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Just got a carbonation stone because I want to carbonate a keg quickly and have a few questions.

  1. Do you need any special tubing to attach the stone to the gas-in dip tube? The stone I have has a 1/4" barb, but I wasn't sure if I needed special hoses or gas hoses for this. Also wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to have gas hoses sitting in my beer, i.e. if the plastic/vinyl they're made from is safe for long term contact with beer. I figured I would use plastic clamps here so I don't have to worry about a bad steel clamp rusting or something. Would love to see pictures of this if anyone has any.
  2. Can you leave the stone on there for serving? I was planning to attach it to the empty keg, then siphon the into the keg beer and then seal it up and leave it on there to avoid contamination. I won't need to use it again for a while.
  3. Will yeast settling at the bottom of the cold keg clog the stone and/or prevent it from working? I was thinking of sticking the fermentor in the fridge overnight before siphoning to have some the yeast settle before transferring to the keg. Not sure if that's worthwhile though.
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2 Answers 2

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There's not problem leaving the stone in during serving, other than that it's not available to carb other beers. You can still achieve the needed pressure in the headspace to keep the beer properly carbonated.

If you're happy with the taste of your beer with your current beer line, then use that to attach the carbonation stone. As far as I know, most carbonation lids are sold with regular beer line to attach the stone.

Yeast are around 3µm in size, while a carbonation stone has typically 0.5µm pores, so there's little chance of yeast clogging it up - the pores are too small. A more likely problem is with trub, hop oils and such. These can be removed by boiling and by soaking in a good cleaner, such as oxiclean or PBW.

If you plan to use the carbonation stone a lot with several kegs, you may want to look into getting a carbonation lid. CHI companies also stock these.

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Good answer, all good info, thanks. Re: carbonation lids - I saw those while researching this, but they are like $60 and out of stock both places (Chi and morebeer). I bought the stone for $6.50 including shipping through an Amazon homebrew reseller. At that price I can buy 5-6 stones with tubing and clamps for the price of one lid! –  paul Aug 22 '12 at 2:53
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Since you have not told us exactly what hose type you have, I cannot tell if it is foodsafe, but I don't think you need a pressure safe hose, since the pressure difference should not be great.

I guess you could leave the stone in, but I doubt it will get better by doing so. I would try to transfer the beer to another keg when you are done with carbonation (just connect the "beer-out" of both kegs to each other and vent the receiving keg while keeping the CO2 connected to the source keg).

I don't think you need to worry about the yeast if you transfer to another keg soon, but I guess that yeasties might settle in the pores of the stone if you leave the stone inside for an extended time period.

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Thanks. I didn't buy the tubing yet, I was looking for recommended tubing. Also don't have another keg, only have 2 and one is full. It's on the ever-growing equipment to buy list though, would be great for lagering! –  paul Aug 21 '12 at 15:32
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If you know anyone who works at a hospital or pharmaceutical company, you might be able to get, medical/ pharma grade, true, silicone tubing from them. It's the highest quality tubing you can use in my opinion. Microbial and odor resistant, and no leeching of any kind. Good luck finding it ANYWHERE for sale! –  David PGB Aug 22 '12 at 13:16
    
Yea I was thinking of trying to get some food grade silicone tubing, maybe not as good as pharma grade, but I doubt there's a huge difference. morebeer.com sells food grade morebeer.com/view_product/17608. But it seems like that's really for high temps and it might be overkill. Gonna go to the LHBS next week and see what they have in stock that fits best on the stone & dip tube and pick up some clamps. –  paul Aug 23 '12 at 17:44
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