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Old 10-13-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
davcjohn
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Default Foamy flat beer

I have an old store bought commercial kegerator that I converted into a 5 gallon corny keg system. I carbonated my beer and for the first week, it had an extremely weak stream coming out of the faucet but tasted properly carbonated. I was pouring at 12 psi.

After the first week, the beer became extremely foamy and flat, and beer was starting to pool at the bottom of the fridge. After a lot of frustration and investigation, i found a tiny leak in the tubing from removing it and reconnecting it when i moved. I replaced it with another 5 feet of plastic tubing, the same diameter as the original tubing that came with my conversion system. I purged all of the CO2 out of the keg to make sure i got any air that might have leaked in, and cranked it up to 15 psi and reconnected the system and left it alone for 5 days to recarbonate. After trying it again last night, it was still extremely foamy and mostly flat (though slightly more carbonated than before. I looked around again and noticed when i pushed on where the line meets the faucet (just to confirm it was on tight) that a tiny spray of beer was leaking out the end of the tubing, so I'm assuming air is still getting into my system. I disconnected the beer out connection from the keg too, to stop the leaking, and the keg is slightly leaking beer out of the beer out connection, even when unconnected and closed too.

I am far from handy, and have pressed the tubing into the male faucet threading as far as it will go, but i think the leak is still there. I know the tubing itself doesnt have a leak, since it is brand new, and it is the right size, since smaller tubing doesnt fit and bigger tubing is too big.

Please help, I dont know what to do. I've lost almost half my batch to spillage and flat beer now and it's fairly infurating. Is my system just screwed? I've read about the other causes of foamy flat beer and I dont think its an issue of greasy glasses or bad air or improper tube length.

Thanks in advance

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Old 10-13-2011, 11:16 PM   #2
Joemama474
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I'm pretty new to kegging, and I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're describing but what I'm understanding you have beer leaking out of the beverage line at the faucet, and you have beer leaking out of the beverage out valve on the keg. If that's the case, might I suggest a 1/2" hose clamp on the bev line at the faucet and replacing the o-rings on the bev out poppet valve? Pics might help...

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Old 10-13-2011, 11:22 PM   #3
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A few things....

1....at 5' of tubing, 12-15psi is gonna be pretty foamy....if you are getting lots of foam and the beer is flat, it can be because it is overcarbed. All that foam you see is CO2 that has been forced out of the beer and thus why it tastes flat.

2....if you had a 2nd keg, I would tell you to rack to it and rebuild this one and replace all the o-rings which would probably stop the leaking around the post. If you can do that, here is a tutorial... http://cruisenews.net/brewing/kegging/index.php

3. If your disconnects are using barbs and you are just pushing the tubing onto them, you should pick up some small hose clamps, they will fix the leaking from around barb.

There are probably some more things, but that is all that jumps out at me for the moment. HTH

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Old 10-14-2011, 12:07 AM   #4
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i think i am having issues with the keg itself, I disconnected the gas too, and could feel a little bit of gas leaking out of the gas in connection. I also still have beer leaking out of the beer out, even with the gas disconnected.


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Here are pics of my keg (gas on the left) and connection to my faucet. I had a electric cable tie (show sliding down the hose) tightened around the connection at one point and it didnt seem to help.

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Old 10-14-2011, 03:14 AM   #5
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Even with the gas disconnected, it will still be under pressure for a while, thus the beer still leaking. When you say it is leaking out of the connections, is it leaking from the poppet or from the base of the post. If it is the poppet, there are o-rings on the poppets that can be replaced. If it is at the base of the post, you may need to replace the 0-rings on the diptubes. Have you made sure the posts are tightened all the way? Also, using keg lube on the o-rings may stop the leak. I bet if you get that keg torn down and replace some seals, you'll be good to go. I would replace those zip-ties with metal 1/2" hose clamps, you'll never get a ziptie as tight as a screw drive clamp.

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Old 10-14-2011, 03:25 AM   #6
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I think you need some clamps. Screw drive or oetiker. I just did my system with oetiker clamps.

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Old 10-14-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
davcjohn
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Thanks, I appreciate the advice. The beer and gas were both leaking from the poppets. I ordered some replacement o rings, some keg lube and some clamps, so we'll see if that fixes everything.

A couple of final questions:

Should i make the hose length longer or just turn down the PSI? Any recommendations on the appropriate combo? I have a 10% Imperial IPA in there by the way (which is probably why I am extra mad that I've wasted so much of it).

How should I go about salvaging the remaining beer? I dont have a second keg, though I could hold it in my air tight carboy or something temporarily. What would you recommend for repressurizing it correctly? I am fine with just opening it up and drinking it all at the same time with some friends in one sitting, so I just need it properly carbonated. I just dont want to dump it out.

Thanks again for the advice.

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Last edited by davcjohn; 10-14-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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