar to the keg. I keg condition all of my regular ales, and I get plenty of carbonation. It is all about head space. There is a lot less head space in a keg compared to putting 5 gallons into bottles. This is why you need less sugar. If you add a lot of sugar, you will just get foam, and it settles much slower than when I pour a bottle into a pitcher.

It also depends on whether your yeast has finished out the beer. If you have some residual sugar when the beer goes into the keg, you can get some extra carbonation. Make sure your beer has finished out below 1.010, and 1.008 or less would be better.

It definitely sucks when I don’t get the lid on correctly or have a leak. I usually add 20 Lbs of top pressure when I keg just to make sure the top seals.

[quote=“eponai”] i’ll shoot for 2.5 naturally,and make up for the rest if needed with CO2.
[/quote]
I think this is a smart way to go. Much easier to use your CO2 to get more carb than if it is over carbed.

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