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Old 06-20-2010, 10:34 PM   #1
OsoCervezero
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Default HELP! Kegging problems Lincoln NE

This is my first post under this username, but my previous one went all haywire and I can't log in.

I got a keg system for my birthday a few weeks ago and I had a beer in secondary for a few months I was dreading bottling up, hence the reason my wife went ahead and got me the system. I ordered the CO2 tank and got it filled Friday and was ready to start. I sanitized everything and then I set up to bleed some of the sanitizer from the keg, but realized the stock tubing and hose clamps on it were ****. I went to the hardware store and got some sealing tape, new tube and some adjustable clamps. That seemed to solve the problem of the sealing and my keg was finally getting the pressure to dispense.

I also checked the in and out for leaks with soapy water, I saw none. Seemed as though everything was ready for the beer. So without further ado I went ahead and racked my beer and placed the keg in my spare fridge overnight to chill it, so as to force carbonate more easily. Before I placed it into the fridge I had applied some pressure and checked for leaks, didn't see any. Placed it under about 25 psi overnight in the fridge. Being a chemist, I understand the PV=nRT and so as the gas cooled the psi on the tank would drop, but I checked it after lunch today and it was at about 400 psi after starting around 800. I clearly have a leak somewhere, but again, I have checked the seals and I can't seem to find one, and on top of it, now I can't get the beer to even dispense, and it is, or should be under 25 psi. I fiddled with it for some time and I can't get any beer to dispense and I can't find any leaks.

I need some help here, I am beyond my comfort level with troubleshooting and it would be great if someone with experience in the area could help me out. I disconnected the gas and shut off the tank, placed the keg back in the fridge and I will eagerly await someone's help. If someone can talk me through this without a visit that would be a huge help, but I am really not sure if that is possible.

Thanks in advance folks!!!

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Old 06-20-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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Your CO2 pressure won't begin to drop due to depletion until the last of the liquid CO2 has evaporated, i.e. when the tank is completely empty. At fridge temp, your pressure will be significantly lower than when you looked at the gauge after it was filled. My full 20 lb cylinder in the fridge is currently reading a little over 500 psi.

I think your inability to dispense beer is a separate issue. Check your check valves (if any), disconnects, and maybe whack your regulator a bit. Did your keg receive pressure when you first did the leak check?

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Old 06-20-2010, 11:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PintOfBitter View Post
Your CO2 pressure won't begin to drop due to depletion until the last of the liquid CO2 has evaporated, i.e. when the tank is completely empty. At fridge temp, your pressure will be significantly lower than when you looked at the gauge after it was filled. My full 20 lb cylinder in the fridge is currently reading a little over 500 psi.

I think your inability to dispense beer is a separate issue. Check your check valves (if any), disconnects, and maybe whack your regulator a bit. Did your keg receive pressure when you first did the leak check?

Well the tank has been sitting out at room temperature for a few hours and the regulator has creeped just a bit higher, I have blown through quite a bit of CO2 which is what bothers me.

I have checked the disconnects and doesn't seem to be an issue, and the keg did receive pressure when I first checked for leaks with sanitizer.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OsoCervezero View Post
Well the tank has been sitting out at room temperature for a few hours and the regulator has creeped just a bit higher, I have blown through quite a bit of CO2 which is what bothers me.

I have checked the disconnects and doesn't seem to be an issue, and the keg did receive pressure when I first checked for leaks with sanitizer.
Your CO2 tank is fine. You haven't run out of gas - it will go from whatever it says you have, to 0 VERY quickly when there's no liquid CO2 left. THEN you're out of CO2. In other words, assuming the temperature of the CO2 tank stays constant, the needle won't move at all until the tank is completely out of liquid CO2. FWIW my tanks say about 600 PSI at room temperature, and just over 400 in the keezer.

It's my opinion that high pressure gauges should be removed and capped. They are completely worthless until it's too late.

As for not getting anything to pour, try this:
Pull the relief valve on the keg - Does it hiss? If it does, your CO2 delivery is fine, focus on the out post, QD, line and faucet. No pressure? Check your tank is on (I know, but I've done it...), the shutoff valve is open, the manifold valve is open (If you have a manifold), the regulator is set properly, and the grey QD is actually on the "IN" post of the keg.
Assuming you have pressure on the keg, and you have the gray CO2 disconnect on the "IN" post of the keg, you can focus on the "OUT" side.
Make sure the black disconnect is connected to the "OUT" post of the keg. Open you faucet and beer should flow. If it doesn't, you may have a bad disconnect, or a clogged/stuck poppit inside of the post, or clogged dip tube.
Let the pressure off of the keg, and remove the "OUT" post. Disassemble the post/poppit and clean them. Remove the dip tube and make sure it's clear. Re-assemble, and test again.
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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

Last edited by SweetSounds; 06-21-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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I find the first pull out of the co2 tank seems to drop the high pressure quite a bit. then it stops. then it wont move til you are out. check theweight of the tank now. you should find a weight of the empty tank stamped somewhere. plus your co2. if you are close to it then you didnt loose too much.

you need to address the issue of why the beer is not pouring.

if you need more help, you need to let us know more of your system, co2 tank to the tap. also if you dry hopped or anything that might plugg the keg....

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Old 06-21-2010, 08:34 PM   #6
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keg lube will be your best investment if you don't have some already. unless you find the "oh, that was stupid" that is causing your problems, tear down the system and reconnect everything nicely cleaned and lubed.

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Old 06-21-2010, 10:41 PM   #7
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I live in Lincoln, and I could probably come by to look at your setup if you want. PM me. I don't think you have a leak in your gas, and it just sounds like your poppet on the out line isn't able to open.

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Old 06-22-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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I did reply to your PM already but I'll say it here too:

900-1000psi at room temp is normal. since yours was 800psi, I think your high gauge is just a little off, an that is ok cuz the high gauge isn't that important. it'll read 800psi at room temp until you're down to a couple ounces of liquid CO2, then it'll rapidly plummet to 0psi in the next few pours.

So, 400psi chilled sounds just right to me for your high gauge. the dispensing issue we can trouble shoot this week when I stop by, but I'd say:
1. vent the keg
2. remove the beer out post and make sure the poppet can move
3. remove the beer out dip tube to make sure it didn't get plugged
4. re-pressurize and dispense

we can do all that if you don't have the sockets yet for the posts.

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Old 06-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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Update!
I went to OsoCervezero's yesterday to look at his keg, armed with my socket for removing posts, keg lube, and a spare liquid QD since the problem was dispensing.

Its a brand new 5 gallon keg so everything is in perfect working condition. I noticed that both posts were 6-points at the base instead of the gas in post being 12-point.
But, I only have old old used kegs so maybe that's normal?
I pulled the liquid post, we cleaned some packed up yeast out of the poppet and dip tube first, then made sure the poppet could travel properly to release liquid.

Then I tried to put the QD on the out post...

The problem is his brand new black quick disconnect didn't want to go all the way down on the Out post, so he barely got liquid out, and it leaked stout out. Luckily I brought a slightly used QD with the same barbed compression fitting, and either due to manf. differences or the simple fact that my QD is broken it, it did snap down on the Out post and locked properly.

So I just swapped QD's with him since my posts will probably be more forgiving, and his keg was dispensing like a charm! Same brand of QD too so it was a nice even trade.

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