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Old 03-04-2013, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default 1st Time Kegging - CO2 Question

I put this post in the beginners section....I guess it should probably go here?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/1st-time-kegging-co2-question-394808/#post4967574

Ok, here's the story:

LTB in Moore, OK sold me a "reconditioned" keg with old o-rings, so my CO2 tank was hooked up to the 5 gallon Cornelius keg for 3 days and the full CO2 tank went empty (they denied it). The beer never carbonated. I took off the "in" ball lock really fast with the beer still in the keg, and replaced the upper o-ring and also added keg lube. it doesn't leak anymore.

Then I hooked it up to 30 PSI (Shock Top clone, so I want high cabonation) to the "out" ball lock after reading a post about it carbonating the beer better since it goes down the dip tube. No leaks still, but tonight (after 2 days) I realized that I forgot to purge the head space of Oxygen the second time. I think oxygen is supposed to flatten the beer and ruin the taste, right?

So I tried to release some gas from the top release tab, and the whole keg vibrated, shaking the kitchen floor, and the I heard a "glug, glug, glug" sound that was pretty loud. Is this normal?

As of now, I'm just going to leave it alone until the 5 days is up. I wanted the beer to be ready in less than a week, so that's why I picked 30 PSI, and 30 is what was on the CO2 chart I found for Belgian Wheats. Temp of keg and tank is 62 degrees F (mini fridge is still in the mail).

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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If you hooked the Co2 up to the "out" tube, that means the co2 is going to enter the beer from the bottom. This is for sure the glug glug sound you heard. big bubbles of co2 bubbling through the beer. A word of advice, if you continue to hook the gas up to the beer side MAKE SURE you use the correct disconnect (i.e. gray for gas, black for beer). Those posts on the keg look identical but they are not. It can be an absolute nightmare getting the disconnect off the wrong post. You can end up breaking them to do it too. SO use the black QD for the beer side even if you're pushing co2 through it.

Also, make sure that when you get the mini fridge, you re-adjust the co2 pressure for the temp you'll have the beer at. 30psi sounds kind of high for beer in the 40-45F range. at 62F 30psi is 2.74 volumes of co2 so thats not bad, but at 40F it's 4.10 which is higher than I've usually seen. Soda is usually carbonated at 4ish volumes of co2.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:24 AM   #3
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I did have the grey gas line hooked up to the out line. The hoses I have can't be disconnected, they are permanent. Next time I'll just hook it up to the in line.

So after the 5 days at 30 PSI, I have to burp the keg? Does that mean letting out ALL of the air out of the keg through the grey release tab on the middle of the keg? Then it gets served at 6-12 PSI?

Thanks.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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You just need to bleed off enough gas that the regulator kicks in and gets it back up to the right pressure. No need to bleed it ALL off, just enough to know that the keg is now at regulator pressure.

Make sure you use a carbonation chart and use the right pressure for the temperature and volumes of co2 you're shooting for: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceyaquarius View Post
I did have the grey gas line hooked up to the out line. The hoses I have can't be disconnected, they are permanent. Next time I'll just hook it up to the in line.

So after the 5 days at 30 PSI, I have to burp the keg? Does that mean letting out ALL of the air out of the keg through the grey release tab on the middle of the keg? Then it gets served at 6-12 PSI?

Thanks.
Hello, be careful not to back flow beer into your regulator, yes you need to purge some Co2 out of the keg to dispense your beer.

I would read up on how to purge/lower pressure properly so you done run into problems gunking up your regulator.

Cheers
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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#1, the store that sold you the keg is totally not at fault. I'm not sure what you think they were "denying," but when you buy a reconditioned keg (which is pretty much all of them these days), it's common knowledge that you will need to replace - or at least thoroughly clean and re-lube - the O-ring seals.

#2, as mentioned, the QDs and keg posts are not interchangeable. If you take your gas QD and connect it to your "Out" keg post, you will have a b*tch of a time getting it off again. The posts are different.

#3, yes, you most definitely should purge the oxygen from the keg when you are carbonating. However, if you're pressurizing from the bottom (which you are, since you're feeding CO2 in from the dip tube), then when you relieve pressure at the top, then obviously a bunch of CO2 (which was previously being held in equilibrium by the pressure in the headspace) is going to gush out of the pick-up tube, causing the gurgling you heard. That's not necessarily bad for your beer, but it can be disconcerting and noisy. The solution is to close the valve on the CO2 tank while venting, then slowly re-open the CO2 tank's valve again and let the pressure gently re-stabilize.

#4, CO2 goes into solution much easier at colder temperatures, so as noted, you will need to use a considerably high pressure in order to carbonate at room temperature.

#5, You should typically allow at least 2 full weeks to fully carbonate your beer. Trying to have it ready in a week - particularly at room temperature - is going to be a challenge.

Good luck, it's a learning process, but it's a fun one!

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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I just wanted to point out to the original poster (OP) that all of the responses are genial and helpful.

Let's make sure that we're on the same page with the forum rules on this. Any insults to others' blog posts and the like do carry through to the forum, and our forum is a friendly place. This is just a "heads up" to the OP to try to remember some manners.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #8
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Just two minor points where I disagree.

First of all, "reconditioned" means something different than merely "used". Reconditioned should mean new O rings, lubed and leak tested. Used means you takes your chances, normally at a lower price. So if your dealer told you it was reconditioned, then I think you were right to expect not have needed to replace the O rings. But it sounds like you learned a lot from it, so maybe it isn't such a bad thing.

Secondly, once you have your kegerator, or now if you're in a cold climate, you can force carbonate a keg in a few hours. First, you do need some headspace. This works great when I make a 3 gal BIAB batch and put it in a 5 gal keg, but it will even work with as little as 5 or 6 inches of headspace. Chill the keg of beer as cold as you can, apply a small amount of CO2 pressure, and vent out the air. Let it sit a few minutes and repeat, just to make sure you have all of the air out. Then increase the co2 pressure to about 30 psi.

(It doesn't matter which connection you use for this, but I prefer using the gas inlet so there's less chance of backflowing beer into your regulator later on as previously mentioned.)

Lift the keg and shake the bejeesus out of it until the regulator stops hissing. (If it's too heavy for you, then lay it on the floor and rock it as much as possible.) Let it sit and adjust for 5 or 10 minutes then shake it again. The colder it is, the more CO2 will go into solution. Repeat a third time.

Now turn off the gas and slowly vent the pressure from the keg. Let it sit a half hour or so then draw a glass and see what happens. This is just guesswork as to when to stop, and if you overshoot you'll need to keep venting it until you're down to desired carbonation, but it still takes a lot less time than merely applying pressure and letting it sit for a week.

Make sure to check your carbonation chart to set the pressure properly for your desired serving temperature, and I always turn off the pressure at the end of the day, just in case I have a leaky fitting somewhere.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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One big advantage to this method, aside from getting to drink your brew sooner, is the problem of leaking gas. As you discovered, a tiny leak can cost you a tank of gas if left for a week. With this method your gas is only on for a few hours, so if you do have a pinhole leak you'll only lose a small amount of gas. I never leave my gas on for extended periods - when I'm done for the day it gets turned off.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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A leak will eventually become an operational pita. And I totally don't get working around a known leak instead of fixing it.

I have two separate gas systems with 6 kegs always on tap and up to four more carbing, and I never disconnect or turn off anything.

It did require due diligence to assemble both systems, refurb each keg, and test everything that could be tested for leaks before starting to fill kegs. But I haven't lost a bit of gas in two years, keg swaps are a total non-event, and everything is virtually on autopilot at this point...

Cheers!

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