Carbonation is the presence of carbon dioxide in a liquid. The volume of CO2 in the liquid defines the level of carbonation.I guess that you have already ear about these words:forced and natural carbonation.
It is an important step in the brewing process. It has a great impact on the final output of your craft beer.Without the CO2,beer is flat. When you brew your craft beer at home,you can choose to carbonate your beer naturally or by forced carbonation. But we sometimes do not particularly pay attention to this step. Before doing this action, there are certain things you need to know. This article will serve as a guide for you.
Forced and natural carbonation are both different. Natural carbonation means that the carbonation can by done naturally within the beer during the process of fermentation after brewing your beer.You can do carbonation in mini kegs too or casks.
During the fermentation process, yeast absorbs the sugar in the wort .Then carbon dioxide and alcohol are released. This step is the primary fermentation. Brewers sometimes add an additionnal amount of sugar (priming sugar) in it.The addition of priming sugar creates a secondary fermentation. When the beer go through a secondary fermentation, it is called bottle conditioning. After the primary fermentation, the yeast consumes the added sugar. It ferments again. And fabricate the desired amount of CO2. So,the beer become and alcoholic drink. Also, the CO2 makes it bubbly. Inappropriate bottle conditionning can finally gives a flat beer.
Below is the link of a video.This video gives some tips on how to calculate the priming sugar amount online.With informations such as the desired volume of C02, the volume of beer you have. The current temperature of beer and the beer style too. Trust me, you will learn from it as i did!
Forced carbonation of beer
This process unlike what people can think is simple and quick. It’s became very popular in the making homemade beer field. Most breweries and homebrewers choose this method to carbonate their craft beer.It is the process of adding CO2 gas into beer (usually flat beer) sealed in a container. The aim of this action is to have a carbonated beer. As its name suggests ,it is the process of introducing CO2 inside the liquid under a certain pressure. By this definition,you can see they differ in their process. People can control the process of the first method. But not totally the second. The level of carbonation is of a great importance for your brew. It varies from one beer to an another one.
As a home brewer,you can do the forced carbonation both in a mini beer keg .As well in a metal growler. For forcing carbonation into your beer, you will need a full set of keg CO2 kit : a C02 cartridge, a C02 regulator (our mini CO2 regulator or commercial regulator), 1 ball-lock (the grey one), double or single quick connector spear. It exists in 16 g and 8 gr. They have the shape of a cylinder .They are made of aluminium. It is a key ingredient of brewers’ recipe!
How to force carbonation into your mini keg?
At the beginning, you must know which type of beer you are brewing. By this, you will find which kind of temperature and volume of CO2 is suitable for your beer. After getting the right information, you can force carbonation in your craft beer. However, we always recommand to do the carbonation with a cold beer. So you can put your flat beer into the refrigerator for some hours (4-8 hours). With low temperature and high pressure, the C02 gas can dissolves easily into the beverage.Cornelius keg are big kegs who can contains 20 or 30 liters of beer. You can seperate the beer into small amount in several mini kegs. The force carbonation method is mostly used for mini kegs (2,4,5,10 liters), since it can be put easily in the refrigerator.
Here is the process you should follow:
- Turn the CO2 capsule quickly and firmly into the mini CO2 regulator via the regulator base. Be sure that the regulator knob is on OFF position during this step
- Then ,connect the regulator to the spear system of the keg via ball lock (gas in). The ball lock is often in a grey color. It is attached to one quick connector, to let the gas enter inside the mini beer keg or metal growler. The CO2 gas puts in the container takes the place of the air that was there. The regulator helps to control the gas pressure into your craft beer .
- For safety reason, a pressure relieving ring is put on the spear. You have to pull on the pressure relieving ring to adjust the pressure in keg . Your keg may have an excessive pressure if maybe it was shaken during transit. But also it can release automatically CO2 when the pressure within the keg attains 30 PSI. 30 PSI is the maximum pressure.
- On the gage, you can see the suitable pressure (usually 5-25 PSI) .It can change for the type of beer you are making. You can turn the regulator base to 5 PSI.Turn off the regulator for a couple of second .Wait 2 mins and pull on the pressure relieving ring again. After this,turn gradually the regulator knob to your desired pressure before tapping the beer.
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