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Old 07-29-2008, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default Leaving kegs under pressure for an extended period of time

For those of you who are more fluent with kegging please let me know if the below approach is the correct one to take.

I currently have three kegs of beer in my beer fridge all getting carbed at around 38F at 10.5psi. Two of these kegs will have been in the fridge for two weeks this Thursday but the third will have only been in a week. My plan was to shutoff the gas to the two that will be ready and leave the third sit for another week. Once the third keg has set for two weeks I planned to turn the gas back on for all three, clear the pressure and dial the CO2 back to 7 for serving. I guess I should add that my current setup consists of a 5# CO2 tank, one regulator and a three-way splitter.

My questions concerning this are…

1. When this Thursday rolls around, would it be better to turn off the two that should be ready as I planned or leave all three under pressure? In other words, can I over-carb the beer when it’s set to just 10.5psi or will it reach a certain volume of CO2 and just stay there if the pressure’s never increased?

2. Leaving all three at 7psi indefinitely won’t hurt anything, will it? I assumed I wouldn’t have to keep turning the CO2 on every time I want to serve and then back off when I’m done but since I’m new to this I thought I should ask.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeyfoot Jr. View Post
For those of you who are more fluent with kegging please let me know if the below approach is the correct one to take.

I currently have three kegs of beer in my beer fridge all getting carbed at around 38F at 10.5psi. Two of these kegs will have been in the fridge for two weeks this Thursday but the third will have only been in a week. My plan was to shutoff the gas to the two that will be ready and leave the third sit for another week. Once the third keg has set for two weeks I planned to turn the gas back on for all three, clear the pressure and dial the CO2 back to 7 for serving. I guess I should add that my current setup consists of a 5# CO2 tank, one regulator and a three-way splitter.

My questions concerning this are…

1. When this Thursday rolls around, would it be better to turn off the two that should be ready as I planned or leave all three under pressure? In other words, can I over-carb the beer when it’s set to just 10.5psi or will it reach a certain volume of CO2 and just stay there if the pressure’s never increased?

2. Leaving all three at 7psi indefinitely won’t hurt anything, will it? I assumed I wouldn’t have to keep turning the CO2 on every time I want to serve and then back off when I’m done but since I’m new to this I thought I should ask.
1. It will reach equilibrium and the volume of dissolved CO2 will stay the same (as long as the temp does).

2. You can leave them pressurized, they are designed for it.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:27 PM   #3
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I've got a barleywine that has been pressurized for five years. The o-rings can get a little flat, so I wouldn't leave them under pressure indefinitely.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:27 PM   #4
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I'll assume your backing off of your pressure to a "serving pressure" because you don't have a balanced system. I would say to get the bugs worked out of your system and then use the "set & forget" method. That's what I do anyway. If you have your beer at 38 degrees at 12 psi, once it hits its saturation level (& hopfully your desired carb level) its not going to keep carbing and carbing until it blows up or anything like that.

I will keg a fresh beer, set the regulator at 12ish psi, (for an American pale lets say) and never touch the dial on the regulator until the beer is gone. Set, wait 2 or 3 weeks, drink beer over a month or so, when the kegs dies, I back it off of 12 (or where ever I had it.) back down to 0 for the next keg to take its place. No shaking the keg, no pressure up for 2 days then back down again. Set it, and forget it.

The kegs will be fine left pressurized.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:29 PM   #5
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Why drop it to 7 psi? If you leave it at 7 then eventually your beer will be flatter than it was at 10.5 (as the Co2 comes out of solution) I have mine set at 12 PSI with about 8 ft of 3/16" hose connected to my taps. Beer pours just fine (I slightly close the tap at the end to create some head) and it never goes flat, stays right at the volumes of Co2 that I like.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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Oh and leaving a keg under pressure won't hurt anything. I've gotten kegs that I know have sat around for years and years with old soda syrup in them. Replaced all the O-rings and they are good to go now.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #7
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I was dropping it to 7psi because I'd heard that serving it at anything much higher would result in a lot of foam. My service lines are only 5 feet or so in length which I think also plays a part. With service lines of that length, could I leave it at 10.5psi for carbing and serving?

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
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1. It will reach equilibrium and the volume of dissolved CO2 will stay the same (as long as the temp does).

2. You can leave them pressurized, they are designed for it.
Based on the other replies, I should amend 2. to say that if you do leave it at 7 psi, you will lose some of the CO2 you forced in at 10 psi; you will save CO2 and get better results if you "balance" your system (i.e. get extra hose so you can serve at the same pressure you store the beer at).
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeyfoot Jr. View Post
I was dropping it to 7psi because I'd heard that serving it at anything much higher would result in a lot of foam. My service lines are only 5 feet or so in length which I think also plays a part. With service lines of that length, could I leave it at 10.5psi for carbing and serving?
check out this post to find out how to balance your system.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeyfoot Jr. View Post
I was dropping it to 7psi because I'd heard that serving it at anything much higher would result in a lot of foam. My service lines are only 5 feet or so in length which I think also plays a part. With service lines of that length, could I leave it at 10.5psi for carbing and serving?
Balance your system.

Otherwise, yes, you'll need to drop to 6-7psi to serve, but crank up to 10.5psi again when done drinking for the day, or you'll lose carbonation in the beer.

get longer tap lines and leave it at 10.5psi....or deal with the hassle of constantly adjusting it.
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