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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > What Am I Doing Wrong?
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default What Am I Doing Wrong?

Just started kegging. No issues with bottle carbonation except when I forget to measure the bottling sugar.. BUT, not so with kegging.

I've put two ales into kegs.. one 5G corny and one 3G corny. Both were initially kegged at 30PSI for about a week. Then I turned the pressure down to 20PSI and got a lot of foam but no carbonation in the glass. Turned it down to 15PSI after bleeding the keg pressure and got a decent pour.. but, little or no carbonation in the glass.. little to no head foam. IOW, it didn't blast out of the tap. Just a nice easy pour.

I have a 5' length of 3/16" thick walled tubing between the kegs and the party taps... 15PSI.. at 40*F

Any thoughts? I don't want to go back to bottling except in rare instances.

Oh yes, another comment. I brought some brew to a friend yesterday. Put the ale in a large brown plastic bottle with Carbonator on the top. Charged it to 20PSI and the bottle was definitely hard.. Put it on ice and brought it over to share. Very little foam and definitely no bubbles in the beer.

Something is just not right after reading all the threads I could find.. and having nice pours at other get togethers.

Helllllllllp.

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Old 06-25-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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Perhaps a dumb question, but you are force carbonating in a fridge/kegerator (<40°), right? At room temp, no amount of pressure is going to dissolve enough CO2 in your beer to taste carbonated.

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Old 06-25-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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Check your lines for leaks, and confirm CO2 is flowing into the keg by holding the release valve for a couple seconds ( sounds stupid, but I've forgotten to open up the check valve before).

If all those check out, maybe your pressure gauge is off? 30PSI for a week at 40F ought to give you some decent carb.

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Old 06-25-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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30PSI for a week overcarbed it. Even 20PSI @ 40° is too much.

Your serving line is also too short. Even if you properly carbed a beer (maybe 12psi at that temp), putting it on 5 feet of line will shoot it out too fast and you'll knock all the co2 out of solution. You need a longer line to add resistance so it doesn't come out like a firehose.

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Old 06-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Not sure if this helps but I force carb mine for 3 days max. I do the same 30psi. It always come out good.

I have about 12 foot 1/4 inch lines.

I think it's over carbonated and by the time it hits the glass it's like shaking up a soda then pouring it. IT GOES FLAT.

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Old 06-25-2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmcogar View Post
Not sure if this helps but I force carb mine for 3 days max. I do the same 30psi. It always come out good.

I have about 12 foot 1/4 inch lines.

I think it's over carbonated and by the time it hits the glass it's like shaking up a soda then pouring it. IT GOES FLAT.
Agreed. 3 days max.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewThruYou View Post
30PSI for a week overcarbed it. Even 20PSI @ 40° is too much.

Your serving line is also too short. Even if you properly carbed a beer (maybe 12psi at that temp), putting it on 5 feet of line will shoot it out too fast and you'll knock all the co2 out of solution. You need a longer line to add resistance so it doesn't come out like a firehose.
Exactly! It's overcarbed if it was in the fridge at 30 psi for more than a couple of days.

For the 'set it and forget it' method, 12 psi at 40 degrees is perfect, and it'll be ready in about 7-10 days. If you're in a huge hurry, 30 psi for 36 hours, then purging and resetting to 12 psi means it will be ready in about 3 days, but it will get better for a few more days.

In order to get a good pour, longer lines help tremendously. I started with 6' lines, went to 8' lines and finally settled for 10' lines. (This is all 3/16" "beverage line"). I don't think I ever got a perfect pour from the 6' lines, but it wasn't too bad if it wasn't overcarbed. I know it sounds weird, but you'll get a foamy seemingly flat beer if it's overcarbed and poured through short lines. As was mentioned, the short lines "knock out" the co2 out of suspension.

Another issue is temperature change! I took a couple of kegs out to the lake this past weekend. I ran low on ice, and the beer got warmer. After that, each pour was foamy. It was still good, but foamy.

Carbonation is a function of pressure and temperature, so if you change one it affects the pour and carb level.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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My initial suspicion is that you may have "beer gas", not 100% CO2. I only leave my Helles and Czech lagers on 30 psi for a day, then 9-10 psi for a two more and my beer pours nicely with adequate carbonation for the style. I only have 5 ft of 3/16" line and I have been fortunate with good pours.

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Old 06-25-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
At room temp, no amount of pressure is going to dissolve enough CO2 in your beer to taste carbonated.
no. at 65 degrees, 25-30 PSI = standard carbonation level (~2.5 volumes). look at a carbonation chart.

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My initial suspicion is that you may have "beer gas", not 100% CO2
i dont see why you would suspect that. it seems like a simple case of too much pressure, not incorrect gas type. if it was a 70/30 beergas mix, it would be undercarbonated at those pressures, if anything.
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