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I am kegging my first batch ever in the next two weeks. It's a double IPA. My questions are:

  1. What pressure is ideal for serving.

  2. do i need to turn off my tank every night? Will leaving it on cause constant carbonation, or will the beer eventually stop carbonating? I am concerned that leaving it at desired serving pressure will mean the carbonation will continue to increase as long as the tank is on.

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  1. It depends on how your system is configured, mainly on the length, inner diameter, and material of the liquid lines. This article explains it better than I could. Most home draft systems seem to settle in somewhere between 8 and 12 PSI.

  2. You don't need to turn off the gas. There is only so much CO2 that will dissolve into the beer at a given temperature and pressure. Once all that CO2 is dissolved in the beer, it has reached an equilibrium, and no more CO2 will dissolve. The goal is to balance your system such that that equilibrium is reached at an acceptable serving pressure.

    I do turn off my gas when I'm not serving or carbonating just because I want to avoid leaking my entire tank due to a tiny leak. It has happened before, and I don't want it to happen again.

    This isn't as hard as it sounds. I use five-gallon pin lock corny kegs with this conversion kit. I didn't have to cut any lines or anything; it was pretty well balanced out of the box. I currently serve at 9 PSI and keep my fridge at about 38F.

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    Further to bughunter's excellent reply, it's easy enough to ensure that the lines are gas- and liquid-tight. With Cornelius kegs it's the pesky connector O-rings and the lid seal that are likely to leak and can often be a b****h to seal. So don't forget the keg lube (food-grade silicone grease), it will make life much easier. – Glasseyed Jul 18 '15 at 19:55

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