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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through July 12, 2004 * Keg carbonation time < Previous Next >

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Tex Brewer
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Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 12
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am a kegging newbie. How long does it take to carbonate a keg using corn sugar? What would be the minimum time required if the keg is in warmer conditions? I have a CO2 cartridge deal to push the beer out once it is carbonated, but it is insufficient to carbonate it, I believe. I know that a CO2 cylinder and regulator is the best way to go, but this will be done in a remote location and we cannot bring that equipment easily.
 

Mark Tigges
Member
Username: Mtigges

Post Number: 102
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do you mean to say that you have the equipment? Just that you can't bring it along? In that case, force carb it as is your normal procedure (I use 30 psi for about a day at 10C). Then unhook, and you're good to go. I wouldn't stick the cartridge thingamajig on until the flow slows.
 

ScottDeW
Member
Username: Scott

Post Number: 127
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How long does it take to carbonate a keg using corn sugar?

About two weeks at room temperature. As Mark said, you can carbonate much faster if the beer is cold and you crank up the pressure.

I have a CO2 cartridge deal to push the beer out once it is carbonated, but it is insufficient to carbonate it, I believe.

Yeah, but once you get it carbonated, those things are great for dispensing the beer.

(Message edited by scott on June 28, 2004)
---
Scott
http://texanbrew.com
 

Mark Tigges
Member
Username: Mtigges

Post Number: 104
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

BTW: If you're new to kegging, there is one thing you may not be aware of if you do go ahead and carbonate naturally. (I have not primed a keg, so afaic you can consider this anecdotal.) A keg often needs pressure to seal (this I have seen, putting on a dispense pressure, can sometimes leak continuously, giving it 30psi or more causes the gaskets to seal nicely). So if you just prime and close up your keg and let the yeast go you may find that you didn't carbonate the beer, rather the produced CO2 leaked under the gasket.
 

Tex Brewer
New Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 13
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mark, I can't force carb in this situation. I'm brewing beer out in the boonies (camping), warm conditions, and need to be able to drink it as soon as primary is finished, i.e. a few days. We can't wait two weeks for priming carbonation, if it takes that long. Since it is warm (80-90 deg.), I was hoping the priming would take effect after a 1-2 days, since the fermentation is basically complete after about 3-4. I've done this before with force carb equipment, but it's too much to have to carry when camping. The beer isn't exactly well conditioned, but definitely drinkable and a real treat under the circumstances. The others on the trip were astounded that I could make drinkable beer like that.
 

Marlon Lang
Intermediate Member
Username: Marlonlang

Post Number: 293
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex,
Prime with one half cup of cane sugar and a 5 gallon keg will be drinkable in three days.
 

Dave Witt
Intermediate Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 414
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex,

If you have a keg pressure gauge, you can transfer the beer early and let it finish in a sealed keg if you carefully watch and bleed off the pressure. Allow, say, 15 psi or so and the beer should have halfway decent carbonation. Just a thought...
 

Tim Egan
New Member
Username: Oddentity

Post Number: 43
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon, will that work for any beer? Or just a very young/not fully fermented beer?
 

Patrick C.
Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 130
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I second the recomendation to keg early. You can have 'cask ale', or use a pressure relief valve if you want higher carbonation. Check PN 48935K25 Adjustable Brass Vacuum/Pressure Relief Valves on www.mcmaster.com - I have a couple of these, and it would be perfect for what you want to do. When the fermentation slows, just rack into the keg, seal, and attach the valve to the gas in QD. At 20 psi and 80F you'll have less than 2 volumes of carbonation, but I'd be more worried about funky flavors from fermenting at high temperature. Can't you stick it in a stream or something?
 

D. Fraser
Junior Member
Username: Beerslut

Post Number: 46
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm a little surprised that no one has bothered to ask you what you plan to brew. I agree with Patrick on both points as far as carbonation. But than what are you going to brew that will be done in 3 days at 80deg. temps and not taste like toilet water with alcohol.

