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I connected my CO2 Cylinder to my Keg and have it currently force-carbonating. However, it will only be needed next week friday.

Should I leave the CO2 Cylinder connected for 8 days at 20psi, or should I just disconnect it and leave the Keg in the fridge until next week?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's fine to disconnect, or you can leave it connected. In fact, you have 3 choices:

  1. If you have a need to remove the CO2 tank now, you can do that, and connect up again 5 days before you need the beer.
  2. Alternatively, leave the CO2 connected now for 5 days to fully carbonate the beer and then disconnect. The beer will stay carbonated and will be ready when you need it. (During serving, it's a good idea to keep the CO2 connected if much of the keg will be consumed, so the dispensing pressure is maintained.)
  3. Finally, you could simply leave the CO2 tank connected until the keg is empty.

If you are sure that you have no leaks, then option #3 is the simplest and least trouble-free. Should you need to disconnect the CO2 tank for some reason, then #2 is preferable over #1, simply because the beer will then be fully carbonated. With #1, the beer may only be partially carbonated - if there's little CO2 in the beer, it's possible the pressure in the headspace can drop below what's needed to maintain the lid seal on the keg when the CO2 in the headspace dissolves into the beer.

So, yes, it's fine to disconnect the co2, just be mindful of when you need to reconnect to have it ready for serving.

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8 days at 20 psi will almost certainly over carbonate the beer. Leaving the pressure at 20 psi until the beer is fully carbonated is ok, but then the pressure should be dropped to maintain the right volume of dissolved co2. Lots of calculators online to determine the correct pressure given temperature and beer style. Like this one –  Tobias Patton Mar 29 '13 at 14:45
    
I agree. 20psi is high for a typical beer cabronation of 2.4 @ 41F/5C - 12psi is more the norm - I was going to comment on that, but figured the OP had that figure for a reason. E.g. carbing a hefe typically served with 3-4 volumes @ 41C/5C typically, so 18-30 psi is normal there. –  mdma Mar 29 '13 at 15:00
    
"leaving the pressure at 20 psi until the beer is fully carbonated is ok". Surely that's the same as just leaving it hooked up to 20psi indefinitely? You can force carb at a higher psi for a couple of days to get the process to move on a bit quicker, then drop it back to the target pressure to finish off and it will settle out at the target pressure. –  mdma Mar 29 '13 at 18:15
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