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Old 10-02-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
Maharg
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Default Not enough gas in my keg beer

This has been a persistent problem that I am at my wits end to solving. My seconday keg fermentation takes place at about 15degC or about 63F and when the beer is siphoned in at the start it is always lively with nice dissolved CO2. Then I leave it to mature for about a month [I prime with 2-4oz of sugar or syrup] and when I try the first pint it has gas in it but not as much as the amount of dissolved gas which was in the beer when i siphoned it into the keg 4 weeks ago. Despite replenishing CO2 from a cylinder the beer just seems to get more and more flat. When i keg I also put about 10 pints into bottles with very minimal priming sugar and this is completely fine - bright with a nice amout of gas. I am srupulous about cleanliness, temperature control but I just can't seem to get round this problem. It is so disheartening - I have a brew just 5 days fermenting in the plastic bucket [at 15C] and last night a drew off a pint of it to try and in spite of the slight yeast taste [I use Fullers yeast which I harvested from one of their beers] it had the perfect amount of dissolved gas in it and a more 'pubby' fruity satisfying beer taste than the beers I've got which come out of the keg and i know that once i keg this one it will go exactly the same way as all the others - flat and duller and duller as the weeks go by. Why is this? Comments and advice gratefully received.

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Old 10-02-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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Trying not to be too obvious here but have you checked to make sure you don't have a leak in your keg?

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Old 10-02-2007, 12:55 PM   #3
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First off, you should explain what your kegging setup is, because from your description it's not clear if you're using cornelius kegs or mini kegs or what.

It sounds like you aren't doing anything to really control carbonation, rather than just winging it and seeing what happens. Quite simply, if you put CO2 into the keg at a high enough pressure at a given temperature, you will get carbonation. By selecting the right pressure for a given temp, you can control the carbonation level very well. If you're losing carbonation, you're not keeping sufficient pressure in the keg.

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Old 10-02-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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When you are sampling this beer (when it is flat), what temperature is it at?

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Old 10-02-2007, 02:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblvsn
Trying not to be too obvious here but have you checked to make sure you don't have a leak in your keg?
That was my first thought, that and the same question about the kegging setup.


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Old 10-02-2007, 03:24 PM   #6
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I'm guessing, but are you using a King Keg? Many of them leak slowly.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #7
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Sounds like a leak to me, or not enough gas. Are you possibly priming, then leaving the keg at serving pressure (3-5 PSI)? Because this will cause exactly what you are describing.

I say, why bother carbing with sugar when you've got kegs? Simply rack to keg, purge headspace and apply a few lbs pressure to seal, let it age as long as you want, then connect to, and leave on, gas at serving pressure (12 PSI here) and after about a week, you'll have perfectly carbed beer!

Good Luck!

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:45 PM   #8
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plus, colder kegs carb slowly from priming sugar...it sounded like the bottles were at warmer room temps.

I too say why prime a clean keg with sugar? hit it with some CO2 and then store it at 63F until the end of time if you like...then when ready cool it, and put on CO2 to actually carb it, just like Sea stated. If you want it to carb faster, just put it under more gas prior to storage and you'll have fewer days at 12psi to finish it off.

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Old 10-03-2007, 10:22 AM   #9
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Default flat beer problem solved!

Thanks guys for all those replies - last night I think I got to the bottom of it. It's so simple it just never occured to me before. The guy at my local home brew shop told me that [with King Kegs] when you draw the beer off you lose C02 in the process. When I've been drawing my beer off i open the tap pretty wide, get lots of head and have to let it settle about three times before i get a full pint. I never connected my flat beer with this operation! and there was the simplest answer all the time staring me in the face - story of my life, going for the complicated first and the simple as a last resort. So last night I opened the tap just a tiny bit and really gently and got it right into the bottom of the glass and hey presto - no froth and just the right amount of gas. And much better taste.

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