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New to Kegging... Need a few opinions

New to kegging, and somewhat new to brewing. I am in the process of finishing a stout and am looking forward to my first go at kegging it. As near as I can tell, I’m looking at about 2 volumes of CO2… at 38 degrees= 6lbs pressure. Should I just pressurize the keg to 6 lbs and wait? Or should I try to force carbonate? I’m a little confused at what pressure I would start with if I forced. I have seen everything from 6-30 lbs… Can anyone give me an idea of how to go about this? I definitely don’t want it over carbonated, so I’d like to serve at 6 lbs… Thanks in advance for any help!

You are already force carbonating just by using CO2. There’s two methods, low and slow, and high and fast.

High and fast is where you se your regulator to 30psi for 48 hours then down to 20 fir a day, then to your serving pressure. This can easily result in over carbed beer.

Low and slow is where you set your psi for the desired volume and let it sit for about 2 weeks. No chance of over carbing, but takes awhile.

I use low and slow for 3 reasons:

  1. the extended carbonating time give the beer time to age.
  2. it takes about 2 weeks for the CO2 to hydrate and produce the head properties you want.
  3. no risk of over carbing
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Thank you for the information! I would rather go low and slow… So if I have it right, just pressurize to 6lbs and let it sit, without agitating, for 2 weeks?

Yep, set the psi for volumes at a given temp. I will warn you I find 2 volumes pretty low. YMMV.

I’m just thinking Guinness… Not much carbonation going on there… Would you recommend another volume?

Typically American beers are 2.5-2.7 volumes. I would shoot for 2.3 for moderate CO2.

Thank you!

What about the Guinness syringe trick? Carb low and hit it with a stream from a syringe? I only bottle, but would it work with kegging at 2 vols?

That certainly could work and I’m sure it would even at 2 volumes. I can tell I wouldn’t fit in too well over the pond. Flat and warm beer. YUCK! :sweat_smile:

What is this syringe trick you speek of? LOL[quote=“loopie_beer, post:6, topic:23770, full:true”]
Typically American beers are 2.5-2.7 volumes. I would shoot for 2.3 for moderate CO2.
[/quote]

I will take that advice, Thank you :smiley:

Don’t just pressurized the tank to 6 psi and disconnect the tank though. Have to leave the gas on it the entire time.

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Yes… Understood. Thank you for pointing that out though!

Guinness used to be sold with a medicine syringe when you bought it in the store. The idea is you would pour the bottle in the glass, suck up some of the beer into the syringe, and then shoot it back into the glass with the tip of the syringe just above the level of beer in the glass. The jet of beer would kick out a bunch of CO2 and give it a nice dense layer of foam, kind of like a nitro pour. It actually works pretty well, and I use that trick on my bottled stouts regularly. You have to carb low, though, or it’ll make a mess.

Don’t worry about those phillistines who may tell you otherwise about a properly served pint at the right temp and carb level. Just kidding @loopie_beer, you know I care! :wink:

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I have never heard of that! Just watched a quick video on YouTube… I will definitely remember that one!

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The syringe was probably provided for when you were serving other persons the glass of beer. I had the same results with a drinking straw. Just give a little puff at the bottom of the glass and instant head. Little puff is key.

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Didn’t know about the drinking straw, thanks for the tip! looks around for a drinking straw

Oh boy, now I know I have those skinny little swizzle straws as my wife likes that with her drinks. She’s kinda so-fiss-ta-kated, know what I mean? I need to try this… Sneezles61

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Last time I put a straw in my beer, everybody laughed at me. :slight_smile:

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Maybe I shouldn’t say, but a good friend quite a few years ago had a broken jaw, wanted beer, got a straw and had to warm it up a bit to help ease the cold pain on his teeth! :scream: Sneezles61

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Ideally you would serve the stout on nitrogen mix gas that is 75/25 nitrogen/CO2. Save that for down the road though.

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