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Charging my keg with C02. What psi setting to use?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by drlunker, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. drlunker

    drlunker Initiate (132) Jul 1, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My beer is finished fermenting and I just added to my corny keg. It's an IPA and I am wondering about what psi setting should I put on it if I want to tap Friday evening (in 5 days)? Also, the beer and CO2 are in the fridge.

  2. searsclone

    searsclone Disciple (344) Sep 7, 2006 Arizona

    Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but, from MicroMatic: Most breweries in the U.S. recommend a CO2 pressure between 12-14 lbs for Ale and Lager types of draft beers. This CO2 pressure will maintain the level of carbonation specified by the brewery.

    MMAJYK Defender (650) Jun 26, 2007 Georgia
    Industry Beer Trader

    If you are at room temp, go 30 psi. If you are at fridge temps, I like 30 psi for 24 hours, 10-12 for the rest of the time.
    drlunker likes this.
  4. humalupa

    humalupa Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2010 Michigan

    Agree with above. I'll usually set to 35 psi for a day, then lower to serving pressure. 12 psi should be good for an IPA, giving you 2 - 2.5 volumes CO2 depending on temperature. There are handy charts that will tell you how many volumes of CO2 you'll have at equilibrium, with T and PSI being the variables. http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

    Keep in mind, the higher you set the PSI, the more beer line you'll want to have between the keg and the tap to get a proper pour. Too little beer line / too high PSI = foam.
  5. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (297) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Serving pressure (10-12 psi) for 10 days to two weeks would be ideal. If you want it to be ready in 5 days, you probably want to do, maybe, 30 psi for a day or two. It may not be dead on, but if you finesse it a bit when you pour it, it'll be good enough.
  6. USCMcG

    USCMcG Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2009 Arizona

    Yes, line length is crucial for foaming. I'm blanking on the ratio now, but you want something like 1ft of line length per 10 degrees of temp. IE, 30 degrees = 3ft line length......I think....ya, that sounds right. Anyway, I usually set mine a little lower, between 8-10 at around 30-32 degrees and a 3ft line length and everything is great.

    Good luck!
  7. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (297) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    hmmmm. I'd be interested in seeing where you read that. Line length is selected for serving pressure, not temperature. 3/16" ID line provides about 2 psi of resistance per foot (not precise, but close enough for our purpose). Elbows add a bit more, the rise adds some, etc. You need at least as much total resistance as you have serving pressure to keep the CO2 from breaking out of solution (that's what causes foam). If you're serving at 12psi, for example (reasonably typical), you'll need about 5' of line.
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,344) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Proper line length is not directly related to temp. It's related to serving pressure. I suppose you could say it has an indirect relationship with temp... At higher temps, it takes higher PSIs to maintain whatever volume of CO2 you're shooting for. So these higher pressures would require longer lines to balance for serving.
  9. jokelahoma

    jokelahoma Zealot (531) May 9, 2004 Missouri

    Yes, as VikeMan said, line length related to length and pressure. Temperature comes into play as to how much carbonation the beer will hold (e.g. 12 psi at 40 degrees is 2.47 volumes, while 12 psi at 48 degrees is only 2.14 volumes). Rule of thumb for standard 3/16"ID homebrew setups is 2 lbs pressure to 1 foot hose length. E.g. 12 psi mean a 6 foot beer line will have you pretty well balanced. Beyond a certain length of beer line, it becomes impractical to balance it with 3/16"ID line, and a switch to 1/4" is probably better, but damned if I can remember the cutoff point for that.
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