Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Sign in to follow this  
Screwy Brewer

Kegging 101 - Getting Foam Free Pours Everytime

Recommended Posts

I connected my corny keg's beer out lock to an inexpensive picnic tap using a 5 foot length of 3/16" id vinyl tubing that I bought from a local Ace Hardware store. When I pulled the trigger on the picnic tap I watched as my Screwer In The Rye Lager began filling the vinyl tubing on it's way to my favorite beer glass. What a difference this pour had going with it compared to the last pours I had tried, this time there was absolutely no foam in the vinyl line as the beer filled my glass.

I used the same beer line picnic tap gear two weeks ago when I brought my corny keg to a party so we could enjoy some nice beer on tap instead of having to lug around all those cases of bottles. I got to show off my newest beer toys too, a Co2 serving dispenser that uses 16 gram cartridges and an insulating corny keg sleeve complete with freezer gel packs. As cool as my new mobile beer delivery system was the pours were anything but spectacular. Although we did have a lot of fun trying to devise ways to pour our beers without all that foam.

What I did differently this time around was change the force carbonation method to set and forget and I couldn't be happier with the results. The previous time I cranked the gauge to 30 psi and gassed the 36F beer in the corny keg for a little over 24 hours, which had over carbonated my beer to the point it was impossible to get a good pour through my picnic tap. The sweet spot for my setup is 10-12psi with the beer at 36F for about 5-7 days, this resulted in both perfect pours and carbonation.

There are also some less obvious but just as important benefits to using set and forget like no more venting Co2 from the corny keg to serve your beer at a lower psi to prevent foaming, and releasing all that great beer aroma in the process. The system is also balanced so that the carbonating pressure is the same as the serving pressure, each foot of 3/16" id vinyl tubing adds 2 psi of restriction, using a 5 foot length adds 10 psi to balance things out just right.

Preparing for kegging begins about 5 days ahead of time, that's when I put my fermentor in the refrigerator for a nice long cold crash. During this time the cold temperature helps to clear the beer, as the yeast and other particles drop out of solution. After 5 days in the refrigerator I transfer the cold beer into the corny kegs and put them back into the refrigerator with the Co2 gauge set to 10-12 psi for up to 7 days. Today I'll be enjoying some fresh Screwer In The Rye Lager on tap as I brew up another batch of my Bottoms Up Brown Ale, knowing that I've finally mastered the art of the pour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never seem to have luck with quick carbonation either. Setting it to the correct pressure and letting it take its time always works better.

:cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

me, I just do the initial at 30psi, let sit for a week, then vent all the gas, apply 10 psi and there I am. but that's me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What CO2 volumes do you end up with, compared to natural carbonation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"alb" post=294327 said:

What CO2 volumes do you end up with, compared to natural carbonation?

alb I have no quick way to tell but the beer is well carbonated and it must be in the 2.3-2.5 volumes range. I don't see myself naturally carbonating my kegs much anymore now that I've settled on set and forget. By eliminating natural carbonation, combined with cold crashing before kegging, force carbonating reduces the chance of getting trub in your glass to zero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about conditioning? Has it already done that in the secondary before you keg it, or do you just wait to drink it after you keg?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"alb" post=294327 said:

What CO2 volumes do you end up with, compared to natural carbonation?

12psi at 36 degrees puts you at 2.6 volumes.

Here's the "go-to" chart for temp, psi and CO2 volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree the set and forget is the best. After the second "quick carb" decide that it was not for me. Screwy why did you decide to stop doing the natural carb in the keg? I am thinking about doing the natural carb simply because I can only fit 2 cornys in the frig & I have 6 5 gal kegs. I was hoping to have some carbing while drinking out of the 2 in the frig.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my IPA's, I go 30 psi for 24 hours, 20 psi for 24 hours and 10 psi for 48 days and it's just about perfect. Maybe another day is needed but this works for my kegerator. Everyone has to play around with their setup to see what works best for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"haerbob3" post=294396 said:

Agree the set and forget is the best. After the second "quick carb" decide that it was not for me. Screwy why did you decide to stop doing the natural carb in the keg? I am thinking about doing the natural carb simply because I can only fit 2 cornys in the frig & I have 6 5 gal kegs. I was hoping to have some carbing while drinking out of the 2 in the frig.

