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Old 03-31-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default Flat after 2 months of lagering

I apologize if this has been covered already. I can't imagine that it hasn't, but I couldn't find anything for me when searching the forums.

This is not a case of impatience...

So, about three months ago, I decided to up my game (from strictly ales and bottle carbonating) and get outfitted for lagers and kegging. I brewed up a simple pilsner, fermented, rested and started lagering in a cornie at 35 degrees under 15# on February 3rd.

I drew a sample late February and it was barely carbonated and definitely not done conditioning. So, I upped the pressure to 20#. I draw off 6oz or so once/week just for my own edification. Carbonation isn't increasing any, but it's getting mighty delicious.

Now, after almost 2 months under pressure at 35 degrees, it's delicious, but flat still. When I get a sample, it foams a little coming out of the spout and gets a nice dense little head on it, but the beer is still flat. Even if I throttle the spout so much that the beer doesn't foam at all, it's still flat.

Am I missing something here? I've done everything to check that my CO2 tank/regulator are in proper operation. Cracked the keg vent and it's definitely under pressure. I really don't understand how a.) how it's not carbonating and b.) how it can appear carbonated with a nice fluffy head, but still be almost completely flat.

Any help will be greatly appreciated and help me determine if I'm going to keg or bottle my I2PA in the secondary fermentor.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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What's the ID of the beer line?

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Old 03-31-2011, 09:30 PM   #3
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3/16" and about 5' long. The beer in the line looks fine too. There's no air or foam in the line.

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Old 03-31-2011, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 724b View Post
I would say you have a slow gas leak.
Why? The CO2 tank isn't really losing pressure. When a get a sample, I can hear some flow through the regulator. Even if there were a leak, it's still being compensated for by the CO2 tank.

Is there a specific location that you have in mind that would give these kind of indications?
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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Confirmed no leaks in the keg, in the fittings, etc?? Is it just this one brew that has the issue?

I've not brewed a lager yet, or kegged just yet, so that's about all I can think of... If you did the brew steps all correctly, and it's been on the same gas pressure for the duration, it should be carbonated. Maybe check the regulators to make sure they're actually putting out the correct pressure?

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Old 03-31-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 724b View Post
It's been my experience that a leak, even a slow one will cause the beer not to carbonate. CO2 is going to take the path of least resistance. It's easier to go out the leak than to go into the beer.

I too, would think that the pressure of the CO2 tank would compensate for any small leak, but that's not my experience.

If star san on everything doesn't produce bubbles, try replacing your gas oring.
Gotcha, makes sense. Alright, I'll go to a soap bubble check and see what I come up with.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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Checked for leaks with the lines on the keg and found nothing. Disconnected the lines and checked again. Found that the beer side poppet valve leaks a little, but with the beer line installed it's not an issue.

I'm fairly certain it's not a leak.

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Old 04-01-2011, 12:03 AM   #8
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If it was a leak the tank would be empty by now.

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 724b View Post
How does the gas side oring look? That's the only thing I haven't been able to figure out how to check with the bubble test.

I've had the exact same situation, over the course of weeks, very little carbonation. The CO2 tank did not drain. I could not find a leak. I replaced the gas oring and it started carbonating.
I don't see any defects. It is a cheaper type that has a seam around it though. Definitely something worth looking into.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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bump?

any help? really not sure what do do with my 5 gallons of delicious, yet flat pilsner...

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