Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Regulator problems? Or Judo problems?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-21-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
Judochop
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Libertyville, IL
Posts: 319
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default Regulator problems? Or Judo problems?

If I set my regulator to a certain PSI, should the gauge remain at that level? My understanding is that the gauge is reading the pressure from the CO2 tank and has nothing to do with the pressure inside the keg. Is that not correct? I ask b/c my PSI needle seems to wander while I’m away. It seems to wander up to higher PSI’s. I then unscrew the pin to drop the PSI level and it takes several twists before the needle begins to move.

Is this a user error, or user ignorance, or do I have a wacked out reg on my hands?

I’ve also noticed that the other gauge on my regulator – the one which supposedly reads the amount of CO2 in the tank – has always been on flat-out ‘empty’. It’s never budged. (My CO2 tank is not empty. Not yet, anyway.) Could that be b/c of something I’m doing wrong, or is the thing just busted?

I went to kegs b/c I want CONTROL!!! But I’m losing it. I’m losing my precious control. I feel like I’m being utterly manhandled by these wicked contraptions.

Heeeellllllp meeeeeeeeee……

__________________
Judochop is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #2
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,651
Liked 133 Times on 126 Posts

Default

Your high-pressure gauge is busted.

The low-pressure gauge is both the pressure in the tank and the set pressure for the regulator. This isn't 100% true for two reasons: 1. If you have a check valve in the line, the keg can be at a higher pressure than the regulator outlet. 2. When you adjust the regulator to a lower pressure, you won't see the change until some CO2 has moved into the keg due to pulling a few pints.

If you want to reduce the pressure and be more confident of the change: first, unscrew the pin about 1/2 a turn; second, pull the relief valve; third pull a pint (optional); fourth, wait a day.

__________________

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2008, 04:14 PM   #3
Chriso
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chriso's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Someplace, Nebraska
Posts: 4,714
Liked 72 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 127

Default

But - Take comfort knowing your Hi-pressure gauge doesn't really do much for you anyways.

Where'd you get your reg from? Many places will exchange within the 1st year, if they come with problems. Could just be a bad unit.

David's note re: the check valve is important. If you have one, then once you "dial in" your pressure, it should. not. change. If you DON'T have a check valve, then it could concievably wander.

My vote is faulty unit, contact reseller for a swap. If it's Micromatic or one of the other big name places, you should be in good hands.

__________________
BROKEN ROBOT BREWING CO.

Chriso || SMaSH Brewers, Unite! || Nebraska Brewers! || Lincoln Lagers Brew Club
"You have just experienced the paradigm shift that is....all grain brewing." - BierMuncher
Chriso is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2008, 04:40 PM   #4
Judochop
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Libertyville, IL
Posts: 319
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriso View Post
But - Take comfort knowing your Hi-pressure gauge doesn't really do much for you anyways.

Where'd you get your reg from? Many places will exchange within the 1st year, if they come with problems. Could just be a bad unit.

David's note re: the check valve is important. If you have one, then once you "dial in" your pressure, it should. not. change. If you DON'T have a check valve, then it could concievably wander.

My vote is faulty unit, contact reseller for a swap. If it's Micromatic or one of the other big name places, you should be in good hands.
Hey, it's Chriso again! My hero.

I got the reg from BBB, along with a refurbished keg, but it was years (>5)ago. Since then it's been hibernating, packaged and unused. It really shouldn't have suffered any trauma that I know of. And yes, it has a check valve. (I took it to my local HB shop to have them confirm b/c I knew I needed one of those before I started rocking my keg to infuse the CO2.)

So... it sounds like my gear is FUBAR.

That sucks.
(But thanks!)
__________________
Judochop is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2008, 04:45 PM   #5
Chriso
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chriso's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Someplace, Nebraska
Posts: 4,714
Liked 72 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 127

Default

Hmm. Got an empty keg? Try a dry run to see if the same symptoms occur.

Dial in your reg to a given pressure (low is fine, I'd start with 5psi just to see if it holds), hook it to the empty keg, wait a sec, purge the keg to make sure you're at or under 5, and not above it, and then wait for a while. I'd take a reading after 4 hrs and 12 hrs (and if it still holds, take another at 24 hours just to be sure).

