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Old 11-02-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
jmlivingston10
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Default N00B @ kegs

So I bought a ball lock keg set up recently and am having a hell of a time trying to get it to carb. What am I doing wrong?? I cleaned / sanitized my keg, filled w/ beer and put my regulator @ 30 psi an rocked back and forth for a count of about 100 (after purging oxygen). Let sit for about 24 hrs on 30psi. No matter how I get my serving pressure down to about 5 psi, my beer is flat. I purged the pressure out of the keg down to 5, I also turned my gas off lowered my pressure and purged my line and it's still flat but all head.
It's a delicious beer that would be great if it had carbonation.... Any thoughts?!?
Thanks for your time
::cheers::

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:12 PM   #2
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do you hear gas flowing into the keg? was the keg at the correct temperature when you did the shaking?

there is no magic about carbonation, there are only two variables you need to measure temperature and pressure... if you have the right pressure and temperature, you will carbonate the beer.

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlivingston10 View Post
it's still flat but all head.
If beer is flat but you have a lot of foam, it means the CO2 is going out of solution. This can happen if:
* beer is over carbonated
* your beer lines/shangk/faucet are warm (if it is the case, the second beer in a row should be better)
* your beer lines are too short to keep the CO2 in solution. You can have a look at the forum stickies on how to balance a system.

You probably have a mix of point 1 and point 3. This is what can happen when shaking under 30psi.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
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I have found that the high pressure/shaking keg to carbonate is a poor and inconsistent way of carbonating a beer. From the sounds of it, having all foam, your beer is over carbonated. Which is what generally happens when you pump the pressure way up and shake it. Try turning the gas off and release the keg pressure and let it sit for a day or so, then check back. The foam should have gone down, and if it is still flat, pump the pressure to 12-15psi and let it sit for a couple days to recarb.
In my opinion, the best way to carb a keg is just set it to 13-15 psi and forget about it for 3-4 days. Remember... Patience is KEY in brewing. Don't rush it, or it will taste like doody and you'll get frustrated

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:37 PM   #5
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It just needs more time....be patient. Here's my process......30 psi for 48 hours (no rocking or shaking the hell out of the keg!), then turn off CO2 to the keg, purge the pressure off of the keg, then set it at 11 psi for a week. You need to make sure there are no leaks in your system (a little dish soap and water and saturate all of your connections, poppets, etc. looking of bubbles = leaks). Be patient....give it time to carb. up. Even after 48 hrs. at 30 psi, my beers are nowhere near carbed up. It takes the extra week or so to fully carb up, sometimes longer. What kind of a set up do you have....kegerator, coffin keezer, collar keezer?

Several things can cause foaming (serving pressure>beer line resistance/warm beer lines and shanks/overcarbonation, etc.), but regardless it seems that after a day or two, your beer just hasn't had enough time to carbonate fully and what carbonation you do have is coming out of solution. Give it another week at 11 psi or check the chart for whatever CO2 volume your looking for and it will fully carbonate as long as your system is air tight without leaks. Also make sure your system is balanced and beer lines are cold.

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Old 11-02-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info guys, I'm going to remove the beer tonight and try it again. I don't think the foam problem is because of over carb, because it's still completely flat... My serving line is just the picnic tap, and I have left it off the keg in room temp (65 -70 ish?), so that might be part of the problem... I am using a regular fridge that I drilled a hole in and was running my gas line through the side... Could that be part of the problem too?
:cheers:
:-D

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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I'm also new to kegging beer and just bought my single tap tower kegerator and 5 gallon ball lock corny keg, so I'm going to piggy-back off this post. I'm doing the "set and forget" method at 12-15psi for about 2 weeks and have had it kegged and under pressure since Monday night. However Tuesday night I thought I had frozen my beer line, or keg, as I couldn't get anything to come out of the tap (just a little drip). I opened the door to the kegerator and it was clearly not below freezing (cold, but not freezing) nor had the keg been in long enough to freeze even a little bit. I took the keg out and shook it a little to see if I could hear the beer sloshing around, I could. My beer line was visibly pressurized and full with beautiful beer. I disconnected and reconnected my beer and gas line and was able to get a full pour from it. My question to add to this post would be - what would cause that? Has anyone else run into this situation during carbing?

Also seperate to that - Can I carb a beer in a 2nd keg by pressurizing it to 15psi disconnecting and letting it sit in my kegerator for 2 weeks? I'm thinking this should theoretically work if there's no leaks to the keg, right? I don't have the ability to tap two beers at the same time with my tower/regulator setup, but I can certainly keg and pressurize a 2nd corny and let it sit 2 weeks. This way when my tapped keg is spent it'll be ready to be tapped. Or does it need to be connected to Co2 for the entire 2 weeks of carbing?

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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Also seperate to that - Can I carb a beer in a 2nd keg by pressurizing it to 15psi disconnecting and letting it sit in my kegerator for 2 weeks? I'm thinking this should theoretically work if there's no leaks to the keg, right? I don't have the ability to tap two beers at the same time with my tower/regulator setup, but I can certainly keg and pressurize a 2nd corny and let it sit 2 weeks. This way when my tapped keg is spent it'll be ready to be tapped. Or does it need to be connected to Co2 for the entire 2 weeks of carbing?[/QUOTE]

Nope....won't work. The 15 psi of CO2 in the head space will gradually go into solution to equalize. It will not carb your beer sufficiently. You need it under constant pressure to fully carbonate the beer over time. You could however rack your beer into a keg with priming sugar, purge out the O2 with CO2, and then store someplace, unrefrigerated, as it naturally carbs up.

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joncb04 View Post
Also seperate to that - Can I carb a beer in a 2nd keg by pressurizing it to 15psi disconnecting and letting it sit in my kegerator for 2 weeks? I'm thinking this should theoretically work if there's no leaks to the keg, right? I don't have the ability to tap two beers at the same time with my tower/regulator setup, but I can certainly keg and pressurize a 2nd corny and let it sit 2 weeks. This way when my tapped keg is spent it'll be ready to be tapped. Or does it need to be connected to Co2 for the entire 2 weeks of carbing?
I don't think it works that way, as the CO2 dissolves into the beer, you lose the pressure head on the beer. As an example, the dissolving process might equalize with the beer absorbing enough CO2 to leave only 5 psi of pressure head on the beer, and stop there. Meaning you won't be getting all the pressure you desire in the beer. And with the pressure dropping, you are more prone to opening up small leaks in the tank.

At least that is my understanding. As a potential workaround, you could give your keg a booster shot of gas every couple days and I would think that would be enough to keep the pressure head high enough to dissolve CO2 into the beer.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppopotomus View Post
Nope....won't work. The 15 psi of CO2 in the head space will gradually go into solution to equalize. It will not carb your beer sufficiently. You need it under constant pressure to fully carbonate the beer over time. You could however rack your beer into a keg with priming sugar, purge out the O2 with CO2, and then store someplace, unrefrigerated, as it naturally carbs up.
That's what I expected to hear back and was what I was thinking in the back of my mind. Thanks for the quick responses on that.

Does anyone know what might be up with my first question/issue?
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