Friday, September 4, 2009

If a little is good, a lot is too much

I really need to get that Workflow system set up so I don't make stupid errors of omission in the process.

Overcarbed: 090801 Geordie Boy Ale

Lesson learned: either force-carb it once or let it go slow and steady. Don't do both.

After I let the keg chill overnight I tried the 30 PSI force-carb trick that has worked for me before. (Set the pressure to 30 PSI, shake the keg for 2 minutes, shut off the gas, vent, apply serving pressure, test. Repeat as required.) After the first 2 minute iteration I thought I had gotten the right amount of CO2 into solution, but a couple of pints later it became obvious that it needed more - the beer had a watery feel that I have come to recognize as insufficient carbonation.

It was too late in the evening for me to deal with it, so I left it on 10 PSI overnight. The next evening, without testing it, I ran the CO2 pressure back up to 30 PSI and did another two minute shake. That was a mistake. It was virtually impossible to draw a pint off that keg that wasn't 95% foam.

The only cure is to cut off the gas and vent it periodically to induce the extra CO2 to come out of solution. It's working, albeit slowly. The most recent pints have only been about 50% foam.

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