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Old 10-28-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
Sky7
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Default Carbonation Problem

I'm just going to lay it all out there:

Just started trying to keg about 2 brews ago, and both have been epic fails when it comes to carbonation.

Brew 1:

Put the boiled sugar water in the bottom of the keg, let it cool, then poured the beer in on top of it. Closed it up, waited 2 weeks, hooked it up to the C02.... and I got beer juice. Pressurized the keg, and noticed that there was a small amount of air escaping from the "IN" hookup.

Beer 2:

Hoping to avoid the issues with Brew 1, I replaced the seals around both the IN and OUT - my local homebrew store guy showed me how, so I think I did that right. I pressurized the keg to 12 PSI, then put soap and water lightly all over the top. No bubbles.

Repeated the steps from Brew 1 with the sugar water and carbonation period. Hooked it up to the C02, and I again got beer juice. Thinking that I might have just screwed up the sugar water or yeast somehow, I decided to try to force carbonate. Cranked it up to 30 PSI, shake, rattled and rolled for 15 minutes, then I put it back in the keezer for 2 hours (btw, it was cold before I started force carbonating).

Then I decided to try an experiment - I hooked the keg back up to the C02 at 30 PSI, and to my dismay, it started filling rabidly. So that means I must have a leak, right?

What's weird, however, it that when I keep it pressurized and hooked up to the C02, my CO2 levels don't become depleted (like it would if there was a leak).

Needless to say, this entire situation has me flummoxed. If you have any idea what might be wrong, please let me know!

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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You probably don't have a leak. The keg that you hit with 30, shook, and hooked back up 2 hours later is gonna take more CO2. During those 2 hours alot of the gas was absorbed my the beer. Having said this....I'm still dialing in the correct amount of priming sugar I want when I keg. If I do 1/2 the bottling amount (as recommended) the beer is pretty flat after 3 weeks and I have to leave on the gas for a couple of days til it's carbed up. I just started putting the full amount of priming sugar for 5 gallons. I figure if it's over carbed I can bleed it off. Make sure you get some lube for the o-rings and are you chilling the kegs before trying? That's also is important.....

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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I would forgo the natural carbing in favor of carbing with your co2 tank, I force carb my kegs at 24psi for 24 hours, important to leave the gas hooked up the whole time, after 24hrs I vent and reconnect at 10psi for serving, works every time, I did find when I did my first keg that when I gassed up to 30psi, unhooked and shook, the bulk of the gas is absorbed into the beer when hooking up again it took a lot more gas, this is because the pressure above the beer is equalizing into the flat beer, which is why you need to keep it on gas, I go for the 24-24 method, no shaking because there is less risk of over absorption resulting in overcarbed beer

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:23 PM   #4
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I actually used the whole amount of sugar, which is what boggles my mind. If anything, it should have been over carbonated...

Either way, I'm starting to think that force carbonating is the clear way to go here, as I can't seem to get the beer to carbonate the regular way!

I think I'm going to try the 24/24. Thanks so much for your help guys!

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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What temp did you let it carb at? If it was too cool, maybe the yeast couldn't do their job.

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
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Room temperature for the yeast carbonation. I chilled the beer before I started the force carb though.

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