Thanks

haerbob3, Since I bought my Co2 serving dispenser and a dozen 16 gram cartridges I plan on using it a lot and that means dialing in the precise Co2 volumes which I think were too high when naturally carbonating my kegs.

Last night we had company over, family that drove 50 miles to our house so they could buy gas and food, and I removed the picnic tap and connected it to my Perl tap mounted in the refrigerated wall. The interesting thing I found was that the Perl tap poured the beer really fast at 10 psi but there was no wild foaming and the beer was perfectly carbonated too.

What's interesting is the Perl tap is connected to my corny keg using 5 feet of 5/16" id vinyl tubing, which explains the fast pour rate, and my picnic tap uses 5 feet of 3/16" id vinyl tubing. I'm convinced now that the corny kegs cannot be treated as 'giant sized beer bottles' when using a priming rate calculator unless you lower your required Co2 volumes some.

I think the best way to accurately determine just how much priming sugar will give your corny keg 10-12 psi is to hookup a gauge to one of the posts and watch the pressure build. Then you can over time adjust the amount of primer you use the next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as keg priming goes - my understanding is that you use 1/2 the priming sugar vs. priming for bottling for the same CO2 volumes. Personally, I just use set and forget method at 12 psi. Using picnic taps with 5' of 3/16" tubing I get great pours with just enough head for my liking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Screwy Brewer" post=294497 said:

I'm convinced now that the corny kegs cannot be treated as 'giant sized beer bottles' when using a priming rate calculator unless you lower your required Co2 volumes some.

I do both priming in the keg and the set and forget chart posted by Kealia. It justs depends on the beer and my mood. I use your priming chart Vince, but only use 75% of the amount of sugar called for. I get great results both ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting feedback, we may be getting somewhere here now, looks like the three of us have formed a consensus saying it definitely takes less primer to carbonate a corny keg than what's calculated for bottling.


Both Andre and Jeffrey seem to differ by about 25% as far as the amount to reduce the priming sugar calculations for corny kegs than bottles. If I were to go with russki's 50% less then you could always force carb the keg later if you find the carbonation too low for your liking, or use Inkleg's 25% less sugar when priming a corny keg than calculated for a bottle and see how it comes out.

Either way I'm finding out that adjusting any method of carbonating your beer is subjective to a your own individual, or your friends, own preferences. My Screwer In The Rye Lager was force carbonated at 12 psi and pours perfectly, although a little slowly, through my 3/16" id picnic tap with absolutely no foam in the beer line. I found that by opening the tap trigger only the tiniest amount you can add a lot of foam to your beer when topping off a glass for a great presentation, just like my expensive Perl Creamer tap..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Screwy Brewer" post=294581 said:

Interesting feedback, we may be getting somewhere here now, looks like the three of us have formed a consensus saying it definitely takes less primer to carbonate a corny keg than what's calculated for bottling.


Both Andre and Jeffrey seem to differ by about 25% as far as the amount to reduce the priming sugar calculations for corny kegs than bottles. If I were to go with russki's 50% less then you could always force carb the keg later if you find the carbonation too low for your liking, or use Inkleg's 25% less sugar when priming a corny keg than calculated for a bottle and see how it comes out.

Either way I'm finding out that adjusting any method of carbonating your beer is subjective to a your own individual, or your friends, own preferences. My Screwer In The Rye Lager was force carbonated at 12 psi and pours perfectly, although a little slowly, through my 3/16" id picnic tap with absolutely no foam in the beer line. I found that by opening the tap trigger only the tiniest amount you can add a lot of foam to your beer when topping off a glass for a great presentation, just like my expensive Perl Creamer tap..

