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Old 07-10-2006, 04:24 PM   #1
Hunter
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Default Is it my regulator or my tank?

I purchased a TON of homebrewing stuff from a local guy recently. Part of my equipment now consists of a refrigerator converted to a 2-tap kegerator, a mess o' cornies and a co2 bottle with regulator.

One of the kegs he gave me was filled with beer he said he brewed about a year ago...so as a bit of practice I thought I'd learn how to hook the thing up, get a keg carbonated, and see how it all went.

Everything I read said to crank up the co2 to about 35 PSI and shake the hell out of the keg for about a minute, but no matter what I did the gauge never got over about 15 PSI. The beer comes out with a good head, but the head quickly goes away and the beer is still a bit flat.

Anybody have an idea as to what's going on?

Hunter

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Old 07-10-2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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I'm a newb, but I'll try...

For one, I know it takes at least a few days, even at high pressure, to get carbonation - so what you did for a few minutes has nothing to do with the results as you described them.

It doesn't sound like a keg problem. It will either hold pressure or not, but you should probably check it for leaks anyway.

My very uneducated guess is that it's the regulator.

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Old 07-10-2006, 11:03 PM   #3
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Does your regulator have 2 pressure gages on it? If it does one is a high pressure gauge that is linked to the tank and the other is a low pressure gauge linked to the keg side of the regulator. If you high pressure gauge is reading at least 100 psi then it should provide enough pressure for the regulator to "step down" to 35 psi. If you have a decent amount of pressure in the tank and you have turned the t handle or screw to the right it should increase the keg side pressure. If it doesn't then the regulator is bad.

15 PSI is plenty to slow force carb over say 4-6 days, so be patient.

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Old 07-11-2006, 12:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice!

The regulator has two gauges on it. One shows the pressure coming from the cannister, the other shows how much co2 is left (which is always wrong, apparently).

As long as I can force-carbonate with what I have I won't be too worried.

Thanks again,

Hunter

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*Still finding ways to do what others say is impossilbe*

Primary 1: Dry an' thirsty
Primary 2: Dry an' thirsty

Secondary 1: Honey Cream Ale
Secondary 2: Dry an' thirsty

Keg 1: A smidge of hefeweizen
Keg 2: nada

Up next: Anniversary IPA

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Old 07-11-2006, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter
Thanks for the advice!

The regulator has two gauges on it. One shows the pressure coming from the cannister, the other shows how much co2 is left (which is always wrong, apparently).

As long as I can force-carbonate with what I have I won't be too worried.

Thanks again,

Hunter
I think tou are misreading your gauges.

The high pressure gauge tells you the pressure inside the CO2 tank, and will almost always read exactly the same until just before your tank goes dry. I saved some money and bought a regulator without this gauge as it is pretty useless to me - once the tank is almost dry and that gauge starts to drop, you need to refill pretty quick. Since I can get a refill at a local fire extinguisher service shop 7 days a week, this is a useless indicator for me.

The other gauge does NOT tell you the pressure of your "canister" (did you mean your keg?). It tells you the pressure you have your regulator set at. It will provide a reading, if the tank is open, whether you have it hooked to a keg or not.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:47 AM   #6
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The low pressure gages on CO2 tanks frequently get stuck. The slightest bend in the backing plate will make it look like the pressure isn't going any higher, even though it is. I've got one like that. Some day I'll open the casing and straighten the plate.

The brew may not be able to hold carbonation or head. Old ale gets strange.

And the regulator may be damaged or dirty.

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