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Old 06-25-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
HomerT
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Default Help calm a kegging newbie....

Ok, so the other night I drilled my fridge and installed the faucets, liquid lines, shelving for the kegs / CO2, and the drip tray. Last night I racked my AHBS Choco-Rasp-Stout into a sanitized keg and connected everything. I had a few things that concerned me, and I need someone to tell me to "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew...."

1) Per the instructions, I sealed the keg, attached the liquid line to the out post, attached the gas line to the in post, and opened the gas with the regulator set at 16lbs to "seat the lid". I did this, and it immeadiately seated and sealed the slightly leaking lid. However, beer came out of the keg out post and into the liquid line. Not much, maybe a foot of line had liquid in it. Is this normal? Is this an issue? Did I do somehting wrong?

2) Now, when I connected my bottle (room temp, the regulator showed about 1000psi. I set the reg to 40psi (per instructions....24hrs at 40, bleed, 24hrs at 20psi, bleed, 24hrs at 14psi....drink) and put the whole thing thing in the fridge. I checked it this morning and thehigh-side gage is now showing ~660psi. Now I know that PV=nRT and that the cold temps of the fridge should drop the pressure. I just wasn't expecting such a large drop. Is this normal, or the sign of a leak in my system?

I know these sound like trivial issues, but this is my baby and I am worried. On a side note.....kegging process rocks comapred to bottling! I already told SWMBO that any bottle tha isn't a bomber, a Belgian, or a flip-lid style is leaving the basement for good! So for my Michigan peeps , there will be about 6 cases of 12oz bottles that will be free to a good home in the near future.

-Todd



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Last edited by HomerT; 06-25-2008 at 01:40 PM. Reason: 12oz -/= 22oz.....
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the world of kegging.

There isn't any need to hook the out liquid line up until you are ready to serve. The beer will flow into the tube like it did because of the pressure differential.

I wouldn't worry about the pressure drop, but you should use a bottle of soapy water (or starsan) to check for leaks everywhere just to be safe. I'm not sure where you received your instructions on carbonation from but it doesn't sound very exact. Everyone has different opinions on the best way to force carb, my preferred method is just to set the PSI to whatever I need to get to the level I want at the temp the beer is at. Whatever you choose to do I'd recommend chilling your beer first

BTW a bomber is a 22oz bottle, maybe you meant your getting rid of 12oz bottles.



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Old 06-25-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
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Both are normal. RDWHAHB!

I'm not a big fan of force carbing like you are trying to do. I prefer to set the keg at serving pressure and wait until it carbs up. This lets the beer age a little longer and there is no chance of over carbing.

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
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When carbonating you should leave the "line out" post un connected. The over pressure situation probley forced some out, as the tap has trouble holding back that much pressure. When your doing the ramp down situation to speed up carbonation, just hook up the line in. Crank the CO2 up, and use the bleeder valve to purge.


As the CO2 tank cools the pressure regulator will drop. The "Remaining" guage is kind of useless, as it will get damn near zero, and then once it does drop down to show your almost out, you are out. This is all normal, I asked the very same question when I first got my tank.

One thing I can suggest is to spray some soapy water around all fittings once hooked up. That will make sure you don't have a leak.

EDIT: sorry guys, you beat me to it. =P

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:39 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks for calming my fears guys.

As for the carbing directions, I was using the sheet that Midwest put in with the kit. It showed instructions for naturally carbing the keg and then the force-carb mehtod. It said to set pressure at 40psi and leave it for 24hrs. Then bleed it down with the purge valve and set it to 20psi for 24hrs. The bleed it down again and set it to serving pressure (12~16psi) for 24hrs. Then pour and dump the first pint and your good to go.

How long does it take to carb up if I just set it at the correct pressure and leave it? I may do that with my next batch...an AHBS Wheat.

-Todd

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Also, should I disconnect the liquid line and try to clean out the beer that is in there?

-Todd

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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imo....

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Originally Posted by HomerT View Post

How long does it take to carb up if I just set it at the correct pressure and leave it? I may do that with my next batch...an AHBS Wheat.

-Todd
My last wheat I set at my serving pressure (12lbs) and it was well carbed in 6 days.
Thats my preferred method to carb since I'm usually in no rush and as others mentioned, the extra days let it age more.


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Also, should I disconnect the liquid line and try to clean out the beer that is in there?

-Todd
Naa....just leave the beer in there as it will flow on out when you go to pour and dump your first glass.


Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:47 PM   #8
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both normal. i've owned 3 CO2 regulators for various purposes, and all three had a little 'break in' period for a couple days where I'd set it at 30psi, and come back in 12 hours and it was at 0psi or at least less t han 30psi.

but it will start holding the psi. has to do with the spring on the gas valve...it compresses to 40psi, but then wants to expand a little bit. After a couple of tweaks, it'll stay at 30psi, and won't need fidgeting ever again.

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Old 06-26-2008, 01:11 PM   #9
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Well, last night I bled it off, reset the pressure to 20psi...one day to go! And the high-presure gauge was steady at 600psi. Seems like that is its equilibrium pressure.

A side note, I noticed another weird thing. Before I bled off the pressure in the keg, I closed the ball valve on the gas in line. The regulator pressure jumped up. I set the reg down to 20psi, opned the ball valve on the gas line to the keg and the regulator dropped to almost 10psi. I cranked it back up to 20. Any idea why the regulator pressure would read different depending on the gas line to the keg being open or closed?

-Todd

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Old 06-28-2008, 02:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerT View Post
Well, last night I bled it off, reset the pressure to 20psi...one day to go! And the high-presure gauge was steady at 600psi. Seems like that is its equilibrium pressure.

A side note, I noticed another weird thing. Before I bled off the pressure in the keg, I closed the ball valve on the gas in line. The regulator pressure jumped up. I set the reg down to 20psi, opned the ball valve on the gas line to the keg and the regulator dropped to almost 10psi. I cranked it back up to 20. Any idea why the regulator pressure would read different depending on the gas line to the keg being open or closed?

-Todd
When you close the ball valve, the co2 from the tank to the reg guage is very little. When you open the ball valve the co2 fills all the line, and all the dead space in the tank until it can back up the guage spring to whatever resistance. This is the true reading you're looking for (telling what pressure is going through the keg) Open the ball valve, and then slowly raise your setting numbers to operating req.


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