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School me up on force carbonation

I need to know every step from racking into the keg to drinking from the tap. I.E. serving psi etc…

And yes, I have had a few home brews. I have been doing extract kits for 5+ years, but I just now got a kegging set up.

I’ll start by saying make sure you have long tap lines.

clean and sanitize your kegs and lines

I put about 2 inches of starsan into the bottom of the keg when it’s clean, close it up, roll it all around to soak all surfaces, then push it out through the cleaned tap lines before putting a new keg on the kegerator. This leaves my clean kegs sanitized and pressurized with CO2 until I’m ready to use them again. I clean my tap lines and taps about every 2-3 kegs and just push starsan and more beer through them the rest of the time.

When a beer is ready to go into the keg, I open it up and use the racking cane to transfer the beer into the keg. Eventually I may go pick up another liquid out fitting for the keg to put on the end of the racking tube but for now I just put the tube all the way at the bottom to minimize splashing as much as possible while racking. Once the keg is full, I seal it up with 30 PSI. I typically vent the keg with the pressure release valve 2-3 times just to be safe, then remove the gas line. Depending on the status of the kegs in the kegerator, it may go in immediately or it may sit a week or two at cellar temps that are pretty steady around 65 degrees year round.

As for carbonating, I have tried several different methods. The one that seems to work best for me is to leave the keg at 20 PSI in the kegerator for 3-5 days. I leave my kegerator set right around 40 degrees. I try to keep them spaced so that I never change out both kegs in the same 2 week period. After 3 days, I pull a sample to check on carbonation. For styles I want higher carbonation in, I’ll leave at 20 PSI longer. Once I reach the carbonation level I’m looking for, I set the PSI back down to my 9 PSI serving pressure and leave it. Usually the beers balance out very nicely by two weeks in kegerator so I don’t feel a need to rush the carbing process more. Also, for my first keg I did carbonate through the liquid out post but ever since I have just hooked up the gas to the gas in post and not worried about changing things around and it’s worked out just as well.

:cheers:
Rad

This is pretty much my process now. Only I would add that rolling the keg after 3-4 days at 20 psi has giving me much better results. I take the keg out, roll it, then put back in the keezer for a day to settle (usually not under pressure). Then I vent and set to serving psi. Has been working out very well.

My serving psi tends to be more in the 7-8 range, but that will change when I extend my line legths by a foot or so.

Also, for balancing your system for the perfect pour, this is a very helpful article:

Draft Line System Balancing
http://www.franklinbrew.org/wp/?page_id=98

:cheers:
Rad

This is a good read.

http://www.pjmuth.org/beerstuff/images/Kegging.pdf

Thanks for the info guys. I should add that I am using a simple picnic tap for now. I got the basic set up off of Keg Connection.

Even with a picnic tap, line length makes a difference.

It sounds like I should go at 20 psi in the freezer at 40 degrees for 3-5?? Serve at 9 psi?

Here is the connection kit I have.

I am guessing the length of the serving line is about 3 feet

[quote=“556man”]It sounds like I should go at 20 psi in the freezer at 40 degrees for 3-5?? Serve at 9 psi?

Here is the connection kit I have.

I am guessing the length of the serving line is about 3 feet

[/quote]

If you bought the base kit, it has a 5’ line. I started out with 5’ and ended up with a 10’ beer line on each of my taps, which seems to work pretty well with anything from about 10-12 psi on down.

Thanks Marty :smiley: I will start out with 10 psi for serving pressure and see how that works.

I will also do 20 psi for 3-5 days at 40 degrees in the freezer.

I want to thank you guys for all of the help

You’ll be better off (and it’s easier) to just set it at your serving pressure and forget about it for a couple weeks. This is provided that your serving pressure is adequate for the necessary volumes of CO2 for your beer style.

[quote=“Silentknyght”][quote=“556man”]
I will also do 20 psi for 3-5 days at 40 degrees in the freezer.
[/quote]

You’ll be better off (and it’s easier) to just set it at your serving pressure and forget about it for a couple weeks. This is provided that your serving pressure is adequate for the necessary volumes of CO2 for your beer style.[/quote]

This is true. Ideally you can ballance your system so one preasure gets both your ideal carbonations and flow rate for serving. (and it is not that difficult)

On the other hand, for those of us who do not plan as well as we should, or who do not have adequate cooler space etc. cranking to 20psi for the first few days helps to speed up the process nicely - as long as you vent before setting to the lower preasure.

If you are in a hurry but don’t want to risk over carbonating your beer, get it cold and shake the keg while at serving pressure. Impossible to over carb this way.

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