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Old 09-09-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
laeolin
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Default Beer will not carbonate.. help

I have a 5 gallon pin-lock keg that will not carbonate the amber ale thats in it. This is the first time I've ever kegged anything, and I've pored through this forum and other websites, so I have no idea what the problem is.

Its sitting at about 16 psi in a cooler that ranges from 35-40 degrees. I've waited about 2 weeks and periodically shaken it up. I've also checked for leaks, and can't really find any - although I have read that some leaks can be extremely tiny and hard to find. But even after these two weeks, my co2 tank is still quite full - if there was a leak, wouldn't the tank be empty or losing a ton of co2?

Does anyone have any other troubleshooting ideas to help me figure out why the beer wont carbonate?

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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You could get a small spray bottle and fill it with soapy water and spray all around the keg and when you see tiny tiny bubbles coming from somewhere you have a leak. But like you said if you still have co2 you prolly don't have a leak. Even a small leak would drain a bottle pretty fast. When I force carb I either set it to around 30 psi for two days or set it to 15-20 psi and shake the crap out of it. More times the not I shake it because I can't stand to wait two days.

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Yeah, something's not right. At 2 wks that should be carbed up pretty good at that temp. I assume you've confirmed the keg is holding pressure and there is no obstruction to gas flow (i.e. when you purge the keg there is a big burst of gas and then you hear it filling it back up for a few seconds). This is a new regulator I take it, could be a bad gauge I suppose. Is there no carbonation at all?

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Does it have a relief valve? If you pull on the relief valve does co2 come out? If so, for how long?

I think if there's no co2 it's just not hooked up right. Try to unhook it and then hook it up again.

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #5
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I had the same problem I brewed a coffee stout and kegged it (first time kegging) and it sat with 20 psi hooked to it for three weeks and would not carb. When I poured it with psi set at 8-10 it came out with 75% foam and flat as a board. Was told to change out lines to 10 feet and that didn't help either. After a month at 40 degrees and 20 psi and still no carb I decided chalk it up as a dead beer. So I guess I'll be trying again I have a cream ale kit I'm gonna give a try as soon as I get a full weekend off.

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Check the basics: Are the valves on the airlines open? It may sound stupid, but it happens.

As others have said, pop the release valve and see if there's co2 coming out.

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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Yes, theres plenty of co2 that comes out when I purge the keg. And then you can hear it filling back up afterwards. I have a dual guage regulator - I guess I can try the other guage, but if co2 is being purged, shouldnt that basically mean its working? Yes, there is a ridiculous amount of foam and a little bit of carbonation in the beer. Maybe this batch just wasnt meant to be??

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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It could be OVERCARBOBATED. I had this happen the first time I kegged. I tried the "shake method" to get the co2 into the beer quickly. It turns out I over carved the beer so much that when I poured it out....it came out foamy and flat.

It's like shaking up a soda bottle then pouring it into a glass. Lots of foam and no carbonation.

You may have not did the "shake method" but 16psi for 2 weeks might be a little too much.

It should be 12 psi for 2 weeks or 20-30psi for a max of 3 days, then lowered to 12 psi or less (serving pressure).

My method is 30psi for 3 days. Then I bring my co2 down to serving pressure. It's worked great for me.

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:32 PM   #9
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How long are your lines?

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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Ya, heres the thing, if you have foam, then you have carb! Like stated B4 most likely too much. It's about balancing serving pressure, line length, temp, and carb level. Your half wAy there. Try taking the head pressure off and bleed it out for a day and see how it is! The beer will. Of get ruined and you will find your balance! Good luck!!!

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