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Carbonating Kegs

B

BilboBeer

I am a new brewer and kegging rather than bottling. The beer is turning out very good and I am having a wonderful time with my new hobby. However, I am not clear on carbonating properly.
After a couple kit brews, I read Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. An enlightening read for a new brewer not quite ready to tackle all grain brewing yet. I have enjoyed their recipes. They suggest different carbonation levels for different styles of beer. I understand their terminology but I don't know how to know when the level has been reached. Other reads have suggested that one might apply higher pressure until you are in the ball park and then reduce.

Here's the question.
How does one know if they are even in the ball park? Is it really just a matter of personal preference?

Thanks,
Brian
 

Wastegate

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I go by how the beer reacts when poured into a glass. Not ready = The beer has a good head to begin with but no bubbles in the beer and goes flat fairly quickly. Ready = The beer has a good head, and keeps carbonation throughout the entire time I'm drinking it. Pull the handle and have a home brew!

Glad to have you with us!

Preston
 
B

BilboBeer

I agree that good is good. What I would like to do is learn and understand the different beer styles to make and present them true to form. After I posted the first request I notice in the BeerSmith program Beer Styles there are specific carbonation volumes for different styles as well. How the heck do you know what that volume really is?

Brian
 

BeerSmith

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Brian,
  I recommend starting at 10-12psi if you are keeping your kegs in the fridge.  It will take about a week to fully carbonate.  After that you can judge by pouring the beer - if it foams too much turn it down a bit.

Cheers,
Brad
 

Wastegate

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BilboBeer said:
How the heck do you know what that volume really is?
CO2 Volumes as a Function of Temperature and Pressure. Here is a good calculator that also takes a multitude of things into account to come up with CO2 volumes http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=35369

Hope this helps

Preston
 

Charlie Mops

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I don't think theres a question that cant be answered on this wonderful site!
 

Wastegate

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I don't know why I did not check, Beersmith has everything you need under the carbonation portion of the recipe.
First choose the style of beer. Then go to the carbonation select the carb volumes desired, set the beer temp and it will tell you what pressure to set your CO2.

I should have known Brad had this covered, just did not dawn on me.

Cheers

Preston
 
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