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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Verify CO2 gauge and other CO2 woes
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:12 AM   #1
DonNowlin
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Default Verify CO2 gauge and other CO2 woes

Anyone have any ideas on how to verify if a CO2 gauge is reading correctly? I have a sneaky suspicion that mine is reading low and causing me to continually overcarb my beer.
Thought it was line length. Nope. I'm at 10' of 3/16" and still foamy, flat tasting.
Thought it was temp difference between faucet and beer lines. Beer lines are inside the kegerator and I cooled the faucet with ice before the next test. Still foamy and flat tasting.
I burped the keg a few times, dropped the pressure to about 3psi and VERY SLOWLY came a nicely (although highly) carbonated beer with 1/2" head.
On a side note, I do notice that bubbles form in the line after I pull a beer.

A secondary question - how many volumes would you say it takes to go from "highly carbonated" (good pour, lots of carbonation bite) to "overcarbonated" (nothing but foam)? I've checked the temp/psi chart and from what I can see, there is not much of a window to play with between highly carbonated and overcarbonated.

A final question (for the moment), is how to get a faster pour without increasing the psi and overcarbonating the beer again? Or so I simply pull out the keg, burp it for a few days and start over?

Any thoughts on any or all of the above?

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:19 AM   #2
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You can get a manifold and run a new gauge on the manifold with the old gauge to see if its working, but at that point you might as well just replace the old gauge with a new one, lol.

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Old 06-18-2012, 05:06 AM   #3
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How are you carbonating the beer?

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Old 06-18-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Forced carb. Set it and forget it.

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
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stardard Bourdon-type gauges are very inaccurate, especially the cheap ones usually used for homebrew equipment. I wouldn't trust them past +/- 20%.

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
stardard Bourdon-type gauges are very inaccurate, especially the cheap ones usually used for homebrew equipment. I wouldn't trust them past +/- 20%.
I also think that if you put the whole setup in a fridge (like i did) that also affects the gauge and the regulator. I usually just go by what the gauge says... i havent seen a noticable difference +/- whatever the gauge is saying.

As for the faster pours... why? I enjoy watching my beer fill up the glass. And for the "foam" or head i'd make sure you dont have any leaks or kinks in the line. I had a faulty keg ball lock on my keg the plastic pin that pushes the ball down was bent or chiped or soething that allowed just enough air in to cause havoc on a steady flow... be careful when your pushing those in they should go on nice and easy if your using any real force then it isnt lined up.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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The pour rate isn't solely for speed. It will take me at least a minute to draw a pint of beer at the psi I have it on to keep the CO2 in the beer.

Would the +/- 20% (at 12 psi) be enough to continually overcarb?

And I found no kinks or leaks either. About at the point of going to natural carbing.

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Old 06-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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Hi

The easiest "home meathod" to calibrate a gauge is a water column. Each foot of water in the tube is 0.433 pounds. 27.7 inches gives you 1 psi. You run up a lot of feet to get to 10 psi. It's cheaper to just buy another gauge and compare them...

Bob

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Old 06-19-2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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you say you have 10 feet of Beer line? i just saw that.. have you tried reducing that... I have started at 5 feet of beer line.

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Old 06-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr1nkBeer View Post
you say you have 10 feet of Beer line? i just saw that.. have you tried reducing that... I have started at 5 feet of beer line.
Hi

Not real clear how shortenig the line will help a foam problem. I'm running 20 foot lines with no problems at all.

Bob
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