Force Carbonating with a carbonation stone

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Force Carbonating with a carbonation stone

Postby Driftwood » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:29 am

I have read up and down the net and can't seem to get a straight answer, so I am hoping someone here can help.

I have a Corny keg setup with a .05 micron stone in each keg attached to the end of the dip tube. I don't have a refrigerator to hold them (yet) so I have no choice but to carbonate at about 60 degrees.

Here's my problem. I am just using trial and error and on my first attempt, I have a great pour, nice head, but there is no carbonation to speak of. It seems to be all foam, no carbonation. Everything I read said how easy it is to carbonate with a stone, but I haven't found instructions.

I have put the CO2 up to 30psi for a half hour, which I read should have been sufficient, but based on results, its not.

Can anyone offer a solution?

Thanks...
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Postby Maineac » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:07 am

At 60 degrees the beer will not retain much of the CO2. The colder the liquid the better it will absorb and retain CO2. Since the beer is at 60 degrees, when you pour, you get a lot of foam since the CO2 is rapidly leaving the beer.
You'll need to get the beer down to 40 degrees or so for it to retain carbonation.
The basic set up is 40 degrees, set your regulator at 10-12 pounds, use 5-6 feet of 3/16" beer tube attached to the tap.
I don't use a carbonation stone. I just put the beer in the keg, hook up the gas at 10-12 pounds, cool the beer and wait a week or two, then drink.
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Postby PBrods » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:21 am

I don't use a carbonation stone. I just put the beer in the keg, hook up the gas at 10-12 pounds, cool the beer and wait a week or two, then drink.[/quote]


I'm going to put my beer in a soda keg for the very first time. This may be a stupid question but I need to ask. When you put it in the soda keg, do you put any boiled extract in it or priming sugar or do you put the fermenting beer straight in the keg with NO priming. If none, then the C02 tank that pressurizes the beer out of the tap gives it the carbonation without doing anything?

Thanks in advance
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Postby PBrods » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:24 am

Sorry, I need to add more to my questions...Most seem to put their kegs right in the fridge. I'll have one in the fridge but what about if you make extra kegs that just sit in the basement waiting for your other kegs to be emptied? Should you carbonate them? How?
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Postby BeerBiker » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:33 am

Yes, you can carbonate with just the co2 from the tank, no priming, no fuss, no mess. Most of us do it in this manner.

Kegs can be stored at room temp with no carbonation for long periods of time with two caveats. First, your sanitation must be good. Second, you should purge the oxygen from the headspace by hooking up the co2 and opening the relief valve for a few seconds. This leaves a nice blanket of co2 on top of your beer.

I have always just force carbed at serving temp and pressure for about a week with good results. I had a friend over and was anxious for him to try an Arrogant Bastard clone. It had only been in the fridge for about 24 hours, so was still flatter than a platter of pi$$. I pulled it out, kicked up the pressure to 30 psi, laid the keg over at about a 45 deg angle and shook the bejesus out of it until I heard the co2 slow down. I readjusted my pressure, put the keg back in the fridge and forgot it for about an hour. I purged the excess pressure and it poured real nice.

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Postby limey » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:40 am

I do almost exactly what Mark does. Typically I leave the keg at basement temperature for a week (with a CO2 "purge"), then stick it in the 'fridge with 10psi CO2 for a week - and I get great carbonation that way, much more consistant than priming.

One caveat - I tend to prefer my beers lightly carbonated.
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Postby PBrods » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:48 am

So it has to be hooked up to the tank for an ex amount of time to be carbonated? How long? So I'd put my keg in the basement, where it would sit for ex amount of time. When I want to hook it up to the tank, I can't just drink it? It has to stay hooked up for a long time to carbonate? That doesn't sound like fun. Can you add boiled wort to prime the keg so it's carbonated from the start of hooking it up or is that a no no?
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Postby Monster Mash » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:43 pm

You can naturally carbonate a keg, I would use priming sugar and not wort though.

You still have to purge the air out of the keg with Co2 and pressurize it to get a good seal.

You don't need to kep the keg hooked up to Co2 to carbonate, Just hit it once a day with 20 - 30psi until it's carbonated. I hit them with 30psi and it takes about 4 days to carbonate.
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Re: Force Carbonating with a carbonation stone

Postby Monster Mash » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:49 pm

Driftwood wrote:I have put the CO2 up to 30psi for a half hour, which I read should have been sufficient, but based on results, its not.

Can anyone offer a solution?

Thanks...


I have never heard of anybody carbonating a beer in 30 minutes even with a carbonating stone.
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Postby PBrods » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:58 pm

Why not wort? isn't that better then using priming sugar? My C02 would be in my refridgerator, once I have a soda keg with beer. Once hooked up, it would stay in there with the beer. If I fit a second keg into the fridge to carbonate it, can I take it out, once carbinated, or would going from warm to cool ruin the beer? If it does then I'd need to buy a second tank to carbonate.
If I want to set the keg up for long storage and leave the C02 hooked up until fully carbonated, how long should it stay on and at what pressure before taking it off and putting it in storage. I say storage because I've had some HeffeWeizen that tasted much better after a couple years of storage...In bottles anyway...
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Postby PBrods » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:20 pm

Sorry for all the questions...You guys are GREAT!

Do you buy the tubing and the stone and put one in EACH of your soda kegs? I'm getting 4 soda kegs tonight. Should I order 4 stones and 4-2' sections of tubing?
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Postby PBrods » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:20 pm

Sorry for all the questions...You guys are GREAT!

Do you buy the tubing and the stone and put one in EACH of your soda kegs? I'm getting 4 soda kegs tonight. Should I order 4 stones and 4-2' sections of tubing?
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Postby BrewBum » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:25 pm

I wouldn't get any stone at all and just carbonate without it. It will take a week with no fussing. Yes, you can remove it and store it, as long as it isn't extremely hot it will be fine and ready to drink once it is cold again.

Hefe's typically are best drunk fresh, but if you liked them age, more power to you.
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Postby BeerBiker » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:32 pm

I agree. Don't buy the carbonation stones. Also don't over-think this thing. It's really pretty easy and a week in the fridge carbonating is better than multiple weeks naturally carbonating in a bottle. Most beers can really use that week, anyway. Besides, if you are in such a big hurry, you can always chill the keg, hook it up at 30 PSI and shake the crap out of it. You can be drinking in an hour.

I always recommend you keep your CO2 outside the fridge. It makes it easier for pushing beer around between kegs, pusing sanitizer around between kegs and stuff like that.

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Postby pokerdog » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:44 pm

i have had a pale ale on 10 -12 psi for 23 days now with noe carbonation.and yes there is co2 in the tank and manifolds are on. :wink: wtf
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