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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bad regulator? Or improper carbine process? N00b question
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:47 AM   #1
Dwaurin
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Default Bad regulator? Or improper carbine process? N00b question

I've frequented these forums quite a bit since I started brewing but this will be my first post. I'd like to start by saying these forums have been very helpful in the few short years I've been brewing and I also did try to search around for the answer to this question.

I recently received a kegorator and I'm trying to clarify a few things about using the pressure regulator to determine if I'm doing something wrong or if my regulator is not working properly. Once the pressure has been reached on the regulator, do I leave the valve on my CO2 tank open? It seems that when I do this, the pressure just continues to increase. For example, I set it to 10 psi for serving and came back 15 minutes later and the regulator was reading 20 psi. From the reading I've done through these forums, I don't really see any mentioning of the tank itself needing to be off as I thought the regulator's job was to prevent the pressure from increasing too much. And from reading about some people who have drained their tank over night due to leaks would also imply to me that the valve on the tank should remain open.

Another issue I'm having is that from what I gather, the proper method to set the pressure is to close the valve from the regulator to the keg, open the valve on the CO2 tank, use the dial on the regulator to set the desired pressure and then open the valve allowing the gas to go to the tank. However, even with the regulators dial set to the lowest pressure (dial turned all the way counter-clockwise) the regulator immediately starts to rise to the max psi once I open the CO2 tank. If I leave the valve leading to the kegs open, however, this does not happen.

So my question is, am I doing something wrong here? Am I just being a complete n00b? I'm completely new to the kegging process and have tried to do a lot of research but I just can't seem to get my pressures set properly.

Just some other info on my setup if it helps, I have a 5lb tank, dual regulator, 2 5 gallon kegs, gas lines are 5/16" about 4-5 feet longs, beer lines are also 5/16" I think and about 5 feet in length. Kegs and CO2 tank are in the fridge at about 38F.

Please let me know if I need to provide any info, thanks in advance for any help!

Edit* title should reading CARBING*

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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Well you've got something wrong.
When you turn the gas from the tank on, then set the regulator to the lowest setting, it should not rise. It should just sit there where you set it.
You have a high pressure side ( useless ) and a low pressure. I know that it's silly to ask, but you are looking at the low pressure ( line pressure ) side aren't you?

You do want to leave the gas going to the kegs on when you are serving. You need to be able to keep pushing the beer, and you need to keep the beer from going flat.
It's good to shut the gas off when you aren't serving, but the kegs can keep pressure then.
It sounds like there is something wrong in your regulator.

Are you using the valve on the regulator to set the pressure, or the valve from the tank to the regulator?

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Old 01-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Sure sounds like there's some piece o' crud stuck in the regulator that's allowing it to "creep". Try this to fix it:

- close the tank valve completely
- remove any gas tubing from the regulator towards the keg
- if your regulator has a shut-off valve where the gas tubing attaches, open it all the way
- turn the regulator way up
- make sure you don't have anything sitting in front of the regulator outlet!
- finally, open the tank valve enough to cause a big blast of gas to rush out of the regulator outlet. Repeat this a couple of times.
- close the tank valve, close the shut-off valve, turn the regulator down

If your regulator has a gas shut-off valve you can leave that closed, open the tank valve, adjust the regulator to ~10 psi, and let it sit there long enough to tell if the "creeping" problem has been cleared. With no shut-off, you can hook your gas line up but leave the gas QD off the keg while you do the creep test (assuming the gas QD at the end isn't leaking)...

hth!

Cheers!

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_70sharps View Post
Well you've got something wrong.
When you turn the gas from the tank on, then set the regulator to the lowest setting, it should not rise. It should just sit there where you set it.
You have a high pressure side ( useless ) and a low pressure. I know that it's silly to ask, but you are looking at the low pressure ( line pressure ) side aren't you?

You do want to leave the gas going to the kegs on when you are serving. You need to be able to keep pushing the beer, and you need to keep the beer from going flat.
It's good to shut the gas off when you aren't serving, but the kegs can keep pressure then.
It sounds like there is something wrong in your regulator.

Are you using the valve on the regulator to set the pressure, or the valve from the tank to the regulator?
Yes, I am making sure I'm looking at the low pressure side and using the valve on the regulator to set the pressure. I wouldnt be at all surprised if my low pressure gauge does not work as I dont believe my high pressure gauge works at all either. When I first had my tank filled, the high pressure gauge never moved when I connected the regulator, and it still has always remained basically at 0 despite my tank not being empty and feeling just as heavy as when I got it filled.

Another thing I've seen is when setting the pressure, most guides Ive read say to open the valve on the tank all the way with the valves leading to the gas lines in the closed position. Opening the valve on my tank more than a half a turn or so causes the pressure to rise so high that the pressure relief valve on the regulator will immediately open to relieve pressure. Again this is with the valve controlling the pressure on the regulator in the lowest pressure setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by day_tripper
Sure sounds like there's some piece o' crud stuck in the regulator that's allowing it to "creep". Try this to fix it:

- close the tank valve completely
- remove any gas tubing from the regulator towards the keg
- if your regulator has a shut-off valve where the gas tubing attaches, open it all the way
- turn the regulator way up
- make sure you don't have anything sitting in front of the regulator outlet!
- finally, open the tank valve enough to cause a big blast of gas to rush out of the regulator outlet. Repeat this a couple of times.
- close the tank valve, close the shut-off valve, turn the regulator down

If your regulator has a gas shut-off valve you can leave that closed, open the tank valve, adjust the regulator to ~10 psi, and let it sit there long enough to tell if the "creeping" problem has been cleared. With no shut-off, you can hook your gas line up but leave the gas QD off the keg while you do the creep test (assuming the gas QD at the end isn't leaking)...

hth!

Cheers!
Thanks, I'll give this a try.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Yeah, your reg is broken.

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwaurin View Post
Edit* title should reading CARBING*
Good! I'm was wondering how you were using a rifle to keg your beer??
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #7
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I had a similar problem and ended up having to get a new regulator

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
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It could be the regulator- BUT, one thing that hit me was that if you did some "burst carbing", by shaking the keg or by having the regulator higher than it is now, then the regulator would indeed creep up.

Is that a possibility?

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Old 01-01-2013, 06:37 PM   #9
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I discounted the over-charged keg feed-back possibility after considering the OP's third paragraph...

Cheers!

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Old 01-01-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
It could be the regulator- BUT, one thing that hit me was that if you did some "burst carbing", by shaking the keg or by having the regulator higher than it is now, then the regulator would indeed creep up.

Is that a possibility?
I have released the keg pressure in each keg many times as dialing down the pressure on the regulator would not cause the gauge to read a lower psi until I did this. Which to me makes sense as it seems the only way to decrease pressure would be to first purge the gas in the kegs to release the excess gas in the kegs. Is this correct?

Because of this issue with the regulator when I set the pressure initially to 30 psi for force carbing it ended up creeping to almost 50 psi. As a result I think I over carbed. Yesterday I released the pressure, set it to 10 psi shut off the gas tank and went to work. When I came home the regulator still read 10 psi but the beer came out of the tap as almost all foam maybe from over carbing?

I just ordered a new regulator with dual pressure regulators so I'll have one for each keg, which I wanted to upgrade to eventually anyway. In the mean time should I just keep setting it to 10 and leaving the gas off but just briefly turn it back on when it drops from dispensing? If I've over carbed would letting it sit at 10 psi eventually bring the carb level down? Maybe I should just let it sit at 10 with the tank valve shut until the new regulator comes? Thanks for all the responses so far, I had really been scratching my head over this.
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