If your willing to carry in brewing equip. why not just carry in good old finished beer.

Or as Patrick suggested, controling temp. with a natural water source, after all where is your brew water coming from?

(Message edited by beerslut on June 29, 2004)
 

Tex Brewer
New Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon, you said cane sugar, I assume you meant corn sugar.

Fraser, we have done this before with various kinds of brews. Heavier stuff hides off flavors better, so stout, brown ale, ESB, etc. are what we have done. We do long trips and start with a brewpub-filled keg, brew at the first camp, which is ready to rack into the keg after the starter keg is done, and then brew the next one, etc. We use Coopers dry yeast (two packets), which does well at warm temps and produces non-toilet, drinkable results quickly. After fermentation, the keg is indeed placed in a stream for drinking. Brew water comes from the stream, but is micro-filtered.

Dave and Patrick, the early transfer is a good idea. Let it "cask condition." A little extra corn sugar added at that time would also help. 3 days is too long to wait, so I was hoping that at warm temps most of the carbonation would be done in 1-2 days. Is that reasonable?
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3129
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex Brewer, the cane sugar will work as well as corn sugar.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Craig Johnson
Member
Username: Californiacraig

Post Number: 192
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My thinking is to keg as soon as the krausen head recedes. Perhaps you could attach some sort of pressure relief valve to the keg that could be dialed in to a specified pressure. This way you could ferment the last bit of sugar and carbonate at the same time. All this is predicated on this magical adjustable pressure relief valve if it even exists.
 

Patrick C.
Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 132
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Craig, it exists and can be had for less than $10. See the link above to McMaster Carr.
 

Tex Brewer
New Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think we have the answer now. Way to go, y'all. Patrick, thanks for that tip and link. What a simple, inexpensive way to handle this.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 109
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Natural carbonation as the beer finishes fermenting would be my choice as well. That's basically the method used for cask ale. Brew a style that is best served fresh and pitch a highly flocculent yeast strain. Even add finings when you rack to the keg if you're a stickler for clarity, although that seems like overkill if brewing in the boonies. If you don't have a pressure relief valve, purge the excess pressure every 8 hours or so until the carbonation is correct and the pressure stabilizes.
 

don price
Intermediate Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 373
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 11:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would consider blowing 5 or 10 CO2 catridges to force carb it. It will cost a couple extra $ but won't weigh much.

Don
 

Marlon Lang
Intermediate Member
Username: Marlonlang

Post Number: 294
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim Eagen: Any beer. Unless you filter your beer through a VERY fine filter, there will be yeast present to carbonate if there is sugar present.
Tex Brewer: CANE sugar.
 

Tim Egan
Junior Member
Username: Oddentity

Post Number: 44
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Marlon!
 

Tex Brewer
New Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 17
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon, I don't understand why you would use cane sugar. Corn sugar is the fastest fermenting carbonater (is that a word?) out there, is it not? And speed is the objective here.
 

David S.
Junior Member
Username: Dsundberg

Post Number: 63
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have never understood why anyone with a keg setup would want to use sugar to carbonate. That's the best thing about kegging - very little sediment in the bottom!

I realize this doesn't apply to the post, but it still puzzles me.
 

Vance Barnes
Advanced Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 789
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The reasons I've always read for using corn instead of table sugar is to avoid the homebrew twang myth. The twang being now attributed to stale LME instead of table sugar. I've never read anything about the speed of carbonation of one vs. the other. Do you have references for corn sugar being faster?
 

Steve Sampson
New Member
Username: Sampsosm

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

corn sugar is dextrose, cane sugar is sucrose, sucrose is unfermentable untill broken into its two parts, which are dextrose and levulose, essentilally the same thing, they just polarize light in different directions.

Breaking the bond requires the yeast to work, so corn sugar would probably be faster.
 

Hophead
Advanced Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 879
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 11:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You will NOT be able to force carbonate the beer with 5 or 10 little co2 cartridges.

Unless you can lower your ferment temp below 80 degrees, you're not going to like the resultant brew, carbonated or not...