If it stays at 5 and does not "creep", then it sounds like it's working fine, and what you're seeing has to do -- somehow -- with the beer's carbonation, or something wacky like that.

If it "creeps" then you know your reg is bad. You might be able to find a rebuild kit cheaper than a new reg. Should be <$20 and easy to install. Depends on the particular model.

Good luck - I know how friggin' annoying issues like this can be! (My 3-reg bank keeps leaking. Spent about $70 on parts, and haven't got the stupid thing into service yet.)

__________________
BROKEN ROBOT BREWING CO.

Chriso || SMaSH Brewers, Unite! || Nebraska Brewers! || Lincoln Lagers Brew Club
"You have just experienced the paradigm shift that is....all grain brewing." - BierMuncher
Chriso is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2008, 05:02 PM   #6
Judochop
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Libertyville, IL
Posts: 319
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default

I'll give that a shot. I only own the one keg and it's still got plenty of beer in it, but it's always been the plan to own a couple more. I'll go ahead and make that purchase now.

Thanks again. If you're ever in the Libertyville, IL area, stop by and I'll treat you to either a grossly overcarbonated, or placidly flat beer.

__________________
Judochop is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2008, 05:15 PM   #7
Dpostman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NB Canada
Posts: 85
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Hey JC.

I'll chime in here because i've seen the same thing.

First off: Yes, I think your HP (High Pressure) tank gauge is either faulty or not screwed in far enough to open the valve on the high side to get a reading. (But I don't think that is it)

Second. The Drifting Set point on your regulator: Once you connect the regulator to your keg, lets assume the folowing:

1- Keg is already carbed
2- You pull pressure relief valve on keg to reduce pressure in keg
3- connect gas in disconnect, connect beer out disconnect
4- bring pressure up in keg by turning set screw on regulator to desired pressure... lets say 10psi
5- start pouring beer in glass, everything is OK. Big smile. Have a few. go to bed.
6- get up and go to work. Get back from work and check pressure level on gauge and OH NO.... it says 13 PSI. Now what.
7- you turn screw down but it takes about 2 full turns before it starts to bleed out. Now check valve is engaged and pressure in thank is still 13PSI.


Could it be possible that the keg is carbed slightly higher than the 10 PSI. If it is, when you release the pressure on the keg before you connect it, and then bring pressure up with set screw, yes pressure is 10 PSI, you pour a few beer, and CO2 is supplied by tank and stays at 10 PSI, but if your beer was carbed even slightly higher, overnight, some CO2 will come out of solution and creep the pressure up very slowly, in fact so slow that the ball in the check valve won't move, so the needle in the gauge starts going upwards a bit.

Fix: When you get back from work, check gauge, if above where you want it, let some CO2 out by the release valve on the keg until you hear CO2 feed back in and bring CO2 level to desired set point. Have a few beer. The Next day, it might have crept up again, but probably not as high, non the less, let some CO2 out again, have a few more beer, after a few days of this, you'll see, it will stop creeping up and stabilize.

The check valve will work if you had 30 PSI in Keg, and Regulator was set for 10, a sudden rush of CO2 or Beer in the reverse direction. But for very slow changes like mentioned above they don't always work, especially when in most keggorators, the Check valve is mounted upside down, such as the ball must move upwards to block passage.

dp

__________________

Last edited by Dpostman; 10-21-2008 at 05:21 PM.
Dpostman is offline
mrose5019 Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-07-2012, 10:35 PM   #8
bgs8884
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 71
Likes Given: 3

Default

I am having a problem similar, except i am using a 3-way CO2 manifold as well. I cannot seem to get the regulator to go above 10PSI by turning the screw on the regulator when i have two kegs connected. When i have one tank connected, i have no issues.

