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Old 10-22-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default My kegged beer isn't properly carbonating!!

Let me preface this by saying this is the first beer I've kegged and its all very new to me. The keg has been sitting in the refrigerator and hooked up to the gas for just about 4 weeks now. I'm using a 5lb tank, dual regulator, and a cobra tap with about 5 ft of line.

After I kegged the beer, I did as my LHBS instructed and cranked up the psi to 25 for a couple days, purged and turned down the psi to about 12. For two weeks I'd pull a pint to see how it was coming but it was still a little flat so I pulled out the keg and rolled it around (I read somewhere that sometimes the keg needs to be shaken a little to dissolve the CO2) and put it back in the fridge waited patiently. For the past week I've been sampling some more and it foams up when I pour and there isn't much CO2 bubbles in solution. So I turned the psi down to 6-8 psi and the beer has less foam but still doesn't have much CO2 in solution. So now I'm thinking either the CO2 isn't dissolved into the beer or it's coming out of solution when I pour but I can't which, why, and how to fix it!

Now I think I've messed with the regulator and keg so much that I don't what to do and all I want is carbonated beer!

I brought a growler to a brew day this past weekend that I filled with a bottling wand inserted into the cobra tap at 2 or 3psi. The beer was only lightly carbonated but its the best I've gotten so far and it had minimal foaming when I filled it. Unfortunately the remaining 1/3 of the growler ended up flat later that night. I tried filling a couple bottles using BMBF I got the same results.

Last night I tightened up everything from the regulator to hose clamps and I sprayed star stan on all the posts and keg lid to see if there were any leaks but I couldn't find any. I cranked it up to 30 psi, I don't even know why but nothing else seems to be working so I figured I'd let it sit like that for a bit.

Please help me carb my beer! I at least want to be able to pour one proper pint before this keg is kicked.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-22-2008, 05:55 PM   #2
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My first thought might lean me toward you having a pesky leak. But, it has also been a while since I balanced a system and am also leaning toward the issue being your line. Could be both.

Check all your connections, I mean everything everywhere. Use StarSan or a thin water/soap. Check the bell housing on your reg. If you don;t find a leak study into this;

http://www.micromatic.com/Templates/...r%20System.pdf

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Old 10-22-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
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You might have undercarbonated it. I'd suggest turning the CO2 back up for awhile or even doing the "rocking on your knees" approach. The Homebrew Wiki seems to indicate that the beer should be left at the desired temperature/pressure for a week to achieve the proper CO2 content.

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Old 10-22-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
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Here is the link I give people for carbonation....

Force Carbonation & Carb Table

It has an excel file for temp/carb volumes

Basically, just find your target volumes of CO2 and the temperature of your fridge/kegerator/keezer and then set to the indicated pressure and forget about it. This is the best way to do it IMHO because by the time the beer is ready to drink and properly carbonated, the carbonic bite will have dissipated and you will have perfect beer.

Good luck!

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Old 10-22-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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Check all your connections, I mean everything everywhere. Use StarSan or a thin water/soap. Check the bell housing on your reg.
I checked all my gas connections last night but I'll do it again this afternoon just to be sure. I tightened things up and used Star San to check for leaks. Some fittings were able to tighten up so more so maybe that will help. What is the bell housing on a regulator? Is that the part that connects to the CO2 tank? Or maybe the part that has the threaded screw sticking out of it to adjust the psi?
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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Try a 10' beer line, you may be knocking the carbonation out as you pour. You should be able to control a pour such that you don't have any head (if you wanted), I tend to tip the glass up at the end of the pour to get a little foam.

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Old 10-22-2008, 06:26 PM   #7
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You might have undercarbonated it. I'd suggest turning the CO2 back up for awhile or even doing the "rocking on your knees" approach. The Homebrew Wiki seems to indicate that the beer should be left at the desired temperature/pressure for a week to achieve the proper CO2 content.
After 2 weeks I pulled the keg out and rolled it around on the floor for a couple minutes. I waited a couple days before pulling a pint to let everything settle and I thought it worked because the beer seemed to be carbed correctly but that was short lived and the beer went back to being foamy with a lot of turbulence when poured and minimal CO2 left in solution afterwards.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:30 PM   #8
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Try a 10' beer line, you may be knocking the carbonation out as you pour. You should be able to control a pour such that you don't have any head (if you wanted), I tend to tip the glass up at the end of the pour to get a little foam.
I thought about that. But if other people could get buy with shorter lines then I could too.

I just went to go measure the tap line and it turns out its only 4 ft. I have another 5 ft of line on hand. Can I simply connect the 5 ft of line to the 4 ft of line or does it need to be one continuous piece?
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:32 PM   #9
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I checked all my gas connections last night but I'll do it again this afternoon just to be sure. I tightened things up and used Star San to check for leaks. Some fittings were able to tighten up so more so maybe that will help. What is the bell housing on a regulator? Is that the part that connects to the CO2 tank? Or maybe the part that has the threaded screw sticking out of it to adjust the psi?
Yes, the bell housing is the bit that has the screw coming out of it. It's a rare occurence but, sometimes if the bell has come loose, or isn't seated properly the bits inside don't mesh properly and a leak ensues.

I learned this from personal experience rushing through a reg re-build. Maybe it was a fluke but, it is worth a look.

btw, don't go unscrewing the bell completely to avoid some potential frustration. Depending on your reg certain parts have to fit a certain way or they don't work right. TMI perhaps, but I wanted to offer some warning before you venture off the beaten path accidentally.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij Kabouter View Post
Here is the link I give people for carbonation....

Force Carbonation & Carb Table

It has an excel file for temp/carb volumes

Basically, just find your target volumes of CO2 and the temperature of your fridge/kegerator/keezer and then set to the indicated pressure and forget about it. This is the best way to do it IMHO because by the time the beer is ready to drink and properly carbonated, the carbonic bite will have dissipated and you will have perfect beer.

Good luck!
I found that link the other night when I was looking for some answers to my kegging problems. I use Beersmith and it does the same thing. I kegged another beer last night because I refuse to admit defeat and was planning on just setting the psi and letting it sit rather than cranking it up for a short period, roll it around, and turn it back down.
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