Very good info here. So far I've been following the charts for priming my corny kegs. Then after it sits around for 3-4 weeks I hook it up in my keezer, let it chill for about a week, and drink it. With a huge variability in the foam from keg to keg. So you're saying I can just put the beer in the keg, follow my usual procedure except no priming sugar, and it'll turn out the same or better? Do I still need to condition it those 3-4 weeks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conditioning of beer is a very challenging subject when taken in it's broadest meaning, let me explain. I brew all grain all the time and with wheat beers I'm usually drinking them within 4 weeks of pitching the yeast. With most of by Ales four weeks is about right, and Lagers can take up to 8 weeks.

But I pitch large starters of very healthy yeast, use pure oxygen to oxygenate my wort just prior to pitching the yeast. My starters and wort have additional nutrients and yeast supplements added to them near the end of the boil and I'm currently using fourth generation ECY-12 yeast which is now my house strain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+100 to Screwy with the large starters. I also brew AG exclusively. I am now pitching 3500 to 4000 Ml for a ten gallon batch. My primary fermentation for ales is generally done within 48 hrs 72 hrs for lagers, yes I am at my FG. Generally I do a 3 to 6 week secondary, just to let things settle out. It is all subjective though. Today I open my first bottle of my new batch of a Duses style clone, it is 3 yrs old today, and totally mind blowing. :woohoo: :woohoo:

My goal with priming in the keg is just to get a bit of the carb going as the beer sits and waits for it's turn to be tapped.

:party: :party: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I've learned alb, if your priming your cornys at 100% then it will be over carbed. That can be corrected just by venting the co2 from the keg.
When you hook it up to the gas it won't matter if it was primed 50 or 75% because only X amount of co2 will disolve into the liquid at Y pressure at Z temperture. Say you primed 50% while it's conditioning and that brings it to 1.76 volumes of co2. You drop it in your keezer(I let mine sit 24 hours before turning on the gas) set it to 12 PSI and according to the chart it will settle to 2.52 voulmes at 39*. Hope I'm making sense.
The only thing different priming in the keg will do that not priming is there will be some co2 already in the beer.

Like Vince said, it depends on the beer. I have a light Centennial Blonde that I don't prime. Ferment 2 weeks, condition 1 and put on the gas. ready to drink by week 4. I wanted my last IPA to condition for 2 weeks so I added 75% of the priming sugar. Had to have a glass even before it got cold and hooking to the glass and this was the pour.

[attachment=9290]P10106052.JPG[/attachment]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wortless 2 cents.

Priming the Keg. Well, that adds a wee bit more sugar to get the Co2 level up...and maybe cause the yeast to go active again, along with a new batch of Trub. I've been told that adds to the "Age Flavor".
I don't see it that way.
Me, I like to ferment the beer, place it in a secondary (mostly to make room in my fermenter) for a week (2 weeks in the fermenter~one week in the secondary). The yeast does what the yeast does.
I then put the trub free beer in the Keg.
I pressurize the keg to 30 psi, rock the keg til it stops taking gas..or 10 min considering I have the attention span of a knats fart.
I let the keg sit for a week (or whenever I decide to "tap that" after the week is over).
I vent off the keg, pull the Tap to pull out any possible trub after about 4 min.
I then connect my Co2 line, (about 8 psi), pull a glass full, scratch what itches, and enjoy me beer.
I'm that simple minded. it works, I like it.
I'm shutting up now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"yankeedag" post=304926 said:

My wortless 2 cents.

