Co2 pressure

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by johnandre217, May 21, 2013.

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  1. johnandre217

    johnandre217 Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    need recommendation for Co2 pressure setting for kegerator?
     
  2. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (582) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This is for a single keg unit with tap on top?
     
  3. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (582) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This can depend on several factors including diameter of lines, length of lines, altitude, and beer type but generally you probably want to be between 6 and 10psi.
     
    Grant35 likes this.
  4. Grant35

    Grant35 Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California

    If its a homebrew keg, make sure you release a lot of existing pressure and then hook it up around 4-8 psi. If you have too much pressure in the keg prior you will get crazy amounts of foam
     
  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Aspirant (299) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    you're that guy!
     
  6. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (856) Jan 8, 2004 California

  7. johnandre217

    johnandre217 Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    Thanks!
     
  8. johnandre217

    johnandre217 Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    Actually its a 3 handle tap.
     
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,419) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    What's the temperature of your beer, and how carbonated (in terms of 'volumes of CO2') do you want to keep it?
     
  10. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (470) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    It is also likely that one pressure will not suit the three beers you will be running. Every beer has it's own volumes of CO2 (v/v) and as VikeMan is suggesting the pressure needs to be properly applied based on the measured beer temperature and the v/v. If you don't use the proper v/v for the particular beer you find find over time it will either go flat or get over carbonated. Depending on the kegerator dynamics (circulation, tower cooler, line diameter and line length) you may also experience lots of foaming if not properly balanced. Kegerators aren't plug and play, they take a little work.
     
  11. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (292) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    ???
    Homebrew is no different than commercial in this context. If the desired volumes of CO2 at the desired temp is, say, 11 psi (pretty typical for most American styles), then it should be set to 11 psi. Setting it to 4-8 will soon result in flat beer.
     
  12. Grant35

    Grant35 Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California

    Have you ever carbonated a homebrew keg? You carbonate at 30psi for 5 mins. That said, there is a buildup of pressure beyond the desired setting. Therefore, you have to release the built up pressure, adjust the setting, then connect it. The beer won't be flat because it is carbonated. Thanks for your opinion Midwest.
     
  13. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (456) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    Some of the advice above is likely to produce poor results. I know you want a number like 10 or 12 psi, but you will need to dig a little deeper. Fortunately, it can be solved with a just a little bit of work.

    First, you need the level of carbonation recommended by the brewery (expressed as volumes of CO2). This is the level the keg was originally carb'ed to and you want to maintain this level of carbonation. A reputable distributor should have this, if not a quick Google search will give you the answer. Example: Pabst Blue Ribbon is carbonated at 2.8 volumes, Dogfish is at 2.5-2.6 volumes.

    Now you need to know your beer temp (bite the bullet and get a good thermometer). Once you have volumes of CO2 and temp, you compute your pressure:
    http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
    Remember, a pressure setting without knowing the temp is largely meaningless.

    Of course you want to pour and enjoy your brew, and that is influenced by the pressure you have set and the length of your beer lines. Yes, it is normal to have different length lines for different levels of CO2. Here's a decent tutorial on how to go about this:
    http://www.angelfire.com/ks2/beer/homekeg.html

    IMO a lot of distributors and salesman don't want to make this type info available because they are afraid it will spook the buyer. But if you review and understand the steps above, you should have good pours.
     
    Grant35 likes this.
  14. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,419) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I think mikehartigan responded appropriately to what you originally posted. If you had mentioned fast force carbonation in the first place, and that it's headspace pressure that would have to be released (one time), that would have made sense. Also, 4-8 psi at typical fridge temps is eventually going to result in undercarbonated beer or low-end range carbonation for most styles.
     
  15. billandsuz

    billandsuz Aspirant (299) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    yeah Mike, have you ever carbonated a homebrew keg? huh?

    Grant, what you are saying is that 1, if you apply to much pressure too a keg of beer you need to release the excess pressure, which is quite astute 2, who said homebrew?

    the answer for the OP is 11, unless its domestic, then 8. but if it is domestic and you live on a mountain top, then 6.
    it's the only way to get it just right.
    Cheers
     
  16. johnandre217

    johnandre217 Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    37 degrees and using 1/6 nano's ...have pressure set @ 12psi but getting lots of foam. After reading other posts it looks like I need to keep dialing the Co2 downward till I get desired head.
     
  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,419) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    37F is a little colder than many/most people keep their beer (but it's fine). But all other things being equal, you'll need less CO2 PSI (at 37F) to get the volumes of CO2 you want.

    12 PSI @ 37F will reach equilibrium at about 2.7 volumes of CO2, which is a little high. The majority of beer styles are best in the 2.0 to 2.5 volumes of CO2 range. The first thing to do is decide what volumes you want. Then figure out what PSI you need to get there at 37F. Here's a chart...
    http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
    Then, if you are still getting foamy pours, increase the length of your beer line, which will add resistance and balance your pours. (Or if it's just the first pour or two that are foamy, add an internal fan to keep your beer lines in the tower cold.)

    Edit: I meant to start out by saying that simply cranking CO2 PSI down to get the head you want may result in an undercarbonated or overcarbonated beer. Foam is related to CO2 volume, but there are other factors that affect it too.
     
  18. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (470) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    What brand and model of kegerator are we talking about? If a consumer model there are likely a few tweaks to be made, if a commercial unit you are much closer to the end game.
    What beer are you pouring? It would be best to use the volumes of CO2 it was packaged at rather than guess at what it is supposed to be.
     
  19. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (292) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Yes, I've carbonated a homebrew keg or two. Unless I'm in a big hurry, there's no excess pressure to release. And 4-8psi is still likely to give you flat beer.
     
  20. rundownhouse

    rundownhouse Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2005 Tennessee

    Have you ever driven a car? You hit the gas for 5 mins. That said, there is a buildup of speed beyond the desired setting. Therefore, you have to release the gas pedal, adjust the speed, then connect it. The car won't be slow because you were going fast. Thanks for your opinion.

    Grant, a little tip since you've embarrassed yourself already: a liquid and a gas are a liquid and a gas, no matter whether they're homebrewed or commercially brewed.
     
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