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how to stop beer becoming too carbobated.

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helluvatractor

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Hi all, my setup at present is 4 corny kegs in a large chest freezer with an stc 1000 set at 10 oc.

I have followed the carbonation charts to good effect so far. Generally for my ales setting to 15 psi for 5 days, then disconnecting the gas , and then leaving at this pressure.
If I want to sample a couple pints, I pour them without attatching the gas, if friends are round and more than a couple will be sunk, I will attatch the gas up to 10 psi or so to aid pouring.
Every so often, I attatch the co2 to each keg and check that the regulator is reading around 10 psi. If its more, I release, if less, add a bit more to around 10 psi.

However, I have noticed some beer, especially those with less beer left in the keg, is coming out over carbed.

So I am a bit confused how to keep a beer at a constant carbonation level. I understand that you have to keep a certain pressure to keep the seals tight, but what stops this pressure carbonating the beer further.

I have just legged a coopers stout, looked up on the carbonation chart, that I should attatch gas at 10psi for five days. What should I do then, to keep it at this ?
 

Fil

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imho kegging charts are a great guide, BUT are generated by US brewers who do like a lot more fizz in their smaller 16oz pints than the average brit does in his/her real 20oz pint ;).


Also consider that the gauges used to indicate the pressure we use may not be spot on accurate.. especially if like on my regs your dealing with the first few gradient marks on the dial alone.

So just knock back the serving pressure till you find your sweet spot, again the kegging chart can guide you ;)


while some cornys can take a significant pressure to make the seal, all mine will once sealed maintain a seal as long as a nominal pressure is maintained ( as low as i can set 2-4psi) , soft red/orange silicone lid rings also help with stubborn kegs.

hope thats useful

edit afaik the pressure/temp you get from a kegging chart is a set n leave, the conditioning should take place in the first week, after which it should be at equilibrium and the pressure/temp should be ideal to maintain the condition throughout the kegs life.
 
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helluvatractor

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Thanks. That's probably my problem, leaving them sitting at too high a pressure for fear of the seals not sitting tight. Will lower the pressure and see how I get on.
 

reddibaggie

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I have the opposite problem with my ale. I have two cornies set up at the mo with two more conditioning. I have a wherry in one and mild ale in the other. It's set at 10 psi at 13.8 c and I'm getting no head unless I drop the glass lower during pouring. I think mine is to do with to much serving line pipe, (currently 5 foot) and the mild ale has very thin serving line pipe 3/16 I think and 3/8 for the wherry due to the different taps I have.
I think a lot of messing about and a great deal of head scratching is in order. Unless there is someone out there with a perfect pour who can help.
Thanks, Andrew.
 

Fil

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there is always the pocket beer engine, a simple clean 10cc syringe pull up a full syringe full of beer n squirt it back in under the beerline - instant head.. ;)

iirc the 3/16" beerline will restrict pressure at a rate between 1 and 2psi per foot length, with a target pressure drop or gradient at the tap at a low 1-2psi.
but i run about a 5ft length and serve 15-20psi hi conditioned ginger beers etc thru it.

So i think you could afford to chop a foot length out of your 5 ft feed, or get a new short length for lower conditioned beers, saving the 5ft length for the higher conditioned beers?
 

helluvatractor

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when i first set up i had about 4 foot of 3/8 line and i was getting too much head, but that was before i really knew what i was doing and the beer was too carbonated, so maybe with your less carbonated mild a 3/8 line may be ok???

now i have about 2 x ten foot lines but they are 5/16 . probably overkill but generally it does seem to pour an ok pint with a decent head.

not sure how it will cope with the stout i got conditioning though
 

Fore

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I think of carbonation as largely unrelated to the head I get. I've had overcarbonated with no head, and undercarbonated with too much head. So I break it down to i) beer carbonation level, & ii) serving.

The carbonation in the beer is dependant on the pressure sitting on the beer in the keg, and the temp of the beer. The cooler the beer, the easier it will absorb the CO2 and become carbonated. In summer, unchilled, I need a higher pressure to get some carbonation in my beer.

Then the serving line needs to be balanced to get what should already be perfectly carbonated beer, into your glass, with a perfect head. This of course depends on the pressure you are using to carbonate, depending on the storage temperature. For me this would mean having a longer serving line in summer, and a shorter one in winter. In practice I can't be bothered to do this, so I stick with a longer (summer) line. It means I don't get much head in winter, but easy to create by lowering the glass while pouring.

I haven't used any charts, I just used trial and error.
 

bez

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Hi. Just put a stout under 20psi in my fridge. Plan to leave for five days. Then pop in the garage for a few weeks months. Is this too gassed. Cheers.
 

MartinF

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Hi. Just put a stout under 20psi in my fridge. Plan to leave for five days. Then pop in the garage for a few weeks months. Is this too gassed. Cheers.
Not being flippant, but the next question would be "Too gassed for what style of beer and for whom?"

Some people like highly carbonated beers. Some don't. Some beer styles "require" higher levels of carbonation (Traditional German wheat beers; lagers; etc) than others (real ales).

Really, the only way for you is to try it. If it comes out too gassy for you, then trying shaking the keg a little & releasing some pressure from the relief valve.. Do this a little at a time until it feels right for you.

For me, I would never add CO2 to a stout: I would use a little priming sugar in the keg and leave it at a low level of carbonation. But we all like something different - it makes the world go round!
 

bez

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Not being flippant, but the next question would be "Too gassed for what style of beer and for whom?"

Some people like highly carbonated beers. Some don't. Some beer styles "require" higher levels of carbonation (Traditional German wheat beers; lagers; etc) than others (real ales).

Really, the only way for you is to try it. If it comes out too gassy for you, then trying shaking the keg a little & releasing some pressure from the relief valve.. Do this a little at a time until it feels right for you.

For me, I would never add CO2 to a stout: I would use a little priming sugar in the keg and leave it at a low level of carbonation. But we all like something different - it makes the world go round!
I want to keep in the keg for a while. So by not adding priming sugar I imagine it wouldn’t sit on the residue produced from secondary fermentation. I’m planing to leave till winter.
 

MartinF

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I want to keep in the keg for a while. So by not adding priming sugar I imagine it wouldn’t sit on the residue produced from secondary fermentation. I’m planing to leave till winter.
Some of the best bottled beers in the world have been bottle conditioned. They can sit on the yeast for a very long time and improve with age.
 
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