Priming the Keg. Well, that adds a wee bit more sugar to get the Co2 level up...and maybe cause the yeast to go active again, along with a new batch of Trub. I've been told that adds to the "Age Flavor".
I don't see it that way.
Me, I like to ferment the beer, place it in a secondary (mostly to make room in my fermenter) for a week (2 weeks in the fermenter~one week in the secondary). The yeast does what the yeast does.
I then put the trub free beer in the Keg.
I pressurize the keg to 30 psi, rock the keg til it stops taking gas..or 10 min considering I have the attention span of a knats fart.
I let the keg sit for a week (or whenever I decide to "tap that" after the week is over).
I vent off the keg, pull the Tap to pull out any possible trub after about 4 min.
I then connect my Co2 line, (about 8 psi), pull a glass full, scratch what itches, and enjoy me beer.
I'm that simple minded. it works, I like it.
I'm shutting up now.

Screwy / Alb / et. al.....

Yankeedag - I'm in the same boat. I don't condition in the corny. I rack to the corny. Set the CO2 to 15-20 PSI. Shake the crap out of the corny. Let it sit for a few hours. Shake and roll it again. This is done, of course to increase the surface contact of the CO2 with the beer. ;)

After two days of shaking and rolling (2x daily), I drop the PSI to 12, and continue my regimented shake n roll. I then adjust down to 10 PSI on day 5, and that's where it stays.

Another consideration is the length of the hose. A short hose doesn't require as high of a PSI as a five foot hose does.

Lastly, it makes a difference whether the CO2 is stored in the fridge, or outside.... :freeze:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Screwy Brewer" post=294317 said:

I connected my corny keg's beer out lock to an inexpensive picnic tap using a 5 foot length of 3/16" id vinyl tubing that I bought from a local Ace Hardware store. When I pulled the trigger on the picnic tap I watched as my Screwer In The Rye Lager began filling the vinyl tubing on it's way to my favorite beer glass. What a difference this pour had going with it compared to the last pours I had tried, this time there was absolutely no foam in the vinyl line as the beer filled my glass.

I used the same beer line picnic tap gear two weeks ago when I brought my corny keg to a party so we could enjoy some nice beer on tap instead of having to lug around all those cases of bottles. I got to show off my newest beer toys too, a Co2 serving dispenser that uses 16 gram cartridges and an insulating corny keg sleeve complete with freezer gel packs. As cool as my new mobile beer delivery system was the pours were anything but spectacular. Although we did have a lot of fun trying to devise ways to pour our beers without all that foam.

What I did differently this time around was change the force carbonation method to set and forget and I couldn't be happier with the results. The previous time I cranked the gauge to 30 psi and gassed the 36F beer in the corny keg for a little over 24 hours, which had over carbonated my beer to the point it was impossible to get a good pour through my picnic tap. The sweet spot for my setup is 10-12psi with the beer at 36F for about 5-7 days, this resulted in both perfect pours and carbonation.

There are also some less obvious but just as important benefits to using set and forget like no more venting Co2 from the corny keg to serve your beer at a lower psi to prevent foaming, and releasing all that great beer aroma in the process. The system is also balanced so that the carbonating pressure is the same as the serving pressure, each foot of 3/16" id vinyl tubing adds 2 psi of restriction, using a 5 foot length adds 10 psi to balance things out just right.

Preparing for kegging begins about 5 days ahead of time, that's when I put my fermentor in the refrigerator for a nice long cold crash. During this time the cold temperature helps to clear the beer, as the yeast and other particles drop out of solution. After 5 days in the refrigerator I transfer the cold beer into the corny kegs and put them back into the refrigerator with the Co2 gauge set to 10-12 psi for up to 7 days. Today I'll be enjoying some fresh Screwer In The Rye Lager on tap as I brew up another batch of my Bottoms Up Brown Ale, knowing that I've finally mastered the art of the pour.

Glad to see you've finally seen the light on force carbing! :chug:

I don't like my beer ice cold, so my kegerator is set to 45-46F, usually 15PSI gets me to the ~2.4-2.5 vols CO2 that I'm looking for. If I'm doing an English style beer or something that calls for lower carbonation, I'll just usually take it off the gas sooner and let the natural pressure inside the keg serve the beer with a quick shot of gas every now and then when it starts trickling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...