Floating Dip Tube via Adventures in Homebrewing
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My explanation of how these works…
When we carbonate a keg, pressure is being applied to the keg from the top, via the head space. Beer at the top carbonates first. That carbonation works it’s way down the keg. I’m sure there’s also some movement in the keg that helps to mix things up and distribute carbonation. But just sitting there, I think that mixing is a slow process. However it all works, practically speaking, the beer at the top carbonates more quickly compared to the beer at the bottom. This allows you to serve from the top accessing the more carbonated portion of the keg. It’s also a benefit for clarity because trub settles out heading downward. You can see this stratification in a glass carboy. As the beer starts to clear, the top clears first. I don’t think if this is exactly accurate, but I picture carbonation happening with the same sort of stratification until the beer reaches equilibrium and is equally carbonated throughout.
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