MoreBeer Carbonating Keg Lid

So I was feeling a little spendy a few months back so I sprung for MoreBeer’s $70 carbonating keg lid.  I’ve used it to carb two kegs and by golly it does work.   Each batch has been ready in about 3 days total, a big improvement over the week of shaking and waiting I’d do before.  It’s nice how this piece of kit prevents me from overcarbing my beer, something I’d usually do when attempting to force-carb.

I’ve been approximately following their instructions:

  • Fill keg, and if needed put in kegerator to chill down.  Use the carbonating lid.
  • Set gas very low in the 2-4 psi range.
  • Increase by about 2 psi every couple of hours
  • When I’ve reached my target pressure (usually around 8 or 10) I’ll leave it for another day with the carb lid still on.
    • At this point the beer will be carbonated as evidenced by the taste and seeing the fine bubbles coming out of solution.  However your pours will be very slow because the small headspace and restriction the stone puts on the incoming gas to fill that void.  So because of the slow pours you likely won’t get a nice looking head, but switching the gas over to the regular gas post will increase your pour speed and then you should start getting nice pours.
    • After another day with the gas on the regular post my pours are “normal” with the head & carbonation having the fine bubble structure that I’d normally get after maybe 2-3 weeks with a normally-carbonated keg.

Northern Brewer’s Surly Smoke Kit

What a great recipe.  Lovely mix of smooth smoked malt with a not-too-bitter dark backbone.  The wood adds a nice charred, bourbon element to the beer which may or may not be desirable to you.  I really enjoyed my hydrometer sample before racking to secondary along with the wood pack and now I’m wishing I had split some of the beer off just to enjoy the smoke by itself, not encumbered by the wood.

I put the wood cubes in a nylon bag and suspended it from the keg lid.  6 days later the beer had what I felt was an appropriate level of wood/char flavor and I removed the bag.  This sure didn’t take long, but then again they do give you a generous amount of wood in the kit as seen below.