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Carbonation questions, nano Brewer in planning

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  • Carbonation questions, nano Brewer in planning

    I am a home Brewer who has been brewing 10 gal batches for bout 4 yrs. my brew partner and I are planning to open a nano brewery where we will brew at home in a shop set for our brewery and we plan on selling our beer in a tasting room.

    My question is about carbonation. We are looking to use a 2 or 2.5 brewery and fermenters. Right now we are thinking we want to for the time being continue kegging our beer from the fermenters. I am wondering what the best way to carb the beer with this set up. With our 10 gal batches we fill our cpl kegs and carb the the kegs at 25-30 lbs of pressure for a day or two then release the pressure and run the beer at 7-9 lbs of pressure.

    How do we go about doing this with 2-2.5 BBl's, can we carb from fermenters? If so how do we go about it? Please help.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Depends on your fermenters capability to hold pressure and the available ports you have.

    The most efficient way to infuse CO2 is with a carbonation stone. You will need a suitable, low port to install the stone but since it's a fermenter, the stone is likely to get coated with yeast and potentially cold-break residue making it less effective and hard to clean. Alternatively you will need to move the beer out of the fermenter, slowly over the stone and back into the fermenter. You are going to need a carbonating manifold for this.

    If you have the space, get a conditioning tank. When the beer is finished in fermentation and cold crashed you harvest yeast and move the beer to conditioning (which has a carbonation stone installed and can hold pressure). Allows you to get the fermenter back in use and is better suited to the task of carbonating and final settling before packaging or serving. If you are so inclined, the beer can be filtered on its way to the conditioning tank.


    • #3
      I'll just add to what mswebb said, as I've lived this very situation in the last 2 years. The only difference between you and me is you're selling, and I'm too chicken-sh!t to take the plunge....

      I started off thinking I was going to use carbing sugar, then did some reading and decided that was for the birds. Then I got setup to carbonate in cornies, because Sanke's confused and intimidated me. I had 6 corny lids with carb stones in them to force carbonate. That worked well, but having to pop the lid off to swap to a regular lid was dumb. Then I decided I'd be clever and fabricate myself a setup to carbonate in 1/2bbl sankes with 2" tri-clamps, etc......that never actually came to fruition because within about 2 weeks or more reading I bought a brite tank....!!!

      If your fermentors are not pressure capable (most are 4psi, unless they specifically state 15psi), and if you want to force carbonate, you'll need either a brite tank or fermentors that are pressure capable (a "unitank"). I like the idea of unitanks, as they seem more versatile to me if you need to transfer from your primary ferm to allow settling or aging.

      My most recent thought/thing that I want to try is spunding - or natural carbonation - in a pressure capable conical fermentor. I have tried it in my 4psi conicals, and it does have a very nice fine carbonation to it, but 4psi is just not enough for proper carbonation.

      Let us know what kind of equipment you have, or are looking at, and we can help more.

      Also - how are you going to control your temps?? Jacketed tanks, or coils inside, or putting them in a cooler??

      Jeremy Reed
      Co-Founder and President, assistant brewer, amateur electrician, plumber, welder, refrigeration tech, and intermediately swell fella
      The North of 48 Brewing Company
      Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada


      • #4
        Thanks for the info

        Thanks so much for the info. I will keep you posted on what happens.