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Old 04-04-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
mjl3434
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Default Typical Kegging Experience

I just wanted to share my experience with my second time kegging, without any specific question.

I filled my keg on a Thursday night, only to discover I was out of CO2. I went and got some gas on Friday, and seeing how I had trouble with over-carbonation with my first keg, I decided to do the "set and forget" method. So I hooked up CO2 at 12 PSI for my keggerator which only gets down to 45F. After 5 days of waiting the beer was certainly carbonated but still a little flat for my taste. So being impatient and all having already waited 5 days I decided to give her a shake with the gas on. I shook the keg 3 times for about 5 seconds each, followed by one last big shake for about 30 seconds. This morning when I tested it it was SUPER FOAMY and certainly over carbonated.

It sure seems like the shake method is extremely volatile and hard to control, whereas the set and forget method takes too stinking long! There's always priming the entire keg but that would take at least as long as the set and forget method.

My experience generally is that kegging is still pretty awesome, but it's not as big of a time saver as people might think. The real benefits are 1. You tend to drink more beer, and 2. Less work to clean and sanitize and no more fooling around with bottles.

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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I could be wrong, but I wouldn't think that shaking at the proper pressure (in this case, 12 psi and not overpressure) would EVER result in overcarbing, I think it's impossible isn't it? Granted, if you shook it a lot and then immediately opened the tap, you'd probably get some foam, but if it sits overnight, I think your problem lies elsewhere. 12 psi at 45 is pretty good carbonation for most styles I would think. Are you sure your gauges and thermometer are correct? How long are your beer lines?

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:17 PM   #3
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I could be wrong, but I wouldn't think that shaking at the proper pressure (in this case, 12 psi and not overpressure) would EVER result in overcarbing, I think it's impossible isn't it?
That would be correct. You will never overcarb if you shake at 12 PSI. Perhaps your lines are too short to be balanced.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
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I agree with StoneHands. I think you need to analyze your system to see where the problem is.

There are many styles that I use the set and forget method with because I want them to age and condition anyway. However, there are some styles I like to drink right away. Like IPA's and any hop forward style. With these beers, I cold crash for about 48 hours, transfer to keg, hook up gas at 30 psi, purge keg, lay it on it's side and gently rock it back and forth with my foot for 15 minutes. I can immediately serve after this with no foaming issues. The beer is still undercarbonated but drinkable. The carbonation level will improve with time.

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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plus, if i am reading correctly and you only carbed one keg with a tank, you either started with an almost empty tank, or you have a leak.

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
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[...]So I hooked up CO2 at 12 PSI for my keggerator which only gets down to 45F.[...]
I want to reiterate the concern about temperature. If the unit will only get down to 45, is it possible it's spending more time than you think over 45? Warmer liquids both take more time/pressure to carbonate and release carbonation more easily, which pretty well describes your experience.

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Old 04-04-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by IffyG View Post
That would be correct. You will never overcarb if you shake at 12 PSI. Perhaps your lines are too short to be balanced.
Bolded for truth... Shaking won't make the beer hold more gas than it would otherwise be capable of holding. What you're describing sure sounds like short lines - at the temperature and pressure you're describing, you should probably have at least 9.3' lines, safest bet is to just call it at 10' even.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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I've read where any degree above 38 will cause foaming issues. I agree about the line length. I have to set to 30 PSI for two days, then set on regular psi for two days without shaking to fully carb and not have carbonic bite. Also don't want to raise the psi back up or you will get carbonic bite.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:42 AM   #9
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Confused with the title, how is this a typical kegging experience? I can tell you that every time somebody mentions over carbonation it is because they shook the keg. I normally have carbed beer in 5 days. Set psi to 30 for 36 hours. Then purge and set to serving psi. After 3-5 days the beer should be carbed depending on beer temp.

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Old 04-05-2013, 06:03 AM   #10
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I probably do have lines which are too short. I believe they are about 5 feet. As far as one tank of CO2 goes that is correct. I don't have leaks, I check with soapy water. What I do have is a bottom of the barrel cheap Chinese kegerator which despite being $500 out the door, only came with a 2.5 lb. CO2 tank, short lines, doesn't get cold enough, etc. the money is already gone so not much I can do. I definitely wasted some CO2 by over carbing my first batch and then getting into a viscious cycle of over carb, purge, repeat. Maybe things would be easier if I had longer lines...

I haven't disassembled the tower so I'm not sure if it is possible to get a longer line or not.

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