I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

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andyisavinit
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I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

Post by andyisavinit » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:39 am

I usually prime my barrels with a low amount of sugar. Say 50-60 grams for about 25litres. So the barrel never gets too pressurised. I have to inject co2 quite soon after drinking a few pints just to get it to come out. I get a nice head because of the pressure and the tap. There’s no bubbles in the beer.

A long time ago I read where somebody didn’t prime his barrels at all. So I decided not to and I just injected co2 in the head space so it protected against air.

I figured that the priming process that produces co2 is a waste of time as all the co2 that is produced is just lost when the barrel loses pressure anyway. I’m just using a king keg btw.

Sometimes I’ve had really high pressure in a barrel but it’s a real pain to pour as the head is so big. And still no bubbles. I prefer to an easy pour with just enough pressure in the barrel so the tap creates a good inch head.

Anyway. Have I made a mistake and priming is doing something else other than simply producing co2 and a bit more alcohol.

I only did this a few hours ago so I could prime and warm up.

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Jim
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Re: I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

Post by Jim » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:54 am

While it is possible to carbonate beer using just CO2 top pressure, it takes time and a low temperature for the gas to dissolve. Also, you can't get a very high pressure in a plastic barrel (which I guess is what you're talking about), and that slows down the process even more.

Many people do artificially carbonate their beer, but they use a higher pressure steel container such as a cornelius keg or sanke keg, and cool the whole thing down to serving temperature or lower.

So in summary, it's best to prime your beer for these types of plastic barrel.
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andyisavinit
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Re: I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

Post by andyisavinit » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:05 am

Thanks for the reply Jim. What I’m struggling to get my head around is...

if my beer is going flat after a few days and I have to inject co2 to get the beer to flow then why bother priming at all and just inject co2 from the day I rack to the barrel.

guypettigrew
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Re: I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

Post by guypettigrew » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:08 am

It's a very long time (years) since I primed my beers. It gave me too much pressure in the King Keg, plus an unwanted sweet taste for a few days.

My routine is now very simple. Once the bubbles are coming through the blow off tube into the bucket fairly slowly, about two or three times a minute for example, the beer is cooled down to 12°C for a day or so to allow the yeast to be harvested from the valve at the bottom of the SS Brewtech Chronical. The beer is then cooled to 4°C for another day or so to get more yeast out of suspension.

It's then dropped into the keg with some dry hops and fined. I crack the lid once to allow gas and, hopefully, air to escape. The keg then goes to it's serving position at 12°C and within a couple of days it's beautifully clear and has got some gas in it. After that, the longer I can manage to leave it, the better it gets. As long as it's not left too long. Mind you, I've never managed to keep a keg more than 6 weeks!

Hope this helps.

Guy

Robwalkeragain
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Re: I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

Post by Robwalkeragain » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:46 am

Priming ejects oxygen in the headspace so it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s also cheaper than co2 - it might not be neccessary to prime depending on yeast, s-04 usually carries on a little in the keg for me, nottingham will chew it bone dry. There’s a pressure release valve so you might as well get the pressure as high as you can...

andyisavinit
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Re: I didn’t prime my pressure barrel.

Post by andyisavinit » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:17 pm

Well I decide to prime in the end. Warming up as we speak. Wish I hadn’t sat it in my porch on the coldest night of the year. It’s taken hours to rise it 5 degrees.

Anyway thanks for replies. Best to stick to what’s been the way for years and prime. Still not totally sure why. One day I will skip priming but maybe on a kit rather than all grain. Less time wasted if all goes wrong.

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