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Old 02-25-2009, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default Ugh - First Keg Fill Failed...

Here's my little tale of a first time kegger....

Well, it was late Sunday night in the middle of a double header first time AG brew session and I suddenly realized I was one stopper/bubbler short... I had planned on racking my Irish Ale to my first keg to begin my kegging experience, and had to up the schedule to free up a stopper.
Well, out of five kegs I picked a really old Firestone keg with the plastic poppet inserts and side pickup tube - no joy there since I need new inserts. The other one I thought was a corny was a new firestone or similar without the inserts, so I prepped it (was cleaned for days prior but not tested).
I did a brief pressure test with star san inside and all looked great. Then I racked the red ale - smelled great. When I went to seal and hit it with CO2, the lid began leaking gas. I spun it around and resealed (oval but a peculiar fit) and again I looked good... I hit it with 10lbs. and it began to settle - I thought I was in luck.
I came back in 15 or so to check it and saw amber liquid trailing down the side. The out post was leaking at the base of the post. Not tight enough with the wrench. I tightened the post further - it stopped for a second and then began leaking at the top of the poppet - slowly but leaking.
After some desperate moments, I depressurized and transferred back to my now clean and star-san'd carboy. I was going to cry... then I stumbled on a older orange carboy cap I had and luckily it fit.
I'm not 100% of the seal, but it's back in the fridge sitting while I figure out the kegs.
Turns out the poppet rubber had about 1/2 of it's circumference torn off - hard to spot - especially with my older eyes... But enough to cause havoc.

Lessons learned -
1) thoroughly test the kegs - days before - planning to use them! Now I'm on a desparate hunt for those little white plastic Firestone boogers and new poppets...
2) Check the used gear very closely before buying - know what you are getting...
3) Go buy cheap magnifying/reading glasses and check everything again...

Hope this helps someone else along the way...

Cheers

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Old 03-01-2009, 07:53 PM   #2
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Lessons added to memory!

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:58 AM   #3
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Default Keg leaks worked out...

Using lube and different poppets I finally got things to hold pressure on this and another one. Yesterday I kegged the red again and hit it with 35 PSI for 24 then tasted it. Not quite carbed like I'd like yet, but tasted great. The SWMBO & I Had a glass each to celebrate my first batch and first keg...

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wedward View Post
Using lube and different poppets I finally got things to hold pressure on this and another one. Yesterday I kegged the red again and hit it with 35 PSI for 24 then tasted it. Not quite carbed like I'd like yet, but tasted great. The SWMBO & I Had a glass each to celebrate my first batch and first keg...
So did you use lube inside both posts? I wasn't sure if you're supposed to lube the poppets inside of the gas/beer posts, so I just did the rings on both the diptubes and the ring on the lid.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:55 AM   #5
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I had some trouble getting my poppets to seal on an older keg. Hit them with just a dab of lube and all but one sealed up fine. Replaced the one with a new poppet and I was good to go. I now hit every gasket, O-ring, or poppet valve with lube...seems to make them seal better.

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Old 03-02-2009, 11:53 AM   #6
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williamsbrewing.com has the white plastic inserts. I think they've got the poppets you need too.

There's also a different type of rubber washer for the liquid out dip tube on the old kegs. Williams has those too.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogyman View Post
So did you use lube inside both posts? I wasn't sure if you're supposed to lube the poppets inside of the gas/beer posts, so I just did the rings on both the diptubes and the ring on the lid.
Yes I used lube on every non-metal part on the leaking keg. All the kegs I bought were different and had mis-matched parts. The really old firestone and John Wood ones are the most difficult ones. I tried to use sink washers per a link in the sticky on kegging, but they don't handle the CO2 pressure well and end up swelling. THat means either no CO2, no liquid out, or leaks all around. Not fun.

bottle-o-jeff - thanks for the link again. I think I saw that one in another post of yours but wasn't sure how well they worked. I'll have to try them for sure now.
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