Author Topic: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.  (Read 7792 times)

IBtipC

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kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« on: January 17, 2005, 05:48:18 AM »
I have just started kegging and my first attempt was
less than successful.  I followed the instructions that my
local homebrew shop provided but never could get the
co2 to flow as expected .  

Should there be a considerable temperature difference between the beer and co2?

I brought the co2 tank in the house and let it warm up. The beer stayed in the garage at about 44F over night. I tried again and could only get the gas to flow when opened up to 30psi. It took about 5 psi and stopped. I get nothing but foam.

After 2 weeks I have either flat beer or foam.

I have 2 batches of Begian trappist ale in the
secondaries.  These were all grain brews and I am worried that my lack of knowledge in kegging will
have adverse effects . should I just bottle them?

Any suggestions on kegging would be greatly appreciated.

-Kurt

SAHomeBrew

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 06:08:46 AM »
How long are you letting the tank (beer) sit on co2 before you are trying to pour? Also, have you looked for the abvious... kinked hose, another valve you forgot about... Hate to be a stickler for the obvious, but 30psi in and 5 out is a blockage of some sort (assuming corny kegs and quick connects) bad connection somewhere?

Offline drp53188

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2005, 07:15:08 AM »
how do you know that you are only getting 5 psi in the keg? ???  when i charge a keg i use 10 to 15 psi and hold pressure on for three min. on a cold ( 45 deg ) keg
and within two days it`s all set to go .
like was stated before sounds like a restriction.
                            Don
homemade 10 gal all grain system.
still growing!!!

IBtipC

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2005, 08:24:01 AM »
I set the inlet pressure to 23 psi .  I was told then to roll the keg back and forth to help disolve the co2. I was looking for the pressure to drop from 23psi to 0 as the co2 dissolved. I never could get it to drop more than 1psi. I did this for about 3 hours and then gave up. I then thought that it may be that the temperatures were both the same ( beer 44f co2 44f ). This is when I brought the co2 in and let it warm up. The next day I tried this same procedure again and got the same response -  no drop in pressure. I then set the pressure to 30psi ( "if it don't fit force it approach") and was able to get it to drop to 25psi by agitating the keg. I cleaned connectors, checked o rings and there were no blockages.  Do I have bad information on the time it takes co2 to dissolve? I was told  "Oh! about 40 minutes". Judging from the info I have read on this forum it could take a week or more.

SAHomeBrew

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2005, 09:19:47 AM »
40 minutes is bad info, more like 48 hours. Turn your regulator up to about 10psi, when the "hissing" stops, disconnect it, roll you keg back and forth a couple of times (gently), and purge the tank (relief valve) repeat this step twice.
Determine the temperature that your beer will be during carbonation and set your regulator accordingly for the style of beer that it is.
Remember that the gas should be connected to the black beverage disconnect so that the CO2 bubbles up through the beer.
Your beer should become saturated in about two days time, then enjoy!

40 minutes, yeah bad advice.

Kurt Cearley

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2005, 12:43:44 PM »
Thank you!  BTW , yes it is a corny keg. I know I have the connectors correct. I also checked the tubes to make sure they were placed correctly to each valve. Just so I understand and do not make any more assumtions .

 Steps:
        1.  Fill keg with beer
        2.  Set inlet pressure to 10 psi.
        3.  When hissing stops disconnect CO2
        4.  Roll keg gently then purge gas from relief valve
        5.  Do steps 2-4 again
        6.  Chill beer to desired temperature
        7.  Connect CO2 to inlet
        8.  Set pressure to desired beer style
        9.  Wait ~48 hours

Is this correct?

Thanks again for your help.

hornbrau

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2005, 07:23:28 AM »
Kurt,

The 40 minutes wasn't bad advice, there are multiple ways to force carb a keg.  If you just hookup the keg to the co2 it takes a few days for the co2 to be absorbed into the beer, the pressure and temp of the beer can make a couple days difference.  The rolling meathod just aides in the absorption of the co2, the more activity (how quicky or violently you roll the keg) the quicker the co2 gets absorbed.  I showed up at a party one time with a keg of flat beer (not sure how that happened) and to carb it quickly I picked the keg up with one hand on the handle and another with a firm grip on the bottom and proceded to shake the crap out of the keg.  Shake for a while, take a break, shake for a while, etc...  keg was carbed in less than 10 minutes.

The only thing I didn't understand about your 40 min rolling meathod was the pressure drop.  The pressure that your gauge reads is the pressure coming out of the regulator which won't drop unless you start running out of co2.

hornbrau

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2005, 07:28:38 AM »
SAhomebrew,

Just curious as to why you roll then purge the keg??  Also you don't need to connect the gas to the beer out post to force carb it, the co2 will absorb into the beer just using the gas in post but it will take a little longer.

ynot

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2005, 10:29:13 AM »
If you looking to read preasure drop try closeing the main valve on the top of the co2 tank.

leave the lever valve at the bottom of the regulator, the one where your gas hose conects to in the on position.

you will see the drop then.

have a good one

IBtipC

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2005, 01:00:03 PM »
You guys are great!  

I believe I know what my problem is now. I know nothing of pressure regulators.  So, with the latest posts ,I now see what my problem is. I never shut the gas off. Duh!  It makes since now that if the regulator is reading out pressure of the co2 tank then
the pressure would always read at the initial setting.

so, add step 8.5 : Shut co2 tank main valve off.

No wonder I got foam.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2005, 01:06:20 PM by IBtipC »

hornbrau

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Re: kegging ..force it ..or bottle it.
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2005, 05:41:03 AM »
You can turn your co2 off but eventually your beer will go flat.  Getting your system to balance can be a pain in the rear but once you do your set.  Everyone has a different setup so what works for someone else may not work for you, it all has to do with the restriction in your beer line, with the ID and length of the beer line as variables.  My system for instance works with my pressure set at 8psi, I can just hook up a keg and a few days later I'll be pouring beer with a perfect head (note the first beer pour of the day will be about 1/2 to 2/3 foam but after that they pour perfect) while 8psi works great for me it might not work for you depending on the size and length of your beer line.

Here is what I would suggest:  With your beer at serving temp hook up your co2 at 10psi and let it carbonate for a couple days then pour a few beers, if there is not enough head let it carb for another day or two before adjusting if there is still not enough head raise the psi by one or two (depending on how patient you are) and let it carb for another day, repeat this until it's carbed the way you want it. If there is too much carb then turn off or unhook the co2 and purge the keg (pull the release valve ring) depending on how over carbed the beer is you may have to purge it several times over a couple day period. Test the beer periodically to check the carb ( remember that the first pour you make will be extra foamy so pour about 1/3 of a beer to clear the lines, dispose of it by drinking of course and then pour a full beer) when the carb gets to where you want it turn the psi on your co2 way down probably to 5psi shoud work, hook it up to the keg and slowly increase the psi till you hear the co2 hiss.  This means that the psi from your co2 tank is now higher than whats in your keg so you'll want to back off by 1 psi and you should be good.

You may have to tweak up or down form there but by this point you should be getting good consistant pours from keg to keg.  Like I said it can be a pain to get your system balanced but once you do your golden.