A carb stone or a carbonating stone is one of the tools used in carbonating kegs forcefully. Some developed a liking to it while others are not as impressed with it. It really depends on the kind of system you want to setup for your beermaking. So it’s best to consider the both pros and cons of using carbonating stone for kegs.
What is a carb stone or a carbonating stone?
The best way to describe it is to visualize an aerating stone that is commonly used for fish tanks or aquarium. Basically it’s a porous stone that allows gas pumped out of it. As the gas comes out as fine bubbles, you are maximizing the surface area between the gas and the liquid aerated on. For this reason, carb stone or carbonating stone is used to speed up the carbonating process of beers.
Many brewers add carbonating stone to their brite tank. You need to set it up nicely. Do take note that every now and then you need to deeply clean your carb stones to avoid any sort of contamination that may destroy your future beers. You can then gradually increase the pressure of your CO2 gas to reach the serving pressure you desire.
Also make sure that the top part of your keg is unscrewed to avoid over carbonating your tank while adding the CO2. There are many different types of valves. You can also use that will give the same effect of simply releasing the extra CO2 without letting any oxygen in there.
Some say that using a carbonating stone for kegs isn’t really worth it. It saves you a day or two and for some it isn’t really much. But if you are the type who think saving 1 or 2 days off your carbonation process is a very important deal then investing on a carb stone will be the best for you.
Cleaning carb stone is done using a caustic solution which you use every time when you empty your keg. But that shouldn’t be the only method you use to clean it. Every few months you need to remove the carb stone and clean it all throughout. It might take some time to do.
Also make sure your carb stone is still working properly. Otherwise, it’s best to dispose of it and buy a new one. You want to optimize your carbonation with the use of this type of stone. So it needs to gently add the CO2 in your keg with very small bubbles.
How much does a carb stone cost?
It depends. But it is around in the range of $20-$30. It’s a good investment especially if you are into bulk carbonation. But if you prefer the old fashioned way, it’s best to stay on the natural carbonation method. Be patient in waiting until the right time comes when you can finally enjoy your beer.
You should control carbonation as the addition of CO2 is important in how your beer is going to turn out. Carbonation will affect the taste and odor of your beer and surely beer drinkers would want to experience the fizz. Over carbonation on the other hand, will leave you with only the foam in your beer mugs.