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Old 01-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default How do you ensure a keg is sealed?

I just got my first keg, it was pressurized at the store. I open it up, dump hot soapy water in it, close up the lid to shake it and water comes out. I thought the lid was perfectly sealed and double checked it. I was planning on letting a beer carbonate with priming sugar in it tonight but now I need to know beforehand that it is totally sealed. I'm not worried about it being deffective, just a user error.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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It needs to have pressure to seal. There's also no reason to add priming sugar to a keg. You can pressurize with CO2 alone.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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I won't have CO2 for a little bit still, by the time I get CO2 the beer would likely be carbonated. Is my idea a bad idea?

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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Like JonK said, you gotta have pressure to seal.

I'll hit it with 30lbs of CO2 real quick and then spritz all the seals with some StarSan from a squirt bottle and look for bubbles.

A friend of mine turns the keg upside down on top of some paper towels and lets them sit like that for a while to see if there are any leaks.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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pressurize the keg and then take some really soapy water and sponge it along where the lid seals, the "in" and "out" ports, and the purge release. If you see bubbling, you know where the leak is. If there's a leak you need to possibly replace the gaskets. Dont forget your keg lube!

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
I won't have CO2 for a little bit still, by the time I get CO2 the beer would likely be carbonated. Is my idea a bad idea?
When you add priming sugar, there's a gradual release of CO2 that I'm not sure will seal the keg. Kinda risky but it might work. I'd probably just wait and get the CO2.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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I'm not really sure how you would go about getting a good seal if you're naturally carbonating in a keg. I force carb after kegging and will hit the keg with about 30psi to get the lid to seal tight. It also helps the poppits to seal as well. I'd probably try putting keg lube on the lid gasket and pulling it as tight as possible by hand before closing the bail. You could give that a test with cold water to see if it works. Hot water will heat the air inside the keg and create pressure that you won't have when you keg your beer. After the beer has been carbonating for a few days you can test for leaks with some star-san and see how it's going. Good luck.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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Not necessarily a bad idea, as the pressure that lifts the lid creates the seal, the seal just isn't as tight without pressure, and may have some gaps that the normal blast of pressure creates.
I didn't have an issue with priming sugar on 2 kegs that I didn't have co2 for (same thing you did) however 1 keg did have a problem. (Though I think something got in before I closed the lid, rather than after closing the lid).
Without some co2 there really isn't a way to test though, to test, you'd need internal pressure and a spritz test.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Some kegs happen to seal better than others. I'd strongly recommend using a silicone lid gasket and use keg lube to ensure a seal without having to use a burst of CO2 to seat the lid.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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If you don't have access to "keg" lube, you can run to Lowes or Home Depot and buy some plumber's grease. It's a silicone food grade grease that I have used and works perfectly.

Also, if you can get your keg to seal, priming with sugar would be fine. If you use the grease, how I help to ensure I get a good seal, is put the lid on and before pushing it down to seal, pick up up from the sealing handle (this helps the lid to seat properly). That puts weight and compresses the seal a bit. It works better if you have beer or some kind of weight behind it. Then I seal her up and that seems to work really well for me.

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