When using a manifold, what is the regulator actually measuring? Does it know that there is 10 PSI total between the 2 kegs (5PSI each)? Does the PSI really need to be 20PSI, figuring for 10PSI per keg?

photo-aug-07-6-31-17-pm.jpg  
__________________
bgs8884 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #9
Chriso
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chriso's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Someplace, Nebraska
Posts: 4,714
Liked 72 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 127

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgs8884 View Post
When using a manifold, what is the regulator actually measuring?
Does it know that there is 10 PSI total between the 2 kegs (5PSI each)?
It doesn't know how many kegs are on it. It's applying 10PSI on to the manifold, which applies the 10PSI evenly onto each and every keg.

If you have two kegs (both already fully carb'ed and stable at 10PSI) connected to your manifold, and you have your gas turned on at 10PSI, it should simply maintain both kegs at that pressure as they have pints drawn from them.

If you have one of those kegs that is *not* yet stable at 10PSI (meaning it is still absorbing CO2 and, if not recharged, will gradually decrease in overall PSI as it absorbs more gas) - then one of two things will happen:

With a check valve - your stable keg should stay at 10PSI - and your unstable keg should continue absorbing CO2 - which might, at times (such as after purging that keg of gas), cause a low reading, until it fully stabilizes. But your manifold should still read, more or less, 10PSI throughout this process.

Without a check valve - the pressure from the stable keg (including, if full to the brim, the *beer* from the stable keg) and the pressure from your CO2 source both have the potential to pass through the manifold and enter your unstable keg. As above, if left for long enough, the pressure will eventually stabilize, and both kegs should be at 10PSI.

This is where check valves become very helpful - you eliminate the risk of an overcharged keg (foam bomb!) or an undercharged keg (vacuum!) causing imbalance which in turn leads you to the dreaded beer leakage into yonder air lines.

If you forget (gasp!) that you were blast charging your room-temp keg at 30PSI and hook your regulator to it while your poor little Reg. is only set to 10PSI, and it is built sans-check-valve, you'll wind up with a line & regulator body dripping with beer foam, which results in a couple hours of cleanup and reassembly.
If you make that same mistake, but with a check valve, you shouldn't experience any explosion of beer. (Unless the check valve is faulty.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgs8884 View Post
Does the PSI really need to be 20PSI, figuring for 10PSI per keg?
Nope. That would simply apply 20psi to both kegs.

You would only want to do this if you have a Primary Reg. providing pressure from Source to Manifold, and then instead of a simple splitter, you actually have multiple regulators built into a bank creating a mega-manifold of sorts. In this case, you would push your highest desired PSI on your primary, and you would use each subsequent manifold to reduce the pressure.
e.g. you could set your tank reg. at 15 PSI, and Sec. Reg. 1 could provide your fizziest beer 15 PSI, then Sec. Reg 2 would provide a medium beer with 12 PSI, and Sec. Reg 3 would provide your English Bitter with only 9 PSI so that it doesn't get too carb'ed.

Hopefully I said all of that right. Been a while since I've forumed much. I think the beer has started to corrode all my thinking & typing circuits.
__________________
BROKEN ROBOT BREWING CO.

Chriso || SMaSH Brewers, Unite! || Nebraska Brewers! || Lincoln Lagers Brew Club
"You have just experienced the paradigm shift that is....all grain brewing." - BierMuncher
Chriso is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-08-2012, 12:05 AM   #10
bgs8884
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 71
Likes Given: 3

Default

i have one keg fully carbed and one kegged i just added from the fermenter two days ago. i suppose that could be the reason for the strange behavior?

this is the manifold i have, which i believe has the check valve.

http://www.amazon.com/3-Way-CO2-Distribution-Bar-Safety/dp/B000CQC46K/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1344384171&sr=1-1&keywords=co2+check+valve

__________________
bgs8884 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First all-grain...problems, problems, problems. Q2XL All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 30 09-13-2013 11:02 PM
Regulator Problems? SwAMi75 Bottling/Kegging 9 02-21-2011 05:58 PM
OG vs. FG problems Cos All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 10-09-2008 08:40 PM
Car Problems... Dr_Deathweed General Chit Chat 70 05-08-2008 03:22 AM
Multi Regulator Problems kilroy Bottling/Kegging 7 12-20-2007 02:58 PM